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  1. #1
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    Win10 Upgrade Says, "Cannot update system reserve partition"

    I have a Win7 computer that I don't want to upgrade at this point because there's something I use that won't upgrade. But I decided to go ahead and do an upgrade (then restore) to "reserve" my digital entitlement, just in case. When I tried this, I got an error saying that it could not proceed because it "Cannot update system reserve partition".

    After reading a few suggestions on line, which sounded somewhat dangerous, I decided to ask if anyone else had run across this issue.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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    Reduce your primary partition by at least 350 MB. Leave this space empty (no partition or anything). If you must make a partition, don't assign a drive letter.

    Try the upgrade again.

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    There's already a system partition (labeled Data) but it's only 100MB. My assumption has been that this is what's being referred to but it's too small. Also, it's what's referred to on another (Win10) computer as the recovery partition.

    Would expanding this one do the same thing?

    (There are too many different names for the same things in Windows)
    Graham Smith
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    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tchan View Post
    Reduce your primary partition by at least 350 MB. Leave this space empty (no partition or anything). If you must make a partition, don't assign a drive letter.
    Can't be done. The primary partition cannot be shrunk.

    I have researched this and what I find tells me that there is probably an unmovable file at the end of the partition. This should produce an error 259 when I try and shrink the partition, but it doesn't. It seems that the only way to do this is to try deleting the partition, then resizing, then restoring. Well, f* that. It's hard to believe that in 2016 Windows is still resorting to slash and burn as the answer to what should be simple problems. <sigh>
    Graham Smith
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    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsmith-plm View Post
    Can't be done. The primary partition cannot be shrunk.
    It often can, if you use a third-party program like EaseUS Partition Manager. I usually run a defragmenter first in the hope of moving errant files from near the back of the partition, and they can often identify a system/unmovable file which is lurking at the end of the partition. Occasionally one can do something about this/these.
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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    In order to expand a partition it must have free space at the end. It can't be expanded if the free space is in front of it.

    If the free space that you need is in front of the partition, slide the partition ahead of the free space, and then you'll be able to expand it.

    It is unlikely that your System Reserved partition has anything in it under Windows 7. You can check by using DISKPART to assign a drive letter to it (temporarily) and then it will be visible to Windows Explorer. If it is indeed empty, then deleting it and recreating it at the larger size won't have any effect on Windows.
    Last edited by bbearren; 2016-07-18 at 16:23.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    If the free space that you need is in front of the partition, slide the partition ahead of the free space, and then you'll be able to expand it.
    Sorry, don't follow you. I haven't had to fiddle with partitions in 20yrs and I know things have changed.

    There is something in the 100MB reserve partition now, but I'm not sure what it is. I've got an image I can look at.
    Graham Smith
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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsmith-plm View Post
    Sorry, don't follow you. I haven't had to fiddle with partitions in 20yrs and I know things have changed.

    There is something in the 100MB reserve partition now, but I'm not sure what it is. I've got an image I can look at.
    I'm going on the assumption that your reserve partition is directly behind your OS partition. If you can successfully shrink your OS partition to create free space between the OS partition and the reserve partition, that free space has to be behind the reserve partition instead of in front of it in order for the reserve partition to be expanded.

    I use TeraByte's BootIt Bare Metal for partition work, and one of its options is "Slide". A partition and its contents can be slid past free space so that the free space ends up behind it. I haven't used any other partitioning tool other than DISKPART, so I don't know if that option is available in all partitioning tools. But expanding a partition does require free space behind the partition.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    I'm going on the assumption that your reserve partition is directly behind your OS partition.
    The first partition is labeled "Data" and is a boot partition used by Macrium Reflect PE. The next partition is "Drive_C". That's it. It's possible that there is no "Recovery Partition" since this is a replacement SSD HD.

    My Win10 Notebook, on the other hand, has a Windows partition, a system partition, and 3 recovery partitions, the last of which is over 5GB - and WTF that's all about is beyond me.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    2 out of the 3 upgrade methods I've tried bypass standard/non-standard W7 recovery partition issues (100MB or none - data stored in a super-hidden folder on C: ). GWX failed, (I don't recall the 2nd, sorry) and the method suggested by Rui here works.

    The installer simply upgrades/creates the necessary recovery partition without any input, messages or complaints.

    DiskMan screen clip of my last upgrade, W7 w/o recovery partition successfully upgraded by 'Rui's method':

    W7norecpartW10Upgrade.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by gsmith-plm View Post
    Can't be done. The primary partition cannot be shrunk.

    I have researched this and what I find tells me that there is probably an unmovable file at the end of the partition. This should produce an error 259 when I try and shrink the partition, but it doesn't. It seems that the only way to do this is to try deleting the partition, then resizing, then restoring. Well, f* that. It's hard to believe that in 2016 Windows is still resorting to slash and burn as the answer to what should be simple problems. <sigh>
    There must already be free space on the partition to do any shrinking.

    To shrink the partition on a running Windows 7, Start, right-click on Computer, left-click on Manage, and select Disk Management in the left column.

    The free MiniTool Partition Wizard will allow you to install that utility on a bootable disk, which gives you the security of operating on a drive that is running as a slave when you boot from the disk. This is a great investment when you realize that you can perform operations on drives that won’t boot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by satrow View Post
    the method suggested by Rui here works
    Hhhmmm... hadn't thought of that. Might be worth a try. It's almost an academic exercise since the only thing I'm trying to do is to see if I can reserve the upgrade, in case. It's 90% probable at this time I will never need Win10 on that machine since it will break software I need to have (now).

    Quote Originally Posted by dogberry View Post
    There must already be free space on the partition to do any shrinking.
    There is lots of free space but it won't shrink. Likely something at the end of the partition. Besides, I'm not keen on screwing around with partitions on this computer just to play with it.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
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    No go. I have tried everything and the only thing I can see to do is to re-partition the HD and provide a large enough partition for the system reserve. It's just not worth it to me to go to all this bother.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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    Just out of interest, I used the MiniTool to adjust the partition sizes and it made a complete mess of everything (and yes, I did follow their instructions). Fortunately, I have an image to restore from.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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    Quote Originally Posted by gsmith-plm View Post
    Just out of interest, I used the MiniTool to adjust the partition sizes and it made a complete mess of everything (and yes, I did follow their instructions). Fortunately, I have an image to restore from.
    Did you try it by using an installed MiniTool Wizard, or by creating and using a bootable CD from that? You must use the latter to resize a boot partition or yes, you may very well screw it up.

    Windows own utility, the first remedy that I suggested and that you seem convinced is nonexistent, works. The least you could do is take a look at it. It costs nothing to use a few clicks to bring it up and then right-click on the partition you want to perform an operation on.

    Yes, I admit I left that final click out of the explanation, figuring you'd proceed in such a fashion in such a way. The same is true of MiniTool Wizard - all roads lead to Rome but the first to try is to right-click on the partition in the display.

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