Windows 2008 R2 System Reserved Partition and Citrix Provisioning Server

by admin

With Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows 7, the Windows installer creates a 100 MB system reserved partition by default which you will have noticed in Windows Disk Management:

This partition is reserved for Bitlocker and often goes unnoticed, but it can cause problems if you are trying to capture an image for Provisioning Server using the Imaging Wizard. Specifically, I had been getting a ‘Please Insert System Disk’ error message when trying to boot from the vDisk I had created. I was working with 2008 R2 but you may also run into this issue when creating images for XenDesktop using Windows 7.

How to remove the System Reserved Partition

To resolve the issue you can take the following steps:

  • First of all we need to assign at drive letter to the system reserved partition so that we can work with it. I used R:\
  • Next we need to unload the BCD registry hive: reg unload HKLM\BCD00000000 which will enable us to work with the files:

  • Next we need to copy the bootmgr file from System Reserved to the C partition: robocopy R:\ C:\ bootmgr. Following that we also need to copy the boot folder from the boot partition to the C partition: robocopy R:\Boot C:\Boot /s
  • Once the copy completes we been to update the newly copied BCD file so it will boot correctly by running the following command:

  • Once done,  remove the drive letter you assigned to the partition, then you can reboot and  remove the system reserved partition using diskpart or the disk management snap-in.

How to Avoid this Issue

The best way to not run into this issue is, when possible, to remove the partition during the operating system installation. To do this you need press SHIFT+f10 to bring up a cmd prompt:

You can then use DISKPART to remove the partition before continuing the OS install as normal:


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