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2 Solutions: Windows 10 Upgrade Couldn’t Update System Reserved Partition

Published on 14 September 15
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When upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, you may receive the so annoying error message We couldnât update the system reserved partition and have to stop the upgrade with great unwillingness. Well, have you found the exact cause for this error or do you know how to clear the very roadblock for successful upgrade? If you havenât got any good idea, please read this post, and we will give lots of details, along with 2 solutions which have been proved to work flawlessly.
2 Solutions: Windows 10 Upgrade Couldnât Update System Reserved Partition - Image 1
2 Possible Reasons Why Windows 10 Upgrade Couldnât Update System Reserved Partition From the descriptive message we know system reserved partition is the very chief culprit. Well then, whatâs going on with this partition? After a series of tests we found 2 possible reasons for this error:
Reason 1: There is something wrong with the file system of system reserved partition.
Reasons 2: No enough space in system reserved partition for the upgrade.

Now that the possible reasons have been found, it should be easy to fix the issue: if the error occurs due to file system failure, we can fix it by repairing file system. However, if it is caused by low disk space, the best solution is to enlarge the system reserved partition. Nevertheless, Windows does not provide users with easy-to-use and effective solutions to do these operations, so users had better employ a free third party partitioning program. Fortunately, MiniTool Partition Wizard will bring users great surprise.

2 Perfect Solutions When Windows 10 Upgrade Couldnât Update System Reserved Partition We have said there are 2 possible reasons for this error, but most of the time users do not know which is the actual reason. Therefore, it is very necessary to view and check properties of the system reserved partition at first:

Please download MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition (freeware) and install it on your computer. Then, run and launch the application to get its main interface shown below:
2 Solutions: Windows 10 Upgrade Couldnât Update System Reserved Partition - Image 2
From the screen above we can see the 350MB partition is marked as system reserved, and it is always the one we are looking for. But sometimes it isnât shown as system reserved but with other labels. Letâs see the following example.
2 Solutions: Windows 10 Upgrade Couldnât Update System Reserved Partition - Image 3
Here we can see no partition labeled as system reserved. At this time, if users look for target partition via the same standard, definitely they will be in failure. Actually, users had better check partition status rather than label to distinguish system reserved partition from other partitions, and the partition shown as Active & Boot is always the one we are looking for. Therefore, in the screenshot above the partition labeled with RECOVERY is the system reserved partition.
Tip: on GPT disk, this partition is not called system reserved partition but called EFI system partition or ESP partition:
2 Solutions: Windows 10 Upgrade Couldnât Update System Reserved Partition - Image 4
After the correct partition is found, users need to check its unused space at first. If there is much free space left in the system reserved partition, the most probable reason would be file system issues. Under this situation, please try checking and fixing file system of the system reserved partition in Partition Wizard to solve the problem. In addition, operations to repair file system on GPT disk are nearly the same as those on MBR disk.

Fix File System When Update Failure Is Caused by File System Issues To check and fix file system of the system reserved partition in MiniTool Partition Wizard, users need to appoint this partition with a drive letter at first since it is always without a drive letter. If not, the function Check File System function will be invisible. Next, letâs see how to check and fix file system for system reserved partition.
1.Select the system reserved partition and click Change Drive Letter function from the left side to get the following screenshot:
2 Solutions: Windows 10 Upgrade Couldnât Update System Reserved Partition - Image 5
2.Choose an appropriate drive letter for this partition and click OK to go back to the main interface.

3.Click Apply button on the top to make this change performed.

4.Reselect the system reserved partition and choose Check File System to get the following window:
2 Solutions: Windows 10 Upgrade Couldnât Update System Reserved Partition - Image 6
5.Choose Check & fix detected error since this feature will detect all file system errors and then fix them one after another. After that, as long as we click Start button, the process will begin.

If there are file system errors found and fixed, users can try upgrading to Windows 10 again, and this time it may work. However, if no error is found by MiniTool Partition Wizard or users find there is little or no free space left in the system reserved partition when checking unused space of this partition, users can try enlarging the partition to solve the problem.

Enlarge System Reserved Partition When Update Failure is Caused by Low Disk Space Tip: nowadays, Legacy BIOS + MBR and UEFI + GPT are 2 most commonly seen boot modes on Windows platform. Under different mode operations of extending system reserved partition are little bit different so that we will show detailed steps on both modes.

