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Windows 7: not enough free space in system reserved partition

26 Dec 2013   #11


We should not advise users of netbooks to use a method to move the System boot files which does not rewrite the F8 Repair My Computer link. Just because you choose to "repair" Win7 by reimaging doesn't mean any other consumer would want to fix their netbook that way when they're in Starbucks without disks or external images.

Let's try to figure out what's clogging the new System Reserved partition. In Control Panel>Folder Options>View unhide System and Hidden files. Post back a screenshot of the contents of both SysRserved partitions.

The method to move the System boot files is to unplug all other HD's, Mark C Partition Active,
boot into System Recovery Options to run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times until Win7 boots with the System Active flags on C. You can then delete System Reserved in Disk Mgmt, recover its space if you want using Partition Wizard to Resize Partition - Video Help.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2013   #12
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Greg, I think this OP knows what he is doing. I like to give options. As you know I am not a purist like you but I have survived with computers since 1958.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Dec 2013   #13

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Hi guys,

I did what whs said, which was enough to get windows to stop complaining about the dumb system reserved partition, and make an image backup. My understanding is that the system reserved partition is still there, but just not marked as active, so windows doesn't try to boot from there. As long as it is not active, I don't need care about the 100MB, and am happy not to bother with having to scoot the whole c: over, and having to run windows repair to fix it.

I am pretty sure there is no problem with what hard drive the computer boots from because that is set in the bios. On the old spinning hard drive, I used gparted to shrink the windows partition down to size. Then back in windows, I removed the drive letter from that, and turned the empty space into a d:. So far everything works fine. If the ssd suddenly dies, then we should be able to switch the bios to boot back into the spinning hard drive.

As for that bloated system reserved partition, my description of what is there in the first post is with those boxes unchecked. I also, while using gparted in a linux environment, ran the df and du commands on that partition, and saw the same files and same space consumption issues. e.g. du showed 14 MB of files (if I remember right), and df showed 90% usage. I can post the screenshot if you like, but what are you looking for beyond what I already said? I am still interested in figuring out what is taking up all the space.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Dec 2013   #14
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

1. I am glad that EasyBCD did the job for you. And you are right, the bootmger is only copied from the system partition to C. You can always reactivate the system partition and deactivate C to get back to the initial state - once we figured out what is cloggoging your system partition.

2. Can you open the system partition (you have to give it a drive letter for it to show up in Computer). Take a snip of the content and post it here. Maybe we can spot something.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Dec 2013   #15


If nothing shows up differently between the two SysReserved partitions by comparison, then if you really want System Reserved you can recreate it by deleting it, creating a new Primary Partition, mark it Active, copy the unhidden Boot Files from C into it, run 3 Startup Repairs to finish the job completely.

If you're happy with the way it is now then you can leave it, or delete SysReserved. I agree it is not worth the trouble to recover its space into C unless you want to play with Partition Wizard. Use the boot disk which will not fail while all others including the Windows version can except DIsk Mgmt.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Dec 2013   #16

Windows 7 Home Premium x64


I think I found out what the problem was. I viewed the partition with defraggler and saw that there was a big 50MB $logfile, which is one of those hidden ntfs system files. I also saw that there was a command chkdsk (driveletter): /L that is supposed to be able to shrink it. I have not bothered to do that yet in case I screw things up.

I'm also wondering what would happen if I just copied the files off that partition, reformat it, and copy them back?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Dec 2013   #17


You can try it, or just delete the log file and if it returns to normal size reactivate the partition.

I gave you the best way I've seen to reconstruct the System Reserved partition or to remove it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2015   #18

Windows 7 Pro x64

Hi everyone. I would like to resurrect this thread because I have the exact same symptoms and problem as the OP. I likewise have a Samsung SSD. My system reserved partition likewise became too full after using Samsung's data migration tool. The partition was also renamed "data" (I actually renamed it to "system reserved"). And I can't see what is hogging the drive space either.

I stumbled across this thread after first attempting to deal with this issue by simply resizing the system reserved partition and not worrying about why it got full. However, that keeps failing for some reason. No matter what I do, windows won't boot afterward. If anyone cares, my trials and tribulations are available here.

Doesn't matter. I think I'm on a better track now. Can I get help with clearing up a few things? OP, if you see this, did you ever resolve it? Sounds like you did since you stopped posting.

1.) Unlike the OP, I cannot see this log file. I downloaded defraggler, but I don't see this $logfile. All I see is this:

I think it's only listing the fragmented files. How do I see this mysterious log file?

1.b. If I can use this chkdsk /L command to shrink it, how far can I shrink it? Is there a minimum? What happens when you shrink it?


2.) Can somone tell me again the steps for re-creating the system reserved partition? I'm not sure I got it. Do I need to save or copy anything from the partition before I wipe it? Or can it be re-created automatically with the Win rescue disk?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2015   #19


Let us see a screenshot of Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image.

Can you access System Reserved in Explorer to post back a screenshot of its contents, after unhiding Hidden and System Files in Control Panel>Folder Options>View?

Easiest would be to abandon System Reserved and move the Bootmgr - Move to C:\ with EasyBCD - Windows 7 Forums providing C is a Primary partition so let's see the screenshot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2015   #20

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

You have the system reserved partition named Z, it`s not supposed to have a letter.

That way no information can be written to it.

Please post the shot, as Greg has asked.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 not enough free space in system reserved partition

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