Have you experienced your PC storage running out and noticed one partition out of the rest is free and cannot be accessed directly? For beginners, the partition noticed through Disk Management is System Reserved Partition and is automatically created during the operating system installation.
Typically System Reserved Partition (SRP) is around 100-500MB. If you’re looking for a way to access the unused SRP storage, we suggest removing other unnecessary files or programs, which can lead to serious problems.
However, if you run out of storage space, insist on using the few MB of unused space in System Reserved Partition (SRP) by deleting it. Here is a detailed guide on deleting System Reserved Partition through easy and reliable approaches.
RELATED: Disk Partition Management: Merging, Extending, Adding Partitions and More
What is system reserved partition?
System Reserved Partition is a small partition of the hard disk that is created when Windows is installed for the first time or when a clean installation is performed. It remains hidden, has no drive letter, and is only visible in Disk Management. It was introduced with Windows 7 and consumes different amounts of space depending on the Windows version.
The partition is essential for using the BitLocker drive encryption utility since the startup files used for BitLocker are stored in this partition. In Disk Management, it appears just before the C: drive and mainly consists of Boot Configuration Data (BCD) and Boot Manager. BCD contains Windows boot options and offers a firmware-independent boot option interface. The Boot Manager loads the system and interacts with users by displaying the boot menu and loading the selected system-specific boot loader.
What are the risks associated with deleting system reserved partition?
System Reserved Partition is meant to be untouched. Hence modifying or deleting SRP without following the correct approach is strictly advised against as it leads to many critical risks.
- System Instability: As SRP features all the important system files, deleting them without proper measures can lead to crashes and severe system instability.
- High risk of Data Loss: With SRP deleted without taking precautions, it can lead to data loss and prevent the PC from booting. In addition, with all the restore points being deleted, reinstalling the operating system is the only option left.
- Encryption issues: As SRP is responsible for BitLocker Drive Encryption, deleting it can cause encryption issues, and files that are already encrypted are impossible to access.
Methods to delete system reserved partition
In addition to the risks mentioned above, many major risks are associated with deleting System Reserved Partition if done improperly. If you know the unfortunate outcomes and their solution, proceed with the methods below.
Note: These are some methods to delete the System Reserved Partition. However, remember not to perform this on your current boot drive. You won’t be able to boot the PC anymore and must proceed with OS reinstallation, resulting in data loss.
Using built-in DiskPart
The easiest and best approach that is offered built-in with Windows to manage and delete System Reserved Partition is through DiskPart (command-line disk partitioning utility). Through this approach, we will explain to you to delete EFI System Partition and System Reserved Partition through DiskPart.
Note: System Reserved Partition and EFI System Partition play an important role in the booting of Windows. However, if your PC is a UEFI/GPT-based (instead of BIOS) system, you might find ESP instead of SRP, which is as risky to delete.
- Press “Windows Key+R” to open Run, type in “diskpart”, and click OK.
- Once DiskPart is loaded, type the “list disk” command to display all the disks.
- Select the disk that features the System Reserved Partition or EFI System Partition using the command “select disk [DISK NUMBER OF YOUR PREFERENCE].”
- Once your desired disk is selected, use the “list partition” command to display all disk partitions.
- Select the SRP or EFI partition using the command – “select partition [PARTITION NUMBER OF YOUR PREFERENCE]”.
- On selecting the SRP or EFI partition, type in the command “delete partition override” and click on enter. Once the “DiskPart successfully deleted the selected partition” appears, it is confirmation that SRP or EFI partition is successfully deleted.
Using 3rd-Party partitioning tools
You can find various third-party partitioning tools for Windows that perform most partitioning operations better than the Windows built-in utility tools.
For instance, the above method DiskPart, involves many confusing steps, and a wrong step can lead to multiple fatal errors and boot issues.
The accidental issues associated with Windows built-in partition utility tools can be eliminated using 3rd Party Partitioning tools. Let’s take the case of EaseUS Partition Master, one of the most popular as well as our favorite apps for Windows can handle the SRP or EFI partition deletion with ease.
Here are steps on how to delete SRP using EaseUS Partition Master;
- Start with downloading EaseUS Partition Master and installing it on your PC. If you are already done with the installation, ignore this step.
