Posted 20 October 2009 - 04:12 PM
I have a desktop (Dell Dimension 4550 that runs WinXP Home SP3; SEE BOTTOM FOR SPECS) that I purchased in 2002 when I knew absolutely nothing about computers. In the last couple of years, I have made an earnest attempt to learn the ins and outs of computer world. But I'm at best a newbie transitioning into an intermediate.
I never realized that a computer needs to undergo a clean reinstall (or whatever the term is), but as my desktop got older and filled with "junk", it became extremely slow despite increasing RAM and optimizing in every way I could. Plus multitudes of error messages. So I decided to do the reinstall...it took me 3 weeks from start to finish (because I had no idea where to start and even when I received a rubric, I still didn't know if certain things were applicable to my computer...essentially it was a nightmare.)
So when I finally did learn how to do the reinstall, I wanted it to be the best it could possibly be from my end. I read a couple of experts who made very valid points about making the primary partition during the reinstall to house Windows (and later, applications) using a relatively small amount of HDD space, leaving the rest unformatted until after finished, at which point, you could use Disk Management to format the remaining space of the HDD and reserve it for data files...things that you do not want to lose (pix, music, etc.). His point was that by doing this, the system would boot faster (which it does) and it would be a very simple process just to back up the data partition regularly. In theory, it would seem to work well.
However, in my experience, the fact that the "Data Partition" exists as a shortcut on the desktop to a folder that when dragging and dropping, it only copies the files (as it does for external media like flash drives). So it drives me crazy that I have to go back and delete everything after moving it into my data file.
Also, I know where the basic files need to go, but when it comes to things like storing registry settings prior to running CCleaner; storing "System Snapshots" of the registry with SpywareBlaster; housing the restore files for ERUNT; and other such things, I am at a loss as to whether to store it in the primary partition or in the data partition. I could see where it might benefit being in both places, but that's not practical and probably not correct either.
The thing that has tipped me over, though, is having "System Volume Information" folders on both of the partitions. In other words, in System Restore settings accessed via R clicking on My Computer, both of the partitions are "monitoring". It's just too much for a novice-intermediate to do as far as handling two sectioned portions of the computer. So to make a long story short, I LIKED IT BETTER THE OTHER WAY WITH THE ENTIRE HDD EXISTING AS ONE PARTITION. SO I AM HOPING THAT SOMEONE CAN HELP ME MERGE THE TWO (OR WHATEVER THE PROPER TERMINOLOGY IS) WITHOUT CAUSING COMPUTER NECROSIS.
I have had the system this way for about 3 months and thought I would get used to it, but I haven't.
And I read through the MMC Console to try to figure out how to do it, but it was way over my head as were the Google searches I performed.
I have included an attachment that is a screenshot of my system as it looks in Disk Management, just in case that might be useful for any of you.
My system specs:
Dell Dimension 4550
Intel Pentium 4
2 GB RAM
Windows XP Home SP3
Display Adapter: ATI Radeon 9700 TX (128 MB RAM)
Sound Card: Creative SoundBlaster Live! (WDM) Series
Network Adapter: Intel PRO/100 VE Network Connnection
Antivirus Software/Malware Protection: avast!; SuperAntiSpyware; Malwarebytes Anti-Malware; Panda Anti-Rootkit; SpywareBlaster; MVP's HOSTS File
Firewall(s): Windows XP Firewall; NetGear Wireless Router (NAT) Firewall