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Win7 's SRP (System Reserved Partition) and Ghost 2003 (Read 10405 times)
NightOwl
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Win7 's SRP (System Reserved Partition) and Ghost 2003
Nov 19th, 2011 at 11:45pm
 
To all

I have never installed Win7 to a wiped or new HDD using the default Win7 installation process--which would install a SRP (System Reserved Partition)--I have always had the HDD pre-partitioned to avoid an SRP (System Reserved Partition).

So I don't know the answers to these questions:

1.  What file system is used for the SRP--NTFS, FAT, or some other new and strange designation for the file system type?

2.  If anyone knows (Brian?!  Wink )--how does the SRP show up in the DOS Ghost interface--1:1 if it's a NTFS partition?  And, the OS partition would be 1:2? Or.......?
 

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Dan Goodell
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Re: Win7 's SRP (System Reserved Partition) and Ghost 2003
Reply #1 - Nov 21st, 2011 at 7:26am
 
The SRP is a regular NTFS partition.  It isn't "hidden" or otherwise masqueraded, but the contents of the partition are evidently discrete enough for Win7 to refrain from giving it a drive letter.  When you boot through the SRP to its associated Win7, the OS partition gets the letter C: and the SRP has no drive letter.

When you mount the same HDD in another host system, however, both partitions will get drive letters (in whatever fashion that host system typically assigns drive letters), and you can open and browse the SRP like any regular NTFS partition.  This proves it isn't hidden, doesn't have a munged descriptor in the partition table, and evidently doesn't have a non-standard partition boot sector, either.

That's good news because it means mainstream partition imaging tools shouldn't have any trouble handling it.

In my Ghost 2003 the partitions show up as:
  1:1 [System Reserved] NTFS drive
  1:2 [] NTFS drive


A couple other notes:

By default, the Win7 installation process labels the partition "System Reserved", but the label appears to be noncritical.  It can be changed or removed and doesn't affect whether Win7 recognizes the partition as its SRP.

The files and folders within the SRP have their "System" and "Hidden" attributes set, so they won't appear in Windows Explorer and the partition will appear to be empty.  Reset the attributes, though, and they'll show up.


 
 
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Re: Win7 's SRP (System Reserved Partition) and Ghost 2003
Reply #2 - Nov 21st, 2011 at 8:50am
 
I knew Dan would know.
 
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NightOwl
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Re: Win7 's SRP (System Reserved Partition) and Ghost 2003
Reply #3 - Nov 27th, 2011 at 10:02pm
 
@
Dan Goodell

Thanks for the explanation--thorough as always!

Quote:
It isn't "hidden" or otherwise masqueraded

The reason I thought it might be something *unusual* is that I tried to follow Brian's outline as to how to remove the SRP (I was helping a friend who has a new Toshiba Satellite model A665-s5199X 16" HD LED Laptop), and I could not get Disk Management to do his first step:

Quote:
First, we have to unhide the SRP.

In Disk Management, right click the SRP, click Change Drive Letter and Paths..., click Add, dot in Assign the following drive letter, click the drop down arrow and select P ,  click OK.

It wouldn't respond. 

Maybe Toshiba has somehow changed the SRP so it can not be accessed as outlined by Brian.
 

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Dan Goodell
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Re: Win7 's SRP (System Reserved Partition) and Ghost 2003
Reply #4 - Nov 28th, 2011 at 6:21am
 
NightOwl wrote on Nov 27th, 2011 at 10:02pm:
Maybe Toshiba has somehow changed the SRP so it can not be accessed as outlined by Brian. 

I suppose it's possible.  If you still have access to the laptop, can you check the type descriptors in the partition table with ptedit32?  (Note: to run ptedit32 in Win7, you have to right-click the executable and "Run as administrator".)  In a normal Microsoft-style installation, both the SRP and OS partition should be type 07.

FWIW, I'll note there is some precedence for a manufacturer masquerading a partition and still being able to boot through it.  That's what Dell did on their XP-era computers, using the Dell Utility partition to display the Dell EULA the first time it was booted after taking it out of the box.  Dell has been using that little trick for nearly a decade, so I wouldn't think it unusual for other manufacturers to do something similar, either then or now, for their own purposes.

I wouldn't think there would be any point to masquerading the SRP, unless it was integral to something like their factory recovery scheme.  I don't know how Toshiba's factory recovery utility works, but I wonder if they've made the SRP do double-duty as the launcher for the factory recovery utility.


 
 
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Brian
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Re: Win7 's SRP (System Reserved Partition) and Ghost 2003
Reply #5 - Nov 28th, 2011 at 10:32pm
 
@
NightOwl

This might work on your friend's computer. I just ran it and it worked for me. The SRP was assigned a drive letter.

Boot from an Active@ Boot Disk. The SRP was assigned C: drive by Active@.
Copy the Boot folder and bootmgr from the SRP to the Win7 partition.
Boot from a BIBM CD. In Partition Work delete the SRP but don't tick Clear Boot Sector in case you want to Undelete it. Unlikely.
Click View MBR and set the Win7 partition Active.
Select the Win7 partition and click BCD Edit. I only needed to edit the Windows Boot Manager.

http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=492

Boot into Win7.
 
 
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Re: Win7 's SRP (System Reserved Partition) and Ghost 2003
Reply #6 - Nov 30th, 2011 at 1:24am
 
@
NightOwl

Another method hot off the press. 3 minutes old. It is done completely from BIBM and doesn't use any drive letters.

