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298 GB unallocated disk space


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#1 cosmo727

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 11:01 AM

Hello smart computer people

I originally bought a computer last year with Vista installed. I had a someone install XP Professional on it instead. The hard drive is supposed to be 400GB. In computer management it shows drive C as 74.50 GB NTFS and 298.11 GB as unallocated. How can I use the unallocated space? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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#2 dc3

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 11:30 AM

You can format it and use the space after that, it will appear as a separate partition.

Go to Start> right click on My Computer> Manage> Disk Management. Right click on the unallocated space and choose Format from the drop down menu.
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#3 cosmo727

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 11:36 AM

When I click on unallocated space it gives me these options. New partion, properties, and help. I may need a step by step to set up the new drive.

#4 hamluis

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 12:07 PM

Before you do anything...you should have a clear idea of how many partitions you want to make...and why...and how large each will be.

That needs to be done before you start...because you will not be able to change your mind (resize the partitions, add partitions, etc.) once you partition the entire unallocated space.

I would further suggest that some consideration be given to space needed by backups, assuming that you are interested in doing such...as well as ordinary space needs for data files (movies, music, documents, etc.).

A basic reference: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/309000

Generally speaking, you want to create primary partitions. There is a limit of four per hard drive, with your current install of XP residing on one. You can create more partitions, but it's like adding drawers to those in a chest...with each primary partition representing a chest used for storage.

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#5 dc3

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 01:18 PM

Does the unallocated space show up as a partition in Disk Management? The first two columns are Volume which will show the letter designation of the drive, and Layout which which will list the unallocated area as a Partition if it has already been made into a partition. If it hasn't use the partition option of the menu. It should prompt you to format the partition after this, I would suggest NTFS. If all you are trying to do is access the unallocated space of you hdd, this should be all you need to do. You can store files and applications on either partition without any problems.
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#6 cosmo727

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 02:38 PM

Thanks for all your help. I followed the instructions and under my computer it is now showing "new volume (I:)" and "Local Disk (X:). "X" is the letter I picked for the drive. I chose NTFS for the file system for "X" and it is showing RAW. New volume (I:) says NTFS but has zero capacity. Under computer management I have the original drive (C:) and New Volume (X:) listed which shows (X:) as being NTFS. Did I screw something up? I tried copying a few files into (X:) and it seems that I can access them.

#7 veegee2

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 02:57 PM

Hamluis mentioned using one of your partitions for backups. I do not think that this is a good idea because if your hard drives fails you will most likely lose everthing on it including your backup files. It would be best to add another hard drive, either internal or external, and use that drive for your backups.

Edited by veegee2, 09 January 2009 - 02:59 PM.


#8 hamluis

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 04:05 PM

Agreed...but a backup on a hard drive is better than no backup at all...which is the state many users (IMO) happen to reside in.

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#9 dc3

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 08:12 PM

A backup should always be made to a removable media like CDs, DVD, flash drive, or another hdd. Hard drives die, and don't always give you any notice, for this reason it is a good reason to back you important files, and do it often. It will be interesting to see what the longevity of hdds are like with the new generation of solid state drives.

A aside. There is an advantage to having two partitions on the hard drive, one for the OS, and one for your files and applications that are not Windows related. With the OS on a separate partition you can reformat and reinstall the OS on its partition without effecting the other partition with all of your files and other applications.
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