Win 10 update cannot install. Suspect full partition

Started Sep 28, 2016 | Discussions
Sandy Senior Member • Posts: 2,157
Win 10 update cannot install. Suspect full partition

I am running Win 10 pro 64bit.  Win 10 anniversary edition wanted to install but found some issues (unspecified).  The option to fix issues didn't solve the problem.  I suspect it might be due to the Boot partition being almost full.  Is that reasonable?  Can I safely expand it?

More details below:

My boot (C) drive is SSD, 250GB booted as MBR.  According to Paragon Partition Manager (free edition) there are 4 partitions on my C drive:

The first is 350MB of which only 20MB is free.  Labelled System so it will be the boot partition.

The second is 200GB of which only 71GB is used ie about 150GB is free.  It contains Windows, programs, etc.  (I have other HDDs for pictures, assorted data, etc).

The third is 450MB of which 340MB is used with data according to Paragon ie about 110MB is free.  Windows Disk Manager says it is the Recovery Partition.

The fourth is 500MB all free.

I have a vague recollection of trying to expand the first partition and that might be how one or other of the third and fourth partitions appeared.

I am tempted to use Paragon Partition Manager to expand the first partition if it will allow it, but am apprehensive about messing around with the boot partition.  Is it safe/prudent to attempt an expansion of the boot partition?

I do have back ups via Macrium if things go wrong but I would rather avoid that.

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Sandy

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bmoag Senior Member • Posts: 2,607
Re: Win 10 update cannot install. Suspect full partition
1

Do not change the partitions unless you understand what you are doing. The built in tools for resizing partitions in Windows are purposefully limited to avoid self inflicted disasters. You can download free tools that will allow you to destroy whatever you choose to. What seems like empty space on your drive is really a small amount overall.

You simply have too much stuff on too small a drive. I call that the Apple Syndrome as their machines have but one drive, including the 256gb SSD MBP on which I am typing. Apple users take it as SOP that they will have to live with a variety of external storage devices if they are going to accumulate a lot of data. Windows is far more reliable than OSX for accessing external drives but I do not want to ignite that war.

It would be in your best interest to invest in a larger drive, a 500mb SSD, prices for which are becoming reasonable, as in $100. You do not have to get the fastest one out there as tests show user perception is about the same across SSDs despite measurable performance differences. You have to clone your current drive to the new drive then switch drives. There are good free and paid software tools for doing that but if you do not understand the software or hardware process pay a computer shop to do it for you.

The other option is to off load what you can to an external drive, delete that data from your C drive and see if that creates enough space. However you will rapidly run into the same issues you are seeing now with a 256 gb drive. You can get an inexpensive enclosure and use your current SSD for external storage.

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Bunjo Regular Member • Posts: 365
Re: Win 10 update cannot install. Suspect full partition
2

The first 350mb partition is not your 'boot drive'. It is a (usually hidden) partition - the System Reserved partition used as part of the boot process plus BitLocker encryption host if you use it.

The update will change files in the C: drive (what is usually known as the boot drive as this where the system files reside) and this is where you need the space to unpack the update - but it seems you have enough space. You usually get a warning if there is not enough free space.

The last two small partitions will be for backup or restore purposes, or some other function, and shouldn't affect an update.

I found one PC that wouldn't accept the Windows Anniversary update (rolling back at 40%) and this was due to some really old drivers for an old Wireless usb dongle that couldn't be updated and I used Revo Uninstaller to root out all the bits. The update then worked.

There are many other reasons an update might fail, and it is worth trying all the simpler stuff first. If you get an error code you can look that up and it may involve resetting the update process itself

tom graham Senior Member • Posts: 1,702
Re: Win 10 update cannot install. Suspect full partition

The computer has only one SSD drive?  You do "store" data on another drive, yes?

"I do have back ups via Macrium if things go wrong but I would rather avoid that."

Are you SURE that Macrium back up will work? In past I have thought an OS back up would work - but - it did not. When I backup OS I do a clone (now using AOMEI) to another HDD. Then shut down. Then during power up and using BIOS change the boot HDD to the clone. The PC must then boot ok to show that the clone is good. (It may take an extra minute or so as BIOS and the OS straighten things out). And make sure it did boot from the clone and did not revert to the original.

