W10 Component (Boot, Sys, Reserved) Install Locations

Khephren

n00b
Joined
Nov 19, 2018
Messages
5
I initially installed W10 Home on a new home build a few months back. The box uses a 512GB Evo Pro and a 1TB WD HDD both of which were fully connected at time of first install. I let the install DVD do it's thing with only basic input on my part.

When I later started to upgrade the BIOS I found that the install had setup both drives with MBR. Some info I read stated that in order to flash the BIOS I needed to be using UEFI, which requires GPT. (Per that info anyway. I don't know if it is possible to use UEFI on an MBR partitioned drive. In fairness I didn't check if I was already using UEFI). I have a UEFI capable motherboard and had intended to run with a UEFI/GPT scheme. I missed, if any, the install prompt that would have let me do this. But I also assumed that with a modern motherboard, W10 would have "chosen wisely" (fool that I am).

I researched and found info about MBR2GPT. Before I got down to using it, an apparent problem with a W10 update caused issues with my machine. I think this was the lost start menu issue but it could have just been malware. I decided on a clean reinstall using the original media which would then let me do the GPT partioning. During this install I disconnected SATA to the HDD, which I have since reconnected. Upon checking disk status afterwards, I realized this had left the HDD with MBR partioning.

So now as to this post's title. Disk 1 (C) is GPT and contains a 477GB boot partition and a 100MB EFI SYS partition. Disk 0 (E), which was disconnected during install, has a 549MB SYS Reserved partition and a 931GB unallocated partition and is formatted MBR. Both drives are setup as Basic/Simple.

Q1 - HITF did the SYS Reserved partition wind up on the disconnected HDD?
Q 2- Is there any way to convert the HDD to GPT (preferred)? (I know MBR2GPT won't work due to it's requirement to see the system on the intended drive.)
Q3 - Are there any issues with converting? Not converting? (system issues)
Q 4- Where should the SYS Reserved partition actually be?
Q5 - If it should be on the same drive as the boot partition, can I move it there?
Q6 - If it doesn't matter, should I move it there anyway?

I am totally open to doing another clean install to fully correct this if it's going to have any repurcussions. I'm still close enough to my initial build phase that I don't mind the time to get it right/preferred. BTW, I am booting from UEFI.

Bonus round. I obviously want to boot from the SSD. My Asrock Taichi Ultimate isn't labeled in a way that let me be sure which SATA socket to plug in my desired drive (i.e. SSD as Disk0). Now that I know it's opposite what I wanted:

Q7 - Does it matter?
Q8 - If I want to anyway would it be as simple as swapping the plugs/sockets? Or would that cause system recognition problems?

TIA
 

x509

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
2,223
I initially installed W10 Home on a new home build a few months back. The box uses a 512GB Evo Pro and a 1TB WD HDD both of which were fully connected at time of first install. I let the install DVD do it's thing with only basic input on my part.

When I later started to upgrade the BIOS I found that the install had setup both drives with MBR. Some info I read stated that in order to flash the BIOS I needed to be using UEFI, which requires GPT. (Per that info anyway. I don't know if it is possible to use UEFI on an MBR partitioned drive. In fairness I didn't check if I was already using UEFI). I have a UEFI capable motherboard and had intended to run with a UEFI/GPT scheme. I missed, if any, the install prompt that would have let me do this. But I also assumed that with a modern motherboard, W10 would have "chosen wisely" (fool that I am).

I researched and found info about MBR2GPT. Before I got down to using it, an apparent problem with a W10 update caused issues with my machine. I think this was the lost start menu issue but it could have just been malware. I decided on a clean reinstall using the original media which would then let me do the GPT partioning. During this install I disconnected SATA to the HDD, which I have since reconnected. Upon checking disk status afterwards, I realized this had left the HDD with MBR partioning.

So now as to this post's title. Disk 1 (C) is GPT and contains a 477GB boot partition and a 100MB EFI SYS partition. Disk 0 (E), which was disconnected during install, has a 549MB SYS Reserved partition and a 931GB unallocated partition and is formatted MBR. Both drives are setup as Basic/Simple.

Q1 - HITF did the SYS Reserved partition wind up on the disconnected HDD?
Q 2- Is there any way to convert the HDD to GPT (preferred)? (I know MBR2GPT won't work due to it's requirement to see the system on the intended drive.)
Q3 - Are there any issues with converting? Not converting? (system issues)
Q 4- Where should the SYS Reserved partition actually be?
Q5 - If it should be on the same drive as the boot partition, can I move it there?
Q6 - If it doesn't matter, should I move it there anyway?

I am totally open to doing another clean install to fully correct this if it's going to have any repurcussions. I'm still close enough to my initial build phase that I don't mind the time to get it right/preferred. BTW, I am booting from UEFI.

Bonus round. I obviously want to boot from the SSD. My Asrock Taichi Ultimate isn't labeled in a way that let me be sure which SATA socket to plug in my desired drive (i.e. SSD as Disk0). Now that I know it's opposite what I wanted:

Q7 - Does it matter?
Q8 - If I want to anyway would it be as simple as swapping the plugs/sockets? Or would that cause system recognition problems?

TIA
IF I understand your situation correctly, the 1 TB HDD does not contain an OS. Then there is a free solution that is also very easy. Just grab a copy of the free Minitool Partition Wizard https://www.minitool.com/partition-manager/thanks-download.html?v=pw11-free.exe&r=download-center/. One of the functions is converting a non-OS disk from MBR to GPT. If you need to convert an OS disk from MBR to GPT, then you have to buy their premium product. (Competitive partition managers like Easus also charge for a conversion of an OS disk.)
 

DeaconFrost

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Sep 6, 2007
Messages
11,250
I always set up my system partition using diskpart during the very first GUI screen of the install. That being said, updating your BIOS shouldn't have anything to do with the format of the system drive. If it isn't running within Windows, most modern BIOSes should let you update them from within the BIOS itself. There should be a utility that will ready the file off of a flash drive.
 

Khephren

n00b
Joined
Nov 19, 2018
Messages
5
Thanks guys for the help. Got it all taken care of. Used Rufus to create a bootable USB for the Win10 ISO with GPT formatting during the install. Had disconnected the HDD. Win10, BIOS, and everything updated, so mission accomplished.
 
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