The EFI system partition (ESP) is a partition on a data storage device (like HDD/SSD) that is used by computers adhering to the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). EFI system partition usually takes about 100/200MB disk space and is usually formatted to FAT32. It’s really small but basically without that partition your computer wouldn’t know how to boot.
Normally, EFI system partition has no drive letter; hence you cannot view it in File Explorer. If you delete this partition accidently, it will cause the installed system unbootable. Therefore, operating system marks it as system protected partition, not allowing you to delete it easily. However, we do have the way to delete this partition.
Although we stress the importance of EFI system partition, there are situations that people want to get rid of it. For example, when you follow a way to move from Legacy BIOS to UEFI, two EFI system partitions may appear. And, if you upgrade Windows OS with external hard drives connected, some EFI partition may be formed on the external hard drive. Or, you have multiple operating systems and want to remove the one that has EFI system partition. To delete this EFI partition, you can use third party partition manager software MiniTool Partition Wizard to help you.
You might also be interested in: Solutions to Deleting Drive C, EFI System Volume, Recovery/OEM Volume, etc
To delete EFI partition with MiniTool Partition Wizard:
1. Run this program. At the top right corner, select Bootable Media Builder to create a bootable MiniTool Partition Wizard. Then set your computer to boot from this media.
2. In the bootable MiniTool Partition Wizard, select the EFI system partition you want to delete and choose “Delete Volume”. Probably you will be warned that deleting this partition will lead to your operating system unbootable. If you confirm doing so, go ahead by pressing OK and hit Apply button.
Note: please double check that the EFI system really needs deleting, or the deletion won’t bring nay bad impact on the running system. If you are not certain what the deletion will bring, make a disk backup beforehand.
Tip: when the EFI partition has become an unallocated space, you can add it to other partitions which need extending.
Knowing how to delete EFI system partition, we also want to share how to create an EFI system partition. If you delete the required EFI partition on the system disk by mistake, operating system will fail to boot. In addition, sometimes without the original system disk, the copied system or migrated system will fail to boot. In such cases, you need to create an EFI partition, install EFI boot loader to make the hard drive bootable.
Here is how to create EFI system partition on Windows.
1. Boot your computer from a Windows installation disc or recovery disk. Then press “Shift+F10” in the setup to enter command prompt window.
2. Run the commands below to shrink a partition to get some unallocated space so as to create the EFI system partition.
Select disk n (n represents the disk number of the disk that needs an EFI partition)
Select partition n (n represents the partition number of the partition that needs shrinking)
Shrink desired=500 (shrink 500MB unallocated space from the selected partition)
3. Then you can create EFI partition using the command below:
create partition EFI size=200
format quick fs=fat32 label=”System”
create partition msr size = 128
4. When the two partitions have been successfully created, use the commands below to install boot loader and other applications needed.
bcdboot c:\Windows /s b: /f ALL
5. Reboot your computer to see if it is fixed.
If your computer fails to boot because of missing the EFI system partition, you can use this method to recreate it, and then you can get your Windows system back as before.