Saturday, February 01, 2014

Remove System Reserved 100MB Partition or Volume


Windows Server 2008 cycle boots or stuck in Startup Repair Loop

Windows 7 cycle boots or stuck in Startup Repair Loop

The 100 MB system reserved partition that normally contains the boot-manager for windows 2008 vist, and windows 7/8, Windows 2008 and 2012 server operating system platforms sometimes need to be removed. Regardless of the reason, there are situations that will call on its removal which are beyond the scope of this post.

Windows Server 2008 Doesn't Boot

Windows 7 Doesn't Boot

This volume/partitions reason for existence is to be the home of the boot files and boot loader. However, if you are finding that this partition is causing boot-up problems, there are ways to successfully.

This will be done with windows 2008 server in mind as juts recenlty there was a need to try to recover from boot-failing server.  On every reboot, the system repair always runs. There are other posts about his problem early (per season) .
Firstly, have the server install media and add it to the dvd drive of the computer. The computer that is attempted to be repaired must have the CD ready.
Insert into drive and satr tthe installation. Select Repair installation. At this point you will have booted from the DVD and selected Repair. Open a command window.
From the command window. run DISKPART. The prompt will change to :
    diskpart >
         type list volume and hit enter. This will list all the volumes.

You will get a list of all volumes with and without drive letters.
                  Similar to the following :


Windows Server 2008 stuck in Startup Repair Loop

As seen. the system reserve partition has been assigned the C drive so of coruse this server does not boot and every time the drive letter is set appropriately using diskpart, the drive letter reverts back to C.

So the solution is to copy all the files and folders that are on the reserved partition to the actual Windows drive. In this case that's the E drive. Copy using > xcopy /h as all files are hidden. To view the hidden files when listing the directory contents, use >dir /a:h   .

The boot folder and other files located at the root of the system reserved partition need to be copied to the real C drive. Once they are copied, mark the real C drive as active. remove the letter assignment from the system partition thus freeing up C . Assign C to the real windows drive that now also includes the boot manager files. Use diskpart remove the system reserved partition. Make the Reserve Partition the selected partion to work with. Be sure you have chosen the right partition. active

       diskpart> select volume # {volume # of 100MB reserved partition)
       diskpart> list volume         (be sure you see the asterisc next to the reserved partition)
       diskpart> remove

Make sure the right partition has been marked active:
     select the c volume as the active volume to work with
       diskpart>  select volume # {volume # of the the C volume)
       diskpart> active

Exit Diskpart by typing exit.

Then run fro mthe command prompt:
bootrec.exe /fixmbr
bootrec.exe /fixboot
bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd
Now restart the system .

Thank you Ed Hammond
Another good source