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Is there a way to delete the system reserved partition on windows 7 after the OS is installed? I know it is possible to not install it at all, but I am working with an image and it would be easier to delete it then re-image rather than install the OS and all the software from scratch. Our provisioning system requires a certain partitioning scheme and windows 7 breaks it.

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

Yes you can remove the system reserved partition on Windows 7 after the OS installed. When you delete the system reserved partition after the OS is installed you will lose the bootfiles and Windows 7 won't boot. You would need to run Windows 7 Startup repair after you do this.

Detailed instructions for removal of system reserved partition here:

How to run the Startup repair in Windows 7 here:

If I were you then I would try it out in a test system first and then proceed with it in actual system.

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Thank you! Great answer and resources. Exactly what I was looking for. – Kyle Jul 13 '12 at 20:07
Ok, I finally got around to doing this (was working on other projects) Unfortunately, the partition numbers remain as 2 and 3 for the 2 partitions I need to keep. I need them to start at partition 1 – Kyle Jul 20 '12 at 12:52
I had to run a System repair after removing the system-reserved Partition on a drive which still had a Windows 8 Installation on it, was mounted on D:, and was not used as the System Partition any more. The machine wouldn't boot any more although using diskpart I only made changes to D:, not to C:. Anyway, System repair fixed the Problem easily. – Lumi Dec 1 '12 at 12:17
What if you delete the Windows 7 system reserved partition, and thereafter install some Linux distribution as a second OS in the hard disk? Could you boot Windows then by using Grub boot manager installed along with the Linux distribution? – jarno Nov 5 '15 at 17:43

You could use a Linux live boot CD, like Ubuntu. Once running, you can "Disk Utility" or Gparted for a GUI tool, or you can use 'parted' at the command line to remove the partition.

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That's a good idea! I'm pretty familiar with simple linux formatting so I might have to give that a go. I have to get all of the images set up, so it will be a few days before I can do this, thanks for the help! – Kyle Jul 14 '12 at 20:12

Not with the Disk Management snap-in, but third-party partition-programs can delete it.

Alternately, you can boot into Windows 7 System Recovery and delete it with diskpart: [1][2].

Of course since the system partition is where the bootloader is, you will need to then place it onto the Windows partition (which can also be done from the System Recovery console).

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