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Sample: Configure UEFI/GPT-Based Hard Drive Partitions by Using Windows Setup

Updated: October 20, 2013

Applies To: Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2

You can add answer-file settings to automatically configure disk partitions during Windows® installation. This topic describes how to configure disk partitions for a Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI)–based and GUID partition table (GPT)–based computer, as described in Configure UEFI/GPT-Based Hard Drive Partitions. This topic covers the following partition configurations:

  • Default configuration. Includes a Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) Tools partition, a system partition (also known as an Extensible Firmware Interface System Partition or ESP), a Microsoft® Reserved Partition (MSR), and a Windows partition. The following diagram shows this configuration.

    Diagram of default EFI partitions
  • Recommended configuration. Includes a Windows RE Tools partition, an ESP, an MSR, a Windows partition, and a recovery image partition. The following diagram shows this configuration.

    Diagram of EFI partitions with recovery

In this topic:

For new installations, Windows Setup prompts you to configure your partitions. If you select the default configuration, Windows Setup creates a Windows RE Tools partition, a system partition, an MSR, and a primary Windows partition when the following conditions are true:

  • The computer does not already have a Windows partition. When you upgrade Windows from an earlier version, Windows Setup does not change the arrangement of your partitions.

  • The computer does not already have a system partition.

  • The computer does not already have three partitions.

  • The computer has sufficient disk space for the partitions.

To automate the configuration of a Windows RE Tools partition, a system partition, ESP, an MSR, and a Windows partition, add the following settings to an answer file.

 

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk

DiskID = 0
WillWipeDisk = true

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\ CreatePartitions\CreatePartition

Order = 1
Size = 300
Type = Primary

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\ CreatePartitions\CreatePartition

Order = 2
Size = 100 (or 260 for Advanced Format Generation One drives)
Type = EFI

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\ CreatePartitions\CreatePartition

Order = 3
Size = 128
Type = MSR

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\ CreatePartitions\CreatePartition

Extend = true
Order = 4
Type = Primary

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\ ModifyPartitions\ModifyPartition

Format = NTFS
Label = WINRE
Order = 1
PartitionID = 1

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\ ModifyPartitions\ModifyPartition

Format = FAT32
Label = System
Order = 2
PartitionID = 2

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\ ModifyPartitions\ModifyPartition

Order = 3
PartitionID = 3

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\ ModifyPartitions\ModifyPartition

Format = NTFS
Label = Windows
Letter = C
Order = 4
PartitionID = 4

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\ImageInstall\OSImage\InstallTo

DiskID = 0
PartitionID = 4

XML Example

<DiskConfiguration>

  <Disk wcm:action="add">
    <DiskID>0</DiskID> 
    <WillWipeDisk>true</WillWipeDisk> 
    <CreatePartitions>

      <!-- Windows RE Tools partition -->
      <CreatePartition wcm:action="add">
        <Order>1</Order> 
        <Type>Primary</Type> 
        <Size>300</Size> 
      </CreatePartition>

      <!-- System partition (ESP) -->
      <CreatePartition wcm:action="add">
        <Order>2</Order> 
        <Type>EFI</Type> 
        <Size>100</Size> 
        <!-- Note: for Advanced Format Generation One drives, change to size=260 -->
      </CreatePartition>

      <!-- Microsoft reserved partition (MSR) -->
      <CreatePartition wcm:action="add">
        <Order>3</Order> 
        <Type>MSR</Type> 
        <Size>128</Size> 
      </CreatePartition>

      <!-- Windows partition -->
      <CreatePartition wcm:action="add">
        <Order>4</Order> 
        <Type>Primary</Type> 
        <Extend>true</Extend> 
      </CreatePartition>
    </CreatePartitions>

    <ModifyPartitions>
      <!-- Windows RE Tools partition -->
      <ModifyPartition wcm:action="add">
        <Order>1</Order> 
        <PartitionID>1</PartitionID> 
        <Label>WINRE</Label> 
        <Format>NTFS</Format> 
        <TypeID>de94bba4-06d1-4d40-a16a-bfd50179d6ac</TypeID>
      </ModifyPartition>

      <!-- System partition (ESP) -->
      <ModifyPartition wcm:action="add">
        <Order>2</Order> 
        <PartitionID>2</PartitionID> 
        <Label>System</Label> 
        <Format>FAT32</Format> 
      </ModifyPartition>

      <!-- MSR partition does not need to be modified -->
        <Order>3</Order> 
        <PartitionID>3</PartitionID> 

      <!-- Windows partition -->
      <ModifyPartition wcm:action="add">
        <Order>4</Order> 
        <PartitionID>4</PartitionID> 
        <Label>Windows</Label> 
        <Letter>C</Letter> 
        <Format>NTFS</Format> 
      </ModifyPartition>
    </ModifyPartitions>
  </Disk>
  <WillShowUI>OnError</WillShowUI> 
</DiskConfiguration>

<ImageInstall>
  <OSImage>
    <InstallTo>
      <DiskID>0</DiskID> 
      <PartitionID>4</PartitionID> 
    </InstallTo>
  </OSImage>
</ImageInstall>

To automate the configuration of a Windows RE Tools partition, a system partition, an MSR, a Windows partition, and a recovery image partition, add the following settings to an answer file.

