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alanganes
06-03-2012, 09:54 AM
Well off topic, but lots of computer expertise here:

I have a Dell laptop running Win7. The way it came set up is that the 450G hard drive is partitioned into two drives, a C: drive at 60G and the remaining 390G is the D: drive, and a small recovery sector. Along the way I have installed all of my programs, documents, etc. to the D drive, but with OS updates, drivers, etc. that end up on the C drive, it is running out of space. Plenty of room on the D drive.

Short of reinstalling the OS and starting over, is there a (relatively) safe way to repartition the drive to reallocate that space? A reinstall is not out of the question, but is a time consuming project that I would prefer to avoid if it is at all possible.

Anyone have suggestions or experience with utilities that do this sort of thing?
Thanks!
Al

pixelated
06-03-2012, 10:23 AM
The easiest way to deal with the situation is to use the D: partition to store your documents, and leave C: for the OS, and your programs. This is more or less the way space on commercial servers is commonly allocated.
Windows doesn't like adjusting its own system partition. There are tools available which can do it, one popular one that has been around for a long time is called "Partition Magic".

JoeBean
06-03-2012, 11:38 AM
You need to shrink the D partition, then expand the C partition. GParted is a free *nix utility for doing this. You can get the LiveCD image from http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php , burn it to a CD, and then reboot from that CD. When it boots up follow these instructions to resize the partitions:
http://gparted.sourceforge.net/larry/resize/resizing.htm

Windows 7 also has a built in utility for resizing partitions, but if I remember correctly it won't work with a mounted partition, so you can't resize the C partition while you're running Windows off of it.
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/resize-a-partition-for-free-in-windows-vista/

As mentioned, there are also a plethora of commercial software options.

firbikrhd1
06-03-2012, 11:45 AM
I used a free product called Easus Partition Master on my XP machine. It was easy to use and works great.

dp
06-03-2012, 11:47 AM
There's a bit more to it than resizing the partitions. You first have to shrink the file system on the larger partition by the amount you're going to hand over to the smaller partition. When the file system is resized you can then reduce the size of the underlying partition.

You next add that new space to the smaller partition but wait - the file system is now smaller than the partition, so you have to resize (grow) the file system to use all of the space made available.

It might be that the tool used to resize the partitions can also handle resizing the file systems.

Things can go wrong, of course. Better is to buy another disk drive, larger, perhaps, and migrate your OS and data to that. I've done this several times with my Mac but don't know how it can be done in Windows. The Windows file system is an odd duck.

Jaakko Fagerlund
06-03-2012, 02:04 PM
The Windows is an odd duck.
There, fixed it for you ;)

alanganes
06-03-2012, 02:14 PM
Thanks for the input guys. I may try one of those tools to do this. Migrating to another HD is an option, they are quite cheap these days.

If it ends up not working I can always default to a reinstall. A bit of a hassle, but such is life.
I'm open to any other suggestions.

Thanks again,
Al

jnissen
06-03-2012, 02:32 PM
Ive had good luck with Norton Partition Magic in the past. Easily do it on the fly to grow the smaller C: drive. Think I last went from 30GB to something like 80GB for the C drive and only took a few minutes.

studentjim
06-04-2012, 08:26 PM
I use Acronis, but it is a bit expensive.

dp
06-04-2012, 08:33 PM
Skewing the topic a bit, but I just bought a 500G hybrid drive for my MacBook Pro Laptop. I connected it as an external USB drive, booted to CD, did a restore from the internal disk to the new disk, swapped them out and am now running the hybrid disk.

Screaming fast performance. Not at fast as a pure solid state disk, but also a lot cheaper at $120. It has a 4G flash drive built along with a standard disk. The firmware keeps track of busiest regions and maps them to the flash disk. This is a continuous process to keep the best regions mapped over time.

It took 12 hours to do the transfer of the boot disk to the USB drive so I did that overnight. I'm pretty happy with the results. Oh - the disk swap took about 10 minutes. Much easier than on my original MacBook Pro. This unibody laptop is nice to work on.

oldtiffie
06-05-2012, 12:13 AM
I am surprised that in this era of cheap large hard drives that any disk is partitioned.

My OS (W7) is installed on a 500Gb SATA C: drive and I just don't care about the large unused spare space on the disk..

D: is my "work" disk but I have two external USA 500GB SATA HDD's and it al work quite well.

Many "back-up and restore" utilities install a hidden "work" partition on your HDD.

dp
06-05-2012, 02:08 AM
I am surprised that in this era of cheap large hard drives that any disk is partitioned.