Extend System Reserved Partition Under Legacy BIOS + MBR Boot Mode (steps under UEFI + GPT mode will be introduced after this part is over):
If you are booting Windows from MBR disk, please take the following operations:
Select the system reserved partition and choose Extend Partition feature from the left action panel.Extend the target partition by taking free space from other existing partitions on the same disk and click OK. Click Apply button on the top to perform all changes. After these steps, to increase space for system reserved partition has been completed. For more details, please see Extend Partition.

Then, itâs time to enlarge EFI system partition on GPT disk.

Enlarge ESP Partition Under UEFI + GPT Boot Mode:
For users who are running Windows on GPT disk, they can increase space for the EFI system partition by taking the following operations. Firstly, start and launch the freeware MiniTool Partition Wizard to get its starting interface:
2 Solutions: Windows 10 Upgrade Couldnât Update System Reserved Partition - Image 7
Here the 500MB ESP partition which is marked as Active & Boot is the very partition we need to enlarge, and now it has no free space available. But fortunately, we can enlarge it by taking free space from any other existing partition which is with recognizable file system (FAT or NTFS) on the same hard disk. For example, we can extend the ESP partition by taking free space from partition C since this partition has 760GB unused space left. Of course, we can also enlarge it by making use of unallocated space if there is such a kind of space.

However, in the case above, if we want to extend the EFI system partition (ESP) by borrowing free space from partition C, we need to delete the 128MB Microsoft Reserved Partition (MSR partition) at first since it is unrecognizable file system. Well then, does it mean users must delete the MSR partition when they plan to enlarge EFI system partition? Of course not. Actually, only when the MSR partition is located between the EFI system partition and the partition we want to take free space from, the 128MB partition should be deleted. Under this situation, if we do not delete the partition, the extending process will be stopped. For detailed steps to delete an existing partition, please see Delete Partition.

Tip: deleting the 128MB Microsoft reserved partition does no harm to both data and system, so users can do it without any worries.

Then, select the EFI system partition and choose Extend Partition feature from the left action panel.

Next, choose partition C from the drop-down list of Take Free Space from and then drag sliding handle to decide how much free space to take. Then click OK to go back to the main interface.

At last, click Apply button to make all changes performed. After all changes are made, try upgrading Windows 10 again.

PS. Lots of users have consulted us with the same problem via email, telephone, or online chat, and they finally fixed the error by taking our solutions, so you can also have a try. It brings no damage to both data and system.
If you also failed to upgrade Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 since the system reserved partition error cannot be updated, now try taking solutions introduced in this post. If our solutions are proved to be useful for you, can you please share it to help more users? Or if you have any other good idea, can you please share it with us. Much appreciate!










































When upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, you may receive the so annoying error message We couldnât update the system reserved partition and have to stop the upgrade with great unwillingness. Well, have you found the exact cause for this error or do you know how to clear the very roadblock for successful upgrade? If you havenât got any good idea, please read this post, and we will give lots of details, along with 2 solutions which have been proved to work flawlessly.

2 Solutions: Windows 10 Upgrade Couldnâ

2 Possible Reasons Why Windows 10 Upgrade Couldnât Update System Reserved Partition From the descriptive message we know system reserved partition is the very chief culprit. Well then, whatâs going on with this partition? After a series of tests we found 2 possible reasons for this error:
Reason 1: There is something wrong with the file system of system reserved partition.
Reasons 2: No enough space in system reserved partition for the upgrade.

Now that the possible reasons have been found, it should be easy to fix the issue: if the error occurs due to file system failure, we can fix it by repairing file system. However, if it is caused by low disk space, the best solution is to enlarge the system reserved partition. Nevertheless, Windows does not provide users with easy-to-use and effective solutions to do these operations, so users had better employ a free third party partitioning program. Fortunately, MiniTool Partition Wizard will bring users great surprise.

2 Perfect Solutions When Windows 10 Upgrade Couldnât Update System Reserved Partition We have said there are 2 possible reasons for this error, but most of the time users do not know which is the actual reason. Therefore, it is very necessary to view and check properties of the system reserved partition at first:

Please download MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition (freeware) and install it on your computer. Then, run and launch the application to get its main interface shown below:

2 Solutions: Windows 10 Upgrade Couldnâ

From the screen above we can see the 350MB partition is marked as system reserved, and it is always the one we are looking for. But sometimes it isnât shown as system reserved but with other labels. Letâs see the following example.

