Removing the 100MB System Reserved Partition from Server 2008 R2 or Win7

Today I went to install System Center Data Protection Manager 2010 from Microsoft and I ran into a problem adding disks to my DPM protection disk pool.
Turns out Server 2008 R2 installed the System Reserved Partition (100MB) on the RAID array that I setup for DPM 2010 backup storage and not on the mirrored system partition like it should have. I could not convert the array from MBR to GPT that is required for disk arrays over 2TB until I got that partition off of there.

Here is how to delete the partition:

1) Open a command prompt with administrator privileges (right click => run as administrator)


bcdboot c:\windows /s c:

You should get a message similar to:

Boot files successfully created.

2) Open the Disk Management GUI (you could use diskpart for scripts), locate the C:\ partition right-click and select “Mark Partition as Active”, select yes to the “do you want to continue message”

3) Reboot to confirm that everything is ok.

4) In Disk Management you can now delete the 100Mb System Reserved partition by right clicking on it and selecting “Delete volume”

Before I got the information above, this is how I did it.
This is more usefull if you have already deleted the System Reserved partition or messed it up some how and now need to delete it from the recovery console.

1. From Disk Management assign a drive letter to the System Reserved Partition so that you can access the files. They are hidden, so you will need to turn off the option to hide system files.
2. Copy bootsec.bak, bootmgr and the entire boot folder from the System Reserved partition to the c:\ drive.
3. Set the c:\ drive partition as active
4. Now you can delete the System Reserved Partition. I had to go recreate my RAID array after rebooting to the RAID BIOS to delete it. You might also be able to delete it using BartPE or WinPE.
5. Boot the OS from the installation DVD and choose repair.
6. Load RAID drivers if you need to and then go to the command prompt.
7. Run these commands to fix the MBR and boot sector.
bootrec.exe /fixmbr
bootrec.exe /fixboot
bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd
8. Reboot!

Before I figured this all out I deleted the partition and my server wouldn't boot, so I had to work a little harder.
I had to get the files from another Server 2008 R2 server and put them on a thumb drive. Then I booted to the repair console and used xcopy with the /H switch (so that it would copy the hidden files to the c:\ system partition.)


Ed Hammond said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Johann said…
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Johann said…
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
deannie said…
I am going to need to remove this partition from a number of servers to enable functionality from my SAN, so really appreciate this post.
Rob said…
Brilliant. Just what I needed. I found the little partition was messing up my NetApp disk alignment as I have many Windows VMs with this partition. Deleting the partition corrects the alignment. Thank you!
I did not delete my 100MB drive, How can I set back MBR to my 100mb drive?
I just successfully rescue my system by booting into Ubuntu, then I copy my all files from 100MB Reserve hard disk to C:\ Drive

You are brilliant man... Thank you!, thank you! and thank you!...
Ravi Sujanani said…

I tried the steps on a test windows server 2008 R2 virtual machine and it worked well. Thanks
Ravi Sujanani said…
I tried the steps mentioned on a windows server 2008 R2 virtual machine and it worked. Thanks
Topher said…
Great post, thanks. I definitely could have buckled that and been scrambling.
Thank you thank you.
Peter said…
You sir, are a gentlemen, IT-god and a life saver!
Triggy Pop said…
I did have to tell my RAID manager to use a different boot partition before I was able to delete the 100MB, but I got it. Thanks!
A-CAST said…
I managed to delete the partition but now I have 101 MB of unallocated space, any ideas on how to delete this since it doesn't allow me to add it to my existing C: partition?
A-CAST said…
I managed to delete the partition but now I have 101 MB of unallocated space and it won't let me delete this or add it to my existing C: partition...any ideas?
Ed Hammond said…
Have you tried to resize the c: drive and add the free space to it?
A-CAST said…

I found that you can't edit the C: drive unless you use third-party partition tools such as EASUS Partition Master.

It's not a huge deal so I won't bother for now but if this happens more often I'll consider purchasing the server edition of EASUS Partition Master to correct these issues.

I've used their Free Home Edition and it works great.
dave donnelly said…
This works great been using it for 2011 and 2008 servers. I can now Ghost 2008 and 2011 servers using ghost 15. Aprechiate the time you spent on finding the fix.
Farhan Khan said…
Thank you so much for the post,I am very glad to resolve this issue,
Very easiest way to remove reserved partition. :)

Farhan Khan said…
Thank you so much for the post,I am very glad to resolve this issue,
Very easiest way to remove reserved partition. :)
You're the best man, just saved my ass.
이재학 said…
Thank you for good information.
Please note Scheduled Windows 10 partition information.
System Reserved Partition elimination Merger

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