Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: Problem XP sees Windows 7 "System Reserved" as C

10 Mar 2010   #1

Windows 7 / Windows XP
Problem XP sees Windows 7 "System Reserved" as C

so i used method 2, having windows 7 installed first. everything worked out perfectly, except this one glitch. i have a 100 MB System Reserved Partition that came with my Windows 7 install, and it doesn't show up on Windows 7 (unless i assign it a drive letter) and in Windows XP... its defaulted as drive C! this means that it doesn't let me change the drive letter, and every time i try to install something it tries to install to drive C, which has only 60 mb left, even though its blank, and i have to tell it to install to E (what windows XP initially mounts itself as)

Please, can you help in any way? it's highly frustrating

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2010   #2

Windows 7 / XP


I have the exact same problem, System Reserved is the C-drive and cannot be changed. XP installation has taken F-drive. I have not found a solution for this anywhere. I have assigned the System Reserved partition drive letter S in Windows 7, but still the same drive letter setup remains in xp.

Does anyone know how this affects the operating system operation and possibly how this could be fixed?
Should the drive letter for System Reserved partition be given in Windows 7 before installing XP or does the drive letter assignment given in Windows 7 even have anything to do with the letter that appears in XP?

Thanks in advance if anyone could shed some light regarding this!
I'll ofcourse post here if i find a solution.

- Dennis
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2010   #3
Microsoft MVP


It is best to use EasyBCD 2.0 beta when installing XP last in a Dual Boot with Win7, as it sorts out the System Reserved partition drive letter issue better. Hopefully it will be added to the tutorial soon when it exits beta stage. You can use it anyway by doing quick registration in NeoSmart forum.

What I would try is removing XP from Dual Boot from Win7 using Easy 2.0 Add/Remove tab.

Then in Disk Mgmt, remove the drive letter from System Reserved partition or change it to "S"

Now Add XP back to Dual Boot in EasyBCD, it should autocomplete drive letter.

If this fails, please post back a screenshot of your full Disk Mgmt drive map and EasyBCD listings page, using Snipping Tool in Start menu - attach using paper clip in Reply box.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Mar 2010   #4

Windows 7 / XP
No luck yet..

Hey Gregrocker,

Thanks for your swift answer!

I tried this. There wasn't an add/remove section anymore though so i removed it from the boot menu, hope that was what you meant. After this i closed easybcd and removed S-association from System Reserved in disk management and then reassigned S for it. I then continued to re-add WinXP and answered yes when the program asked if i wanted it to make some settings automatically regarding dual boot. Rebooted to xp and the setup was the same :(. Screenshots from XP in this, and W7 in a moment.


Attached Thumbnails
Problem XP sees Windows 7 "System Reserved" as C-xpdisk.png   Problem XP sees Windows 7 "System Reserved" as C-7disk.png  
Attached Images
Problem XP sees Windows 7 "System Reserved" as C-xpbcd.png Problem XP sees Windows 7 "System Reserved" as C-7bcd.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2010   #5
Microsoft MVP


You are posting screenshots from both XP and Win7, so is the Dual Boot Menu now working correctly?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2010   #6

Windows 7 / XP

Yes, it works now as it did before. The problem is that the system drive letter in XP is something other than C. Somehow the C-assosiation in XP for System Reserved should be freed so that XP could take the correct drive letter. I don't know if it could somehow be prioritized so that XP could take a letter first and then System Reserved would take the next free one?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2010   #7
Microsoft MVP


Can you make only C and D available to the OS drives to see what happens?

I don't know why XP will not change Sys Reserved to S for you. Try again? You may need to remove and Re-Add XP using Easy to let it autocomplete again.

Be aware that you can also remove the Sys Reserved partition and recover the partition space and System MBR into Win7, then reestablish the Dual Boot. Let us know if you want to try that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2010   #8

Windows 7 / XP

What do you mean by making only c and d available to the os drives?
D is actually not available at all in W7. I think in XP W7 is D-drive. I tried freeing it, but still it's not selectable in W7.
I tried also changing the boot drive to a usb stick and W7 system drive and now i cant get xp to start at all, it doesn't find ntdlr dir, but i'm not too put off by this since i'm moving towards the 'not caring'-state :).
I could really try anything right now if you want me to try something. Otherwise i'll just format the drive and install only xp on it, on which i could propably get the things done i originally needed done (related to something completely else).

Thanks again for your responses.

Oh, i forgot to mention the latest hunch. In XP, as to why System Reserved takes the C-drive letter and ofcourse therefore does not let it be changed has to do with it being the boot drive from which the OS's are started from.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2010   #9
Microsoft MVP


Let's see if the steps will still work to recover the System MBR into Win7.

Download and burn to CD free Partition Wizard bootable CD. Boot PW, allow files to load, select 1 for Screen Res, rightclick System Reserved partition to Delete, OK. Next rightclick Win7 partition>Modify>Set to Active, OK.

Now right click Win7 partition again, select Resize, drag left border over deleted System Reserved space to include in Win7 partiiton, OK. Apply all steps.

After PW reboots to finish resizing, boot into Win7 DVD Repair console or Repair CD, click throught to Recov Tools list to run Startup Repair up to 3 separate times with reboots to recover System MBR into Win7.

After Win7 starts, Add XP using EasyBCD 2.0. Accept boot files, autocompletes, restart.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2010   #10

Windows 7 x64

Could you attach a picture of what files are in the System Reserved partition? Make sure you have folder view set to see hiddena and system files.

You can see what is in the partition if it has a drive letter like any other partition. If it does not have a drive letter, you will need to give it one, look from within XP or assign it to a link in the Win 7 partition.

Since I do not know what causes Windows to give a partition the C: designation, maybe some file has been added that might be causing it to go to the System Reserved.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Problem XP sees Windows 7 "System Reserved" as C

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
"System Reserved (C:)" and "Local Disk (D:)" ??
Newbie here. I have searched around for a while but have not found a post with my exact situation. I just installed a new Seagate Momentus 500gb (7200rpm) SATA drive in my Lenovo X61 laptop and have been working on a installation of Windows7 Ultimate. Not realizing this was an upgrade...
Installation & Setup
Windows 7 "System Reserved 100MB conflict"!!!
Hi, so first of all i'm going to tell you that i have two hard drives one is WD Caviar Black 1TB (primary) which is partitioned in two "Local Disks" 150GB for the OS and 781GB for games and other stuff and the secondary hard drive is WD Caviar Blue 500GB which i had partitioned also in two local...
Installation & Setup
2nd Installed Harddrive identified by Windows 7 as "System Reserved"
I purchased a new 1TB harddrive to host Windows 7. The installation was without any problem. Prior to installation, I removed all harddrives, including another 1TB data backup harddrive. When I installed the second drive, with all my important backed up data, it comes identified by Windows 7 as...
Hardware & Devices
Both "System reserved" and "C" partition cloned to external HDD: boot?
With EaseUS Backup Tool, I've cloned these two partitions ("System Reserved" and "C") to same-sized partitions on a external HDD ("X" and "Y"). Picture tells it concisely: How to make drives "X" and "Y" boot-able? In "Disk Management", I've noticed these partition labels missing: "X" (or...
Installation & Setup
Windows backup sees two "System" drives
My computer has 4 internal drives. I have 1 hd with a C: and D: partition and then 3 other drives with 1 partition each, drives E: F: and G:. I just set up windows back up to back up the C: drive to the E: drive, however Windows is also viewing the F: drive as a System drive and insists that I...
Backup and Restore

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:34.
Twitter Facebook Google+ Seven Forums iOS App Seven Forums Android App