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How To Organise Partitions, Transfer Files From C: To D:, Etc. ?


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#1 FreshFrost

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 06:05 AM

When I bought my laptop, its 160GB HDD came separated in two partitions (is that the correct terminology?) = C: drive and D: drive.

I left it that way, and so far have only used C: because 1) I have no experience in using more than one drive, 2) that's where most programs download to anyway, 3) it contains the My Documents folder where I organise all my personal files into My Pictures, My Music, My Videos, etc. folders., and 4) I had not yet run out of space.
However, despite deleting what I can and buying an external HDD on which to archive and back things up, my C: has used up its ~70GB of storage.

I've read up on partitions a little and believe that that's how my laptop's memory is organised. I'd like to ask ...
  • is my assumption correct? and if not, what is the explanation for the memory being split into C: and D: ?
  • which files are best (or at least safe) to move from my C: to my D: drive?
  • how do I go about safely moving them?
  • will everything continue running smoothly after I move these files? or do I need to point programs, applications, etc. to the new location of the files?
  • is there anything else I should worry about (or at least take into consideration) before/when doing this?
  • there seems to be a lot of talk about the benefits of organising your files in partitions. how can I optimise my use of these two (C: and D: ) drives?
As you can see, I'm a total partition-newbie. So thanks in advance to anyone who's read this ^ and posted that v :thumbsup: .

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#2 DaChew

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 06:59 AM

Partitioning is the most efficient/smartest option, however you have defeated that by filling up your C drive with data.

That's the important distinction to make, data vs programs and system files.

Very large program installations, game images can also be installed to D your data partition.

Why is it important to keep a lot of room on C? That's where the critical system and most used program files are kept, windows keeps it's swap file there, defraging and optimizing become almost impossible tasks with too much junk on the drive.

In case of system hard crash, whatever is not on C is relatively safe should you have to reinstall windows.

My system windows xp partition is only 15 GB, I leave at least half that free at all times.

I never let any program put data in my documents, every now and then a program like nero vision crashes and leaves 4+ gigs of temp data there, I avoid that.

You would be surprised at the crud accumulated if you searched for it.

Edited by DaChew, 07 January 2008 - 06:59 AM.

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#3 tg1911

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 07:34 AM

Partitioning a drive, basically means, to seperate the usable space on a harddisk, into sections (partitions).
In your case, C:, and D:.
The only thing that has to be on C:, is the Operating System (Windows), and your Program files (programs you've installed).
Everything else (My Documents), can go on the D: drive.

As DaChew said, the main reason to keep the Operating System/Program files separated, from your My Documents files, is in case of a crash, that would cause you to have to reinstall Windows.
By having your personal files stored on a separate partition (D:), they won't be affected by a reinstall of the Operating System (C:), and should remain intact.

If your using XP, here's how to move your My Documents folder to the D: drive:

Click Start, right-click My Documents, and select Properties.
Click the Target tab, if it's not already selected.
Click the Move button, click where you want to move My Documents to, to highlight it, then click OK.
Click Apply.
This will start the move, and leave "pointers" behind, so the Operating System will know where the files are.
After the move, when you click Start / My Documents, it will open the file from the location, where you moved it to.

You might want to consider making a folder, to move My Documents to.
One with your username on it.

An example:
Say you're moving My Documents from C:, to D:
In D:, create a folder with your name.
D:/user

This way My Documents will only occupy that folder.
If you just move it to D:, My Documents will occupy the whole partition.
The folder with your name on it will be considered the My Documents folder, for you.
When you click My Documents, that's the folder that will open.

If you have other user's on the computer, you can do the same thing.
Just go to their accounts, and move their My Documents folder, the same way.
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#4 FreshFrost

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 09:38 AM

Thank-you both for your replies!

Together, you answered both why and how I should go about this! And best of all, it was all perfectly intelligible to me! haha :D thank-you!

Am really glad I joined this forum ^^

#5 tg1911

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 11:06 AM

You're quite welcome, TRUEfrancesca.
Glad I could help.
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#6 usasma

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 08:33 AM

How much free space is on the D: drive? Does it contain any operating system restoration files? What make and model of laptop are you using - some actually have 2 physical drives installed (mostly Toshiba's)?
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

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#7 FreshFrost

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 01:05 PM

How much free space is on the D: drive? Does it contain any operating system restoration files? What make and model of laptop are you using - some actually have 2 physical drives installed (mostly Toshiba's)?


Well, the D:\ has 71.6GB out of 72GB available (free), despite actually being completely empty (no hidden files, temps, NOTHING). I'm assuming the other "occupied" 408MB are being used by the filesystem (am i right? :S)

My laptop is the Acer 5684 wLMi.

Don't know if there are two physically-separate drives installed :S ...

#8 usasma

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 07:41 PM

It's only 1 drive - a 160 gB SATA hard drive. I've seen something similar before - but for the life of me I can't recall where the Recovery partition is.

Try going into Disk Management (Start...Run...type in "diskmgmt.msc" (without the quotes) and press Enter). This'll give you a listing of all the partitions on the hard drive - and if I'm guessing right there should be a 3rd partition that has the recovery stuff on it (it should be 10 or less gB in size if I'm not too senile).

Regardless, with over 70 gB of free space on D: - that's what it's there for! Go ahead and fill it up - remembering that you'll need about 15% free space on both drives to keep them functioning smoothly (this doesn't apply to the recovery stuff since it doesn't change).
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

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#9 FreshFrost

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 05:17 AM

Indeed I did find PQSERVICE partition in Disk Management. It's 5GB. Is that the Recovery partition? And if so, what does it do?

And thanks for the tip about the 15%! Didn't know that ;)




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