Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


What is this massive system reserved partition?

  1. #1


    Newcastle, UK
    Posts : 7
    Windows 8 x64

    What is this massive system reserved partition?


    Sorry if this is the wrong sub-forum; it seemed the best place.

    My PC is exactly as listed in my profile specs. We added an SSD a month or so ago, and have been really happy with performance; we used this Lifehacker guide to migrate windows 8 to the SSD without re-installing. It all went smoothly, and now Windows is on the SSD (C and we have a 1TB Seagate barracuda as our D: drive. Browsers, anti-malware etc are installed on C:, but all data (My Documents, games, etc) are on D:.

    We had noticed the C: drive filling up a little so have performed some tweaks: hibernation, system restore and defragging are all disabled. When we went into disk management to see where all our space was, we've noticed a 28.49GB partition which is marked "system reserved" and designated as a primary partition. There is then the standard C: partition (labelled primary, boot etc). There's then 349MB unallocated. The C: drive has a windows folder which is about 16GB; windows therefore has about 45GB of our 120GB hard drive at this point.

    I can't for the life of me remember how the partitions looked when the SSD was freshly installed, but I seem to remember having a lot more space. So what in heck is this 28GB partition? All my googling finds reference to windows 8 needing a 100-350MB system reserved partition, not this monster. The only thing I can think of is that we tried to upgrade to windows 8.1, but the install failed. We've tried a couple more times, but gave up as a bad job (planning to wait for other people to do the de-bugging and trouble-shooting before we try again). That download was in the region of 30GB; is it now just sitting in this massive partition? If so, how do we get rid; just remove the partition? If not...what is it?!

    Sorry if this is a little incoherent, I'm moderately over-caffeinated today...

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1


    Is this a Windows 8 Pre-installed PC?

    Can you post a screen shot of Disk management?

    Screenshots and Files - Upload and Post in Eight Forums



    Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image - Windows 7 Help Forums
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Newcastle, UK
    Posts : 7
    Windows 8 x64


    No, it's a self-build - my first, and my other half's first in 10 years or so. We were both quite happy fiddling around in WinXP, but several years as Mac users has left us rusty. We've had 3-4 months to get used to windows 8, so still feel pretty unfamiliar with it TBH.

    Here's the screenshot; the partition I'm talking about is the system reserved partition on Disk 1.

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 1,121
    Windows 8.1 x64


    It looks like the tutorial you followed is a little out of date. It has some comments about assuming you only have one partition on the drive, so it was not written at a time when possibly even Windows 7 was available.

    So I would guess your process saw the small partition at the front and created a new one based on the information it had. You did notice the quote below in the tutorial?

    I would probably start over and clone each partition, one at a time. As Theog pointed out in some of the numerous links, a Legacy install, which you seem to have, has one 350 MB recovery partition in addition to the OS partition. On UEFI installs, there is a 300 MB Recovery Partition and a Required 100MB EFI System partition with an additional 128 MB MSR partition which cannot be seen in Disk Management.

    Remember, if you have more than one partition on your original drive, you want to clone the partition, not the drive. That means instead of choosing "Disk Clone," you should choose "Partition Clone," clone your Windows partition to the SSD, and stick in the repair disc when you're done to repair the bootloader.
    Some SSDs come with the tools required to clone the SSD, I suppose yours did not?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Newcastle, UK
    Posts : 7
    Windows 8 x64


    @theog - thanks for the input, and numerous links. I'll sift through them and try to get my head round this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltgrass View Post
    It looks like the tutorial you followed is a little out of date. It has some comments about assuming you only have one partition on the drive, so it was not written at a time when possibly even Windows 7 was available.

    So I would guess your process saw the small partition at the front and created a new one based on the information it had. You did notice the quote below in the tutorial?

    I would probably start over and clone each partition, one at a time. As Theog pointed out in some of the numerous links, a Legacy install, which you seem to have, has one 350 MB recovery partition in addition to the OS partition. On UEFI installs, there is a 300 MB Recovery Partition and a Required 100MB EFI System partition with an additional 128 MB MSR partition which cannot be seen in Disk Management.

    Remember, if you have more than one partition on your original drive, you want to clone the partition, not the drive. That means instead of choosing "Disk Clone," you should choose "Partition Clone," clone your Windows partition to the SSD, and stick in the repair disc when you're done to repair the bootloader.
    Some SSDs come with the tools required to clone the SSD, I suppose yours did not?
    Yep, we were aware of the limitations of the tutorial, and of that quote. We never created any additional partitions on the 1TB HDD, and I don't remember ever seeing more than one, large partition on it in disk management; we simply installed it physically in the tower, installed windows, and done. I'm aware of the principle of installing windows in one partition and sticking data in another, but we never contemplated anything like that. It is entirely possible that we've cocked up some part of the cloning process, however - seems likely in fact.

    No, the SSD didn't come with any tools. We installed and looked at EaseUS before we bought the drive, and were comfortable using it to do the swap.

    It's looking like the simplest thing for us to do is perhaps back-up our data and either start over as you say, or just go for a clean install of windows 8. I'm tempted to go for that in case it was some kind of software conflict that was stopping us from upgrading to 8.1 succesfully (someone suggseting that Steelseries drivers might cause a conflict and failure).

    THank you all for the input - I'll go and do my reading and make a decision once I'm better informed.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

What is this massive system reserved partition?
Related Threads
So I was trying to reinstall windows 8 and screwed up, long story short I have two system reserved partitions, one on my 24gb ssd and one on my 1TB HDD. Windows is installed on my HDD, and I need to use the ssd as a cache, but in order to do that it needs to be cleared, well, because I accidentally...
A simple question! Does Windows update, ever update the System Reserved partition!
System reserved partition in Installation & Setup
Morning everyone, I have a custom PC I built and I was running 8.1 on it. I have to drives a 120gb ssd that had windows on it and I have a 1 TB that had the 350mb system reserved partition and 2 other partitions I had for data and a boatload of free space. I wanted to try and install Linux Ubuntu...
First off, I'm new here so I'm sorry if I am posting this in the wrong section. I appreciate the help. 33378 So that is a screen shot of my disk management screen. As you can see, disk0 and disk1 both have system reserved partitions on them. Disk0 is a SSD that I only want Windows,...
I used to have System Reserved on separate partion to C:\ but on my last fresh re-install, I decided to make C:\ and System Reserved in one partition. Here's what shows on Disk Management: 33263 My question is, which is better. System Reserved on the same partition with C:\ or on a separate...
I was recently messing around with installing Windows 8 on an external USB 3.0 HDD (NOT a flash drive) (How To Install Windows 7 On USB Flash Drive or External Hard Drive), and found website that showed a method for doing so by way of a "NT6 Fast Installer". I tried many times to get it to work and...
now i cant boot my win 8 i have dual boot with ubuntu so when i try to boot win 8 i get error massage that there is no such partition (because he try go find sda0 but cant) i try to insert usb with win 8 but i get that i need to insert repair disk how i can boot win 8 without reserved...
Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook