Recovery Partition Blocking C Drive Extension? Here is the Fix

The recovery partition is a reserved section of the HDD, for restoring the OS in case of a system failure. This partition is usually created during the OS installation and is hidden and protected from the user. In some cases, the recovery partition can be blocking the C drive extension, which means that you can’t increase the size of the C drive by merging it with an adjacent partition.

Recovery Partition Blocking C Drive From Extending The Space
Recovery partition blocking C drive extension

This is because the recovery partition is usually located at the end of the C drive. Due to this, you won’t be able to extend C drive space (the Extend Volume option will be greyed out). And if you delete this partition, you won’t be able to use Recovery options to recover your system from failures. If you need to extend the C drive, you have a few options to consider. One option is to use third-party partition software, such as AOMEI Partition Assistant. Another option is to back up your data and reinstall Windows.

Move Recovery Partition in Windows to Extend C Drive

While third-party software can do the job easily, they all ask you to purchase the premium versions. So, we are going to explain a native method for doing the same. However, this method requires you to have some knowledge of CMD commands.

In this tutorial, we will capture the recovery partition and then apply it to another partition to avoid blocking the C drive extension. So, let’s go through the steps.

Step 1: Assign a Drive Letter to the Recovery Partition

First of all, we will use diskpart to assign a letter to the recovery partition. For doing that, launch the command prompt as administrator and type the following commands.

diskpart
list disk
select disk <select-system-disk-id>

In our case disk number is zero (0), it may be different for you.

List And Select System Disk Via Diskpart Cmd
List and select system disk via diskpart cmd

Now, list the volumes and select the recovery partition. After that, assign a drive letter to the recovery partition to make it accessible for further steps. Use the following commands in the same diskpart prompt.

list vol
select vol <recovery-volume-id>
assign letter=<drive-letter>
exit

In our case recovery partition volume id is 3 and we have assigned it the “R” drive letter.

Assign A Letter To Recovery Partition And Exit Diskpart
Assign a letter to the recovery partition and exit diskpart

Step 2: Capture the Recovery Partition

Now, we will create a wim image of the recovery partition to take a backup of it. Later, we will use this backup to create another recovery partition for our Windows. Use the following command to capture the recovery image.

Dism /Capture-Image /ImageFile:C:\recovery.wim /CaptureDir:R:\ /Name:"Recovery"

Here, recovery.wim is the captured image and R: is the recovery drive to capture.

Capture Recovery Partition And Create A Wim File
Capture the recovery partition

You can verify the captured image by going to the path we saved it. As we have saved it to C drive, it should be available at the root of the drive.

Recovery Wim File Created In C Drive
Recovery wim file created in C drive

Step 3: Delete the Recovery Partition Blocking C Drive Extension

Now, delete the recovery partition so that it no longer blocks the C drive extension. Use the following commands to delete the recovery partition. Just like in Step 1, select the disk and recovery volume and then delete it.

diskpart
list disk
select disk <select-system-disk-id>
list vol
select vol <recovery-volume-id>
delete partition override
exit

Make sure to replace the <select-system-disk-id> and <recovery-volume-id> with the actual IDs of the disk and recovery volume.

Delete Recovery Partition blocking the C drive extension
Delete Recovery Partition

Step 4: Extend the C Drive Space (No more Blocking by Recovery Partition)

Now that there is no recovery partition blocking the C drive extension, you can extend the space of the C drive. Open Disk Management and right-click on C drive and select Extend volume to merge adjacent unallocated space with C drive. Just make sure to leave enough unallocated space for creating a new recovery partition (~650 MB in our case). Check this detailed tutorial for the C drive extension.

Extend Volume After Deleting The Recovery Partition
Extend the C drive after deleting the recovery partition

Step 5: Create a New Recovery Partition

Now after extending the C drive space, create a new volume for the recovery partition. Simply right-click on the leftover ~650 MB space and select New Simple Volume.

Create New Simple Volume For Recovery Partition
Create a new volume for the Recovery partition

Simply follow the on-screen instructions and you will be ready with a volume for the Recovery partition. In this tutorial, we have assigned the letter R to the new volume.

Partition Created For Recovery
Partition created for Recovery

NOTE: You may also create the recovery partition on another disk (if available) to avoid blocking the C drive extension in the future.


Step 6: Apply the Recovery Image on the New Partition

Now that we are ready with the new recovery partition, we will apply the captured recovery.wim file to it. Type the following command in the command prompt (run as admin).

Dism /Apply-Image /ImageFile:C:\recovery.wim /Index:1 /ApplyDir:R:\

Here, C:\recovery.wim is captured recovery image, and R: is the new recovery partition.

Apply Recovery Image On New Partition
Apply recovery image on the new partition

Now, it’s time to register the new location of the recovery tools. Type the following commands in the CMD window and press Enter after each command.

reagentc /disable
reagentc /setreimage /path R:\Recovery\WindowsRE
reagentc /enable

Here, R:\Recovery\WindowsRE is the new path of recovery tools.

Update the new location of Recovery partition to avoid blocking c drive extension
Register the new location of the Recovery Partition

Step 7: Hide New Recovery Partition using Diskpart

The recovery partition that was blocking the C drive extension has now been moved to the end of the disk. It’s time to set the attributes for the recovery partition and hide it from File Explorer. Use the following command in the diskpart console.

The commands are different for UEFI and Legacy BIOS systems. Make sure to verify, the type of system you have, using the msinfo32 command.

UEFI:

diskpart
select volume R
set id="de94bba4-06d1-4d40-a16a-bfd50179d6ac"
gpt attributes=0x8000000000000001
remove
exit

Legacy BIOS:

diskpart
select volume R
set id=27
remove
exit

Here R is the recovery volume. Make sure to reboot your computer after performing this step.

Hide Recovery Partition Using Diskpart - it won't block c drive extension
Hide recovery partition using diskpart

Step 8: Test the New Recovery Partition

Now, it’s time to check if the new Recovery partition is working or not. You can check the status of the recovery partition using the reagentc /info command (CMD run as admin). If the status is Enabled, you are good to go. Otherwise, run the reagentc /enable command again.

Check Recovery Partition Information - blocking C drive extension
Check Recovery Partition Information

Next, type the reagentc /boottore command and reboot your PC to boot into Recovery Environment. If you see the recovery screen, everything is working fine.

Windows Recovery Environment
Windows Recovery Environment

We have successfully moved the Recovery partition blocking the C drive extension.


Fix the Recovery Partition Blocking the C Drive Extension

If you have only one disk in your computer, you have no option but to keep the recovery partition on it. However, if you have another disk, you can also try moving the recovery partition to that disk. This way the recovery partition won’t block the C drive extension in the future. You can check this Microsoft documentation for capturing and applying Windows, System, and Recovery partitions.

Hope you liked this tutorial. In case you have any queries or suggestions, feel free to write them down in the comments. You may also like to subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates directly into your inbox.

Editorial Staff

Hi there, we are the editorial staff at WINDOSPC (former HELLPC). We are a team of funny and technical people. Feel free to get in touch with us via Contact-Us page.

2 Comments

  1. Windows RE status is showing as disabled after enabling it, it keeps on showing disabled only. Please let us know if I missed anything.

    1. Hello Venkat, sorry for the trouble you are facing. Have you tried running following command to go into Recovery: reagentc /boottore ?
      If this command takes you to Recovery mode, then it’s fine and if doesn’t, make sure to run reagentc /enable command and restart your computer.

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