Tom

(unknown member) Forum Pro • Posts: 14,338
Re: Win 10 update cannot install. Suspect full partition

Sandy wrote:

My boot (C) drive is SSD, 250GB booted as MBR. According to Paragon Partition Manager (free edition) there are 4 partitions on my C drive:

The first is 350MB of which only 20MB is free. Labelled System so it will be the boot partition.

The second is 200GB of which only 71GB is used ie about 150GB is free. It contains Windows, programs, etc. (I have other HDDs for pictures, assorted data, etc).

Your first partition (350MB) should be large enough. Heck, my "System Reserved" partition is just 100MB and I'm dual booting.

Your second partition (C: and 200GB) has plenty of free space to complete a Win 10 upgrade.

Therefore: something else (not lack of disk space) is preventing the Win 10 upgrade from completing successfully. Folks here can probably help with that but I fear you'll need to provide some more hints and clues for them to figure out what may have gone wrong. e.g. A detailed description of how you attempted the upgrade and what exactly happened including verbatim error messages.

Austinian
MOD Austinian Forum Pro • Posts: 10,196
Re: Win 10 update cannot install. Suspect full partition

Sandy wrote:

I am running Win 10 pro 64bit. Win 10 anniversary edition wanted to install but found some issues (unspecified). The option to fix issues didn't solve the problem. I suspect it might be due to the Boot partition being almost full. Is that reasonable? Can I safely expand it?

More details below:

My boot (C) drive is SSD, 250GB booted as MBR. According to Paragon Partition Manager (free edition) there are 4 partitions on my C drive:

The first is 350MB of which only 20MB is free. Labelled System so it will be the boot partition.

The second is 200GB of which only 71GB is used ie about 150GB is free. It contains Windows, programs, etc. (I have other HDDs for pictures, assorted data, etc).

The third is 450MB of which 340MB is used with data according to Paragon ie about 110MB is free. Windows Disk Manager says it is the Recovery Partition.

The fourth is 500MB all free.

I have a vague recollection of trying to expand the first partition and that might be how one or other of the third and fourth partitions appeared.

I am tempted to use Paragon Partition Manager to expand the first partition if it will allow it, but am apprehensive about messing around with the boot partition. Is it safe/prudent to attempt an expansion of the boot partition?

I do have back ups via Macrium if things go wrong but I would rather avoid that.

Unless you have a need for the AU, I'd suggest doing nothing for now.

Our oldest laptop refused to accept the AU when I initially tried to install it with a Media Creation Tool, so I left it alone. A couple of weeks later it successfully updated over the Net.

The AU is getting an unusually long (ISTR three months) and gradual rollout; I suspect MS is checking for potential problems and in some cases preventing its install until bugfixes are implemented.

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OP Sandy Senior Member • Posts: 2,157
Re: Win 10 update cannot install. Suspect full partition

Thanks for comments.

A typo - my C drive is 250Gb, not 200GB, but with 150GB still free I'm a bit surprised I need a larger drive. bmoag, are you sure?  nb I did state that data are on other hard drives. The C drive is reserved for Win 10 and programs, these occupy 70GB..

On the other hand I have only 20MB free in the System partition out of 350MB, so if Windows wants to put stuff there and they seem to, it's easy to imagine there is insufficient space. Perhaps this is because I got Win 10 as the free update of Win 8.1 - which I had as a low cost update of Win 7. I didn't attempt a clean install of Win 10.

Yes, although I have had good experiences with Macrium I don't really want to risk relying on my backups. Also, past experience suggests they will leave the partitions as they are ie a full System partition.

However, the advice is that I don't mess with C drive the partitions.  This doesn't surprise me, I've tried it before!

There isn't a lot of information from Windows update.

The first window is:

"Details" takes you on a merry dance to find out what is being offered in the update.

"Fix issues" Says "Windows couldn't be installed.  Couldn't update the System Reserved partition".

It is the last message that leads me to think I have to expand the first, System Reserved partition or somehow clean it up to make space.

I do have an assortment of old hard drives and could try to do a backup restore onto one of them and see whether the System Reserved is expanded or cleaned up.

