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WIndows 10 update error. System partition is too small for aniversary update

Posted on 2016-10-20
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Last Modified: 2016-11-04
We have an issue with one of our PC's in the office.
Windows 10 installed without any issues. But now when update 1607 tries to install it gives an error that there is no room on the system reserved partition.
for some reason the partition is fat32 not ntfs.
I tried to use free tools and there is no way to extend or expand the partition.
is there a way to bring the partition up enlarge the partition from 100mb to 350mb?
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Question by:BBrayton
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41853119
Are you sure the partition is 100 MB or do you mean 100 GB.

100 MB is not enough for any Windows system. 100 GB is enough for Windows 10 including the Anniversary update, but you may have to back off some user files if that is what is consuming space.
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by:BBrayton
ID: 41853120
Sorry the system reserved partition.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41853125
I don't think you can make the system reserved partition bigger without re-creating it completely.

I think that is for the UEFI BIOS (too small for anything else) and 300 MB is normal for that use.

You would have to re-format down to bare metal to make the BIOS partition bigger.
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by:garycase
ID: 41853134
You can, with the right tools, expand the size of the system partition.   In fact, Windows disk management will let you expand it IF there is free space "to the right" of it.   This may, however, require that you first slightly shrink the main partition (C:) and then "slide" it to the right a bit to create space for a larger system reserved partition.

Post a picture of what Disk Management shows for the drive that contains these partitions.
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Author Comment

by:BBrayton
ID: 41853164
i use a 3rd party tool that can shrink,resize, and merge the partitions but since its fat32 format it wont let me. can i change it to NTFS without reformatting the partition?

first i will try to make room to the right of the partition to see if that works. I will keep you updated tomorrow
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by:garycase
ID: 41853246
shrink, resize, and merge isn't enough => you need to be able to "slide" the partition.   (assuming the system reserved is just before the main OS partition)

e.g. if the partitions currently "look" like this:

SSSSCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

where S = the system reserved partition and C = the OS partition

then you need to resize C, so they look like this:

SSSSCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCfffffff

where f = free space

and then "slide" the C: partition so the partitions look like this:

SSSSfffffffCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

and THEN you can resize the S (System Reserved) partition.    The file structure doesn't matter -- it can still be FAT32.

If you don't have a tool that will allow that, try using Boot-It BM, which does this very nicely.
http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/bootit-bare-metal.htm
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by:nobus
ID: 41853318
>>  But now when update 1607 tries to install it gives an error that there is no room on the system reserved partition   <<  i think you misunderstood this message- it simply tells you your OS partiton (C:) is too small

so does as Gary says - and don't forget to post a screenshot of disk manager - in order to avoid working on the wrong partition

it is ALWAYS wise to make a backup BEFORE working on the drive, or partition
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by:noxcho
ID: 41853380
It would be useful if you take a screenshot of your Windows Disk Management and post it here. Then you could get precise instructions.
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by:rindi
ID: 41853424
Wouldn't it be a lot faster just to do a clean installation of the anniversary build? Download the new iso file, create a boot media from it (DVD or USB stick), boot the PC from it, and when you get to where you select the location to install the OS to, first delete all existing partitions and allow the setup to create the required layout and install the OS.
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by:nobus
ID: 41853563
then he must reinstal all his software; but it can be a faster solution
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41853638
It will be faster overall to backup and start fresh with new partitions.
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Author Comment

by:BBrayton
ID: 41853648
as far as size of the C drive. its a 1 TB partition and only 90 GB is being used
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by:noxcho
ID: 41853706
It is all not about C: size but its 100MB. How much is used in it?
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Author Comment

by:BBrayton
ID: 41853718
90%
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by:noxcho
ID: 41853749
Possibly shadow copies (system restore points) saved in it. My MSR partition is 70% free. Only 30MB used of 100MB.
So, first assign to it a drive letter Windows Disk Management. Then delete the restore points.
Here is a good guide on how to do it: http://www.ghacks.net/2012/10/05/manage-system-restore-from-the-command-line/
Once you get a better size (not 90% used) try update again.
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Accepted Solution

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garycase earned 500 total points
ID: 41854293
This is VERY easy to resolve ... you simply need to increase the size of the system reserved partition, as you noted in the question.

The process I outlined above is all you need to do -- but to confirm the specifics for your system you need to post a picture of the Disk Management display, as I suggesed earlier; and then you need a tool that will allow you to make the changes you need on the existing partitions.
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Author Comment

by:BBrayton
ID: 41874538
Thanks garycase. its working now.
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Author Closing Comment

by:BBrayton
ID: 41874544
created free space before the C: partition
gave the system reserved a drive letter and expanded it.
took away drive letter and update worked.
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