Macrium Support Forum

Moving the Windows partition from one SSD to another SSD that has System Reserved Partition

https://forum.macrium.com/Topic36932.aspx

By SwannyVA - 5 June 2020 1:30 AM

My system has 2 SSDs - please see attached PDF.  One is 32GB and includes the Windows Primary partition (C: ), while the other 240GB drive (G: ) has a System Reserved partition.  As I'm constantly struggling with keeping the C: drive clean enough for Windows updates, I'd like to move the Primary (C: ) to the larger drive.  Currently, both drives must be present for Windows to boot.
Does anyone have any recommendations on how to accomplish this?  I have spare drives that I can clone to, but have no clue how to get there, even though I have tried.
Thanks in advance!
John
​​

​​
By jphughan - 5 June 2020 1:59 AM

Just as a quick note upfront, that System Reserved partition shouldn't have a drive letter assigned.  I would recommend using Disk Management to remove that G: assignment, which should persist across reboots.

On that same disk, I'm also curious what Partition 3 is doing.  Judging by the space actually in use, it seems like it might be a Windows Recovery partition, but 26 GB is an awfully large partition for that purpose.  That's a size I'd expect to see for a "factory image restore" partition, but then much more of it would be in use.  The Windows Recovery partition is also typically either at the beginning of the disk containing your C partition or just after your C partition.  You have a partition in the latter location that seems to be the right size and to have a plausible amount of space consumed, but Reflect isn't showing a Windows logo on that partition (or the 26 GB partition), which it does for properly configured Windows Recovery partitions.  That partition might have WinRE files but not be properly "registered" as a Recovery partition.  But if you're a frequent Reflect user, you might never need it anyway.

Would backing up the contents of your H partition somewhere else, wiping it out during a clone, and then copying data back to a new partition be an option?  If so, I would recommend the following:
  • Make an image backup of the disks involved before proceeding.
  • Boot into your Rescue Media environment, ideally from an external disc or flash drive, NOT the recovery boot menu option.
  • Select the disk containing your C partition, click "Clone this disk", and select your target disk as the destination.
  • Select the H partition and click "Delete existing partition", then repeat that for the 26 GB partition so that your destination now only has your System Reserved partition followed by empty space.
  • Drag your C partition down to the destination disk just after your System Reserved partition.  Select it in the destination, click "Cloned Partition Properties" and change its size as desired.  You can specify the new size either in actual size or in how much space to leave free at the end of the partition for any additional partitions you may want to create.
  • Optionally drag and drop that other partition after your C partition to the destination as well.  Any additional partitions you might want to have (e.g. your H partition) should exist AFTER that partition
  • When the clone completes, shut down your PC and remove the 32 GB SSD, at least temporarily.  Or if your BIOS allows you to simply disable the interface it's using, you can do that instead to achieve the same end result.
  • Boot back into Rescue Media and run Fix Boot Problems, which you will need to because you will have just moved your Windows environment to a completely different disk, so your Windows Boot Manager will need to be updated to point to it.  Doing this when there's only one actual Windows partition present on the system tends to make this easier.
  • If needed, restore your H partition from the backup you made at the beginning of this process into free space you will hopefully have left on your disk for this purpose.
At that point, your system should boot normally.
By jphughan - 5 June 2020 2:10 AM

One other option would be the following:
  • Create regular Windows installation media for whatever version of Windows you're running.  You can download this from Microsoft.
  • Remove/disable the 32GB SSD
  • Boot your system from your Windows installation media.  When you get to the point asking where to install Windows, delete ALL partitions on your Intel SSD, then choose to install Windows there.  This way you'll get a proper partition layout, including a properly set up Recovery partition, and everything will be on that one disk.
  • After the install completes, reconnect/re-enable your 32GB SSD, boot your system from your Reflect Rescue Media, and clone the C partition from that SSD on top of the new C partition that was created on the Intel SSD.  Or to avoid having to re-enable it, if you captured an image backup of that 32GB SSD beforehand, just restore from that image rather than cloning from the SSD.