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Sandy

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Hosebag
Hosebag Senior Member • Posts: 2,481
Re: Win 10 update cannot install. Suspect full partition

I tried to install the Win 10 anniversary update and it failed because I was trying to initiate it from the drive that is my storage, not the drive with WIn 10 active. As soon as I moved the executable from my spin drive to my ssd, it went without a hitch.

You can download the executable from microsoft.

Frank Malone Regular Member • Posts: 484
Re: Win 10 update cannot install. Suspect full partition

I think I have the same problem. Reserved Partition is not big enough.

NTFS (System Reserved) Pri Act 100 MB Cap, Free Space 14.50 MB

I can't see how to make this small partition say 150 MB. Does anyone know how to increase the size of my reserved partition.

Frank

Bunjo Regular Member • Posts: 365
Re: Win 10 update cannot install. Suspect full partition

I had the same problem upgrading from Win 7 to Win 10. The Win 7 System Reserved partition was only 100 mb and it needed to be 350 mb.

*After first making sure I had a full 'disk' backup* I used Partition Wizard (free version, search on Google) to resize the System Reserved partition and 'shuffle everything else up' without data loss. Although I double checked that I understood what I was about to do, it wasn't too difficult and the Windows 10 upgrade ran to completion afterwards with no problem.

exRhodesian Contributing Member • Posts: 710
SOLVED: use Extend ,not Resize.

Bunjo wrote:

I had the same problem upgrading from Win 7 to Win 10. The Win 7 System Reserved partition was only 100 mb and it needed to be 350 mb.

*After first making sure I had a full 'disk' backup* I used Partition Wizard (free version, search on Google) to resize the System Reserved partition and 'shuffle everything else up' without data loss. Although I double checked that I understood what I was about to do, it wasn't too difficult and the Windows 10 upgrade ran to completion afterwards with no problem.

Hi,

After weeks of unsuccessful attempts to install win10 I finally just goti the update through by using Expand in MiniTool Partition Wizard (free).

The cause has been because of insufficient space in the System Reserve partition of the C: drive to store & run the win10 update(s).

I went into Pocket Wizard and used the Extend function on the System Reserve partition sliding the scale to increase the size by an extra 30GB . The update went through.

Forums have said that it won't work using Resize but only via Extend.

Thanks,

Adrian

Pictus
Pictus Veteran Member • Posts: 6,422
Windows 10 update KB3194496 may fail even with enough free space
Frank Malone Regular Member • Posts: 484
Re: SOLVED: use Extend ,not Resize.

exRhodesian wrote:

Bunjo wrote:

I had the same problem upgrading from Win 7 to Win 10. The Win 7 System Reserved partition was only 100 mb and it needed to be 350 mb.

*After first making sure I had a full 'disk' backup* I used Partition Wizard (free version, search on Google) to resize the System Reserved partition and 'shuffle everything else up' without data loss. Although I double checked that I understood what I was about to do, it wasn't too difficult and the Windows 10 upgrade ran to completion afterwards with no problem.

Hi,

After weeks of unsuccessful attempts to install win10 I finally just goti the update through by using Expand in MiniTool Partition Wizard (free).

The cause has been because of insufficient space in the System Reserve partition of the C: drive to store & run the win10 update(s).

I went into Pocket Wizard and used the Extend function on the System Reserve partition sliding the scale to increase the size by an extra 30GB . The update went through.

Forums have said that it won't work using Resize but only via Extend.

Thanks,

Adrian

I used MiniTool Partition Wizard (free) and I was able to extend my reserved partition and now I have Win10 1607. Thanks Adrian and Bunjo

OP Sandy Senior Member • Posts: 2,157
Re: Win 10 update cannot install. Suspect full partition

Sorry, I have been off the computer for a few days.  I'll have a go at the more recent ideas.

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Sandy

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exRhodesian Contributing Member • Posts: 710
Re: SOLVED: use Extend ,not Resize.

Frank Malone wrote:

exRhodesian wrote:

Bunjo wrote:

I had the same problem upgrading from Win 7 to Win 10. The Win 7 System Reserved partition was only 100 mb and it needed to be 350 mb.

