How to reconfigure an existing Windows 7 installation to eliminate the System Reserved partition

If your Windows 7 system is configured to begin the boot from a System Reserved partition and continue running from a separate Windows partition, you can reconfigure Windows 7 to boot and run from a single partition.


These instructions assume that the Windows system drive is defined by a primary partition on a Basic Disk. If the Windows system drive is defined by a logical partition or defined on a GPT or Dynamic Disk, do not proceed. 

Follow this procedure to prepare the System Reserved partition for copying:
  1. Click Start
  2. Type diskmgmt.msc in the Search programs and files box and press Enter
  3. Right-click on the System Reserved partition and select Change Drive Letter and Paths from the context menu
  4. Click Add
  5. Choose a drive letter (e.g., "X:") and click OK
At this point, a drive letter should be assigned to the System Reserved partition. The following steps will assume that this drive letter is X:. If you chose a different drive letter, please replace references to "X:" in the instructions below with the drive letter you have selected. 

Now copy the contents of the System Reserved partition to the Windows partition:
  1. Click StartAll ProgramsAccessories
  2. Right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator. If a User Access Control prompt is displayed, click Yes
  3. At the command-prompt, type:
    cd  \
    and press Enter. This will ensure the current directory is the root directory.
  4. At the command-prompt, type:
    reg  unload  HKLM\BCD00000000
    and press Enter.
  5. At the command-prompt, type:
    xcopy  X:\  %SystemDrive%\  /e  /h  /k  /o  /q  /y  /b  /c
    and press Enter.
  6. At the command-prompt, type:
    bcdedit  /store  %SystemDrive%\boot\bcd  /set  {bootmgr}  device  partition=%SystemDrive%
    and press Enter.
At this point, Windows should be capable of booting and running entirely from the primary Windows partition.

Finish up by making the Windows partition the active (boot) partition:
  1. In Disk Management, right-click on the Windows partition (e.g., "C:") and click Mark Partition as Active. (Note: The Windows partition will appear with the Boot designation.)
  2. Click Yes when prompted to continue. (The Windows partition should now include the Active designation.)
  3. Restart your computer

At this point, Windows should be booting and running from a single partition. Follow this procedure to confirm this and optionally remove the original System Reserved partition:
  1. Click Start
  2. Type diskmgmt.msc in the Search programs and files box and press Enter
  3. Confirm that the Windows partition includes the System, Boot, and Active designations. 

OPTIONAL: If you no longer want the original System Reserved partition, you can remove it as follows:
  1. Right-click on the System Reserved partition in Disk Management and click Delete Volume
  2. Click Yes when prompted to continue.

  • Windows 7

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