Help Me Reconfigure my HDD

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by Aaron Here, Jan 31, 2008.

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  1. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    I have a Dell PC with one HDD (total size is 60GB out of which 35GB is free). I'm fairly certain that the drive also has 1 or 2 hidden partitions for recovering the software configuration as shipped.

    The thing is that over the 3-years I've had this PC I've updated Windows many times and my current application programs bear no resemblance to those that came with the PC, so the last thing I'd ever want to do is restore the shipped configuration! Fwiw, I regularly backup my internal drive to an external drive.

    So I would like to know how to go about freeing-up the hidden Dell partition(s) and recapturing that disk space... Actually, I want to perform the following (but not necessarily in this sequence):

    1. Free-up the Dell hidden partitions.
    2. Break-up my C-drive into 2 partitions, 1 for WinXP and programs, 1 for My Documents folder (where I store my data, docs and photos).
    3. Add the disk space from the Dell partitions to one of the 2 'usable' partitions.
    4. Move My Documents folder from the C-partition to the new D-partition.

    I'd appreciate some guide-lines as to the best way of accomplishing this.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2008
  2. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    Hi Aaron,

    First let me say that imho dividing your C-drive into 2 (C and D) partitions for your stated use is a very good idea. For reasons I will address later, let's first discuss this without considering the Dell hidden partitons.

    Since you posted this in the Acronis Disk Director forum, I presume you have this software. If not you will need it (or some other 3rd party partition managing software) to do the job. The largest size of your newly created D-partition can be no larger than the available free space on your drive, which (not considering the Dell partitions) you say is 35GB. Using Disk Director Suite (or another partition manager) I would create about a 30GB D-partition by using your available free space (leaving about 5GB of free space on C for 'elbow-room').

    Once you have created the new D-partition, you can move your data, docs, music and photo folders (which may or may not all be located in the My Documents folder) from your C-partition to the new D-partition. Doing this will free-up lots more space on your C-partition, so then you can make a '2nd pass' with Disk Director (or the like) to further enlarge the D-partition and in the process, further reduce the size of your system partition.

    Removing and freeing up the space of the Dell hidden partitions is doable (using Disk Director), but more complicatied. As you know, Dell's partitions are used for recovering your system to its original state (one is for running Dell diagnostics). The complexity in freeing up that space comes about because in doing that you may need to run a 'FIXMBR' to change the Dell-modified MBR to a standard Windows MBR. If you decide to do this, you can also remove the Dell folders on your C-partition, as they will no longer serve much purpose. You have to ponder and decide whether or not recapturing the few GB used by Dell is worth the hassle!

    I suggest attacking this job in the stages indicated above, making (and verifying) entire drive backup images onto your external drive before each stage, (just in case)!!!

    Hth,
    appster
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2008
  3. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Hey appster, thanks a lot for your help. I will have to think about whether or not deleting the Dell partitions and recovering the space is worth that effort. But I guess I can always do that at a later time. Now, I have a better comfort level about how to go about doing all of this, so thanks again.

    Aaron
     
  4. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    Aaron, I just noticed (in the Software & Services forum) that you recently installed EAZ-FIX. Well EF overwrites the MBR upon installation, thereby disabling your ability to utilize the Dell recovery partition!!! So you can (and should) free-up and make use of the space consumed by the Dell recovery partition (without having to 'mess' with the MBR). ;)
     
  5. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Thanks appster, I didn't even think about that. I created a 30gig D-partition yesterday. That went well, but I left the Dell partition alone. Now that you pointed out that EF overwrote my MBR, it's probably is a good idea to free up the Dell recovery partition space since it's no longer functional.
     
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