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Windows 7: How do I restore my boot partition?

04 Feb 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
How do I restore my boot partition?

My C drive is shown as the boot partition in my Windows 7 x64 setup, instead of the System Reserved partition (my own fault). Windows boots but slowly and I want to get things back to how they were. I tried EasyBCD but it won't change the boot partition back to the System Reserved space. I booted with my Windows 7 disc and went to boot repair, but it reports that it can't find a problem.

If anyone can help me get the System Reserved partition (temporarily assigned the drive letter Z) as the bootable one, not my C drive, I'd be grateful. I attach a screenshot of my current drives.



Attached Thumbnails
How do I restore my boot partition?-discs.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


1) Remove the letter from the System Reserved partition.(Which is the boot partition)
2) Mark drive H: inactive.
3) Check your startup app's.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2012   #3

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)

You are misinterpreting what the DISKMGMT output is telling you.

Your System Reserved partition IS the "boot partition"... it is marked as "ACTIVE". It really doesn't need to have a drive letter (and you can use DISKMGMT to un-letter it), but it IS where the BIOS is going to start the boot process. That is where the boot manager files are.

Your C-partition is the Win7 system partition, and is used as the bootable OS partition by boot manager. But your "active" partition IS the "system reserved" partition.

Now, although you haven't provided all the information I'd like to see, it appears that you have "pagefile" distributed across 3 drives... or at least there exists a pagefile.sys on 3 partitions on 3 drives: C, P and Q. Why??

Honestly, that could be impacting performance I would think. You don't need that. Just leaving the pagefile on your C-drive should be perfectly fine, and perhaps optimal for you. These might be residual copies of pagefile.sys, or they may be active. Don't know. But your System Properties should be checked, to see why you have three pagefile locations.

You can either let the system manage the pagefile (which should keep it all on C), or you can manually configure things to guarantee it's only on C.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

04 Feb 2012   #4


The partition labeled "System" is where the System boot files which boot Win7 reside.

It is enabled by being the "Active" labeled partition.

The "Boot" label only means that is the OS which is booted at the time.

Remove the drive letter from System Reserved so nothing can write to it.

Remove the Active label from H so it cannot intefere: Partition - Mark as Inactive - Windows 7 Forums

Turn off the paging file for a reboot then set it to System Managed to see if performance improves.

If not work through these troubleshooting steps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2012   #5
Kevin Ismail

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Hi Martin
Just wanna share a weirdness happened to one of my PC. I previously have Windows 7 ultimate installed prior to installing WDP. Accidentally (don't know) WDP just lettered my System reserved drive and exposed it. When I started win 7, it was just able to locate it, what a weird? I leave it as it is because I'm afraid any modification will cause unexpected things happen to win 7. Is it an example that win 7 can run with lettered System reserved drive?

Here is the screenshot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit

Hi, I'll reply in more detail a bit later - thanks for the posts.

I only have my system reserved partition with a drive letter so that EasyBCD could locate it when I used it to move the bootmgr back there from the C drive. I don't usually have a letter assigned. I'll remove it at some stage soon. (Kevin, removing the drive letter won't cause anything strange to happen - at least it doesn't in my system. It doesn't make it inoperable doing that, just means Windows won't write to it, basically).

The problem is that my system boots so much more slowly. When I did a search for 'bootmgr' on the PC, there were files in both the C drive and the Z drive. That can't be right, surely??

My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit

Hi. Well I restored my system to how it was before I had these problems from a system image I made about a week ago. So my System reserved partition no longer has a drive letter (that was only a temporary thing anyway). But my PC STILL boots a lot more slowly than it did a week ago - the image restored just fine, so I have no idea why boot times aren't restored to how they were before. Sounds impossible. I'll have to troubleshoot that separately I guess (will post a new thread if necessary).

As for the page file, I have always had Windows set up so that there is a minimal page file on the C drive (for crash dumps etc.) and then the main page file on a separate physical disc. There have been many posts across Windows forums demonstrating that that improves performance, but maybe that isn't the case with my setup (Windows 7 on an SSD). I doubt that it would cause a performance decrease though - as I say I have always had the page file set like this: it wouldn't account for increased boot times, if that's what you meant.

Thanks for setting me straight re. the information in Disk management - I just assumed that the boot label showed which partition was the active boot partition.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Feb 2012   #8
Kevin Ismail

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thank for assuring me. Will do it sooner.
I just forgot to tell that if started from Win 7 the system reserved drive is hidden. I will see if I can hide it from WDP as my son might accidentally do something with it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Feb 2012   #9


I would not have suggested removing the drive letter from System Reserved if it could cause problems. We have worked through these issues here since long before Windows 7 was released.

I'm also aware that better performance can sometimes be had by moving the paging file to another HD, but my suggestion is to try it System Managed only to see if it affects your perfomance problems.

You might wipe the boot sector with Diskpart Clean Command from the installer command line before reimaging again to see if boot sector corruption is involved: DISKPART At PC Startup
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Feb 2012   #10
Kevin Ismail

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Gladly inform you that I did manage to remove the drive letter, though I had my heartbeat paced quicker in doing so And assigned the letter to another drive.

I restarted it twice to Win 7 and WDP alternately and did few things with it. Now it disappear from both system (hidden as it supposed to be).
You are all helpful friends
Now I'm back to normal heartbeat and breath normally.
Here is the screenshot
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How do I restore my boot partition?

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