Installing Windows-10 system to new 500G SDD. Windows Installation Media does not create the four basic partitions, nor does it recognize manually created partition layout.

For example, my Lenovo came with a 256G NMVe, with four partitions:

  1. EFI System (100M)
  2. MSR (16M)
  3. Windows (237G)
  4. WinRE (505M)

I made a fresh re-installation of Windows on the NMVe partion 3:

  • Boot to Windows installation USB from Microsoft.com
  • Delete the Windows partition (#3) (losing the data) and reformat.
  • Finally, reinstall to the same partition.

No errors or complaints. Four total partitions.

So what about my new 500G SSD? When I do a simple install on the SSD, Windows Installation Media creates only 3 partitions: EFI System, Windows, WinRE. And, it complains the GPT partitions are not correct, Do you want to continue? The system booted. No harm, no foul. But this is annoying. What's going on?

I found this page UEFI/GPT-based hard drive partitions, but it's more work than I'm ready for this weekend. Is there a shortcut using Windows Installation Media?


Windows 10 does not create 4 partitions because it only needs 3 to run:

  1. EFI System (for booting)

  2. Main NTFS Partition for Windows OS, Programs and Files.

  3. Recovery Partition for rebuilding Windows when needed.

My own Lenovo Computers (Desktop and Laptop) came with 3 partitions.

Since you deleted Windows anyway, you could have deleted all partitions, started again, and wound up with 3.

If rebuilding Windows 10, you do not need to format the Windows 10 partition (certainly not normally). You can do a Windows 10 Repair and Keep Nothing = fresh install. If Windows is not even running then delete all partitions and start over.

The information I have posted is for the basic case of setting Windows up with just Windows on the disk.

  • > "only needs 3 to run" this was self-evident as I mentioned--as far a boots to Windows login screen is proof of 'run'. The page I linked to at the end shows the same 4-part partition layout and it's dated 2021-02 – xtian May 10 at 12:49
  • The page you linked to was for partition management. (a) new machines are usually not set up for multiple OS partitions and (b) I did not perceive that need from your original question. Of course, if you want or need extra partitions then you can set that up. I was answering for the basic case. – John May 10 at 12:53

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