I mostly agree, but for servers, which is 99% of what I work in, the rules are a little different. All my Mac machines have 1 partition. And in fact, you don't even need to partition the thing. I run a lot of server storage with no partitions at all. Windows might need them for DOS 2.1 compatibility :)

alanganes
06-19-2012, 09:35 PM
Well after looking into some of the suggestions offered here, and then getting distracted by some very long work days, I happened to ask one of the IT guys at work if he had any suggestions on this. He recommended this:

http://www.partition-tool.com/personal.htm

EASEUS partition tool, home edition. Free download version for home users. Simple to use and did the job with no fuss. So easy even I can do it. They even had some decent tutorials on their website. In my case it had to shrink the D: drive to free up some contiguous space, then expand the C: drive into the now empty space. Took less than an hour.

Just a follow up, in case anyone ever runs into a similar problem.

All standard disclaimers - no interest in the company, not selling anything, not my brother-in-law, nothing in it for me, ues at your own risk, do not point at the sun, blah, blah, blah.

oldtiffie
06-19-2012, 11:10 PM
Skewing the topic a bit, but I just bought a 500G hybrid drive for my MacBook Pro Laptop. I connected it as an external USB drive, booted to CD, did a restore from the internal disk to the new disk, swapped them out and am now running the hybrid disk.

Screaming fast performance. Not at fast as a pure solid state disk, but also a lot cheaper at $120. It has a 4G flash drive built along with a standard disk. The firmware keeps track of busiest regions and maps them to the flash disk. This is a continuous process to keep the best regions mapped over time.

It took 12 hours to do the transfer of the boot disk to the USB drive so I did that overnight. I'm pretty happy with the results. Oh - the disk swap took about 10 minutes. Much easier than on my original MacBook Pro. This unibody laptop is nice to work on.

Dennis.

At a place where I worked before I retired, the IT guys had quite a few servers set up so that each had four (or was it five?) identical (I think IDE) discs under the control of a single main board were continually backing up to each other so that each was identical. The IT guys could remove a failed disc and replace (and re-format) a single disk while the server was running which was set to duplicate the other disks in the array. I think that server was backed up either regularly or regularly as well.

It worked real well and each server had a had access to a bank of UPS's as well. I would not have liked to get the electricity bill - as it was quite large.

Each user had a smallish personal partition that they had to log onto (discs were a lot smaller - and more expensive - in those days)

I just cannot remember the name of the multi-disk system but I'd bet you can.

dp
06-20-2012, 12:09 AM
I just cannot remember the name of the multi-disk system but I'd bet you can.

It's called RAID (redundant array of inexpensive disks). There are a number of methods of creating these arrays and the disks are hot-swappable. In the simplest case of RAID1, two disks are mirrored and appear as one. Either can fail without consequence. If capacity is more important than reliability then RAID0 is used. This simply stripes one disk to another which creates a logically larger disk. A failure of any disk in a stripe results in a permanent loss of all the data.

RAID 1_0 allows mirroring these stripes, and you can use a lot of disks. It requires an even number of disks, and 8 disks is the best combination of speed, reliability, and cost. This allows two 4-disk stripes that are mirrored. It also gets around the problem of losing a stripped disk - the mirror protects the data from loss. If the disks are all the same size the yield is 4x, or 50% total disk capacity. Not very efficient for capacity, but very fast and allows for two disks to fail (one in each stripe) before data is lost.

Another RAID method creates a stripe of disks but also includes a parity stripe that can be used to synthesize the data from a disk that has failed. This is a bit slower but the yield is greater for a given number of disks. The yield is total disk capacity times 1/n-1 where n=number of disks in the array. Five 100GB disks in RAID5 configuration will produce 400GB (80%) of raw storage that is protected against a single disk failure.

I recently purchased two 2GB disks that are mirrored and use them for all my backups. They hold 30 days worth of backups and the oldest are tossed out to make room for the most recent. Those oldest backups are spun off to tape prior to deletion and I have a year's worth of tapes.

Before converting to virtual machines I had many more physical machines that needed backups performed and lots more storage arrays. I've retired quite a bit of my SCSI storage and save a bundle on electricity, too, with fewer servers and fewer arrays spinning away.

ckelloug
06-20-2012, 12:29 AM
<Rant> Raid: Recalcitrant Agglomeration of Inaccessible Data. At least that's been my experience with the bios RAID in the hardware I've seen at work lately.
I'm developing the opinion that RAID is for people with proper raid hardware not the freebie that came on your motherboard. </Rant>

macona
06-20-2012, 12:55 AM
You don't need any third party software. Win 7 has dynamic partition resizing and can change and add partitions later on. I have used it a couple times after using clonezilla to restore a image to a larger drive and then expanding that partition to use up the rest of the drive.

You could shrink D down to the smallest, expand C, copy files to C, delete files off D, shrink D again.... All this is done in Disk Management.

Mike Amick
06-20-2012, 01:59 AM
For future reference ... That 60 giger should have been more than enough
for the operating system.

When you finally get it straightened out do this trick ... And
Partition magic will do the trick .. no file resizing needed.

anyways ..