2 Solutions: Windows 10 Upgrade Couldnâ

Here we can see no partition labeled as system reserved. At this time, if users look for target partition via the same standard, definitely they will be in failure. Actually, users had better check partition status rather than label to distinguish system reserved partition from other partitions, and the partition shown as Active & Boot is always the one we are looking for. Therefore, in the screenshot above the partition labeled with RECOVERY is the system reserved partition.
Tip: on GPT disk, this partition is not called system reserved partition but called EFI system partition or ESP partition:

2 Solutions: Windows 10 Upgrade Couldnâ

After the correct partition is found, users need to check its unused space at first. If there is much free space left in the system reserved partition, the most probable reason would be file system issues. Under this situation, please try checking and fixing file system of the system reserved partition in Partition Wizard to solve the problem. In addition, operations to repair file system on GPT disk are nearly the same as those on MBR disk.

Fix File System When Update Failure Is Caused by File System Issues To check and fix file system of the system reserved partition in MiniTool Partition Wizard, users need to appoint this partition with a drive letter at first since it is always without a drive letter. If not, the function Check File System function will be invisible. Next, letâs see how to check and fix file system for system reserved partition.
1.Select the system reserved partition and click Change Drive Letter function from the left side to get the following screenshot:

2 Solutions: Windows 10 Upgrade Couldnâ

2.Choose an appropriate drive letter for this partition and click OK to go back to the main interface.

3.Click Apply button on the top to make this change performed.

4.Reselect the system reserved partition and choose Check File System to get the following window:

2 Solutions: Windows 10 Upgrade Couldnâ

5.Choose Check & fix detected error since this feature will detect all file system errors and then fix them one after another. After that, as long as we click Start button, the process will begin.

If there are file system errors found and fixed, users can try upgrading to Windows 10 again, and this time it may work. However, if no error is found by MiniTool Partition Wizard or users find there is little or no free space left in the system reserved partition when checking unused space of this partition, users can try enlarging the partition to solve the problem.

Enlarge System Reserved Partition When Update Failure is Caused by Low Disk Space Tip: nowadays, Legacy BIOS + MBR and UEFI + GPT are 2 most commonly seen boot modes on Windows platform. Under different mode operations of extending system reserved partition are little bit different so that we will show detailed steps on both modes.

Extend System Reserved Partition Under Legacy BIOS + MBR Boot Mode (steps under UEFI + GPT mode will be introduced after this part is over):
If you are booting Windows from MBR disk, please take the following operations:
Select the system reserved partition and choose Extend Partition feature from the left action panel.Extend the target partition by taking free space from other existing partitions on the same disk and click OK. Click Apply button on the top to perform all changes. After these steps, to increase space for system reserved partition has been completed. For more details, please see Extend Partition.

Then, itâs time to enlarge EFI system partition on GPT disk.

Enlarge ESP Partition Under UEFI + GPT Boot Mode:
For users who are running Windows on GPT disk, they can increase space for the EFI system partition by taking the following operations. Firstly, start and launch the freeware MiniTool Partition Wizard to get its starting interface:

2 Solutions: Windows 10 Upgrade Couldnâ

Here the 500MB ESP partition which is marked as Active & Boot is the very partition we need to enlarge, and now it has no free space available. But fortunately, we can enlarge it by taking free space from any other existing partition which is with recognizable file system (FAT or NTFS) on the same hard disk. For example, we can extend the ESP partition by taking free space from partition C since this partition has 760GB unused space left. Of course, we can also enlarge it by making use of unallocated space if there is such a kind of space.

However, in the case above, if we want to extend the EFI system partition (ESP) by borrowing free space from partition C, we need to delete the 128MB Microsoft Reserved Partition (MSR partition) at first since it is unrecognizable file system. Well then, does it mean users must delete the MSR partition when they plan to enlarge EFI system partition? Of course not. Actually, only when the MSR partition is located between the EFI system partition and the partition we want to take free space from, the 128MB partition should be deleted. Under this situation, if we do not delete the partition, the extending process will be stopped. For detailed steps to delete an existing partition, please see Delete Partition.

Tip: deleting the 128MB Microsoft reserved partition does no harm to both data and system, so users can do it without any worries.

Then, select the EFI system partition and choose Extend Partition feature from the left action panel.

Next, choose partition C from the drop-down list of Take Free Space from and then drag sliding handle to decide how much free space to take. Then click OK to go back to the main interface.

At last, click Apply button to make all changes performed. After all changes are made, try upgrading Windows 10 again.

PS. Lots of users have consulted us with the same problem via email, telephone, or online chat, and they finally fixed the error by taking our solutions, so you can also have a try. It brings no damage to both data and system.
If you also failed to upgrade Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 since the system reserved partition error cannot be updated, now try taking solutions introduced in this post. If our solutions are proved to be useful for you, can you please share it to help more users? Or if you have any other good idea, can you please share it with us. Much appreciate!

This review is listed under Development & Implementations and Operating Systems Community

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