[Fixed] Unable to Reset Your PC. A Required Drive Partition Is Missing

Jean updated on Aug 11, 2019 to Resource | How-to Articles


When you try to reset your PC by reinstalling Windows, you may come across an error saying "Unable to reset your PC. A required drive partition is missing." If you are troubled by this issue, don't hesitate to try the potential ways detailed below to fix the error.

Error Description

"I'm trying to reset my PC, but when I do it using a USB drive, made with the media creation tool, I get the error: Unable to Reset PC. A required drive partition is missing."

Error: Unable to reset your PC. A required drive partition is missing.

Actually, apart from the missing drive partition error, there is another similar and common error, which is "the drive where Windows is installed is locked". What do these errors suggest? And how do they come? 'A required drive partition is missing' usually prompts when you're trying to perform a system reset or install a fresh version of Windows 10/8/7. This error message may appear due to:

  • The MBR (Master Boot Record) or BCD (Boot Configuration) has corrupted
  • There is something wrong with your computer disks
  • You system files are missing or damaged
  • As the error indicates, a required drive partition is missing

The solutions vary depending on the specific causes. The corresponding fix for each cause has been provided below.

Fixes for "Unable to reset your PC. A required drive partition is missing."

If you are not sure about the reasons why the error occurs, you can try the solutions below in order.

Method 1. Run Bootrec.exe

Bootrec, also called bootrec.exe utility, is a tool provided by Microsoft in the Windows Recovery Environment. Bootrec.exe can be used to fix the Master Boot Record (MBR), Boot Sector, Boot Configuration (BCD), and boot.ini. If it's the corrupt MBR or BCD that caused the problem, the solution is to correct the MBR or BCD record with the help of bootrec. By the way, this method requires a Windows recovery disk. Running bootrec.exe is also helpful in solving the "Windows is loading files" loop.

Step 1. Insert Windows installation disk (DVD) or a bootable USB drive into your computer.

Step 2. Restart your PC. When your Windows boots up, repeatedly press the "F12" key to bring up the boot menu (Key may be different on your system).

Step 3. Select either the DVD or the USB disk from the boot menu.

Step 4. Wait for the computer to discover the bootable media and press any key when the message appears on your screen to boot into the Windows Installation or Recovery DVD.

Step 5. Choose to "Install Windows" from the screen that appears and then select "Repair" your computer.

Step 6. From the repair menu, select "Troubleshoot" > "Advanced Options" > "Command Prompt".

Step 7. In the command prompt that opens, issue the following command one by one

Click to copy

Method 2. Run CHKDSK

Disk errors can also result in the issue "Unable to Reset PC. A required drive partition is missing." Fortunately, CHKDSK can be used to check and repair your disk errors like file system errors or bad sectors. To run CHKDSK on your computer after the reset failure, you need to boot your PC from the installation media, choose to repair your computer, and then you can have a chance to run Command Prompt. Follow the first 6 steps in Method 1. After launching the Command Prompt, enter chkdsk c: /f (replace "c" with the drive letter of the volume you want to check).

Method 3. Run SFC (System File Checker)

The error "Unable to Reset PC. A required drive partition is missing." may also happen due to missing or corrupted system files. To your relieve, the Windows System File Checker tool is able to repair missing or corrupted system files for you. To run the tool, go running Command Prompt using the same method as introduced above and enter sfc /scannow.

Method 4. Set System Partition as Active

Only one partition can be designated as "Active" and that should be your system partition. If you have assigned the active partition wrongly, your PC won't boot and you may encounter the error message saying you are unable to reset your PC since a required drive partition is missing. To set your system partition as active, repeat the first six steps in method 1 and then enter the command below in order:

Click to copy

If all the four methods above fail to fix the error "Unable to Reset PC. A required drive partition is missing.", your last choice is to restore your system to an earlier point.  To do so, repeat the first five steps in method 1 and then select "Troubleshoot" > "Advanced Options" > "System Restore".

How to Recover Data After Fixing 'a required partition drive is missing' Error

Some of you may, unfortunately, lose very important data while trying to use the command prompt to fix missing drive partition error in Windows 10. In addition, resetting your PC will delete your files, settings, and apps, except for the apps that came with your computer. Therefore, you may need to perform data recovery to retrieve your important data. That's when you need the free data recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

Your Reliable Choice - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

  • Recover deleted, formatted, and inaccessible data in different data loss situations.
  • Recover photos, audio, music, and emails from any storage effectively, safely and completely.
  • Recover data from the recycle bin, hard drive, memory card, flash drive, digital camera and camcorder.

The Bottom Line

You may perform reset when there are serious issues on your computer. However, since resetting your PC will remove all your files, settings, and some apps, you should be prudent making the decision or back up your precious files with free backup software before the operation. Now that you have executed the reset and encountered the error "Unable to Reset PC. A required drive partition is missing.", I hope the tips here can help you out of the problem successfully.


100% of people found this article helpful.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files to better verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

It's super easy to recover 250+ types of files after deletion, disk formatting and virus infection. Click the links and compare the difference of each version.