*After first making sure I had a full 'disk' backup* I used Partition Wizard (free version, search on Google) to resize the System Reserved partition and 'shuffle everything else up' without data loss. Although I double checked that I understood what I was about to do, it wasn't too difficult and the Windows 10 upgrade ran to completion afterwards with no problem.

Hi,

After weeks of unsuccessful attempts to install win10 I finally just goti the update through by using Expand in MiniTool Partition Wizard (free).

The cause has been because of insufficient space in the System Reserve partition of the C: drive to store & run the win10 update(s).

I went into Pocket Wizard and used the Extend function on the System Reserve partition sliding the scale to increase the size by an extra 30GB . The update went through.

Forums have said that it won't work using Resize but only via Extend.

Thanks,

Adrian

I used MiniTool Partition Wizard (free) and I was able to extend my reserved partition and now I have Win10 1607. Thanks Adrian and Bunjo

Good to hear that it also worked for you.

I have just solved yet another common problem in Win10 off having " NLDR Error  -unable to boot" pop up each time when booting where it attempts to boot off my data drives.

Using MiniTool Partition Wizard (free) I was able to mark the data drives as INACTIVE. Now the system doesn't attempt to boot off them and the problem is solved   - thanks to MiniTool Partition Wizard (free).

Thanks

Adrian

OP Sandy Senior Member • Posts: 2,157
Re: Win 10 update cannot install. Suspect full partition

I put a copy of Win 10 (courtesy of Macrium Relect) onto a spare disc and messed around with that, trying to shrink partitions etc but failed.  No doubt down to my incompetence.

Anyway, Google led me to:

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-performance/system-partition-nearly-full-how-can-i-find-out/d344e28c-8471-4ae4-99c1-cbf6ff55386b?page=2

This is quite a long and interesting thread but I selected the response from TomislavRex 26 Aug 2013 since someone reported success with Win 10.  I tried it and it worked! My System Reserved is now at 27.4MB.

nb I don't pretend to understand properly what is going on so I will have to leave it to others to respond to any technical queries.

I copy TomislavRex's instructions below:

First, follow the steps here, under number 4, up to IV.

I'll copy them for you anyway, below.

...

I. Start Windows 7, click Start button, type "CMD" (without quotation marks) into the Search box, right click on it and choose Run as administrator .

II. Type "bcdboot C:\windows /s C:" (It means copy the boot files of the system "c:\windows " to drive c . If system is not installed in C:\ you need to change the path).

You will get a message "boot files successfully created ".

III. Open Disk Management by inputting "diskmgmt.msc " in Search box, locate the main C:\ partition and mark that active instead of the hidden partition.

...

Reboot.

After rebooting, assign a letter to the System Reserved partition. It doesn't matter which one, you will remove it afterwards anyway.

Format the System Reserved partition, which can now be done as it is no longer active and has a letter.

Then go through steps I. and II. as outlined above, but in step II. type "bcdboot c:\windows /s X:" where X is the letter you assigned to the System Reserved partition.

After the message 'boot files successfully created ' go to Disk Management as in step IV above and this time mark the System Reserved partition active (as it was in the beginning). Then remove the partition letter that was assigned to the System Reserved partition. Check -> in Disk Management -> if System Reserved is 70% free, System, Active and Primary partition. If it is, you can reboot.

Reboot.

You are done. The System Reserved partition is now fresh, brand new and 70% free.

Three notes:

1.Do not open and browse the System Reserved partition with Explorer because a system protected supehidden Recycler folder will be automatically created whenever you open the partition. You can erase it though if you choose the option to show protected operating system files. It will not affect the function ofd the partition though, it is just an extra folder which is not needed in that partition. Cosmetics.

2. It is difficult to remove the boot files from you provisionally created in C: ; it can be done but it involves taking ownership and changing permissions many times, repetitively and individually for quite a few MUI (for different languages) folders in the system protected super-hidden folder Boot. It doesn't take much space on that partition anyway though. Cosmetics.

3. I have never set up BitLocker. If BitLocker was ever set up, it is a variable this procedure was not tested against and I cannot predict the result in that case. Therefore it is not a safe procedure in that case. Someone would have to test it.

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Sandy

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