By Emily / Last Updated August 9, 2022

When do you need to move system reserved partition?

In rare cases, after cloning HDD to a solid state drive (SSD) you may find that system reserved partition is still on the old hard drive (HDD). This means that you can only boot from the SSD when the old HDD is plugged in.

System Reserved Partition

A problem arises when you want to wipe the old hard drive and use it for file storage or when the original HDD is on the verge of breaking. In these cases, you will probably want to transfer the system reserved partition to the new SSD as soon as possible.

How to move system reserved partition to a different disk?

As the system reserved partition contains the boot files for your computer, it’s a little tricky to move the partition and then have Windows 11/10 detect it’ new location. You need to carefully follow this step-by-step guide to avoid any errors.

Create a system repair disc just in case Windows can’t recognize the relocated system reserved partition.

♦Using Disk Management create a new partition on the SSD drive with 100MBs of space or greater. To open Disk Management, you need to press Windows + R key and then type "diskmgmt.msc".

♦Assign a drive letter (for example Z:) to the system reserved partition so it can be opened in Windows File Explorer.

♦Copy everything from the system reserved partition to the newly created partition. You must include the Boot folder, bootmgr and BOOTSECT.BAK.

♦Mark the new partition as "System Reserved".

♦Remove the drive letter from the new system reserved partition and then mark it as ‘Active’.

♦Now restart your computer to see it successfully boots.

♦If it fails to boot, you can use the Windows system repair disc to perform a Startup repair, it will then force Windows to detect the new system reserved partition.

♦Once the computer has successfully booted, you can safely remove the old system reserved partition.

This method has lots of steps and is difficult for those users who are unfamiliar with Windows Disk Management and Startup repair. If you find this guide too complex then continue reading, as below we will teach you a simple way to clone your system reserved partition.

Clone system reserved partition to SSD

A manual file copy of important partitions has vast potential to cause problems on your computer, this is particularly true when you are copying system-related partitions. To avoid this, it’s recommended that you use a free Partition manager software, like AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard to clone the partition. By using specialist software, you can effortlessly move your system reserved partition to a different disk.

To clone a system reserved partition:

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1. Download AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard (free edition) and launch it.

2. Right-click on the old system reserved partition and select Copy Partition.

Copy Reserved Partition

3. Select Sector by Sector Copy and click Next.

Sector by Sector Copy

4. Select the unallocated space on the SSD as the destination location which will receive the system reserved partition. If there is no unallocated space, then you can shrink a partition by clicking Resize Partition.

Select Unallocated Space

5. In The next screen, you can adjust the size of the new system reserved partition and other parameters. Set the drive letter to None.

Set Drive Letter As None

6. Click Apply to apply these changes.

Apply Copy Reserved Partition

After the conversion, you can change the partition label to System Reserved and set the partition as ‘Active’.

Remember, the system reserved partition has to be a primary partition, if your new system reserved partition is a logical drive, then you should first convert it to a primary partition without losing data. Once you have completed this, you will have successfully moved the system reserved partition to a different drive. If you find that your drive has unallocated space after the conversion, then you can merge the unallocated space with any partition that you want to extend.

Further reading: About EFI partition

If you're using a GPT disk as a system disk, you'll find a partition called the EFI partition, not a system reserved partition.

Like a system reserved partition, it's used to lead the PC boot process. EFI partition carries boot loaders or kernel images for all installed operating systems, device driver files for hardware devices in a computer utilized by the firmware at boot time, system utility applications meant to execute before an operating system is started, and data files like error logs.

Although it's important, it no needs to stay at the head of the disk. But, if you find it's between the unallocated space and the target drive you want to extend, it will be a little annoying. In this situation, you can move the EFI partition to the left/right on the disk.

Move EFI partition