When you try to update or upgrade your PC to a newer version of Windows like Windows 10 from Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1, it likely that you will see the error “We couldn’t Update the system reserved partition”!
In almost all cases, this issue is related somehow to the System Reserved hard disk partition that all Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 computers have by default, and this partition is also the key to fixing this problem and getting your upgrade to go through without fail.
Here are the most effective solutions that you can use to try and fix the “We couldn’t update the system reserved partition” issue:
Method #1: Free up some space on your System Reserved Partition
Step 1: Press the Windows Logo key + R. Type diskmgmt.msc into the Run dialog and press Enter. Under the list of mounted volumes in the Disk Management window is a partition map. In this partition map, the first partition will be named System Reserved or Data and will be 100 Megabytes in size. Right-click on this hard disk partition and click on Change drive letters and paths.
Step 2: Click on Add. Open the drop-down menu in front of the Assign the following drive letter option, select Y as the drive letter and click on OK.
Step 3: If you’re using Windows 7, search for cmd in the Start Menu, right-click on the result titled cmd and click on Run as administrator. If you’re using Windows 8/10, simply press the Windows Logo key + X to open the WinX Menu and click on Command Prompt (Admin). This will open an elevated Command Prompt that has administrative privileges.
Step 4: Type the following commands into the elevated Command Prompt, pressing Enter after typing in each one in order to execute it:
takeown /f . /r /d y
icacls . /grant administrator:F /t
attrib -h -s -r bootmgr
Step 5: Now open a Windows Explorer window and navigate to the Y drive. Make sure that both the Don’t show hidden files, folders or drives option and the Hide protected operating system files (recommended) option in Organize > Folder and search options > View are disabled.
Step 6: Navigate to the Boot folder on the Y drive. Delete all of the languages in the Boot folder except for en-US and any other language(s) that you actually use and need on your computer. Once done, empty the Recycle Bin to make sure that they have been deleted permanently. Open a new elevated Command Prompt. Type the following command in the elevated Command Prompt and then press Enter.
chkdsk Y: /F /X /sdcleanup /L:5000
The above command trims the NTFS log file of the System Reserved partition to around 5 Megabytes, leaving at least 50 Megabytes of free space on the partition (which is half the amount of storage space the partition has by default!).
Once the process described above has been completed without any missteps, you can go on and try to upgrade your computer once again, and it should be successful this time. Once the updates you want have been downloaded and installed, you can open the Disk Management utility once again and remove the Y drive letter from the System Reserved hard disk partition.
“if you mistakenly delete or remove the wrong partition, then don’t worry. You can recover that partition using a reliable data recovery software.”
However, the above solution is a bit time consuming and lengthy. If you think like this and this does not manage to get rid of the problem and allow you to successfully upgrade your computer, simply move on and try the next one.
Solution 2: Expand the System Reserved partition using Disk Management
Step 1: Press the Windows Logo key + R. Type diskmgmt.msc into the Run dialog and press Enter.
Step 2: In partition map located near the bottom of the Disk Management window, right-click on the C: drive and click on Shrink Volume. Shrink the C: drive by 300-350 Megabytes.
Step 3: Now right-click on the System Reserved partition and click on Expand Volume. Expand the System Reserved partition so that it incorporates the 300-350 Megabytes you freed up on your hard drive as unallocated space by shrinking the C:
Step 4: Once this has been done, restart your computer, and doing so will save the changes to your hard disk partitions.
After the computer boots up, try upgrading your computer once again. Now the upgrade should go through successfully if this solution managed to fix the “We couldn’t update the system reserved partition” issue.
While using any one of the above solutions to fix the above-said error, if any one of the step is missed out or if you have not followed the steps properly, then there are chances that you may lose any important partition. So it is better to take backup of all the data present on your hard drive and then proceed with fixing steps.