By Ivy / Last Updated November 17, 2020

What does system reserved partition do?

System reserved partition contains boot files that is required to start Windows, so your computer will not boot if this partition is missing. To avoid this situation, you need to move system reserved partition to another drive. Before that, let's get basic of system reserved partition. It contains two important things for computer startup.

1. The Boot Manager and Boot Configuration Data.

When your computer boots, the Windows Boot Manager starts up and reads the boot data from the Boot Configuration Data (BCD). Then, your computer will boot the bootloader off the System Reserved partition. At last, the Windows will boot from your system drive.

2. The startup files used for BitLocker Drive Encryption.

If you ever decide to encrypt your hard drive with BitLocker drive encryption, the System Reserved partition contains the necessary files for starting your computer. Your computer boots the unencrypted System Reserved partition, and it will decrypt the main encrypted drive and boot the encrypted Windows system.

2 Situations to move system reserved partition to different drive

By default, it's not suggested to move system reserved partition in Windows 10/8/7. But if the system reserved partition is on wrong drive or the disk is experiencing smart error, you have to do so. Then, let's have a closer look at these situations.

Situation 1: The system reserved partition on wrong drive

Sometimes, you may forget to disconnect exta hard drive when you clone disk or install Windows 7/8/10. Then, you may find your C drive on disk 1 and system reserved partition on disk 2. If you remove the disk 2, your computer will fail to boot. Therefore, to ensure your disk can boot properly, you have to merge system reserved partition with C drive on disk 1. Also, you may find nothing in system reserved partition on disk 1.

Situation 2: The disk contanining system reserved partition is experiencing smart error

If your computer is experiencing smart error, you may receive an error message, saying, "SMART Failure Predicted on Hard Disk 0: WD5000BEVP-75A0RT0-(S1). Warning: Immediately backup your data and replace your hard disk drive. A failure may be imminent. Press F1 to Continue. ". In this case, your disk may fail at any time, so you need to move system reserved partition to a healthy disk immediately.

Don't worry too much, keep reading below, I'll show you how to safely move system reserved partition to another disk. Here are three methods in total, including using Disk Management, command line and third-party cloning software.

How to safely move system reserved partition to another drive in Windows 10/8/7?

As mentioned earlier, changing system reserved partition in Windows 10/8/7 is dangerous and may cause system failure. Please create a disk backup just in case. Then, click the anchor text below to jump to a specific solution. The last one is the easiest.

Method 1: Move system reserved partition to SSD with AOMEI Backupper

Here you will learn the easiest solution to change system reserved partition in Windows 10/8/7. You will use "Partition Clone" feature in AOMEI Backupper Professional. It will clone all sectors of the system reserved partition and move it to second drive. And the drive can be HDD or SSD.

Meanwhile, it could ensure secure boot after cloning by setting the active system reserved partition as primary partition, and avoid unwanted deletion by hiding its drive letter. In addition, it still supports "Disk Clone" and "System Clone" to protect data and system on this disk.

Now, take Windows 10 as an example, let's start to learn how to move system reserved partition in Windows 10. In the first place, you need to make some preparations.

  • Check if there is an unallocated space around 500MB on the SSD disk. If not, please create one first.

  • Click the download button below to install AOMEI Backupper Professional on your computer. If you want to move system reserved partition in Server 2012/2016/2019 and previous version, you could consider using server cloning software - AOMEI Backupper Server.

Then, follow the detailed steps below to move system reserved partition.

Step 1. In the main page of AOMEI Backupper Professional, select Clone and Partition Clone.

Select Partition Clone

Step 2. Select System Reserved partition on the Disk0, then click Next.

Select System Reserved Partition

Step 3. Select the unallocated space on your Disk1 and click Next.

Select SSD

Step 4. In the next window, click Edit Partition, set the partition as Primary Partition and its drive letter to None. Please remember to tick SSD Alignment to accelerate the writting and reading speed of SSDs and extend its lifespan.

Edit Partition

⊙ The system reserved partition need to be set as active, and the active partition can only be a primary partition.
⊙ The system reserved partition missing will cause system failure, so it's suggested to hide its drive letter to prevent mistakenly deletion.

Step 5. Finally, click Start Clone to perform Windows 10 move system reserved partition.

Move System Reserved Partition to Another Drive

⊙ You could choose to clone all sectors with "Sector by sector clone" feature.
⊙ It's advisable to create bootable media in advance, so you can boot your computer even if it's not bootable. If you have multiple computers, you could consider using PXE boot tool in AOMEI Backupper Server.

Step 6. Restart your computer and check if it can boot from the SSD. If the computer starts normally, the operation is successful. Then, it's suggested to delete system reserved partition to free disk space.

Method 2: Move system reserved partition on wrong drive with Disk Management

The second method is to use built-in Disk Management to move boot partition on wrong drive. With further ado, let's get started.

Please note that the following operation may cause unexpected problems. Thus, you need to create a repair disc first. Once your computer cannot boot successfully, you can use it to troubleshoot the computer.

Step 1. Create a new simple partition on the disk 0 with disk management. Please note that the System Reserved partition is 100 MB on Windows 7, 350 MB on Windows 8, and 500 MB on Windows 10.

To open disk management, you can click “Win+R” and type diskmgmt.msc in the run box. Then right-click the unallocated space and choose New Simple Volume. If you do not have an unallocated space on the disk 0, you can shrink partition first.

Create New Partition

Step 2. Assign a drive letter for your newly simple partition (Z:).

Step 3. Copy everything from the system reserved partition to your newly simple partition (Z:), Including Boot folder, bootmgr, BOOTSEC.BAK

Step 4. Remove the drive letter from system reserved partition on disk 1.

Step 5. Set the new partition as "System Reserved".

Step 6. Remove the drive letter of your new System Reserved partition, then mark it as active.

Step 7. Restart your computer and delete system reserved partition on the disk 1 if the Windows can start. If not, start your computer using the previous created repair disc and repair it using Startup Repair option.

Method 3: Move system reserved partition to different drive with command line

Except for Disk Management, built-in command line utility Diskpart can also help you move system reserved partition to another drive, but this method only works well on Windows 7 and Windows 8. Then, learn how to change system reserved partition with the following steps.

Step 1. Open cmd as administrator, type the following command and hit enter.

bcdboot C:\windows /s C:

Create Boot Files

Step 2. Open Disk Management, right-click the C drive and select "Mark Partition as Active".

Step 3. Select the system reserved partition and tap on "Mark Partition as Inactive ".

Step 4. Restart your computer and confirm it can boot successfully.

Step 5. Right-click the system reserved partition and select "Change Drive Letter and Paths", then follow the on-screen instruction to assign a letter for this partition.

Step 6. Right-click the system reserved partition again and tap on "Delete Volume" to delete system reserved partition.

Note: If you are not familar with command line, you could consider using AOMEI Backupper Professional or built-in Disk Management.

Wrapping Things up

System reserved partition is very important for computer users to start Windows, so please be sure it's on the disk with Windows installed. If not, you need to move system reserved partition to another drive in Windows 10/8/7 to prevent startup failure. This article provides you three methods and just pick one of them.

Also, I want to remind you that system reserved partition on wrong drive is mainly caused by extra device while cloning disk or installing Windows. Please only keep the source and target disk connected to your computer and plug out other devices.

In addition, it's suggested to keep AOMEI Backupper on your computer to protect your data and system by its powerful features, such as, clone larger HDD to smaller SSD, migrate Windows 10 to SSD, backup system/disk/partition/file, create incremental/differential backup, create bootable media, universal restore, etc. Please download this powerfully software to secure your data and system.