 

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk

DiskID = 0
WillWipeDisk = true

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\ CreatePartitions\CreatePartition

Order = 1
Size = Size of the customized Windows recovery image in megabytes (for example, 300)
Type = Primary

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\ CreatePartitions\CreatePartition

Order = 2
Size = 100
Type = EFI

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\ CreatePartitions\CreatePartition

Order = 3
Size = 128
Type = MSR

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\ CreatePartitions\CreatePartition

Order = 4
Size = size in megabytes (for example, 75000)
Type = Primary

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\ CreatePartitions\CreatePartition

Order = 5
Size = size in megabytes (for example, 15000)
Type = Primary

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\ ModifyPartitions\ModifyPartition

Format = NTFS
Label = WinRE
Order = 1
PartitionID = 1
TypeID = de94bba4-06d1-4d40-a16a-bfd50179d6ac

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\ ModifyPartitions\ModifyPartition

Format = FAT32
Label = System
Order = 2
PartitionID = 2

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\ ModifyPartitions\ModifyPartition

Order = 3
PartitionID = 3

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\ ModifyPartitions\ModifyPartition

Format = NTFS
Label = Windows
Letter = C
Order = 4
PartitionID = 4

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\DiskConfiguration\Disk\ ModifyPartitions\ModifyPartition

Format = NTFS
Label = Recovery
Order = 5
PartitionID = 5
TypeID = de94bba4-06d1-4d40-a16a-bfd50179d6ac

Microsoft-Windows-Setup\ImageInstall\OSImage\InstallTo

DiskID = 0
PartitionID = 4

XML Example

<DiskConfiguration>
  <Disk wcm:action="add">
    <DiskID>0</DiskID> 
    <WillWipeDisk>true</WillWipeDisk> 
    <CreatePartitions>
      <!-- Windows RE Tools partition -->
      <CreatePartition wcm:action="add">
        <Order>1</Order> 
        <Type>Primary</Type> 
        <Size>300</Size> 
      </CreatePartition>

      <!-- System partition (ESP) -->
      <CreatePartition wcm:action="add">
        <Order>2</Order> 
        <Type>EFI</Type> 
        <Size>100</Size> 
      </CreatePartition>

      <!-- Microsoft reserved partition (MSR) -->
      <CreatePartition wcm:action="add">
        <Order>3</Order> 
        <Type>MSR</Type> 
        <Size>128</Size> 
      </CreatePartition>

      <!-- Windows partition -->
      <CreatePartition wcm:action="add">
        <Order>4</Order> 
        <Type>Primary</Type> 
        <Size>75000</Size> 

      </CreatePartition>

      <!-- Recovery image partition -->
      <CreatePartition wcm:action="add">
        <Order>5</Order> 
        <Type>Primary</Type> 
        <Size>15000</Size> 
      </CreatePartition>

    </CreatePartitions>

    <ModifyPartitions>
      <!-- Windows RE Tools partition -->
      <ModifyPartition wcm:action="add">
        <Order>1</Order> 
        <PartitionID>1</PartitionID> 
        <Label>WinRE</Label> 

        <Format>NTFS</Format> 
        <TypeID>de94bba4-06d1-4d40-a16a-bfd50179d6ac</TypeID> 
      </ModifyPartition>

      <!-- System partition (ESP) -->
      <ModifyPartition wcm:action="add">
        <Order>2</Order> 
        <PartitionID>2</PartitionID> 
        <Label>System</Label> 
        <Format>FAT32</Format> 
      </ModifyPartition>

      <!-- MSR partition does not need to be modified -->
        <Order>3</Order> 
        <PartitionID>3</PartitionID> 

      <!-- Windows partition -->
      <ModifyPartition wcm:action="add">
        <Order>4</Order> 
        <PartitionID>4</PartitionID> 
        <Label>Windows</Label> 
        <Letter>C</Letter> 
        <Format>NTFS</Format> 
      </ModifyPartition>

      <!—Recovery image partition -->
      <ModifyPartition wcm:action="add">
        <Order>5</Order> 
        <PartitionID>5</PartitionID> 
        <Label>Recovery image</Label> 
        <Format>NTFS</Format> 
        <TypeID>de94bba4-06d1-4d40-a16a-bfd50179d6ac</TypeID> 
      </ModifyPartition>
    </ModifyPartitions>
  </Disk>


  <WillShowUI>OnError</WillShowUI> 
</DiskConfiguration>


<ImageInstall>
  <OSImage>
    <InstallTo>
      <DiskID>0</DiskID> 
      <PartitionID>4</PartitionID> 
    </InstallTo>
  </OSImage>
</ImageInstall>

See Also

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