By SwannyVA - 5 June 2020 2:36 AM

Thanks for your quick and thoughtful reply jp!  I'll go over your recommendations carefully tomorrow, but I'm already leaning toward the second recommendation.  I'll try one of them and report my progress.
Stay safe.
John​​
By SwannyVA - 5 June 2020 2:42 PM

jphughan - 5 June 2020 2:10 AM
One other option would be the following:
  • Create regular Windows installation media for whatever version of Windows you're running.  You can download this from Microsoft.
  • Remove/disable the 32GB SSD
  • Boot your system from your Windows installation media.  When you get to the point asking where to install Windows, delete ALL partitions on your Intel SSD, then choose to install Windows there.  This way you'll get a proper partition layout, including a properly set up Recovery partition, and everything will be on that one disk.
  • After the install completes, reconnect/re-enable your 32GB SSD, boot your system from your Reflect Rescue Media, and clone the C partition from that SSD on top of the new C partition that was created on the Intel SSD.  Or to avoid having to re-enable it, if you captured an image backup of that 32GB SSD beforehand, just restore from that image rather than cloning from the SSD.

JP, I have a Windows Recovery disk created, and have created the recommended Windows Installation media disk.  Is there a recommended preference?
Thanks again!​
By jphughan - 5 June 2020 2:54 PM

The clean install route is probably simpler.  But you need Reflect Rescue Media, not a Windows Recovery disc.
By SwannyVA - 6 June 2020 3:15 AM

I was able to eliminate the problem partitions on the SSD and reinstall Windows 10.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to reinstall the C drive partition successfully due to my superficial knowledge of the outstanding Macrium product, but I'm very satisfied with my overall results.  Thanks for the excellent help.
Stay safe.
John​​
By jphughan - 6 June 2020 3:18 AM

Great, and happy to help!  But if you do want to restore your previous C partition rather than starting from scratch, all you have to do is boot to Rescue Media, choose the backup you want to restore, and then in the first step of the restore wizard, just drag and drop the C partition from the backup (in the Source area) on top of the Windows partition on your actual SSD (in the Destination area).  The Windows partition on the destination may or may not be shown as C in Rescue, but that won't matter.  That will tell Reflect to restore ONLY the C partition out of your selected backup, and to do it by overwriting the existing Windows partition on disk.  But either way, glad you're happy!
By spilly80 - 1 March 2021 8:52 PM

jphughan - 5 June 2020 2:10 AM
One other option would be the following:
  • Create regular Windows installation media for whatever version of Windows you're running.  You can download this from Microsoft.
  • Remove/disable the 32GB SSD
  • Boot your system from your Windows installation media.  When you get to the point asking where to install Windows, delete ALL partitions on your Intel SSD, then choose to install Windows there.  This way you'll get a proper partition layout, including a properly set up Recovery partition, and everything will be on that one disk.
  • After the install completes, reconnect/re-enable your 32GB SSD, boot your system from your Reflect Rescue Media, and clone the C partition from that SSD on top of the new C partition that was created on the Intel SSD.  Or to avoid having to re-enable it, if you captured an image backup of that 32GB SSD beforehand, just restore from that image rather than cloning from the SSD.


JP
I think you describe here very closely just what I tried to do today but could not boot as hoped at the end
I hope it's close enough to the OP that it will help others in similar situations

PLAN:  Speed up system startup and Windows maintenance by Moving ONLY C: drive from slow HDD  1TB
to new smaller SSD (120GB - big enough for my windows, but not for any user DATA)
User data all in new D: drive, located on HDD

Starting System is a single disk GPT UEFI system, running Win 10 Home
OBJECTIVE is a 2 disk system; C: on SSD with all OS and software;  all Userdata in new D: drive located on HDD

PREPARATION: Create new D: drive on HDD and move Location of all user data to D:\Users\Name\Docs, Pics etc
Shrink C: to 100 GB, so it will fit on 120GB SSD
Take full macrium backup of HDD

Disconnect HDD and install New Win 10 on SSD;
a 100% default Win 10 install; Small size (no data); 2 system partitions + C: about 110GB
It booted OK of course
The HDD was disconnected during this install and reboot

Power off: reconnected HDD; both SSD & HDD to have power on next reboot
Enabled legacy boot to permit Boot to CD

Booted to Macrium Rescue and restored HDD C: partition (100GB) into SDD C: partition just created
(I definitely got the source and target correct)
At this point C: drive on SSD is a clone of C: drive on HDD)
The resulting C: on SSD now expects an available D: drive in another partition, (of which one instance is located on HDD.
 
