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Windows 7 creates a small System partition

Windows 7 creates a small System partition

Postby Grav!ty » Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:10 pm

In two builds now I've seen that Windows 7 creates a small partition of 200 MB or 500 MB to house the system files, bootmgr and the folder Boot. Even if one selects Disk 0 Partition 1 to install on, the small partition is first created before installation starts. Here's a screenshot from Windows 7 and another from Windows XP on the same system. Interesting that Windows XP placed it's boot system files (ntldr, NTDETECT.COM and boot.ini) in the little partition too.

I still need to figure what the implications are for dual booting, but it wasn't too much of mission to get XP installed and a dual boot functional with Windows 7 installed first. Oh yeah, there was no drive letter allocated to the small partition, so I allocated the first offered, thinking that would be necessary for XP to be able recognize it.

Disk 0 and Disk 1 as per the XP screenshot, were added to the system after installing Windows 7, so at the time of installation Windows 7 was installed on what showed up as Disk 0.


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Re: Windows 7 creates a small System partition

Postby shreader » Sat Jan 03, 2009 1:54 pm

That is strange Graham (or I never noticed it before).

Last night I noticed I have 4 small (I hope) partitions that are all Named: "Windows Recovery Environment" from viewing the BCD information.

I looked but don't see them in "Computer Management" or "Computer" though.

"There are currently 8 OS(s) configured in the Bcd Store."
The BCD also lists the 4 real OS's I have installed on the PC.
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Re: Windows 7 creates a small System partition

Postby Grav!ty » Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:04 pm

Next I'm going to first install XP Pro followed by Vista and then see how Windows 7 handles the existing (System) partition that XP will be on. It may just be that it creates a small system partition, on a clean install to a system that does not already have an OS on it, i.e. that does not already have a system partition :yesnod:
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Re: Windows 7 creates a small System partition

Postby kd1966 » Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:16 pm

Grav!ty wrote:Next I'm going to first install XP Pro followed by Vista and then see how Windows 7 handles the existing (System) partition that XP will be on. It may just be that it creates a small system partition, on a clean install to a system that does not already have an OS on it, i.e. that does not already have a system partition :yesnod:



Graham, I looked at my x86 system that has Windows7 installed (B-7000) and did NOT see the small partition you mentioned above; screenshot below. Are you using an earlier build?

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Re: Windows 7 creates a small System partition

Postby Grav!ty » Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:33 pm

Kevin, did you have XP installed first on the drive tagged (System)? If so then I think that explains why you don't have a small system partition by Windows 7 :yesnod: I'll verify that later when I install XP first followed by Vista and then Win 7.
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Re: Windows 7 creates a small System partition

Postby kd1966 » Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:49 pm

Grav!ty wrote:Kevin, did you have XP installed first on the drive tagged (System)? If so then I think that explains why you don't have a small system partition by Windows 7 :yesnod: I'll verify that later when I install XP first followed by Vista and then Win 7.


Yes, that it correct; the "System" drive is my XP drive, and XP was installed first on that partition. So you're saying if Win7 was preinstalled and you want to install XP as a 2nd OS, THEN the Win7 installer creates this small partition? I'm scratching my head as to how that can be.............. would make more sense if the XP installer did this
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Re: Windows 7 creates a small System partition

Postby Grav!ty » Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:19 pm

kd1966 wrote:
Grav!ty wrote:Kevin, did you have XP installed first on the drive tagged (System)? If so then I think that explains why you don't have a small system partition by Windows 7 :yesnod: I'll verify that later when I install XP first followed by Vista and then Win 7.


Yes, that it correct; the "System" drive is my XP drive, and XP was installed first on that partition. So you're saying if Win7 was preinstalled and you want to install XP as a 2nd OS, THEN the Win7 installer creates this small partition? I'm scratching my head as to how that can be.............. would make more sense if the XP installer did this


Build 6519 creates a 500 MB system partition as the first partition on the drive Windows 7 is to be installed on. Build 6801 creates a 200 MB system partition as the first partition on the drive Windows 7 is to be installed on. In both cases this only seems to be so (not yet verified anyone else), when Windows 7 is installed first on a system OR is the only OS installed.

Both the feedback from you and JD seems to suggest that if there is already an operating system like Windows XP or Windows Vista installed on the drive/partition tagged (System), that a separate system partition is NOT created by Windows 7.
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Re: Windows 7 creates a small System partition

Postby kd1966 » Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:21 pm

That is definately something to test.......... :geek:
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Re: Windows 7 creates a small System partition

Postby Grav!ty » Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:25 pm

kd1966 wrote:That is definately something to test.......... :geek:


It would be great if someone else could test that so that it's confirmed. I'm going to test what you and JD are saying a bit later but so far it's only me with the separate small system partition.
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Re: Windows 7 creates a small System partition

Postby shreader » Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:01 pm

Grav!ty wrote:It would be great if someone else could test that so that it's confirmed. I'm going to test what you and JD are saying a bit later but so far it's only me with the separate small system partition.


That is correct, on my installs of 7 it is the last OS to be installed, like the third or fourth :roleeyes
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