Monday, January 16, 2012

Weird win7 system reserved partition bug

Had a new workstation delivered today.  Started familiarising myself with it and poking around as I am inclined to do. I found that the system partition was about half the hard disk and the rest was missing.  So opened up disk manager and found that the partition layout was:

39MB OEM partition
233GB "System Reserved" partition (no drive letter)
232GB Active Partition mapped to C: drive.

Being curious and wanting the space back, I mapped a drive letter onto the system reserved partition and had a poke around.... turns out there was nothing in there except an altirus cfg file.

I had a google about and the system reserved partition for win7 enterprise should only be 100MB by default... (unless hackery was involved) so I'm a bit baffled by how this has happened.  The IT staff who built the machine did not create this layout intentionally so something weird seems to have happened during the partitioning step in the installer.

My next job is to either fix it or live with it... I don't really want to have the machine re-imaged... and I like seperation of system and data so its actually quite fine for me.  The only element that's making trouble is the stupid hidden boot files in the partition root.  I don't want them floating around in a partition I am actually using for data.


Ok, the solution was to shrink the 233GB partition down to a reasonable size (300MB rather than 100MB as recommended in some article I read somewhere)  then use GPartEd to move the C partion into the empty space and then extend the C partition to use the new space. (Seems that someone thinks one mega partition is prefereable to multiple partitions on the new workstation image)

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