Resolved Question

Question on size of "system reserved partition" in XP.

I recently installed XP on an old laptop with a 250gb HD.

Installation is smooth except for one point. It keeps setting the "system reserved partition" at 100gb and effectively chewing up half the space of the HD.

Now I know this can't be right given Windows 7 only uses 100mb for this particular partition.

With that said I have Amobie Partition Assistant which will let me size this partition. Question I have is what is at minimum the size this partition should be set at without effecting the overall performance of XP.

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Reply to: Question on size of "system reserved partition" in XP.
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Best Answer

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This is not a feature of XP.

XP has no such partition on a clean install so you'll have to figure out what added this feature. It's not one from Microsoft.

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re: This is not a feature of XP

Well this got a little more confusing then. LOL! As it is I have actually done 4 clean installs trying to get rid of it and it is the same thing every single time. I guess it is hardware then and the only thing I can tell you is that the laptop is an IBM t43.

With that said is there any software out there that can show me what exactly is on the partition and if it has been used for anything.

As it is it looks completely empty and if it is unnecessary or only being minimally used I will reduce it to about 100mb (being safe) and reclaim my lost GBs.

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You may need to reveal how you are partioning the drive.

I run into folk that didn't know that installing and formatting would never change the partition sizes.


You wrote XP and a 250GB HDD. That could result in some 100+GB partition. Here's why. Since XP can't partition or install to partitions over 127GB the rest of the space may appear as what you noted.

That's not a bug and would be proper for XP.

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That makes perfect sense.....

And thanks for that little bit of knowledge.

With that said I'll try deleting the partition when I get back home from work later today and see what happens given the only thing on the computer is the OS at the moment.

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Just for closure.

The 127GB limit was removed in XP CDs marked XP SP1, XP SP2 and XP SP3. What you never want to do is to expand a HDD XP Partition past 127GB if your original XP CD is "XP".


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re: just for closure

The cd is an original Windows Home XP cd though as it is right now the OS has been fully updated to SP3.

With that said what does all of this mean for me....

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Not much.

All it means is you can partition, format and use the remaining space. However if you want to experience first hand the failure of XP when we expand the boot partition beyond XP, now would be a good time. Sometimes folk do this and didn't know.

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