Partitions: The Defaults for Windows, MDT, CM and Technet


Before I do a recommended Drive Partition setup for Windows, it is important to know what the default Drive Partitioning is.  I’ll start with this chart, and break it down in details afterwards.

7-8-2015 11-25-56 AM


Windows 7 Enterprise x86 and x64 from VOL Media to Unallocated Disk Space on BIOS MBR

  1. Partition 1 – Primary
    1. Drive Label: System Reserved
    2. Size: 100MB
    3. File System: NTFS
    4. Boot Files: Yes
    5. WinRE: No
  2. Partition 2 – Primary
    1. Drive Label:
    2. Drive Letter: C:
    3. Size: Remainder of Disk
    4. File System: NTFS
    5. WinRE: C:\Recovery\<guid>\Winre.wim

Windows 8.1 Enterprise x86 and x64 from VOL Media to Unallocated Disk Space on BIOS MBR

  1. Partition 1 – Primary
    1. Drive Label: System Reserved
    2. Size: 350MB
    3. File System: NTFS
    4. Info: System
    5. Boot Files: Yes
    6. WinRE: Recovery\WindowsRE\Winre.wim
  2. Partition 2 – Primary
    1. Drive Label:
    2. Drive Letter: C:
    3. Size: Remainder of Disk
    4. File System: NTFS
    5. WinRE: No

Windows 8.1 Enterprise x86 and x64 from VOL Media to Unallocated Disk Space on UEFI GPT

  1. Partition 1 – Recovery
    1. Drive Label: Recovery
    2. Size: 300MB
    3. File System: NTFS
    4. Info: Hidden
    5. WinRE: No
  2. Partition 2 – System
    1. Drive Label:
    2. Size: 100MB
    3. File System: FAT32
    4. Boot Files: Yes
    5. WinRE: No
  3. Partition 3 – Reserved
    1. Size: 128MB
    2. File System: MSR
  4. Partition 4 – Primary
    1. Drive Label:
    2. Drive Letter: C:
    3. Size: Remainder of Disk
    4. File System: NTFS
    5. WinRE: C:\Recovery\<guid>\Winre.wim

When using MDT, it tries to normalize the variances between Windows 7 and Windows 8 which results in the following configurations from ZtiDiskpart.wsf

MDT Task Sequence on BIOS MBR

  1. Partition 1 – Primary (Created by ZTIDiskpart.wsf)
    1. Drive Label: System
    2. Size: 499MB
    3. File System: NTFS
    4. Boot Files: Yes
  2. Partition 2 – Primary (Created in Task Sequence)
    1. Drive Label: OSDisk
    2. Drive Letter: C:
    3. Size: Remainder of Disk
    4. File System: NTFS

MDT Task Sequence on UEFI GPT

  1. Partition 1 – Recovery
    1. Drive Label: Windows RE tools
    2. Size: 300MB
    3. File System: NTFS
    4. Info: Hidden
  2. Partition 2 – System
    1. Drive Label:
    2. Size: 499MB
    3. File System: FAT32
    4. Boot Files: Yes
  3. Partition 3 – Reserved
    1. Size: 128MB
    2. File System: MSR
  4. Partition 4 – Primary
    1. Drive Label: OSDisk
    2. Drive Letter: C:
    3. Size: Remainder of Disk
    4. File System: NTFS

In a Configuration Manager Task Sequence, things are again a little different.

OSD Task Sequence on BIOS MBR

  1. Partition 1 – Primary (Created by ZTIDiskpart.wsf)
    1. Drive Label: BDEDrive
    2. Drive Letter: No
    3. Size: 499MB
    4. File System: NTFS
    5. Boot Files: Yes
  2. Partition 2 – Primary (Created in Task Sequence)
    1. Drive Label: OSDisk
    2. Drive Letter: C:
    3. Size: Remainder of Disk
    4. File System: NTFS

OSD Task Sequence on UEFI GPT

  1. Partition 1 – Recovery
    1. Drive Label: Windows RE Tools
    2. Size: 300MB
    3. File System: NTFS
  2. Partition 2 – EFI
    1. Drive Label: EFI
    2. Size: 512MB
    3. File System: FAT32
    4. Boot Files: Yes
  3. Partition 3 – Reserved
    1. Size: 128MB
    2. File System: MSR
  4. Partition 4 – Primary
    1. Drive Label: OSDisk
    2. Drive Letter: C:
    3. Size: Remainder of Disk
    4. File System: NTFS

Here are the links to Technet recommended configuration . . . I added it to the chart but didn’t list it out in detail because I think you get the picture that there is no consistency.

Windows 7 BIOS MBR and Windows 7 UEFI GPT

Windows 8.1 BIOS MBR and Windows 8.1 UEFI GPT

I didn’t want this post to make any recommendations just yet, only to serve as an informational.  I’ll cover the proper configuration in a future post.  When I get around to Windows 10, I’ll update this page.

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