SSD + HDD Partitions need help

Hi Everyone,

I have some questions. Here is the situation: I have installed windows 7 x64 Home Premium on my SSD (crucial M4) using my retail disk. My HDD (western digital 1 TB) has the same operating system within it with all my data inside.

Right now, I am using my SSD is my boot drive (C drive) with some programs installed.
When I plugged in my HDD it is (F drive), it seems it has also created a System Reserved (E). I have 3 hard disk drives showing in My Computer.

My Drives are not in RAID configuration.

Here are the questions:

What is System Reserved?
What partition is it from (C or F)?
Am I able to delete the System Reserved without ruining my boot and data? How do I remove it properly?
Also, I wish to delete or remove my operating system from my HDD. Can you tell me how to remove the partition or files without losing my data from the HDD?

I know the answer might be a little much. But this is one particular situation of not knowing what to do. Thanks for the help.

Edit: I have included a picture at the bottom of the thread as well as here.
15 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about partitions help
  1. The System Reserved partition is on your HDD because you had it connected when you installed Windows on your SSD.

    Do you fresh install of Windows on your SSD without the HDD connected.
    After installation is complete connect your HDD, go into BIOS and change your 1st boot device to your SSD.

    Boot into Windows and go into Disk Management. From there you can delete the system reserved partition that is on your HDD.
  2. Another less risky way of doing this would be to simply transfer the data from the HDD that previously ran Windows to another HDD temporarily or external Backup media, copy anything and everything you want and after youve verified everything you wanted is backed up, you can simply format the drive within windows without having to reinstall anything by going into Computer Management (*Right click my computer -> Manage)

    As for the reserved, Leave that badboy right where it is. !
  3. Dereck47: I have already stated that I have installed windows 7 x64 on my SSD (fresh install). When I first booted up from my SSD there were no other hard disks. Only the SSD was showing. I then shut down my computer, plugged in my HDD. The priority boot is correct and it is booting from my SSD. Now when booted, shows 3 drives. My SSD, System Reserved and HDD.

    jgutz2006: I did consider that. I want to know why I should leave my System Reserved as is.
  4. So you're saying that you have 2 System Reserved partitions? One on your SSD and one on your HDD? If so, then you can delete the one on your HDD.
  5. Go into Disk management. Should see a Drive 0 (your SSD) with two partitions, the 100 mb system and then the large partition for Your "C" drive. Disk 1 should be the HDD apparently with a small system partition and then the remainder of the drive.

    If this is correct you can do as Dereck47 stated.
    I'm quessing your operating system on the HDD is also where you stored all Your data.
    Myself I'd back up all your data from the Hdd, then just format the HDD and then delete the system partition on the HDD - It's only about 100 mbs so I wouldn't bother with it. But if you backed up your data, the delete both partitions and re-partition, format and restore your data.
  6. Here's the way I do it:

    1. Install Windows to HD (say 120 GB partition) connected to SATA 1
    2. Create partitions for say Games, Programs and Data
    3. Label each volume .....Boot partition gets C:\HDBoot ..... Games gets "D:\Games" .... Programs gets "E:\Programs", etc.
    4. Install Games to D:\Games.....Programs to ... you get the idea
    5. Shut down and install SSD to SATA 0
    6. Install Window to SSD
    7. Relabel partitions to match HD .... Games gets "D:\Games" .... Programs gets "E:\Programs", etc.
    8. SSD w/ Windows is C:\BootSSD ..... HD partition w/ windows becomes X:\HDBoot
    9. When necessary, install programs over themselves on programs partition to create registry entries on Windows install on SSD
    10. No you can select whether you want to boot of HD or boot of SSD in the BIOS.....SSD dies, you can still access all ya stuff.

    You can elect not to create the reserved partitions during installation. If you want to keep that safety feature, on both the HD and SSD, you'll need to keep both the reserved partitions.
  7. Hi everyone,

    Thanks for all of your replies. Here is a screenshot to make it super easier.

    Uploaded with
  8. Best answer
    I don't know why everyone is over-complicating this (and I say this as the person who normally writes epic replies that are admitedly far too long).

