4 solutions to fix the System Reserved partition not on SSD issue

by Loredana Harsana
Loredana Harsana
Loredana Harsana
Managing Editor
Loredana is a passionate writer with a keen interest in PC software and technology. She started off writing about mobile phones back when Samsung Galaxy S II was... read more
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  • System Reserved partition is the core storage for the data needed to boot your computer. The PC Windows OS won't boot if the required files in the partition are absent.
  • There are third-party tools that can help with the migration of files in the System Reserved partition across different disks, especially from the wrong one such as HDD to the right one SDD.
  • We have highlighted how to do it manually in this article without any need to dismantle your system to detach all other drives except the SDD.
System Reserved partition not on SSD? Easy method to fix it

System Reserved partition is created in a computer disk whenever Windows Operating System (OS) is installed. It usually occupied the unallocated space of the disk.

The files in this partition are typically inconspicuous as they normally cannot be found among typical files in the File Explorer. This is to prevent deleting them mistakenly, and that could cause issues for your system.

The sizes of the files stored in the System Reserved partition vary along with the version of Windows OS installed. For instance, the size of such files in Windows 7 is approximately 100MB. It may be as high as 500MB in some other versions like Windows 10.

Why does my PC need a System Reserved partition?

The System Reserved partition houses the Boot Manager Code, Boot Configuration Database (BCD), and Windows Recovery Environment. It also has some reserved space for files to startup your system when you use BitLocker to encrypt your disk.

  • Boot Manager and BCD: Boot manager is responsible for starting a PC. It reads the required files needed to execute successfully in the Boot Configuration Data to start the Windows OS. There are two major files in here: The bootmgr file and the BOOTSECT.BAK file. When any or both of these files are missing, the computer will be unable to start. This is the reason you might be experiencing the same issue at present.
  • Startup files for BitLocker Drive Encryption: In case you had encrypted your hard drive with BitLocker, Windows will use unencrypted files stored in the System Reserved partition to boot successfully.

What can I do if my System Reserved partition is not on my computer’s SSD?

1. Use Disk Management

  1. Launch Run by pressing Windows key + R.
  2. Type the command below or copy and paste (to avoid error):
    diskmgmt.msc
  3. Tap Enter.
  4. In the Disk Management, there will be a list of available disks and colors representing whether allocated or not.
  5. Select the disk you will prefer the System Reserved partition to be stored. Next, right-click on the unallocated space on the disk. Select New Simple Volume. Then follow the system prompt to finish the setup.
  6. In an instance whereby there is no unallocated space on the disk of your choice, you can first Shrink Volume of the partition.
  7. Assign a letter to the new and original System Reserved partition. This will make them accessible in the File Explorer.
  8. Next, copy all the files in the old including bootmgr, BOOTSECT.BAK and the Boot folder. Paste them into the newly created System Reserve partition.
  9. Remove the letters assigned to the partitions (old and new). Then select Mark Partition as Active for the new System Reserve partition to be bootable.
  10. Now, restart your PC. If it starts without any issue, then, you can delete the old System Reserved partition.

2. Reset the PC

  1. Open the Windows Settings by pressing the Windows key + I.
  2. Select System. Next, click on Recovery.
  3. Select Reset PC.
  4. Choose the preferred option whether to Keep files or Remove everything.
  5. Follow the System Prompt to complete the Reset.

3. Restart system from a USB drive

  1. Download Windows Installation Media to a bootable USB drive.
  2. Open Settings by pressing Windows key + I.
  3. Select System and then, click on Recovery.
  4. In the Advanced startup, select Restart now.
  5. Plug the USB drive into your system.
  6. Follow the System Prompt to select your Language and Time.
  7. Click Install now.
  8. Wait while the Setup prepares files. Next, tick the I accept the licence terms.
  9. When prompted to choose Which type of Installation do you want? Next, select Custom: Install Windows only (advanced). If you get a driver error at this stage, restart the setup process.
  10. Choose the partition to install the Windows. In case there are more than one available, delete others and leave the one at the top usually Drive 0.
  11. When you get the prompt To ensure Windows features work correctly, Windows might create additional partitions for system files. Select OK.
  12. Wait for Windows to complete installation.

4. Use dedicated tools

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To save the stress in the method highlighted above, you can make use of third-party dedicated tools like AOMEI Partition Assistant, Paragon Partition Manager, among others.

Aside from the fact that these tools can help you with the migration of your System Reserved partition files, they are also efficient in helping you back up and restore system files.

Due to the possibility of complications during the execution of the processes highlighted above, it is advisable to backup your system files before using any of them. This will make it easy to restore system settings and files if there is an issue.

Let’s know if this method works for you. Don’t hesitate to share any alternative method that helped fixed the problem on your computer.

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