Fix: Cannot Delete a Protected Partition Without the Force Protected Parameter Set

Several users have been encountering the ‘Can’t delete a partition without the force protected parameter set’ when trying to use DiskPart to remove the recovery partition. The issue is not specific to a certain Windows version as it’s reported to occur with Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

Virtual Disk Service error:
Cannot delete a protected partition without the force protected parameter set

What is causing the ‘Cannot delete a protected partition without the force protected parameter set’ error?

We investigated this particular issue by looking at various user reports and the solutions that they used to take care of the issue.

Most likely, the error message gets thrown by DiskPart because you are trying to delete a hidden or system protected partition using the “delete volume” command.

Doing this will likely trigger the ‘Cannot delete a protected partition without the force protected parameter set‘ error because the DiskPart utility requires a different parameter in order to remove hidden or system protected partitions.

If you’re struggling to resolve the same error message, the method below will allow you to resolve the issue by using a different parameter that will signal Windows that you know what you’re doing.

Resolving the Error Using the override parameter

Most likely, you are seeing this error as a warning that you need to be extra sure that you wish to delete the recovery partition. It’s somewhat confusing because the parameter is not indicated in the Help Delete Partition section of DiskPart.

Keep in mind that normally, Diskpart will only enable you to delete known data partitions. To delete any known data partition (including recovery partitions), you’ll need to use the override parameter.

But setting the documentation aside, you will be able to resolve the issue by using the override parameter. Here’s a quick guide on how to do this:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “diskpart” and press Enter to open the DiskPart utility. When prompted by the UAC (User Account Control), click Yes to grant administrative privileges.
    Run dialog: diskpart
  2. Identify the disk that you want to work with by typing the following command:
    list disk
  3. Select the list that you want to wipe or reformat by using the following command:
    select disk X

    Note: X is only a placeholder for the actual number of the disk that you’re trying to handle. Please replace the placeholder with the correct number.

  4. Once the proper disk is selected, type the following command to see all the partitions that the selected drive is using:
    list partition
  5. From the list of partitions, identify the one that you wish to delete and use the following command to select it:
    select partition X

    Note: X is only a partition for the number of the partition that you wish to delete. it will get displayed after you run the command at step 4.

  6. With the targeted partition selected, use the following command do signal Windows that you’re sure about the step that you’re about to perform (by using the override parameter):
    delete partition override
  7. Once the process completes successfully, type the following command to exit Diskpart:

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.