Use Scripting to....

Copy the Boot folder and bootmgr from the SRP to the Win7 partition
Delete the SRP
Set the Win7 partition Active
Exit to Partition Work
Run a BCD Edit

It doesn't take long.


Edit... Scripting ends when you exit to Partition Work.
 
 
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Brian
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Re: Win7 's SRP (System Reserved Partition) and Ghost 2003
Reply #7 - Nov 30th, 2011 at 3:49am
 
The scripting can be automated. I used the following script on a BIBM CD.


Code:
mount 1: 0 0x01
mount 2: 0 0x02
2:
MD boot
1:
copy boot\* 2:\boot
copy bootmgr 2:
umount 1:
del partition 0 0x01
umount 2:
set part active 0 0x02
 
 
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Dan Goodell
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Re: Win7 's SRP (System Reserved Partition) and Ghost 2003
Reply #8 - Nov 30th, 2011 at 4:13am
 
Brian wrote on Nov 30th, 2011 at 1:24am:
Use Scripting to....

Copy the Boot folder and bootmgr from the SRP to the Win7 partition
Delete the SRP
Set the Win7 partition Active
Exit to Partition Work
Run a BCD Edit



Brian, are you saying the BCD edit is part of the script?  I don't see that in Reply #7.  Or am I misreading the script?




 
 
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Brian
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Re: Win7 's SRP (System Reserved Partition) and Ghost 2003
Reply #9 - Nov 30th, 2011 at 4:22am
 
Dan,

No, the BCD Edit is not included. I'll have to see if I can script that.

I ran the first script from a BIBM USB flash drive. Really, it is easier to type the lines individually but I just wanted to see if it worked. The first thing to do in scripting is

list hd 0

With a USB flash drive, hd 0 is the flash drive so I had to try
list hd 1
list hd 2
list hd 3

With the flash drive, Win7 was listed as on hd 3 (three HDs in the test computer) so the first line was
mount 1: 3 0x01

From the BIBM CD, Win7 was on hd 0.

Any suggestions for the BCD script?
 
 
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Brian
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Re: Win7 's SRP (System Reserved Partition) and Ghost 2003
Reply #10 - Nov 30th, 2011 at 1:40pm
 
I inquired about scripting a BCD Edit in BIBM and was advised, "it’s just registry entries, but you have to know which GUID goes to what". So for the time being I'll stick with the standard BIBM BCD Edit which only takes me 30 seconds.
 
 
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Re: Win7 's SRP (System Reserved Partition) and Ghost 2003
Reply #11 - Dec 1st, 2011 at 4:11pm
 
The process is reversible. Say you decide later you would like to use BitLocker.

From a BIBM disk, undelete the SRP and set it Active. That's it. No BCD Edit is needed. The Boot folder and bootmgr can be deleted from the C: drive at your leisure.

The script does come in handy when you are doing this multiple times.
 
 
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Dan Goodell
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Re: Win7 's SRP (System Reserved Partition) and Ghost 2003
Reply #12 - Dec 2nd, 2011 at 3:28am
 
Brian wrote on Dec 1st, 2011 at 4:11pm:
The process is reversible. Say you decide later you would like to use BitLocker.

From a BIBM disk, undelete the SRP and set it Active. That's it. No BCD Edit is needed.


But that should only work if you haven't reused the SRP's disk space for another purpose.  If you deleted the partition but left the space dormant, it stands to reason that you can undelete it and the original "SRP+OS" BCD configuration will still be there.  The "OS-only" BCD edit was made to the BCD copy duplicated into the OS partition, so the original BCD copy in the the SRP is still intact and unchanged.

But why would a user delete the SRP and leave the disk space unallocated?  That feels like leaving a job half done.




 
 
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Brian
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Re: Win7 's SRP (System Reserved Partition) and Ghost 2003
Reply #13 - Dec 2nd, 2011 at 1:29pm
 
Dan,

Dan Goodell wrote on Dec 2nd, 2011 at 3:28am:
But why would a user delete the SRP and leave the disk space unallocated? 


I'm with you and this is what I could add to the script.

slide 0 0x02 0 /a=2048

Or create a DOS partition in the space. But I've seen comments about just leaving the unallocated space as is because "it's only 0.01% of my HD".

One side effect I've noticed with the TBOSDT scripting method is you lose the Win7 loading screen, the one with the 4 glowing coloured squares. It reverts to the Vista type screen with the horizontal scrolling green squares. The Win7 loading screen can be restored by using this in Windows.

bcdboot %WinDir% /l en-US

If you copy the booting files from the SRP to the Win7 partition in Windows or a WinPE you don't lose the Win7 loading screen. Strange.
 
 
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Brian
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Re: Win7 's SRP (System Reserved Partition) and Ghost 2003
Reply #14 - Dec 2nd, 2011 at 8:12pm
 
Interesting. If you use this script from a BIBM CD a BCD Edit isn't needed. Win7 boots after exiting BIBM.

Code:
mount 1: 0 0x01
mount 2: 0 0x02
2:
MD boot
1:
copy boot\* 2:\boot
copy bootmgr 2:
umount 1:
del partition 0 0x01
umount 2:
set part active 0 0x02
slide 0 0x02 0 /a=2048
 
 
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