“We couldn’t update system reserved partition” error when Installing/Upgrading Windows 11 Insider Preview

Caution: This may cause your system to hang on boot.

I must admit, I haven’t done a fresh install of this system since upgrading to Windows 10 1903, moving the NVMe drive from an older laptop to this machine, updating the OS about every week to the latest version of the Insider Preview in the DEV Channel. This is bound to cause issues at one point, I’m aware.

Windows Update threw me an error when trying to update from version 25252 to version 25262.

“We couldn’t update system reserved partition”

This was kind of unexpected, really, until I found out that the SRT only had 5MB (this is not a typo) available. To resolve this, instead of playing around with some kind of partition manager, I decided to remove some unnecessary files. The font files in Microsoft/Boot/Fonts directory seemed like a good candidate for this.

Note: This only works if your partition is GPT. If you’re using MBR, the process is completely different

  1. Right-click on the Start button and click Terminal (Admin)
  2. Make sure you’re in a Dos Command Prompt and not in Powershell
  3. Type mountvol x: /s (I’m using x: here because I rarely use this drive letter to mount network drives)
  4. Go to the X drive. Type x: and press enter
  5. Navigate to the Fonts folder by typing “cd EFI\Microsoft\Boot\Fonts” (no quotes) and press enter
  6. Now type “del .” (again, no quotes) and press enter. You will be asked if you’re sure, type Y and press enter again

Restarting the Insider Preview install now worked without issues.

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