I think this may be where I now go wrong...

Before exiting the Rescue environment, I used Macrium to fix the boot partitions.
choosing both EFI and Windows on SSD. Fix Boot had detected two installations as expected
Shutdown reboot...
The system booted OK, but it booted into Windows on HDD, not SSD
and I couldn't make it boot into the SSD copy of Windows

I've an idea maybe I should have installed Win 10 on the empty SSD with the HDD still connected

Where did I go wrong???  
I never did fully understand UEFI boot & the use of GPT disks.
Perhaps I will now?
Thank you in anticipation

Spilly

By jphughan - 1 March 2021 9:01 PM

Hey Spilly,

I can see two places where you may have gone wrong that probably didn't help matters.

First, switching to Legacy Boot in order to boot Rescue.  That should not have been necessary.  If your Rescue Media was built on WinPE/RE 4 later (this is indicated in the title bar at the very top of the Rescue interface), then it supports UEFI booting, and if you have a CD containing a bootable environment that supports UEFI mode, then you should be able to boot it in UEFI mode.  The reason this can matter is that the fixes attempted by Fix Boot Problems depend on how the Rescue Media itself was booted.  So you essentially attempted Legacy BIOS fixes on a UEFI installation of Windows.

The other change I'd make to your setup is to run Fix Boot Problems and perform your first test boot without the source HDD connected.  This might mean that you need to perform the clone, then shut down, then disconnect the HDD, then boot into Rescue AGAIN specifically to run Fix Boot Problems so that Reflect will only see a single Windows environment.  And then your system will only see a single bootable disk when you reboot after that.

And as a last note, if you moved from a SATA HDD to an NVMe SSD rather than a SATA SSD, then you may also have to run ReDeploy in the Rescue environment so that Reflect updates the Windows environment as needed to load the NVMe class driver at startup.  Make sure you're using Rescue Media created by a reasonably recent version of Reflect since Macrium made some ReDeploy enhancements recently.

Good luck!
By spilly80 - 1 March 2021 10:32 PM

jphughan - 1 March 2021 9:01 PM
Hey Spilly,

I can see two places where you may have gone wrong that probably didn't help matters.

First, switching to Legacy Boot in order to boot Rescue.  That should not have been necessary.  If your Rescue Media was built on WinPE/RE 4 later (this is indicated in the title bar at the very top of the Rescue interface), then it supports UEFI booting, and if you have a CD containing a bootable environment that supports UEFI mode, then you should be able to boot it in UEFI mode.  The reason this can matter is that the fixes attempted by Fix Boot Problems depend on how the Rescue Media itself was booted.  So you essentially attempted Legacy BIOS fixes on a UEFI installation of Windows.

The other change I'd make to your setup is to run Fix Boot Problems and perform your first test boot without the source HDD connected.  This might mean that you need to perform the clone, then shut down, then disconnect the HDD, then boot into Rescue AGAIN specifically to run Fix Boot Problems so that Reflect will only see a single Windows environment.  And then your system will only see a single bootable disk when you reboot after that.

And as a last note, if you moved from a SATA HDD to an NVMe SSD rather than a SATA SSD, then you may also have to run ReDeploy in the Rescue environment so that Reflect updates the Windows environment as needed to load the NVMe class driver at startup.  Make sure you're using Rescue Media created by a reasonably recent version of Reflect since Macrium made some ReDeploy enhancements recently.

Good luck!

What a helpful reply! And QUICK too

1) Legacy boot. 
It was an official HP article that misled me, possibly an early issue as I didn't filter on date
I felt a little uncomfortable during all the UEFI hassle, as I do this v. rarely, yet I felt sure you should just tap F9 and you get the boot options
You are confirming that's so. Great! That feels right.

2) Fix Boot.
I reckon the SSD windows has not been touched since it was cloned
So I shall try Rescue Boot and straight in Fix Boot; all done in UEFI mode
It either works or it doesn't. I'll soon know.
If fails, I'll re-clone from macrium backup... No sweat

3) It is a SATA SSD, not NvMe, so I think I'm OK.  Not that I knew about the NVMe driver issue though

This is actually a friend's PC, and my own is working OK, which helps

I was all cocky this morning, and it all went pear shaped.
Your reply has restored my confidence. I wasn't that far off.
And I've learned something about hidden implications of UEFI v Legacy too

Ten out of Ten to you and the forum I think
- but I won't really know for sure till I try it!!

