Why does Windows7 create two partitions?


Extraordinary Member
[SOLVED] Why does Windows7 create two partitions?


I installed Windows7 Ultimate from scratch, and it warns that it might create a 100MB partition before creating a second one where the real stuff lives. This makes imaging more complicated.

[INDENT]# fdisk -lu[/INDENT]
[INDENT]Disk /dev/sda: 320.1 GB, 320072933376 bytes[/INDENT]
[INDENT]255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 38913 cylinders, total 625142448 sectors[/INDENT]
[INDENT]Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes[/INDENT]
[INDENT]Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes[/INDENT]
[INDENT]I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes[/INDENT]
[INDENT]Disk identifier: 0xf1f75308[/INDENT]
[INDENT]   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System[/INDENT]
[INDENT]/dev/sda1   *        2048      206847      102400    7  HPFS/NTFS[/INDENT]
[INDENT]Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.[/INDENT]
[INDENT]/dev/sda2          206848    30722047    15257600    7  HPFS/NTFS[/INDENT]
[INDENT]/dev/sda3       172908544   254828543    40960000   83  Linux[/INDENT]

Does someone know why Windows7 needs two partitions, and whether it's possible to have a single partition?

I'm also interested to know if any steps are required before imaging Windows7 (sysrep, etc.) where the image will be reinstalled on the same host (own test machine).

Last edited:


Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Microsoft MVP
It's not essential but it contains boot files and recovery information. You can avoid it being created by formatting the drive yourself before installation but once created you are best leaving it alone - it's not using much space.


Extraordinary Member
Thanks for the info. Creating/formatting a 15GB partition in Linux prior to running the Windows 7 installer did the trick: Only one partition now :)

I'll run sysrep before imaging the partition, delete, restore, and see how it goes.