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Windows Setup, the Windows installation tool, unfortunately doesn’t provide any graphical tools for shrinking or expanding an UEFI System Partition (ESP; sometimes EFISYS). You can still create a custom-sized ESP by side-stepping out of Windows Setup and into the Command Line for a minute to partition the disk to your liking. I’ll walk you through the process in this tutorial.

This tutorial assumes you’re working with an empty disk, and that your computer is UEFI compliant. You may need to delete any existing partitions on the drive before proceeding. You can’t rely on this tutorial to grow the UEFI System Partition (ESP) on an existing installation as any attempt would be blocked by your existing partition boundaries. Windows won’t let you recreate an UEFI system outside the Windows Setup installation program. You should follow this tutorial during the initial Windows installation process with Windows Setup.

You are responsible for any data loss and to ensure that you have adequate backups of your own data. Unplug disks you don’t intend to use during the installation to avoid data loss. This is your only warning.

So you’ve booted up into Windows Setup from your installation media, and you’ve selected to perform a Custom installation. Whether you’re planning to and preparing to dual-boot with Linuxor just want to provide a larger margin of error; you may have noticed that the default 105-or-273 MB (100-or-260 MiB) partition for the UEFI System Partition is a tad small. (The default ESP size depends on your disks physical sector size.)

You need to decide what size you want your UEFI System Partition to be before you begin. You can take a pause here to read How large should you make your UEFI System Partition? before your proceed as it will be quite challenging to attempt to change the size you allocate to your ESP after you’ve installed the system without reinstalling.advertisement

Once you’ve decided on the approperiate size for your computer and needs, then you can follow the these steps to proceed. The tutorial begins from the first step of the Custom installation screen in Windows Setup (screenshot of this screen at the end of the article):

  1. Select your installation target and make sure it has no partitions (except unallocated space)
  2. Click the New and then the Apply button.

You should now have four partitions: Recovery, System (ESP), MSR, and Primary.

  1. Select each of the System, MSR, and Primary partitions in turn and click the Delete button to delete these partitions. Leave the Recovery partition in place.
  2. Press Shift+F10 to open the Command Prompt
  3. Type diskpart.exe and press Enter to open the disk partitioning tool
  4. Type list disk and press Enter to list out your disks
  5. Type select disk n where n is the number for the disk you want to install to as identified by the above command and press Enter
  6. Type create partition efi size=550 where 550 is the desired size of the ESP in Mebibytes (MiB), and press Enter
  7. Type format quick fs=fat32 label=System and press Enter to format the ESP
  8. Type exit and press Enter to exit the disk partitioning tool
  9. Type exit and press Enter again to exit the Command Prompt

You should now be back in the graphical Windows Setup partitioning tool where nothing has changed since the last time you looked at it.

  1. Click the Refresh button to detect your partition changes

You should now have a disk with a default Windows Recovery tools partition, a 500 MiB UEFI System Partition, and some unallocated space for your Windows installation.

  1. Select the unallocated space from the disk list and click the New button to automatically recreate the MSR and System partition in the remaining space

The final result should look something like this:

Screenshot of a 550 MiB ESP in Windows Setup

That should be all. From here, you can continue with your Windows installation as normal. If you should run into problems with the system not booting after completing this tutorial, then please refer to your systems manufacturer documentation for any special hardware requirements regarding UEFI boot and the UEFI System Partition in particular. Some older hardware models required non-standard FAT16-formatted ESPs, or had special partitioning size requirements. You should be able to adjust the steps in the tutorial to accommodate such requirements.

I made the jump today to Windows 10 and like many other legacy (mobility) card users the support isn’t there (yet), besides the drivers which are automatically installed by Windows. Therefore, I thought I’d make a quick guide of how I got the legacy drivers installed on my laptop and have the Catalyst Control Center up and running. They are basically the same steps which I had to do with Windows 8/8.1 previously.

 

Drivers installed with this guide: Legacy

Windows version: Windows 10 Pro x64

Laptop: Dell Studio 1555

 

I suppose the following steps should also work for graphics card considered legacy now for desktops. However, do note that I applied these steps for my laptop which has a re-branded ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4650 (HD 5650).

 

 

Here are the steps:

 

1: Download the legacy driver for your system (legacy drivers link provided above) and run the installer but close it after it unpacked all the installation files to C:\AMD.

2: Open Device Manager.

3: Under Display adapters right click on the adapter used in your system and click Update Driver Software.

4: Click on the second option Browse my computer for driver software.

5: Click Let me pick from a list of device… in the next menu and Have Disk… on the following.

6: Click Browse on the pop-up menu and go to: C:\AMD\AMD_Catalyst_13.4_Legacy_Beta_Vista_Win7_Win8\Packages\Drivers\Display\W86A_INF.

7: Select the first .inf file – In my case this was: C7156445.inf – and click open.

8: Select the model from the list that corresponds to your hardware – there were two of the same in my case so I just clicked the first – and click Next. Afterwards the driver should install accompanied with several screen flickers.

9. Now re-run the legacy driver installer from AMD and have it install the Catalyst Control Center.

10. Restart the computer if you’d like.

 

This got it to work on my system and allows me to use CCC on Windows 10 with a Legacy (mobility) card.

 

I attached two screenshots below, one of CCC and another of the Device Manager, to show which drivers are installed now on my system. It is important to note that the Driver Version installed according to the device manager is 8.970.100.0 – in my case – which is different from the version installed automatically by Windows 10 would have the following numbers: 8.970.100.9001. I have no knowledge of if the drivers provided by Windows 10 are better or just the latest legacy beta drivers with a new signature for Windows 10.

I hope this helps some people along using older hardware but wanting to update to Windows 10.

This will work for sure. Just don’t be scared by the number of screen flicks that you will encounter.

 

Have fun! 🙂