Spilly



By GrampaWildWilly - 16 December 2023 10:51 AM

I was searching for an explanation of why one of my recovery partitions appears as red.  This discussion shows an example of a red partition.  Here's mine:



In my case, & as far as I can tell in the case of the original poster here, the red partition is the recovery partition.  I believe the original poster has 2 recovery partitions, same as I do.  I have been advised (on elevenforum) that I have 2 recovery partitions because I have done a Repair Install.  The slightly larger one is active. the one Reflect gives the number 4 in my image.  The other recovery partition, at the end of the drive, is the original one that got installed with the original W11 installation.

The advice I've gotten is that the original recovery partition at the end of the drive is no longer used.  It can safely be removed.  I was planning on using Reflect rescue media to take an image of this drive, minus the useless recovery parttion, then restore the image using an enlarged C-drive.  The point is to remove the unused recovery partition & expand the usable partition, the one that contains my actual W11 boot partition, C-drive, so I have no dead space on the drive.  I will thus reduce this 5-partition drive to a 4-partition configuration.  I assume this is eminently doable.

But my question is why is the used space there colored red?
By capair45 - 16 December 2023 12:10 PM

Wild Willy Kredentser - 16 December 2023 10:51 AM
I was searching for an explanation of why one of my recovery partitions appears as red.  This discussion shows an example of a red partition.  Here's mine:



In my case, & as far as I can tell in the case of the original poster here, the red partition is the recovery partition.  I believe the original poster has 2 recovery partitions, same as I do.  I have been advised (on elevenforum) that I have 2 recovery partitions because I have done a Repair Install.  The slightly larger one is active. the one Reflect gives the number 4 in my image.  The other recovery partition, at the end of the drive, is the original one that got installed with the original W11 installation.

The advice I've gotten is that the original recovery partition at the end of the drive is no longer used.  It can safely be removed.  I was planning on using Reflect rescue media to take an image of this drive, minus the useless recovery parttion, then restore the image using an enlarged C-drive.  The point is to remove the unused recovery partition & expand the usable partition, the one that contains my actual W11 boot partition, C-drive, so I have no dead space on the drive.  I will thus reduce this 5-partition drive to a 4-partition configuration.  I assume this is eminently doable.

But my question is why is the used space there colored red?

Red means the partition is almost full. It is fairly typical for that partition to be near its limit. The space that is used on that partition is used by the WIM recovery file.  Sometimes, Windows needs to create a larger WIM file on that partition and will reduce the size of the /C partition and use that space to increase the size of the recovery partition.


By spilly80 - 16 December 2023 12:48 PM

1. The Red in File explorer is to warn you that the free space is below a recommended minimum
You can obviously ignore it for fixed space partitions such as Win Recovery

2. If you use DISKPART you can check the TYPE field of both partitions
The Command is DETAIL PART
If they are both type   de94bba4-06d1-4d40-a16a-bfd50179d6ac  , you can be certain that you have two recovery partitions

As you have a 2TB SSD, you really don't need the tiny little bit of space occupied by the 2nd recovery partition
But you might want to remove the 2nd partition just for the sake of tidiness

You can do this in DiskPart,
You'll need the OVERRIDE option, so make sure you know what you are doing

Then you will be left with a little bit of unusable free space at the end of the drive
You will need a 3rd party partition tool (Mini Tool Partition Wizard or similar)  to MOVE
the recovery partition to the very end of the drive

Only then can you extend C: into the space

Note: The moved recovery partition will still function correctly
as it is identified by the TYPE as listed above, not by its name or position on the disk

I'd not bother to do all this myself

spilly
By GrampaWildWilly - 16 December 2023 2:31 PM

Thanks for your responses.  I was worried it was flagging corruption in the partition or something actually serious like that.  I think it would be more intuitive if the red were on the free space in the graphic instead of on the used space.
By jphughan - 16 December 2023 2:31 PM

The plan is sound if you truly want to expend the effort just to add that amount of capacity to your Windows partition. If you capture an image that omits that second Recovery partition, then in the first step of the restore wizard, clicking Copy Partitions > Fit to disk should auto-generate the desired outcome in terms of sizing, since Reflect knows not to resize the EFI, MSR, and Recovery partitions.

