Resizing Primary Drive

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by Astralman, May 8, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Astralman

    Astralman Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Posts:
    3
    Here's the deal. I'm a gamer, first and foremost. Due to unforseen circumstance I was "awarded" a Hewlett Packard a6000n. Compared to the boat anchor I was using before, it's a step up. AMD 64 dual processor, nVIDIA ge6300 (a step down from my previous 7-series), 250 gigs of hard drive and ACK ACK ACK VISTA!!!? EW. It may be good for grandmaw, but it is muey inadequate for gaming. The main problem is sharing resources with Vista's resource gluttony. The OS uses half the processor, so you'd have to double the processor capacity just to give the game what it needs...seems to me.

    ANYWAY, it occured to me that I could create a recovery disk, in case I want Vista back one day (perish the thought), and use my trusty XP Home disk, presto change-o, dual processor speed, better game function, ta da ta da. But, noooooooooooooooo. The games run like molasses in wintertime, which shouldn't be UNLESS...I did some checking since I heard some time ago, XP doesn't like huge drives. That's my first question:

    Is it true there's a preferred drive size that makes XP happy, too big and XP gets all kinds of weird?

    Well, after some poking around, I came across an in-passing comment that XP prefers no larger than 32 gigs. I don't know if that's apocrypha, but you can see where my thinking is going here...PARTITION THE DRIVE. Reduce it to sections, put each of three games on each section, and XP shouldn't be having to do that much work to run the game. Or, so it would seem to one of my limited understanding of such matters. SO, following that line I investigated partitioning XP which led me to an article mentioning Acronis, which I bought today and proceeded to see if all this might be true.

    SO...I have a drive "H:" labeled "recovery" and the C: on which resides XP running like a bat out of hell, except for the games themselves. Odd. I don't want to touch the H: drive, but to resize the C: which takes up all the remaining space on the drive. It has sixteen gigs of data on it, and my resize was to change it to 50 gigs. I figure that's big enough and leaves 170 gigs or so to divide into three adequate drives to run the three games. (Battlefield 2 being the main one...for those who know...)

    Long story short (by the time you say that, it's usually too late), when I "commit" to this resize of 50.08 gigs, I get an "invalid partition size" error message. Okay. I did run the wholly inadequate XP defrag program and noticed there are some files located waaaaaaaaaaay to the right on the graphic depiction, obviously in a space that's MORE THAN 50 gigs to the right of where I want my partition.

    Am I correct in assuming these files must be moved to the left of the 50 gig mark before Acronis is happy with the size of the new partition? That seems logical enough. It would mean I'd have to reinstall XP completely. But, after that everything would be in a tidy spot way to the left.

    or....

    Is there a defrag program that will force these files to fill in from left to right with no open space in between, thus making my 50 gig mark valid.

    or....

    Am I barking up the wrong tree here?

    I wish to thank in advance anyone who's taken the time to read this. I'll put you on my Christmas card list.
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Posts:
    6,482
    Location:
    California
    It's generally a good idea to defrag the drive before trying to resize the partition. I haven't used anything other than Windows defragger and Norton Speed Disk. You could also run chkdsk /r on the drive to check for errors. Be aware that if any bad sectors are found, DD will not resize the partition.

    If you're getting an invalid partition size error, you could try make it a little larger or a little smaller and see if it goes. I haven't experienced that error myself.

    As for XP and large hard drives. There is no problem using large hard drives with XP as long as you're using at least SP1 (SP2 is now pretty much standard so that shouldn't be a problem) and your BIOS supports large drives. Most computers after 2001 should support them already, earlier computers will probably require a BIOS update. My Dell 8100, for example, was purchased in December of 2000 and required a BIOS update to support large drive. I currently have a 250GB in it with no problems.

    If you are still in the process of setting up and are still having problems partitioning the way you want and don't mind resinstalling everything on the drive, you could use the wipe feature of DD and clear the drive. Then zero out the MBR using the disk editor. That way you're starting with a blank drive.

    Also, if you're trying to do this from Windows, boot from the rescue cd and try it that way. Sometimes it works much better that way.
     
  3. Astralman

    Astralman Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Posts:
    3
    Aw, dawg. I used Norton Speed Disk when I had Win 95, and it moved all the files compactly to one end of the drive, so you had all your open space in one section. That's what I keep wishing I had now, alas. What's funny is those errant files weren't strung out on the open end of my drive until AFTER I used defrag before trying to resize it...then whoops there they were.

    It looks like I'll have to reformat and reinstall XP, which in a sense defeats the purpose of using ADDS. After I get this done, I don't see how I'd have any other use for the program. Then, after I do this, the program will be wiped too...luckily I got the download insurance.

    Thanks Msr Mud Crab.
     
  4. Astralman

    Astralman Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Posts:
    3
    Re: Resizing Primary Drive - broke the code...?

    Welp, I searched Google-wise and found a couple of defrag programs. Most of them didn't move files at all. PerfectDisk 8.0 did, but left that awful gap anyway. SO, I went to system (control panel) advanced tab, performance setting, advanced tab, and saw my page file allocation was 1344 megs. Whoa. That's about the size of that gap! SO, I ticked the "I'll do it myself" button, and set the page file to a minimum 50M/maximum 500M, ran defrag again and all the files were neatly lined up to the left. THEN, I ran DDS, setting the new C: partition to 60 gigs. Rebooted and it WORKED!!

    Lesson learned: The page file designation in space is carved in stone. All the defraggers were deferring to it. With a gig of RAM, the page file doesn't need to be the entire open drive, but Windows seems to think it does. Forcing Windows to accept a smaller amount of page file disk, but leaving enough for the OS to function (with regard to adequate RAM, a gig or more), freed the defrag program to move the files onto what was until then restricted area.

    Having a defrag program that moves files is a must. Speed Disk does, at least the one I used with Win 95, and this PerfectDisk 8.0 does, too. I used a trial copy and just might buy it after this!

    However, Mud Crab, what you said bothers me. XP should work. My graphics card is adequate, processor speed more than adequate, RAM is up to speed too...the games should work without partitioning the drive...still don't make sense. After all this...what if they still run s l o w o_O I've run out of ideas having done all the usual, and unusual XP tweaks. It's a puzzlement.

    Since it took most of the day to get this to work, I'm getting some snooze before I go back into DDS and further partition my new partition.

    Thanks again.
     
  5. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Posts:
    6,482
    Location:
    California
    Re: Resizing Primary Drive - broke the code...?

    I forgot about the swap file. Sometimes it's easier to just turn it off, defrag, do what you need to and then turn it back on.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.