How to Fix: Could Not Update System Reserved Partition (Windows 10)

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Steve S. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I am trying to install Windows 10 Threshold 2 version 1511, release 10586 / 1511, otherwise known as 'Th2_release Professional 10586' through Windows Update, but I keep getting an error when it tries to install. The error message states 'We found some issues. Select this message to fix and finish updating.' I clicked the link and received another message, stating 'Could not update system reserved partition.' So, now the update won't install and I can't upgrade my Windows 10 to the latest version. Can you help? "

My response:

Admittedly I did not have any experience with this error message, but have come across a number of forum posts about this problem. It has to do with a hidden system partition (called the System Reserved Partition), which stores information about Windows. The partition itself is about 100 MB large (usually), but sometimes that partition becomes full or even corrupt, which then causes errors when you attempt to install a major update to Windows - including Windows 10 version 1511, build 10586.

I offered to connect to Steve's computer using remote desktop for 1-on-1 support, and we did just that. We discussed the issue for about 15 minutes, and I made some suggestions. I offered to carry out the task by researching the issue further, but Steve wanted to see if he could fix it on his own. He wrote back a little while later:

" I finally solved my problem. Here is what I did:

First, I used MiniTool Partition Wizard to shrink my Windows partition on my hard drive by 1 gigabyte, as you suggested. In theory, this would allow me to increase the size of the System Reserve Partition by 1 GB (which happens to be located directly to the left of my Windows partition). However, when I tried to increase the size of the System Reserved Partition, it failed - most likely because the volume was corrupt.

To fix the issue, I assigned a drive letter to the System Reserved Partition using MiniTool Partition Wizard - normally this partition is hidden and has no drive letter. Once the drive letter was assigned, I was then able to see the System Reserved Partition via 'This PC'. To fix the file system errors, I right clicked the drive letter, selected Properties, then clicked the Tools tab, then under the Error Checking heading, I clicked on the 'check' button, then clicked on the 'Scan drive' link. Windows found errors on the drive, so then I was able to correct them.

Once that was finished I went back to the MiniTool Partition Wizard program and increased the size of the System Reserved Partition by about 1 GB. When that was done, I was able to run the Windows 10 update without any issues. Feel free to use this experience as an article for Infopackets. "

Thanks Steve for the update overview, and I'm sure this will help others with this issue. If anyone reading this needs help going through this procedure, you are welcome to contact me for help and I can do it for you using remote desktop. I also recommend that if you try and do this on your own that you please backup your entire system before proceeding. Any incorrect changes to the system or failure during the partition update can lead to catastrophic data loss.

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About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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jimbill_3986's picture

Dennis/Steve, If I understand correctly, you not only resized your windows partition, but also moved it (to the right as shown on the usual disk drive partitioning software)in order to make room to enlarge the system reserved partition (which always seems to be located in front of the main windows partition on the disk on all my windows systems) and were able to do all this with the minitool partition wizard? thanks, jimbill

Dennis Faas's picture

That is correct.