Jump to content


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.

Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.


Windows 10 Update - "We couldn't update the system reserved partition"

  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 EllieKK


  • Members
  • 2 posts
  • Local time:02:03 PM

Posted 23 September 2016 - 10:22 PM

Hello, I was hoping to receive some help on fixing this issue preventing me from downloading the latest update (Windows 10, version 1607, unsure of update code).
I've tried using the 'Fix Issues' on Windows Update, and it said "We couldn't update the system reserved partition," then proceeded to say "Cleaning up files...", but the problem is still there.
It seems that my System Reserved partition on C: is almost out of space (4% free), but I have no idea how to go about extending it. The option to do so on Disk Management is grayed out.
I also tried to extend the System Reserve partition by merging together an unallocated partition with System Reserved partition using MiniTool Partition Wizard, then attempted to run chkdsk via cmd, but it made it impossible to boot into Windows. (It was stuck on Recovery, and I managed to restore my desktop using a back up on old SSD I had lying around)
If anyone can provide instructions, point me in the correct direction, or offer an alternative method, that would be greatly appreciated!
Disk Management:

Edited by EllieKK, 23 September 2016 - 10:25 PM.

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)


#2 FreeBooter


  • Members
  • 3,137 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Turkey - Adana
  • Local time:09:03 PM

Posted 24 September 2016 - 06:11 PM

You can delete and create new System Reserved partition. Follow below instructions please
Windows System Repair Disc can be created containing the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) i recommend creating a Windows Repair Disc to anybody without a Windows OS installation DVD.
Create a Windows Vista System Repair Disc
The Service Pack 1 must be install to create a Windows System Repair Disc from Windows Vista.
Program that creates a Windows System Repair Disc can be started from "Start Menu --> All Programs --> Maintenance --> Create a Recovery Disc". Follow the instructions to create a Windows System Repair Disk you will need either a blank CD or DVD.
Create a Windows 7 System Repair Disc
Open the "Backup and Restore" by clicking the "Start Menu --> Control Panel --> System and Maintenance --> Backup and Restore" and In the left pane, click “Create a system repair disc”. You will need a blank CD or DVD and then just follow the instructions to create a Windows Repair Disk.
Create a Windows 8, 8.1 System Repair Disc
Open the Search charm by dragging your mouse to the top or bottom right corners of the screen or press WinKey + Q keys and type Recover into Search charm and click Create a recovery drive to create USB recovery drive which will include WinRE and optionally Windows OS factory recover image.
You will need empty USB Flash Drive or blank CD or DVD if you click “Create a system repair disk with a CD or DVD” option on the Connect USB flash drive screen.
Create a Windows 10 Recovery Drive
Even if your PC can't start, you can use the Recovery drive to reset it or troubleshoot problems. If you back up system files to this drive, you'll also be able to use it to reinstall Windows.
Open your Start menu, type RecoveryDrive.exe in the search box, press Enter key.
Check or Uncheck the Back up system files to the recovery drive box for what you want to do, and click on Next button.
Select the USB flash drive (ex: "E:\ (USB)" ) you want to make a recovery drive, and click on Next button.
When ready to start, click on Create button.
Create System Reserve Partition

  • Open Disk Management console by pressing Windows key + R and type Diskmgmmt.msc into opened Run dialog box, click OK button.
  • From Disk Management console right click C: partition and select Shrink Volume...
  • Type  350  into  Enter the Amount of space to shrink in MB: box .
  • Click Shrink button.
  • Right clicked new unallocated 350 MB space and select New Simple Volume
  • Leave everything default format the 350 MB space as NTFS and at New Label:  box type System Reserved and click Next and Finish Buttons.





Copy critical boot files to the system partition and to create a new system BCD store.

  • Press Windows key + X keys
  • Click Command Prompt (admin)
  • Enter the following command:
Bcdboot C:\windows /s E:   /f All

Replace the E: with 350 MB partition assigned drive letter that you have created.
4. From Command Prompt
5. Type below commands


Select Disk 0

List Volume

select Volume X



Replace X with Volume number assign to 350MB partition you have created.
Restart your computer.
If Computer start normally then try the repair install of Windows 10.
If any chance if Windows won't start then Boot your computer using Windows Setup DVD or System Repair Disk and use Startup Repair tool to repair the boot issue.
You can delete the Windows created System Reserved partition after you have reboot your computer.

Edited by FreeBooter, 24 September 2016 - 06:19 PM.

Posted Image

#3 EllieKK

  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 2 posts
  • Local time:02:03 PM

Posted 24 September 2016 - 06:36 PM

A friend of mine managed to find something to fix the issue, but I'm certain the information you provided will be useful in the future. Thank you!

#4 FreeBooter


  • Members
  • 3,137 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Turkey - Adana
  • Local time:09:03 PM

Posted 24 September 2016 - 07:05 PM

You are very welcome, glad to hear your issue has been resolved.

Posted Image

#5 mhansomme


  • Members
  • 2 posts
  • Local time:01:03 PM

Posted 10 December 2016 - 04:42 PM

“We couldn’t update system reserved partition” Windows 10 upgrade error is normally caused by too little space on the System Reserved Partition (SRP). The System Reserve Partition is an additional small partition created by Windows, which stores boot files. The SRP can be filled up with security apps and third-party anti-virus. Once this partition has insufficient space, the system will not be able to upgrade to Windows 10.



Caution: The following steps are complex and need to be done by experienced users especially using the command line. Once an error is made in entering commands, there’s a chance that your device can be put in a no-boot situation or data stored on the device can possibly get lost.

