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  • OT- computer question HD partitioning

    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

  • #2
    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".

    Comment


    • #3
      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...e/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/windo...windows-vista/

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

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      • #4
        I used a free product called Easus Partition Master on my XP machine. It was easy to use and works great.

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        • #5
          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.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by dp
            The Windows is an odd duck.
            There, fixed it for you
            Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.

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            • #7
              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

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              • #8
                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.

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                • #9
                  I use Acronis, but it is a bit expensive.

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                  • #10
                    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.

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                    • #11
                      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.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by oldtiffie
                        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

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                        • #13
                          Just a follow up...

                          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.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dp
                            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.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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.

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