- Now load “EaseUS Partition Master” and click “Partition Manager” from the left pane once done.
- Once all the disks are displayed, select the recovery partition and choose “Delete“.
- Doing so displays the message “Do you want to delete the selected partition?” Click on “Yes” to proceed further.
- Now click “Execute Task” in the bottom right corner and “Apply” in the new window to delete the SRP or EFI partition.
- Reboot your device to notice the changes.
How to avoid creating system reserved partition?
One could prevent the whole scenario of looking for approaches to delete System Reserved Partition by preventing it from being created in the first place. To achieve this, we need to use a Windows installer, and here are two simple and easy methods for this purpose.
Managing partitions via Windows installer
The System Reserved Partition can be prevented from creating by creating a single drive volume instead of two separate disks for the System and Primary Partition. Here are detailed steps on how to avoid SRP from creating through Windows Installer;
- Once you successfully load your Windows installer, it automates the installation process by creating disks for System and Primary Partition.
- Without proceeding further, select the “Primary” disk and delete it from the options below.
- Doing so turns the disk into unallocated space and is ready to extend.
- Select the “System Reserved Disk” and click the “Extend” button to merge both disks.
- Once the unallocated space is added to the “System Reserved Disk,” proceed with the “Format” option and install Windows on it.
After Windows is booted successfully, you can notice that this process creates a single partition that spans the entire disk, which means System Reserved Partition is prevented from creating.
Managing partitions through DiskPart
If you failed to prevent System Reserved Partition from creating using the above approach, the second best possible approach would be DiskPart via Command Prompt.
Here are steps on how to use DiskPart via Windows installer to prevent System Reserved Partition from creating;
- Once you have booted Windows Installer, proceed further to verify which disk is assigned for System Reserved Partition.
- Head to Windows Installer Home and press “Shift+F10” to open the command prompt.
- Once the command prompt opens, type “diskpart” and click enter.
- Doing so opens the DiskPart, a command-line disk partitioning utility.
- Once DiskPart is ready, type in “select disk [DISK ASSIGNED FOR SYSTEM RESERVED PARTITION].”
- After selecting the desired disk, type “create partition primary” in the command and wait for the diskpart to turn into the primary partition.
- Once done, proceed with the installation by selecting “disk 0” to install Windows on it.
After following these steps, you’ll notice that this method generates a single partition that fills the entire disc after Windows has properly loaded, preventing the creation of the System Reserved Partition.
Can I delete the system-reserved partition using the Disk Management tool?
The Disk Management cannot delete the system-reserved partition as it is marked as an essential system partition. As a result, the “Delete Volume” option for the System Reserved partition is not available in the Disk Management tool.
What are some 3rdparty partitioning tools I can use to delete the system-reserved partition?
Multiple 3rd party partitioning tools can be used to delete the system-reserved partition. We suggest checking our detailed article on Best Disk Partition Manager Software and choosing the partition tool that matches your requirement.
What are the precautions to be taken before proceeding with deleting the system-reserved partition?
- Always back up the important data.
- Create a recovery disk.
- Prefer a reliable partitioning tool.
- Understand the process and do not perform any step without awareness.
- Check for disk errors.
Does system reserved partition contain boot files?
Yes, the System Reserved Partition contains important boot files such as Boot Configuration Data and Boot Manager, which are essential for the proper booting of your Windows operating system. If you delete this partition, your computer may not be able to boot properly.
Should you delete system reserved partition?
It is not recommended to delete the System Reserved Partition as it contains important boot files and removing it can cause your computer to become unbootable. The partition does not take up much space and does not have any negative impact on the performance of your system. However, if you have a specific reason for wanting to delete it, such as needing to merge partitions or reclaim disk space, it is important to first backup your important data and create a system image before proceeding.
To conclude, deleting the System Reserved Partition is extremely risky, and we are against it. Considering all the critical system files required for your computer to boot properly are stored in the SRP, an accidental modification would lead to the reinstallation of Windows.
In this article, we have provided with risks associated with deleting System Reserved Partition and how to avoid them. Before you begin following any approach, we suggest you create a full backup and an OS restore point of your system.
Also, double-check every step before proceeding to avoid probable data loss and boot issues.