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Hard Drive Partition - Questions


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#1 Richardf77

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 04:41 AM

I need help on  hard drive partition under windows 7. I have a desktop PC running home premium with a 500GB HDD installed but like most PCs this is partitioned for recovery purposes leaving only half the specified disc space available to use. On the machine in question i have all but used this space up, despite having 2 external HDDs to store and backup to. Space is mostly taken up with videos and photos that i do not want to remove or delete. 
 
What i want to know is does my PC need half its HDD for recovery purposes, if not how do i change the partition (ideally without reinstalling windows or formatting the drive) and if i change the partition what would be the minimum size needed for recovery? If i cant change the partition without reinstalling windows or formatting the drive (i.e. loosing all my data), what would happen if i just put files and folders into the 'empty' drive partition to make space in the main one?
 
Any advice appreciated.

 



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#2 Platypus

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 04:54 AM

The other half of the hard drive is not for recovery, feel free to put anything you like on it. If your system has a recovery partition, it will normally be an unmounted partition large enough to contain the same contents as would be transferred onto a few DVDs if you made recovery discs. Being unmounted, it only appears in places like Disk Management, not Computer or Explorer.


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#3 Richardf77

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 09:27 AM

Found disc management. Pretty much confirms what you say. Recovery partition of just 17GB with a secondary 'D' drive of 225GB (same as the C drive) with nothing on it. Can access it via My Computer. Seems an odd way to set up a HDD to me. Why not just one big drive with a seperate rocovery partition?

 

Any way i can tie any data i put on this drive to a particular user account or library or will it have to be open access?



#4 Platypus

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 04:54 PM

Pretty standard setup. You can treat locations on the D: drive just the same as on C:, or if D: is completely empty you should be able to delete the partition in Disk Management and then extend the C: drive out to fill the entire space.

 

Having two partitions has advantages in drive management, like if your data is on D:, the system & applications on C: can be restored from a backup image if necessary without involving all the data files. Also things like defragmenting C: will be quicker, and since C: will contain the faster outer section of the drive, the system files on C: are automatically in faster loading locations. But many people still like to just have a single large drive anyway.


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#5 Richardf77

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 05:52 PM

The more I think about it and the more I understand it the better this setup sounds. Having a dedicated data only drive, if only as an archive makes sense. Did think about installing a second OS on the d drive, or removing it, but will probably just transfer my data into it.

It hasn't been easy getting my head around this partition business. Hard to think one physical hdd can be 2 or more independant drives.

Been thinking, if I transfer my data onto the d drive can I then shrink the c drive and make the d drive bigger?

Thanks for the help

#6 Platypus

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 09:24 PM

I like to have the drive partitioned myself.

 

It's simplest to shrink the C: drive first, but that means transferring enough files to another, such as a USB HDD, then defragmenting C: to get all the remaining files moved back toward the start of the partition. You can delete the empty D: drive, shrink the C: partition and create a new larger D: drive, all from within Disk Management. But it doesn't have the facility to just expand the D: drive down into extra space between if you shrink C:,  so if you already had stuff copied  to D: you'd lose it.

 

To adjust the partition sizes while they contain all your files, there are a number of third-party partition managers you could try, from sources such as EaseUs, but doing it that way is possibly more risky if something goes wrong.


Edited by Platypus, 03 July 2013 - 09:28 PM.

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#7 AngryRaisin

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 11:07 PM

It hasn't been easy getting my head around this partition business. Hard to think one physical hdd can be 2 or more independant drives.


Definitely do not think about it as independent drives... think about it as a partition... like a Partition wall that makes one room into two rooms or cubicles that makes one office into two offices... Because when you have complete drive failure you still lose both partitions.

There are many ways to repartition - go into it with careful thought - its easier for the drive to move data off onto a completely seperate drive than to move data onto a different place on the same surface.

Edited by AngryRaisin, 03 July 2013 - 11:08 PM.


#8 PanickyD

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 11:24 PM

 

It hasn't been easy getting my head around this partition business. Hard to think one physical hdd can be 2 or more independant drives.


Definitely do not think about it as independent drives... think about it as a partition... like a Partition wall that makes one room into two rooms or cubicles that makes one office into two offices... Because when you have complete drive failure you still lose both partitions.

 

I absolutely agree with the Raisin. I have a 1TB main drive with ~250GB for the C: partition (OS and programs) and ~750GB for the D: partition (my data). That way, if your OS gets hosed, saving all your data is a huge step you won't have to do when reinstalling the OS to C: I also have a 750 GB external USB drive that I use to completely back up my D: drive. I use a freebie called SyncBack for 1-click backups that couldn't be any easier. Easy backups means you'll do them :-)


After the game, the King and the Pawn go into the same box...





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