Click on the start button .. and RIGHT click on " my documents " then
select "properties" ..from there you will have the option of moving the
documents folder to the bigger D drive.

From then on .. all the vids music pictures etc etc ... will automatically be
saved on the D drive.

That way when something happens ... you can reformat your C drive and
not loose any information.

Good luck
Mike

oldtiffie
06-20-2012, 04:03 AM
Originally Posted by oldtiffie

I just cannot remember the name of the multi-disk system but I'd bet you can.


It's called RAID (redundant array of inexpensive disks). There are a number of methods of creating these arrays and the disks are hot-swappable. In the simplest case of RAID1, two disks are mirrored and appear as one. Either can fail without consequence. If capacity is more important than reliability then RAID0 is used. This simply stripes one disk to another which creates a logically larger disk. A failure of any disk in a stripe results in a permanent loss of all the data.

RAID 1_0 allows mirroring these stripes, and you can use a lot of disks. It requires an even number of disks, and 8 disks is the best combination of speed, reliability, and cost. This allows two 4-disk stripes that are mirrored. It also gets around the problem of losing a stripped disk - the mirror protects the data from loss. If the disks are all the same size the yield is 4x, or 50% total disk capacity. Not very efficient for capacity, but very fast and allows for two disks to fail (one in each stripe) before data is lost.

Another RAID method creates a stripe of disks but also includes a parity stripe that can be used to synthesize the data from a disk that has failed. This is a bit slower but the yield is greater for a given number of disks. The yield is total disk capacity times 1/n-1 where n=number of disks in the array. Five 100GB disks in RAID5 configuration will produce 400GB (80%) of raw storage that is protected against a single disk failure.

I recently purchased two 2GB disks that are mirrored and use them for all my backups. They hold 30 days worth of backups and the oldest are tossed out to make room for the most recent. Those oldest backups are spun off to tape prior to deletion and I have a year's worth of tapes.

Before converting to virtual machines I had many more physical machines that needed backups performed and lots more storage arrays. I've retired quite a bit of my SCSI storage and save a bundle on electricity, too, with fewer servers and fewer arrays spinning away.

Thanks Dennis.

You were right on.

macona
06-20-2012, 06:14 AM
I use two 80 gig solid state drives in RAID 0 for my mac mini. Boots up in about 5 seconds!

alanganes
06-20-2012, 07:47 AM
For future reference ... That 60 giger should have been more than enough
for the operating system.

When you finally get it straightened out do this trick ... And
Partition magic will do the trick .. no file resizing needed.

anyways ..

Click on the start button .. and RIGHT click on " my documents " then
select "properties" ..from there you will have the option of moving the
documents folder to the bigger D drive.

From then on .. all the vids music pictures etc etc ... will automatically be
saved on the D drive.

That way when something happens ... you can reformat your C drive and
not loose any information.

Good luck
Mike

Thanks, I did that almost from day one, put my documents, photos, etc. on the D: drive. I also make sure to install any software to D as well. But over time there are some things that either don't offer the option during install, or even if it does, puts stuff on the C: drive as part of the install. Add in "growth" of the OS with upgrades and such, drivers and who-knows-what-else and I seemed to be bumping up against the limit.

ptjw7uk
06-20-2012, 01:49 PM
Following this thread I had a look at my windows 7 folder and was surprised to find a folder - WINSXS with 25 gb in it. Looked it up on the net and found this http://everythingsysadmin.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/cleanup-winsxs-after-windows-7-sp1-install/
Run the DISM as instructed and the folder reduced to 8.67gb
Worth a go!

Peter

dp
06-20-2012, 02:02 PM
Following this thread I had a look at my windows 7 folder and was surprised to find a folder - WINSXS with 25 gb in it.

That isn't a safe folder to make changes in as it can break some legacy applications, and in any event, much of what is in there are links to files, not the files themselves. This produces a false size report.

ptjw7uk
06-20-2012, 02:31 PM
Yes but the DISM file is from MS and will reduce the folder size!
peter

dp
06-20-2012, 03:46 PM
Yes but the DISM file is from MS and will reduce the folder size!
peter

That doesn't make it safe, of course. The important thing to remember is what you see in that folder is not really in that folder. Those are links to files but not the files themselves. The space you see is not really gone. The exception is certain updates and SP products store the backout files there. If you are certain you will never backup out an update then the DISM tool will remove those backout files. That is normally a small amount - far less than the total reported (but bogus) value shown by Windows Explorer.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2592038

CCWKen
06-20-2012, 11:28 PM
If you're running Windows 7, I would have imaged the "C:" drive to a SSD and expand the D drive to use the whole drive. I could never understand why someone would want two or more logical drives on the same physical drive. You don't gain anything and loose throughput. SSDs are smokin' fast and have really come down in price. Stick with the generation-3 or above SSDs though.