Windows 10: Title: Windows 10 April 2018 Update: Duplicate Recovery Partitions Solved

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  1.    08 Jun 2018 #1

    Title: Windows 10 April 2018 Update: Duplicate Recovery Partitions


    This thread is a continuation of sorts from a prior thread titled, "Windows 10 April 2018 Update: Disk F nearly full."

    Windows 10 April 2018 Update: Disk F nearly full Solved - Windows 10 Forums

    In the prior thread, I mentioned that after I upgraded to the latest version of Windows, I got a notification that a new drive F was nearly full. With the help of @Bree, I solved that specific issue. We believed that F was a duplicate recovery partition. Because I appear to have two recovery partitions. I would like to remove the redundant recovery partition and merge it with the C drive.

    Here's some screen shots to demonstrate my issues.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    You can see in the above photograph that I have an F drive.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Now the F drive has been removed, but I am assuming that I have two recovery partitions.

    Bree suggests using admin command prompt and typing reagentc /info.

    Then, I get this:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I am confused by partition 5. So I used the following commands:

    Code:
    Microsoft Windows [Version 10.0.17134.81]
    (c) 2018 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
    
    C:\WINDOWS\system32>diskpart
    
    Microsoft DiskPart version 10.0.17134.1
    
    Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation.
    On computer: ****
    
    DISKPART> list disk
    
      Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
      --------  -------------  -------  -------  ---  ---
      Disk 0    Online          447 GB      0 B        *
      Disk 1    Online         1863 GB      0 B   *
      Disk 2    Online         1863 GB      0 B   *
    
    DISKPART> select disk 0
    
    Disk 0 is now the selected disk.
    
    DISKPART> list partition
    
      Partition ###  Type              Size     Offset
      -------------  ----------------  -------  -------
      Partition 1    Recovery           300 MB  1024 KB
      Partition 2    System             100 MB   301 MB
      Partition 3    Reserved           128 MB   401 MB
      Partition 4    Primary            446 GB   529 MB
      Partition 5    Recovery           450 MB   446 GB
    
    DISKPART> exit
    
    Leaving DiskPart...
    
    C:\WINDOWS\system32>

    I have reached the end of my limited understanding. Please, what do I need to do next?
    Last edited by Stecyk; 08 Jun 2018 at 14:14. Reason: Formatting changes
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 8,793
    10 Home x64 (1809) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       08 Jun 2018 #2

    A screenshot of Disk Management would complete the information we need, with columns formatted as per this tutorial.

    Disk Management - How to Post a Screenshot of
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    08 Jun 2018 #3

    I greatly appreciate your help @Bree. I have enclosed the screenshot below.

    Click image for larger version. 

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      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 8,793
    10 Home x64 (1809) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       08 Jun 2018 #4

    Thank you, that completes the picture. Disk Management identifies the 100MB partition 2 as being the EFI partition, an essential part of the boot process on UEFI/GPT systems.

    Microsoft said:
    The device must contain a system partition. On GPT drives, this is known as the EFI System Partition, or the ESP. This partition is usually stored on the primary hard drive. The device boots to this partition.
    You will notice that although Diskpart lists five partitions, only four of them are shown in Disk Management. The missing one is shown in Diskpart as 'Partition 3 Reserved 128 MB'. This will be the Microsoft® reserved partition (MSR). From its size of 128MB we can deduce that this system was upgraded to Windows 10, probably it was Windows 8 originally. A clean install of Windows 10 would have created a smaller MSR.

    Microsoft said:
    Beginning in Windows 10, the size of the MSR is 16 MB.

    Add an MSR to each GPT drive to help with partition management. MSR is a reserved partition that does not receive a partition ID. It cannot store user data.
    For more details, see: Microsoft | UEFI/GPT-based hard drive partitions

    Partition 4 (in diskpart) is your C: drive and partition 5 is identified by reagentc as being the recovery partition that is being used by the system.

    The only partition that seems not to be used for anything is partition 1, the 300MB recovery partition. This again indicates the system was upgraded to Windows 10. 300MB may have been enough for Windows 8, but Windows 10 needs a larger recovery partition, so the upgrade created a new one as partition 5.

    Even if you deleted partition 1 you wouldn't be able to add the unallocated space to the C: drive because it is at the beginning of the drive and separated from C: by two other partitions. My advice would be to leave thing as they are, rather than risk breaking the system by trying to rearrange all the partitions.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    08 Jun 2018 #5

    Bree said: View Post
    You will notice that although Diskpart lists five partitions, only four of them are shown in Disk Management. The missing one is shown in Diskpart as 'Partition 3 Reserved 128 MB'. This will be the Microsoft® reserved partition (MSR). From its size of 128MB we can deduce that this system was upgraded to Windows 10, probably it was Windows 8 originally. A clean install of Windows 10 would have created a smaller MSR.
    Correct, it was originally an 8.1 system, I believe.

    Bree said: View Post
    Partition 4 (in diskpart) is your C: drive and partition 5 is identified by reagentc as being the recovery partition that is being used by the system.

    The only partition that seems not to be used for anything is partition 1, the 300MB recovery partition. This again indicates the system was upgraded to Windows 10. 300MB may have been enough for Windows 8, but Windows 10 needs a larger recovery partition, so the upgrade created a new one as partition 5.

