System Partition & C Drive (Merged vs separate). Need Suggestion.


  1. Posts : 31
    Windows 10 Pro 1709
       #1

    System Partition & C Drive (Merged vs separate). Need Suggestion.


    Windows by default make system partition separately. but now i'm using winntsetup to install os which gives me option to put c and system partition together.
    i want to know if i merge both partition in one then will it create any problem in future with any windows function?

    or keeping system partition separate will have any advantage over merged partition.

    (i've a bios and mbr system.)
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  2. Posts : 17,349
    Windows 11 Pro
       #2

    On a legacy BIOS system, it really won't matter either way.
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  3. Posts : 5,478
    2004
       #3

    If you want to use bitlocker you need a separate system partition. Whether you boot UEFI or legacy your system needs to boot a partition that is not encrypted.

    BitLocker Drive Encryption Partitioning Requirements

    BitLocker must use a system partition that is separate from the Windows partition. The system partition:

    • Must be configured as the active partition.
    • Must not be encrypted or used to store user files.
    • Must have at least 100 megabytes (MB) of space.
    • Must have at least 50 MB of free space.
    • May be shared with a recovery partition.

    For more information about BitLocker partitioning requirements, see Hard Drives and Partitions Overview.
    BitLocker Drive Encryption | Microsoft Docs

    If you don't plan to use bitlocker, as @NavyLCDR said, it really doesn't matter either way.

    You may want to not use a separate system partition if you are multi-booting as you might run into the mbr limit of 4 primary partitions. In this case you'd have to balance using bitlocker against running extra OS (Linux, another Windows or whatever).
    Last edited by lx07; 23 Jan 2018 at 04:13. Reason: multi-boot
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  4. Posts : 31
    Windows 10 Pro 1709
    Thread Starter
       #4

    thank you very much for the info... :)
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  5. Posts : 4,594
    Windows 10 Pro
       #5

    I`ve been using 1 partition for windows for years now, never have any issues with it.

    Windows 7 and Windows 10 :)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails System Partition & C Drive (Merged vs separate). Need Suggestion.-dmw10.jpg  
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  6. Posts : 13,680
    Windows10
       #6

    Having all in one partition is a throwback to time when separate partitions did not exist.

    There are good reasons to keep the boot files separate as it makes dual booting easier, and if the boot files screw up, it is easy to reinstate them without affecting Windows to name a couple.
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  7. Posts : 5,478
    2004
       #7

    cereberus said:
    Having all in one partition is a throwback to time when separate partitions did not exist.
    When was that? You could partition disks in Windows 95. https://kb.iu.edu/d/aema

    Perhaps you couldn't partition Windows before that (I don't know) but the midrange systems I worked on had partitions from the 1970s.

    cereberus said:
    There are good reasons to keep the boot files separate as it makes dual booting easier, and if the boot files screw up, it is easy to reinstate them without affecting Windows to name a couple.
    mbr (which both the OP and I are using) has a limit of 4 primary partitions. Deciding to use one of them as a system partition limits your options when multi-booting rather than making it easier. I had to drop a shared data partition so I could use bitlocker when dual booting with OSX so I could keep to the limit of 4 primary partitions.

    It also makes no sense to think a specific file is more likely to "screw up" when being on a one partition than another. Why would it? Even if it did the solution (restore) is the same.
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  8. Posts : 13,680
    Windows10
       #8

    lx07 said:
    When was that? You could partition disks in Windows 95. https://kb.iu.edu/d/aema

    Perhaps you couldn't partition Windows before that (I don't know) but the midrange systems I worked on had partitions from the 1970s.

    mbr (which both the OP and I are using) has a limit of 4 primary partitions. Deciding to use one of them as a system partition limits your options when multi-booting rather than making it easier. I had to drop a shared data partition so I could use bitlocker when dual booting with OSX so I could keep to the limit of 4 primary partitions.

    It also makes no sense to think a specific file is more likely to "screw up" when being on a one partition than another. Why would it? Even if it did the solution (restore) is the same.
    I meant the boot partition was not separate from C drive. IIRC the system reserved partition was first introduced in Vista.

    It is rather academic now with UEFI but you could install as many versions of windows as you like with only two primary partitions, leaving two for linux by installing each windows installation in virtual hard drives on same partition. Here the system reserved partition needs to be separate.

    My point about boot files being separate was more to do with repairing OS being easier if boot files get corrupted. I use Macrium Reflect to rebuild the bcd on system reserved partition if it gets corrupted. I accept sometimes the limit of four primary partitions with non windows OS may force one down a different path, but if booting multiple windows versions, keeping the bcd separate helps keep things clean.

    I actually did a test and had Home, PRO, Home N, PRO N all installed as vhds in one partition with one system reserved partition just out of curiosity. I had to cheat a bit by having one version not initially in a vhd so I could easily add the other versions as vhds. Once I could boot from a vhd, I was able to move the "host" OS to a vhd as well. There are probably more elegant ways to do it, but my way worked.

    Actually, it is harder to clean install a single instance of windows without creating the system reserved partition unless there is only one primary partition free.

    I used to avoid logical partitions though.

    With UEFI, it is all academic of course.
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