Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Whats the correct amount of partitions for Windows 8.1?

  1. #1

    Whats the correct amount of partitions for Windows 8.1?


    This is strange... I installed Windows 8.1 on two computers but got different partitioning on the SSDs...I would like to know which is the best/correct one, and should I tweak the one thats not setup properly?

    DESKTOP--> 240SSD
    Disk Management shows:

    • C: 214.25GB NTFS Healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition)
    • 18.63GB Unallocated


    LAPTOP--> 120SSD
    Disk Management shows:

    • 300MB Healthy (Recovery Partition)
    • 100MB Healthy (EFI System Partition)
    • C: 118.73GB Healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition)


    NOTE: I dont know if this is related but for the laptop (the one with the most partitions), I performed a Reset Windows 8.1 to fix a few things.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    1. LAPTOP: Windows 8 was installed using UEFI instead of the legacy MBR. Your SSD is initialized as GPT disk. In addition, there's actually another 128MB unallocated partition that Disk Management did not show, if you use Diskpart then you can see it listed.
    2. DESKTOP: W 8 was installed using legacy BIOS. With leagacy BIOS, normally it will create a 350MB reserved partition if you did not create & format the partition prior to W8 installation and put the boot manager, Recovercy, bitlocker feature in this 350MB partition. If you did create and format the partition prior to the installation then the installation will put everything in C: together with your Windows.


    EDIT: Another case that Windows installation might put the Reserved partition in another HD if you did not set the SSD to be the first boot priority in the BIOS and you have the other disk set Active and I think your Desktop is in this case.
    Last edited by topgundcp; 17 Jun 2014 at 19:17.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Wow topgun you are good! You guessed right about my desktop having set another disk as active.... dam, this explains why last night when I did the mirror (using FreeFileSync) it was showing me a folder called boot that i just couldnt see in my File Explorer. I was wondering what the heck that was and so I dont know what to do with it..except i dont want it there!

    What can I do with it? I would really like for both systems to be setup with same partitions so that I get used to one system if ever i need to do a recovery.

    Can you please advise...?

    But about the laptop, my drive was formatted as MBR prior to install so Im not sure how it became GPT but according to Macrium you're right it is. Is this bad? Macrium also says that the 100MB partition is formatted using the FAT32 system (whereas the 300MB and the main one are NTFS). And the xtra partition which I could not see is unformatted. Can you please explain?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    After reading Windows Setup: Installing using the MBR or GPT partition style Im under the impression that the laptop installation is the correct one. It probably did this because I booted with CSM disabled.

    My thoughts are now on reinstalling Windows on the desktop so that I can convert it to a proper GPT install.
    Your opinion?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    If you turn on "shown hidden system files", you'll see those files that would normally be in the 350MB reserved partion for the legacy MBR. If you disconnect the disk containing these files, your system becomes unbootable.
    Click image for larger version

    But about the laptop, my drive was formatted as MBR prior to install so Im not sure that you'd be correct about saying its GPT
    Since you use Macrium. Here's the screen shot of the EFI type installtion, Windows Installation probably convert it without your knowledge, both MBR and GPT can be formatted with FAT32, NTFS ....:
    Click image for larger version

    My thoughts are now on reinstalling Windows on the desktop so that I can convert it to a proper GPT install.
    Your opinion?
    The question is Does your desktop support EFI ? , old desktop only have MBR available. However, It does not really matter if you have MBR or GPT type as long as your HD is less than 2GB capacity as a boot drive.

    With your Laptop, I think it is OK as is.

    With Desktop, use this procedure to put the Boot manager back to the SSD where you have your Windows installed:
    Create system reserved partition after installation
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Thanks topgun - the screenshot matches what ive got in Macrium. (what a relief!)

    Does my desktop support EFI? I believe so...I built it less than 2 years ago intel i7 on Asus Z77 board. Is it worth changing to GPT - will this increase speeds or provide any other benefits, or should I simply use your guide to create the system reserved partition? (BTW, we are talking about a Samsung 840 Evo Pro 250GB SSD)

    Oh, and how do you view System Hidden Files? The only thing I could find was View Hidden Items in the Windows 8 ribbon... but it didnt reveal the boot folder.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    Oh, and how do you view System Hidden Files? The only thing I could find was View Hidden Items in the Windows 8 ribbon... but it didnt reveal the boot folder.
    Click image for larger version

    There's no benefit except GPT disk type can support large capacity disk drive. I think you're OK, just use the procedure to move the Boot Manager.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    This is very strange... i went to the Show Hidden Files, Folders, etc and it was already enabled. I dont see the Boot folder though, but when I launch FreeFileSync, its there!


    BTW, your link to EasyBCD Portable keeps getting flagged by Chrome as mailicious when I try to download the program from MediFire and I cant get around it. Can you recommend another? Will EaseUS Partition Manager do?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    This is very strange... i went to the Show Hidden Files, Folders, etc and it was already enabled. I dont see the Boot folder though, but when I launch FreeFileSync, its there!
    You need to also do:
    Click image for larger version
    BTW, your link to EasyBCD Portable keeps getting flagged by Chrome as mailicious
    Well, it is clean. Myself and other members downloaded it and I think it is false positive.

    Can you recommend another? Will EaseUS Partition Manager do?
    I'd to only use the portable without installing it since I only use it once. You can also download the installer version from the official site:
    EasyBCD - NeoSmart Technologies
    it is free for home user.

    EDIT: Is your Macrium a free version or Pro version ? If you have Pro, you can move partitions around with ease using drag and drop, no need to use any partition Manager.
    Last edited by topgundcp; 17 Jun 2014 at 21:27.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Thanks - I see the files now!
    Yes Macrium is free version... do you think the paid version is worth getting?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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