As noted, red denotes that the partition is nearly full, but that’s completely fine and rather common on Windows Recovery partitions. If Windows needs more capacity there, it will shrink your Windows partition to free up additional capacity for that purpose.
By jphughan - 16 December 2023 2:35 PM

In fairness to Reflect, Windows uses exactly the same depiction when a volume is near capacity, namely showing the used capacity in red.
By GrampaWildWilly - 16 December 2023 2:52 PM

Thanks JP.  I actually reorganized my boot drive on Windows 7 a few months ago using Reflect, so I already have some experience with the process.  But W7 didn't have this silliness with a recovery partition & a completely ridiculous partition of just 16M.  Oh well.  It is what it is.  I think I can deal with it.

The reason for getting rid of an unused & unusable recovery partition is that if I have to do another Repair Install in future, it will likely proliferate yet another recovery partition.  I mean, with each new release, the recovery partition is likely to require more room than it did, so it will keep inserting a new recovery partition in front of the existing one & chewing away a bit of space on the back end of the boot partition.  But I have read that certain system maintenance can also create a new recovery partition & leave the old useless one in place.  So there's multiple ways to acquire a new one.

It seems completely silly the way they do it.  The old recovery partition is immediately invalidated when the new one appears.  They already trim the boot partition to make room for the new recovery partition.  They should just overlay the old recovery partition with the new one.  That way, they wouldn't have to shrink the boot partition by as much as the way they do it now.  It is so disappointing that they didn't think of that on their own.  Maybe some day they will do it right.  For now, Reflect can correct the situation.  It's not just an issue of reclaiming what is admittedly a paltry amount of space.  It's a question of avoiding unnecessary complexity.  There's already quite enough complexity without this.

This is all part of my learning curve.  I've been using W11 for only a couple of weeks.  A time will come soon enough when I will have the most ferocious of the beasts tamed & I won't be so active on here.
By jphughan - 16 December 2023 3:12 PM

When the Recovery partition is immediately after the Windows partition, Windows typically does NOT keep adding new ones. It just shrinks the Windows partition and recreates the Recovery partition to use the space it freed up there. I’m not sure how/why you ended up with two consecutive Recovery partitions. Most people with two have the first one at the beginning of the disk because that’s where Windows created it during fresh installs until Win10 2004, even though Microsoft had seen the need for expanding the Recovery partition well before that point in Win10’s lifecycle.
By dbminter - 16 December 2023 3:27 PM

When I updated to Windows 11 22H2, it created a 2nd new Recovery partition right after the Windows one.  So, I now have 2 "Recovery" partitions right after the Windows one.  I tried removing the other and while that initially didn't present an issue, it eventually caused me a problem where Rescue Media was always the RE version most recently behind the most current one.  So, after "fixing" that, I just left both Recovery partitions alone.
By DanDanz - 16 December 2023 4:20 PM

Just a reminder -- if your "good" Recovery partition changes its partition number, make sure that the kernel pointer to it is correct.   You can see what it is before you start, and then again after you change the order of the partitions.   The command (from an elevated command prompt) is REAGENTC /INFO

Example:
 
C:\Users\lwdan>reagentc /info
Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) and system reset configuration
Information:
  Windows RE status:   Enabled
  Windows RE location:   \\?\GLOBALROOT\device\harddisk0\partition4\Recovery\WindowsRE
  Boot Configuration Data (BCD) identifier: e172b973-f0da-11ed-b413-8dda56e918fb
  Recovery image location:
  Recovery image index:  0
  Custom image location:
  Custom image index:   0
REAGENTC.EXE: Operation Successful.