    Even if you deleted partition 1 you wouldn't be able to add the unallocated space to the C: drive because it is at the beginning of the drive and separated from C: by two other partitions. My advice would be to leave thing as they are, rather than risk breaking the system by trying to rearrange all the partitions.
    Okay, I accept your advice. The very last thing I want is a broken system.

    Some general follow-up questions:
    1. I had been under the impression that because my C drive is an SSD, things don't have to be contiguous. But it looks like for partitions, continuity is important. For disk fragmentation, it's not. Can you, please, briefly comment?
    2. I ever get ambitious and do a "bare-metal" install of Windows 10, will this "problem" disappear?
    3. If I were determined to go ahread and attempt to "fix this," I would have slide all the partitions down to fill the 300 mb gap? And the odds of something going wrong during the process is unacceptably high? "Unacceptably high" to me means there's a chance that an inexperienced person like myself would mess it up. Please briefly comment.


    I sincerely thank you for your patience and your help.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 8,793
    10 Home x64 (1809) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       08 Jun 2018 #6

    Stecyk said: View Post
    1. I had been under the impression that because my C drive is an SSD, things don't have to be contiguous. But it looks like for partitions, continuity is important. For disk fragmentation, it's not. Can you, please, briefly comment?
    Correct. File fragmentation is unimportant in an SSD, but a partition is defined in the partition table by its start address and size - meaning it has to be a contiguous space on the drive.

    2. I ever get ambitious and do a "bare-metal" install of Windows 10, will this "problem" disappear?
    Yes. The first thing to do when you boot from the install media would be to delete all existing partitions and tell Setup to install Windows in the unallocated space. It would then create the standard partition layout, with the recovery partition and EFI partitions at the front, a smaller MSR and the C: drive occupying the rest of the space.

    3. If I were determined to go ahead and attempt to "fix this," I would have slide all the partitions down to fill the 300 mb gap? And the odds of something going wrong during the process is unacceptably high? "Unacceptably high" to me means there's a chance that an inexperienced person like myself would mess it up. Please briefly comment.
    It may be possible, but it's more than just rearranging partitions. At a minimum you'd need to use reagentc as well in order to use the recovery partition as it's partition number would have changed. You'd probably also have to boot from a usb recovery drive and use bootrec to rebuild the bcd. I wouldn't recommend trying if you are inexperienced - too big a chance of making a mistake.

    In fact, I probably would think twice about doing it myself. No, the quickest and easiest 'fix' would be the clean install. But is that even worth it? You'd only gain about 400MB of space for the C: drive (currently with 280GB free it hardly needs it), plus you'd have to reinstall all your software. After all, it's not as if you're short of space with those two other drives installed.

    What you have now is a successful upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 10 with the correct (and working) partitions that such an upgrade should create. I'd leave it as it is and put up with the unused 300MB.
    Last edited by Bree; 08 Jun 2018 at 20:30.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  7.    08 Jun 2018 #7

    The 300 MB extra partition is .293 GB. That is 0.07% of the 447.01 GB drive. Granted it is pretty easy to recover if you know exactly what you are doing. But if you don't know exactly what you are doing, is it really worth it to recover less than 1/10th of 1% of disk space?

    Use MiniTool Partition Wizard Free:
    1. Delete both the extra recovery partition (1st partition) and the MSR partition that will show up in MiniTool Partition Wizard (probably 16 MB in size).
    2. Move the EFI system partition to the front of the drive.
    3. From a Command Prompt (Admin) use diskpart to recreate the MSR partition:
    diskpart
    select disk 0
    create part MSR size=16
    exit
    exit

    4. Back to MiniTool Partition Wizard, move the front of C: drive to the left to fill the empty space.
    5. Reset reagentc to point to the recovery partition which is not partition 4:
    reagentc /setreimage /path \\?\GLOBALROOT\device\harddisk0\partition4\Recovery\WindowsRE

    Good luck!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    08 Jun 2018 #8

    @Bree, again, thank you for your kind help and patience. I appreciate your answers to my questions.

    I am positive that I won't bother attempting to "fix" this problem, unless I suddenly become overly ambitious with my computer. And even then, it'll be a fresh install.

    I've got a great computer. Although it's older now, it's still extremely fast, at least for me. My C drive is my "operating system and software" drive, so it shouldn't get much fuller than it is now. I might add some things, but not a lot.

    Everything else seems to work fine, so I am not inclined to do a fresh install to recover 400 mb.

    Thank you, again, for all your help.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    08 Jun 2018 #9

    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    The 300 MB extra partition is .293 GB. That is 0.07% of the 447.01 GB drive. Granted it is pretty easy to recover if you know exactly what you are doing. But if you don't know exactly what you are doing, is it really worth it to recover less than 1/10th of 1% of disk space?
    You're right—I am leaving it alone. Thanks for your comment.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    08 Jun 2018 #10

    Stecyk said: View Post
    You're right—I am leaving it alone. Thanks for your comment.
    See the same post that I edited if you want to try it. Oops, I see your MSR is 128 MB. Change size=16 to size=128 in the diskpart create part command.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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