To upgrade to Windows 10, your device needs to have at least 15MB free space on the System Reserved Partition. Follow the procedure below  and then try upgrading again.

First, know if the System Reserved Partition is whether in GPT or MBR partition style:

  1. Open the Run window by pressing the Windows key + R. Type msc in the window then press Enter.
  2. Right click on the Disk where SRP is located then select
  3. Click over the Volumes
  4. On the Partition Style line, you’ll see which partition style your device is using, either Master Boot Record (MBR) or GUID Partition Table (GPT)

Second, determine which method you will need:

Depending on what partition style your device has and whether you’re currently on Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1, there are various methods you need to do.

Method 1: Windows 7 or 8/8.1 with GPT partition

  1. Click on the Start button and search for cmd. In the results, right-click on Command Prompt then choose Run as administrator. The command prompt window will appear.
  2. Type mountvol y: /s at the command prompt then press Enter. This command will add the Y: drive letter where you can access the System Partition.
  3. Type taskkill /im explorer.exe /f then hit Enter. Afterward, restart explorer in Admin mode by typing exe and hitting Enter.

NOTE: While in Admin mode, some apps like OneNote will not run.

  1. Open File Explorer then type Y:\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\ in the address bar. Hit Enter.
  2. Choose the language folders you want to permanently delete. Language folders are named with four letters split with a hyphen. For instance, you want to delete the German language: choose de-DE.
  3. Optional: You can also delete unused font files for more space. Type Y:\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\Fonts in the address bar then press enter.
  4. Once you permanently deleted the unnecessary files, reboot the device to return to explorer.exe to normal mode and remove the Y: drive letter.

Method 2: Windows 7 with MBR partition

Doing this method will make a permanent, but small increase in the free space of the device’s SRP.

  1. Delete language folders

a. Open the Run window by pressing the Windows key + R. Type diskmgmt.mscthen hit Enter.
b. Select System Reserve partition then right click on it.

c. Choose Change Drive Letter and Paths then select Add.

d. Type for the drive letter then click OK.

e. Click on the Start button and search for cmd. In the results, right-click on Command Prompt then choose Run as administrator. The command prompt window will appear.

f. Type Y: at the command prompt then press Enter.

g. Once you’ve switched to drive Y, type takeown /d y /r /f . then hit Enter.

NOTE: Ensure that the space and period after “f” is included in order for the command to work properly      

h. Type icacls Y:\* /save %systemdrive%\NTFSp.txt /c /t then hit Enter to back up the permission to the drive.

NOTE: Ensure that all files are marked as successful and that no files are marked as failed.

i. Type whoami then hit Enter. Record the username that appears. Afterwards, type icacls . /grant <username you got from whoami>:F /t then press Enter.

NOTE: Ensure that there’s no space between the username and “:F” or the command will not work.

j. In the File Explorer, open the SRP drive and select the Boot folder. Choose the             language folders you want to permanently delete. Language folders are named      with four letters split with a hyphen. For example: de-DE is the German language          while en-US is the U.S. English language.

2. Truncate the NTFS Log:

a. Open the Command Prompt then type chkdsk /L Y: to check the size of the NTFS Log. If the NTFS Log size is less than 5000KB, you need not truncate the file.

b. Type chkdsk /L:5000 /X /F then hit Enter to truncate the NTFS Log.

c. Return to Disk Management window. Select Action menu then select Check if the device’s SRP now has a larger amount of free space. Once there’s enough space, right click the System Reserve Partition then select Change Drive Letter and Paths. Choose Y: then select Remove.

3. If there’s still not enough available space after truncating the NTFS Log, resize the USN journal:

a. Open the command prompt then type fsutil usn queryjournal Y: to display the size in hex value. Convert the hex value to decimal then divide it by 1048576. The result you will get will be in MB. If the journal size is 30MB or more, proceed with truncating the file.

NOTE: To convert the Hex value to Decimal, open the Calculator app in Windows then choose View menu. Select Programmer then choose Hex. Type the Hex value then choose Dec.

b. Type fsutil usn deletejournal /D /N Y: then hit Enter to delete the journal. Type fsutil usn createjournal m=1500 a=1 Y: to recreate the journal having the new log size value.

  1. Restore permissions

a. Type icacls Y:\ /restore %systemdrive%\NTFSp.txt /c /t in the Command Prompt. Check if the files were successfully processed before proceeding. If you see a message saying some files failed while processing, this is normal since some of the files have already been deleted before performing a backup. However, if there are no successful files indicated, the command was not properly executed.

b. Type icacls . /grant system:f /t then hit Enter to adjust the ACL back to System. Now, you can set the owner of the drive by typing icacls Y: /setowner “SYSTEM” /t /c then press Enter.

c. Check if the device’s SRP now has enough free space by going back to Disk Management and refreshing the data. If the SRP already has sufficient space, you can now remove the drive letter. Right click on the System Reserved Partition then choose Change Drive Letter and Paths. Select the Y: drive then choose Confirm deleting the drive letter by clicking OK. The entire process can be found by reading the full article

Edited by mhansomme, 10 December 2016 - 04:42 PM.

#6 FreeBooter


  • Members
  • 3,137 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Turkey - Adana
  • Local time:09:03 PM

Posted 10 December 2016 - 05:46 PM

That is a long way to gain little storage size of the system reserved partition one can as i explained create new system reserved partition.

Posted Image

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users