If you need to change it, you can get a list of all of its capabilities with REAGENTC /?.
By GrampaWildWilly - 16 December 2023 11:06 PM

My understanding is that when W11 decides under whatever circumstances -- Repair Install, some regularly pushed out System Update, some other condition I don't have the experience yet to know about -- when it decides it's going to build a Recovery Partition, it looks at how big that needs to be.  If the new Recovery Partition will fit inside an existing Recovery Partition, W11 will simply reuse the existing Recovery Partition.  But if the new one won't fit, it doesn't just shrink the boot partition enough to allow the expansion of the existing one to accommodate the new one.  That would be too logical.  Instead, it shrinks the boot partition by an even larger amount & creates a brand new, larger Recovery Partition on the drive.  I have been the beneficiary of advice from people far more knowledgeable on the subject than myself.  You can read about it over here:

https://www.elevenforum.com/t/after-clean-install-two-recovery-partitions.20752/

You get the full picture with a combination of reagentc, diskpart, & dism.  It's all explained in that thread on elevenforum.  It is an ongoing education for me.  I refer y'all over there because a discussion of what W11 does about Recovery Partitions isn't really a topic for a discussion on the Reflect forum.  It is more appropriate over on elevenforum.

What is appropriate for discussion here is how you can use Reflect to image & restore your boot drive (the physical device) to reconfigure the partitions in such a way as to eliminate the useless Recovery Partition & keep only the usable Recovery Partition.  I proposed an approach upthread & our pal JP blessed it.  I'll be doing it in the near future.  It isn't a pressing need.  You can run your system just fine with any number of Recovery Partitions.  That's precisely what I am doing . . . for now.  But I will get this cleaned up in due time.
By dbminter - 16 December 2023 11:19 PM

I realize Microsoft is trying to reduce the size of the Windows partition on its install, but it would be far easier if they'd just store the WINRETOOLS contents ON the Windows partition.  Somewhere hidden or inaccessible.  No need to resize WINRETOOLS or create 2nd or more WINRETOOLS partitions when the contents increase in size.
By jphughan - 16 December 2023 11:32 PM

The reason WinRE exists in its own partition is for resilience. If something damaged the file system of the Windows partition, then it would still be possible to load WinRE from its separate partition. Now, given what you may or may not be able to accomplish in WinRE toward recovering from such a condition, and given the fact that WinRE’s tool set can also be accessed from Windows install media by clicking the Repair option at the initial Setup page, is that resilience worth the inconveniences? I suspect answers will vary there.

But for the record, I have my only WinRE partition located directly after my Windows partition, and I have seen that partition increase in size, at the cost of my Windows partition shrinking, on multiple occasions as a result of installing Windows feature updates. I have never ended up with another WinRE partition. But clearly one’s mileage may vary here….
By dbminter - 16 December 2023 11:40 PM

Maybe if Microsoft changed the update behavior.  If WINRETOOLS needs updating, then the installation of an update to Windows can delete WINRETOOLS and recreate it with contents from the installation package.  That way, there's no need to resize WINRETOOLS.  And if the freed up space from deleting WINRETOOLS is not sufficient, the installation package can resize Windows to make enough free space to recreate WINRETOOLS to the necessary size.


I can see the validity of your argument, JP, but I think if Microsoft changed the behavior it does, it might make living with a separate WINRETOOLS partition easier to deal with.  No ending up with duplicate partitions, wasted space, steps to rectify 2 partitions, etc.
By GrampaWildWilly - 17 December 2023 1:00 AM

We all wish Microsoft would do things differently.  But wishing doesn't make it reality.  We have to deal with what we have & just hope that our wishing will some day result in changes.  But until that day, we have to deal with the possibility that multiple Recovery Partitions can & often do appear.  If you look at the thread on elevenforum I cited above, you'll see I'm far from alone with this problem.
By dbminter - 17 December 2023 1:07 AM

Another user on these forums, Dan, also had 2 WINRETOOLS partitions after the 2nd most recent Windows refresh, I think.
By DanDanz - 17 December 2023 3:15 AM

dbminter - 17 December 2023 1:07 AM
Another user on these forums, Dan, also had 2 WINRETOOLS partitions after the 2nd most recent Windows refresh, I think.

Yep.  That was me. And I had a problem involving a disk that had 2 Recovery partitions.   I used Minitool Partition Wizard (free version). It was a GPT disk that had partitions 1-EFI, 2-MSR, 3-System, 4-NewRecovery, and 5-OldRecovery.  I deleted 5, .moved 4 to the empty space vacated by 5, then expanded 3 to include the empty space left by 4. 

A few days later, I tried to run the offline Defender scan, and it rebooted but failed to find the recovery partition.  I traced the problem with REAGENTC.  It still pointed to non-existent partition 5.  It was easy to point it to 4, and the problem was fixed.  And that's why I posted the warning earlier in this topic.