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Can I move Documents and Settings to another Partition?


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#1 StudioGal

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 10:12 AM

Greetings folks, I want to use a retired Acer notebook computer that has XP Home installed on it for a secondary "kitchen" computer.

The problem is that it is partitioned into two equal drives, and the C drive with all the programs etc. is so full it can barely even be defragged. I have cleaned off everything I can find and it still has only about 20% free space left.

So I'd like to use the empty D: drive for my documents etc. Can I just drag Documents and Settings from the C drive over there? (There are 2 admin users set up on that computer.)

Or maybe I should even delete the D partition?

Would appreciate any advice and suggestions you folks can give me.

Thanks from a newbie!

Edited by StudioGal, 27 February 2010 - 10:45 AM.


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#2 hamluis

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 10:35 AM

Why does it have a D: partition? What is it? I'd find out the answers before I even considered deleting it.

Rather than move the Docs/Settings folders...why not just move the data-file contents to a storage partition? That's what fills up those folders...My Documents, My Videos, etc.

Louis

Edited by hamluis, 27 February 2010 - 10:48 AM.


#3 StudioGal

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 10:45 AM

I have no idea why it has the D: partition - it was partitioned by Acer when we purchased the notebook years ago.

And I'm sorry, but I have no idea what you mean by the second part of your reply. Can you explain more, please? Thanks.

#4 hamluis

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 10:55 AM

The Docs/Settings folders basically have very little content, once files are removed from My Docs, My Videoa, etc There are a number of settings which are stored there, but those do not take up much partition space.

Rather than move all Docs/Settings folders (which I would not suggest, since I can't find an easy method to do so recommended by Microsoft), just empty the contents of the folders, placing them on a partition used for nothing but storage.

Tell us

How large the C: paritition is...and how much free space it currently has?

How large the D: partition is...and how much free space it currently has?

If you Google, you will see that various persons have ideas about doing what you query about.

Moving Documents & Settings

Louis

#5 StudioGal

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 12:10 PM

Thanks for your help. Here's the capacity info:

C DRIVE: 16.45 GB capacity, 3.3 GB free
D Drive: 17.66 GB capacity, 17.38 GB free

And here's what I eventually found on the Acer site:

The hard drive is partitioned into three partitions by design. If you look in My Computer you will see two of these partitions,

On older units they are listed as "Acer (C:)" and "Acerdata (D:)" [THIS IS MY 3620]
On newer units they are listed as just "(C:)" and "(D:)"
(C:) is where the operating system and all software is installed.
(D:) is for you to use as storage.
The (D:) drive protects your data if you ever have to reformat due to a virus or other corruption. The data in the (D:) will not be erased.
The third partition is not shown in My Computer. This partition has the files necessary for the Acer eRecovery to:

1. Reinstall the operating system, setting the system back to the way it was the day you purchased it.
2. Create copies of the factory installation CD's.
3. Create a snapshot of your current configuration, you can then use that configuration if you have to wipe out the operating system.
4. Reinstall just the drivers or applications that came preinstalled on the system.

If you prefer to remove all the partitioning and have the hard drive set up as one large partition, you are free to do this however Acer does not provide software for this purpose. You will need to use a third party formatting utility like Fdisk or Partition Magic to create, change or delete partitions. Partition Magic can be used to manipulate partitions in Windows without losing data. Again this is something that Acer does not provide or support; you will need to contact the manufacturer of Partition Magic for assistance on how-to questions using their software.


So from the above, it appears that I can remove that partition, I need to do a little more research on whether or not it's a good idea.

#6 StudioGal

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 02:59 PM

As a follow-up, are there great disadvantages to installing Programs on the D: drive instead of at C:\Program Files?

As programs get larger and larger, I can gain additional space on C: by putting them on the D: drive, but will they work from there?

#7 cryptodan

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 03:04 PM

Why is the drive partitioned at all, and why is each partition so small?

#8 petewills

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 03:19 PM

It's an old notebook, with presumably a 60GB HDD; the third partition must be taking up the rest.

The Acer info states why it is partitioned that way.

#9 StudioGal

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 03:37 PM

The 3rd partition used by Acer certainly takes up a huge amount of real estate - one third of a small-for-today's-needs hard drive.

SO tempting to wipe that out if it's possible.

#10 hamluis

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 04:46 PM

It's your system.

If you don't want the capability for repairing it or restoring it...you could delete the partition.

But...I don't think that would be wise unless you happen to have a valid license and install CD for a retail version of XP...or you intend to use some O/S other than XP.

I would suggest going to Disk Management (Start/Run...type diskmgmt.msc and hit Enter) and taking a look at this hard drive and how it's set up...before doing anything.

I think it unlikely that a recovery/restore partition could be so large as it seems. That looks like I would expect a 40GB hard drive to look.

Louis

#11 StudioGal

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 05:56 PM

You are correct, Louis.

Using the disk management method you suggest, the third partition Acer uses is only 3 GB, so I think I'll leave well enough alone and make the best of the rest of the space left.

Thanks again ...

#12 hamluis

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 06:39 PM

You are welcome :thumbsup:, happy computing.

Louis

#13 Ken-in-West-Seattle

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 07:00 PM

Alternative option:

Get a bigger drive. They are cheap by the standards of notebook hard drives of the past. Your budget will rule this decision.

I have moved recovery partitions before. The method is straight forward but may require the ability to do disaster recovery (or putting your original drive back in and starting over...)so back up your stuff in straight file form on external drive or dvd or both.

I do a full disk image with clonezilla. Save it on an external usb hard drive. This can take some serious time on older laptops with usb 1.1 ports.

Put in new drive.

Boot from clonezilla live cd, hook up the usb drive at the point it ask for it, tell it to restore image to target drive.
Drink a tasty beverage or go to sleep.

The image will restore partitions exactly the same size as the original drive.


I sometimes do this with drives that are hopelessly damaged or infested with spyware and then trigger the recovery partition reinstall. (do this before you expand the partition)

Boot a ubuntu live cd. Use gparted to expand the c partition (and d if you like) to fill the size of the new drive. Don't touch the recovery partition.

Nearly all the image based drive clone utilities have a walkthrough for this scenario so you can use others if you like.

The beauty of this method is that you have the original undamaged/ unaltered drive to put back in the system if you screw something up and have to start over.

I have done this on HP's compaqs, Dells and ibm/lenovos. I don't think I have tried an acer but it should work the same way.

Option simple:

Just get the external drive and store all music, docs, recipes, movies and episodes of Good Eats on it. Remove temporary internet files and everything in the temp directory that is not today's date. Change the size of recycle bin and restore point reserves for both partitions, and consider moving the pagefile to the d partition.

#14 Hawkeye4

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 02:21 AM

Seems to me that all your documents/data is still in C:drive. Just make a folder on the D:drive and name it something like (D:\MyDocs) and move all your data (from your My Documents folder) over to that folder.

Then right-click on your My Documents folder, go down to Properties and in the box that reads (Target), put where you put the data (D:\MyDocs).

#15 cryptodan

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 06:02 AM

Right click on the My Documents folder go to properties then change the drive letter to D and it will move all on its lonesome.


You however, cannot move the entire C:\Documents and Settings to another partition. You will mess up windows.




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