    1) move your files you want to keep from F: to anywhere else that has space for it (likely Disk1). Please note that these must be save files, and not program files (save files stand alone, while program files need to have registry keys in order to do what they do)

    2) delete all partitions on Disc 2 (e and f according to the pic you placed above), make one big partition, and format it NTFS

    3) move bulk files (music, movies etc) back to Disk 2, keep small files (documents, and often accessed files) to the SSD. This is easily managed via the Win7 Libraries. Just be sure to set the default folder to Disk2 so that you do not accidently fill up that nice new SSD.
    4) Use disk 1 as your overflow program drive for big stuff like games, and other large programs that are not used every day. Keep often used, and/or smaller programs on the SSD (especially if you set your drives to idle in power management... last thing you want is to wait for a drive to spin up when loading a program)

    The only risk here is if you forget where things are stored on the f drive. After transfering the stuff that you know you have, I find it useful to do a general search for things like *.jpg, *.doc, etc just to make sure that you did not miss anything that you would later kick yourself for... because once you format, it is really really gone.
  9. Thanks so much CaedenV. I wondered if the System Reserved would affect my boot since I have read on other forums that deleting the system reserve would cause my computer to not boot.
  10. Best answer selected by fantastik250.
  11. 2 examples of drive configurations;

    1) my wife's system;
    60GB SSD system drive + 500GB HDD storage
    Windows, Office, productivity suites, utilities, and other programs and caches are on the SSD, this takes ~30GB, when caches grow that past 40GB then I run CCleaner to clear up the space again. Pictures, videos, music, documents, backup files, and just about everything else is stored on the HDD. I did this my moving the libraries to folders on the HDD, and then deleting the old library folders from the C:. The only place she can save stuff to on her C: is the desktop, which she likes to keep clean and clutter free. I also have a 'stuff to organize' folder on the d: which has a link on the desktop; This way if she has files she is not yet sure what to do with she can drop them in there, and then it goes to the HDD instead of the SSD, which has extremely limited space.

    2) My PC
    240GB SSD system drive, 500GB documents/render drive, 1TB RAID1 content/backup drive (hopefully in a year to be moved to a server with much larger drives).
    There is obviously a lot more space on this PC as it is meant for video editing and gaming. The SSD holds all programs, games, music, and documents. The Documents drive holds a backup of my C: documents (not music), as well as pictures, videos, etc. This is also where my cache is for project rendering. Lastly, the 1TB RAID1 has a backup image of the SSD, a copy of all documents (simple file copy, copied every month or so), and is the repository of all of my camera dumps and video project files, which is information that I cannot afford to loose (most of which is backed up on DVD as well).

    My point is 2 fold;
    1) store documents on something other than the c:, because if you have to reformat, you want to be able to do it without fear of loosing documents, and redundancy never hurts (even if it does get a little confusing)
    2) depending on the space you have available (and how you use your computer), there are a lot of different setups you can do. Some ways offer better performance, while other allow for more redundancy, but there is generally a happy medium between the two.

    Lastly; If I were in your shoes this is what I would do:
    80GB c: on SSD for Windows, common programs, perhaps a game or 2 that are played every day if you are an MMO player
    40GB RST cache (not assigned a drive letter) for your 500GB program drive d:. Install all major programs to the 500GB drive, and the cache will change and speed up programs based upon your usage over time (ie, if you start playing a different game, it will catch on that you are opening those files more often, and boost them)
    Lastly; the 1TB e: should have a system image backup, and all of your document files.
    This gives you consistent performance on your core OS and programs, variable but boosted performance on your other programs which change more often over time, and then a backup and documents on the least used drive, which will likely sit idle much of the time.
  12. fantastik250 said:
    Thanks so much CaedenV. I wondered if the System Reserved would affect my boot since I have read on other forums that deleting the system reserve would cause my computer to not boot.

    system reserved is a very necessary part of windows, but if you did a fresh install of Windows, and it is not set up as a multi-boot system, then you should be fine.

    The true test: unplug the old HDD and try to turn the computer on. If it turns on, then you can delete everything on the old drive without fear of messing up your boot (though you will want to back up files first).
    If it does not turn on, then you have to reformat/reinstall Windows on the SSD anyways, so there is really no harm done. Just do not move your documents you are trying to save to the C:

    Allong these same lines, when installing an OS I ALWAYS unplug all other drives first. I have been working on computers for several years, but when you are tired, or doing something 'routine' then you tend to get sloppy and make mistakes. I have made enough mistakes of installing to the wrong drive (installed over my documents lol, thankfully I had a DVD backup), or deleting the partition on the wrong drive, or accidently setting up a duel boot, to know that if you only have a single drive plugged in during the install, then it is very difficult to mess things up.
  13. Ok, will make sure to do that. Oh about the cache. Please inform me on that. How am I to do that with my 500GB and SSD? I've read about it but got too confused about it.
  14. look up intel RST, as that is the easiest way to do it (assuming you have a motherboard that is RST capable). Otherwise then you would have to purchase a dedicated cache drive and use the software that comes with it.
  15. Yes, I have downloaded intel RST for my specific motherboard (Gigabyte x58a-ud3r) and it is working properly.
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