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May I delete EFI partition from my newly installed server SBS 2011

Posted on 2012-03-25
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Last Modified: 2012-03-26
I have installed a server sbs 2011 (close match of server 2008 R2 core)
Have four physical HDD ( two * RAID 1 )built using inbuilt RAID card on ufi enabled IBM x3400 M3 server

First RAID set is meant for OS & must be independent to data disk (second RAID set)
Mistakenly I had formatted second set that made one EFI partition on second raid set.

As I have not put this server in production environment yet, I can reformat the server, though I would loose two days work I did in patching & upgrading the firmware & drivers.

I want to be sure that in future, if I pull out data raid set 2(the one which is having EFI partition), it wont harm my operating system set.

If I delete EFI partition using Diskpart, will it make any difference?
pls guide.
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Question by:Akash Bansal
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by:Larry Struckmeyer MVP
ID: 37762534
If I follow you correctly there is:
Logical Disk 0 = NTFS =System/OS drive
Logical Disk 1 - EFI = empty/no data

Unless the controller you are using is very different:

You should be able to configure/reconfigure/format/reformat Logical Disk 1 without affecting any prior installations or updates to Logical Disk 0
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by:Akash Bansal
ID: 37762652
Thanks for your support, please find the screen shot of the HDD configuration.
all HDD are SAS HDD. It says efi partition is system partition; I guess the main HDD must be system partition.

Screen shot of DiskManager
 controller is LSI ServeRAID M1015
SAS/SATA Controller :
http://download.boulder.ibm.com/ibmdl/pub/systems/support/system_x_pdf/ibm_doc_sraidmr_m1015-2ndedition_user-guide.pdf
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noxcho earned 500 total points
ID: 37764637
If you delete this 100MB partition then it will make your system fail to boot at all because the boot data such as BootMgr and Boot folder are located currently on this EFI partition.
Got to BIOS and disable there uEFI boot. Then format both Disk 0 and Disk 1. Reinstall your Windows. It is the easiest and fastest way.
The other way is removing disk 1 or removing partitions from it from another boot CD such as Recovery CD for Paragon Drive Backup 10 Server Trial) and then copy BootMgr from Win 2011 install DVD plus Boot folder to C: partition, set it active and perform startup repair.
Since then your disk 0 will have the only boot data and operation with disk 1 should be safe.
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by:Akash Bansal
ID: 37765309
As the server is new & in configuration phase I guess I must format & re install all the things from scratch. wish not to take any risk for future if it may arise from my present mistake & want to keep things simple.

I would keep disk set2 out of the bay until my OS on disk set1 gets up again, then I would install disk set2.

Thanks @naxcho for your predictions.

the server did not boot after removing disk set 2 (with efi)
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Expert Comment

by:Larry Struckmeyer MVP
ID: 37765439
BTW, 400+ GB for the system partition is unnecessary.  I suggest you break that pair into logical partitions and reserve about half of it for downloads,  WSUS files and page file and others that don't need to be backed up.  Then you can exclude the entire partition from backup.
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by:Akash Bansal
ID: 37765470
thanks for nice suggestion.... @fl_flyfishing
but I observed sometime we run out of space in system partition due to huge security log files, exchange data & sbs console database file..... but would consider partitioning.....

Can I expand system partition & shrink other partition (that is on same physical drive)in future?
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by:noxcho
ID: 37765865
Exchange logs and data should be kept away from C: partition. Better to store them on other partitions.
As for shrinking, yes, you will be able to do this but only using third party tools such as Paragon Partition Manager or Parted Magic.
If you have enough space room then I do not see anything bad in keeping the system partition 200-400GB.
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