Windows 10: No MSR partition after converting from MBR to GPT a while back?

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  1.    25 Nov 2017 #1

    No MSR partition after converting from MBR to GPT a while back?


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    Hi there! First post on these forums.

    I got this new laptop a few months ago and had to install Windows 10 manually as it didn't come with an OS. At the time, I ran into some kind of installation issue that only let me proceed if I installed using MBR format, but I learned immediately after everything booted up that Windows 10 has the easy MBR to GPT conversion tool, so I used that to switch to GPT.

    Fast forward to now, I'm trying to learn more about partitions. I know GPT is "supposed" to have an EFI System partition, an MSR partition, a main Windows partition, and probably a Recovery partition which is optional. I've attached some pics. I have a C partition that is for Windows stuff and D partition that is for files and data (just my preferred method of organization), and then TWO recovery partitions, the smaller of which is "active", and the System partition. So no MSR?

    Basically I'm about to format the unused Recovery partition, and rearrange the order of the other ones. That should be fine right?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    25 Nov 2017 #2

    Don't worry about the MSR partition, you don't need it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    26 Nov 2017 #3

    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    Don't worry about the MSR partition, you don't need it.
    Hey, thanks for the insanely fast reply!
    So MSR is reserved space that is not currently being used by Microsoft in any way right? Shouldn't I worry about future compatibility issues if I don't have it at all?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    26 Nov 2017 #4

    iarejohnsmith said: View Post
    Hey, thanks for the insanely fast reply!
    So MSR is reserved space that is not currently being used by Microsoft in any way right? Shouldn't I worry about future compatibility issues if I don't have it at all?
    You can recreate it if ever needed in future. I delete it on my tablet so I can make use of space before MSR which is no moveable even with tools like minitool.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    26 Nov 2017 #5

    On a lot of computers, the MSR partition is only 16MB. Not exactly sure what MS intends to stuff into only 16MB of space. If your computer is running fine now, I wouldn't bother / worry about it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    26 Nov 2017 #6

    cereberus said: View Post
    You can recreate it if ever needed in future. I delete it on my tablet so I can make use of space before MSR which is no moveable even with tools like minitool.
    Alright, cool!
    Speaking of "moveable" though, do you mean that there's no way to "rearrange" the partitions? In Minitool, the ordering is my C partition, the 508mb Recovery partition, then the D partition, then the EFI System partition. Is there no way for me to move the System and Recovery partitions to the front?
    So what I'm trying to do/have already done is format my second Recovery partition to try to give that space to C or D, but it's currently on the other side of the System partition; what do I do?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 2,421
    Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64 Win10Prox64
       26 Nov 2017 #7

    You can recreate it if ever needed in future. I delete it on my tablet so I can make use of space before MSR which is no moveable even with tools like minitool.
    Sorry but this is incorrect. It does not mean if Minitool can't do it then no other software can do it.
    Since I know you use Macrium and I can tell you that Macrium can do things that Minitool is unable to.

    @iarejohnsmith
    Even lots of people claim that you don't need it and they don't have any clear explanation for it except Windows will work without it and I am not going to debate about this. However, every time you initialize a GPT disk, there will be an MSR partition created and MS also state that this partition is needed for partition management of a GPT disk, Now who should I believe other than the creator of Windows.

    With a fresh install of Windows 10 version 1709. The partition layout is: 500MB Recovery, 100MB EFI partition, 16MB MSR and the rest is C drive.
    If you keep it in this layout, you won't have any problem for future feature update, otherwise you would see a lot of extra Recovery partitions created even though Windows is still working.

    Honestly, I don't see how by deleting a 16MB partition will save any space. Surfing the internet will create cache files left and right in order of several hundred MB's in one session.

    If you are interested in rebuilding the partitions so it look as if you do a fresh install then let us know.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  • Posts : 6,966
    10 Home x64 (1803) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       26 Nov 2017 #8

    Some info....

    Microsoft said:
    What is a Microsoft Reserved Partition (MSR)?
    The Microsoft Reserved Partition (MSR) reserves space on each disk drive for subsequent use by operating system software. GPT disks do not allow hidden sectors. Software components that formerly used hidden sectors now allocate portions of the MSR for component-specific partitions. For example, converting a basic disk to a dynamic disk causes the MSR on that disk to be reduced in size and a newly created partition holds the dynamic disk database....
    ....
    How big is the MSR?
    When initially created, the size of the MSR depends on the size of the disk drive:

    • On drives less than 16GB in size, the MSR is 32MB.
    • On drives greater than or equal two 16GB, the MSR is 128 MB.

    As the MSR is divided into other partitions, it becomes smaller.
    https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/lib...aq_what_is_msr

    ...and in more understandable language...

    Wikipedia said:
    Formerly, on disks formatted using the older MBR partition layout, certain software components used hidden sectors of the disk for data storage purposes. One example of this is the Logical Disk Manager (LDM), which, should the disk be converted from a basic disk to a dynamic disk, would store metadata in a 1 MB area at the end of the disk which was not allocated to any partition.
    GPT formatted disks and the UEFI partition specification do not allow hidden sectors. Microsoft reserves a chunk of disk space using this MSR partition type, to provide an alternative data storage space for such software components which previously may have used hidden sectors on MBR formatted disks. Such software components, for example LDM as mentioned above, can create a small software-component specific partition from a portion of the space reserved in the MSR partition.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micros...tition#Purpose

    Not that I need to know, it's all MBR here
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  •    26 Nov 2017 #9

    No computer that is missing it has crashed yet....that we know of. Maybe they self destruct?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    27 Nov 2017 #10

    topgundcp said: View Post
    Sorry but this is incorrect. It does not mean if Minitool can't do it then no other software can do it.
    Since I know you use Macrium and I can tell you that Macrium can do things that Minitool is unable to.

    @iarejohnsmith
    Even lots of people claim that you don't need it and they don't have any clear explanation for it except Windows will work without it and I am not going to debate about this. However, every time you initialize a GPT disk, there will be an MSR partition created and MS also state that this partition is needed for partition management of a GPT disk, Now who should I believe other than the creator of Windows.

    With a fresh install of Windows 10 version 1709. The partition layout is: 500MB Recovery, 100MB EFI partition, 16MB MSR and the rest is C drive.
    If you keep it in this layout, you won't have any problem for future feature update, otherwise you would see a lot of extra Recovery partitions created even though Windows is still working.

    Honestly, I don't see how by deleting a 16MB partition will save any space. Surfing the internet will create cache files left and right in order of several hundred MB's in one session.

    If you are interested in rebuilding the partitions so it look as if you do a fresh install then let us know.
    Yup. I think Windows Update uses the MSR - I would leave it be as well....not sure why it's so small though - maybe just for temp boot files?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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