Shrink partition C in Windows XP

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by er34, Mar 17, 2013.

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  1. er34

    er34 Guest

    Hello. I came accross a Windows XP SP3 installation which has been partitioned incorrectly :
    C:\ with only 20GB
    E:\ with 140 GB

    Due to the fact Windows is on C:\ and almost all programs are on C:\ and C:\ gets all the temp data, it is always almost full and badly fragmented.

    I must shrink extend C:\ to above 100 GB.

    I have never done this on Windows XP, I have only done this on Windows 7 and 8 with Microsoft Windows's own function and it works.
    In Windows XP I know I must use 3rd party bootable disk but I have heard it is risky and many programs cause serious problems. On the Internet I found EaseUS Partition master Home edition (free) and Gparted live (open source).

    Do you guys trust them ? Do you have some experience with this software or can you recommend some other you have tried and works fine with no issues. Because this computer belongs to my close friends - I can't afford to break their system and to loose their machine.

    Thank you for any advise on this topic ! :thumb:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2013
  2. AlexC

    AlexC Registered Member

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    I would first create a full clone of the disc before proceeding... just in case.

    I always use Gparted when messing with partitions, and so far i never had a problem.

    (i believe you want to expand and not to shrink the C:\ partition?)
     
  3. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    Just make an image of the c: drive first, then you don't have a worry. Unless there is data on the d: partition.

    I used to use Partition Magic to do such things. I loved that program. The application I would use now is Partition Wizard I think (don't use it very often). I have used Gparted and a few other similar ones, they work ok as well. I used (I think) SystemRescueCD live-cd to do some hdd work a few months ago, and it had a really good selection of disc tools. Not always the easiest to use, but powerful none-the-less.

    Sul.
     
  4. er34

    er34 Guest

    Oh, yes, I want to extend it - type mistake. Extend.

    Thanks :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: , 5stars for Gparted so far
     
  5. er34

    er34 Guest

    Thanks, I'll check them ! :thumb:
     
  6. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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  7. Johnny123

    Johnny123 Registered Member

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    20 GB is what I always used to install XP and always had around 3-4 GB free space. Are the users Documents folders on the E partition? Otherwise I can't imagine why you would need a 100 GB C partition for XP. My Win 7 C partition is 50.2 GB with 28.5 of that free, and Win 7 takes a hell of a lot more disk space than XP. It sounds more like poor file placement than wrong partitioning.

    If the user document folders are already on E you can possibly gain some space by shrinking the amount of space allocated for the recycle bin and system restore. If hibernation is on and you turn it off you of course get back whatever amount of GB of RAM is installed. You may also be able to make a static amount for the page file that is smaller. You could run Ccleaner and clear out all the temp crap. I'd look into these possibilities first.

    That said, shrinking and expanding partitions always carries a certain risk of data loss. There's reasons why Partition Magic had the nickname Partition Tragic. :) Parted Magic ( a Linux live CD) is what I used when I did this. Be prepared to wait forever until it's finished, shrinking and expanding takes a long time.
     
  8. wat0114

    wat0114 Registered Member

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    The bootable CD (scroll down a bit for download) is what I usually use and it's never failed me. GParted is excellent from my experience as well.

    http://www.partitionwizard.com/download.html

    Of course as already mentioned image your C drive first.
     
  9. er34

    er34 Guest

    No, the other E:\ partition is almost empty. It has no more than 3-4 GB full, all other 136 GB are free.

    My experience shows ( I have tested it and I have read it) that the OS should have big/bigger partition. This is due to the fact programs and most other documents are in the same partition by default. There is a lot of read/write acitivity on that partition (normally) and this causes disk framention. The less the space, the faster the disk gets highly fragmented which causes dramatic performance issues. Additionally, when by default all programs place their files in the same partition as the OS, this partition (C:\ now) gets full all the time, which also causes performance issues. 20 GB is too small amount and if I had to do it, I'd never use only 20GB. More space is needed :)


    I performed a lot of cleaning and all I archived was about 1 GB free. 19 full. But very frequently that 1 GB got full because they had Office 2003 (they did not want it) and they have bought Office 2010, which I installed on E:\ but still some things still got in C:\ so this would be a never ending story of [do something, remove something else, again...]. I think I should permanenly fix this by extending the C:\.

    Thank you ! I am more relaxed now :rolleyes: :D :D :D

    Thank you for your post and advice !
     
  10. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    er34,

    You must be storing your data files in the C: drive. The largest WinXP partition I've used was 13 GB.
     
  11. Johnny123

    Johnny123 Registered Member

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    There's one big reason right there. Move the My Documents folder to the E partition. It's very simple, google it and you'll probably find hundreds of articles on this. If you download and install the TweakUI Powertoy from Microsoft it's even easier. If you do it right, any program that writes data to My Documents will write it to the E partition where you moved it to. Edit: Here's a good, clear guide from Gizmo.

    My experience has shown me that 20 GB is more than enough. I've actually had XP running quite well once on a 10GB partition. (See Brian K's posting, he's never used more than 13 GB) You can move a lot more stuff over to E as well. If they use Outlook, for example, move the .pst file over to E. The next time you start Outlook it will complain that it can't find the .pst file and ask to point to it. You browse to the new location and everything is fine. If they use Firefox, you can move the profile folder to E by running firefox.exe -ProfileManager. You can also move things like the Outlook Express storage folder and address book (if they use OE) and IE Favorites to E. All of this has the added advantage that if you need to restore an image of C you don't lose any mail, bookmarks, etc.

    That's because MS Office puts a lot of stuff in Common Program Files. If you move off My Documents and other things that can be moved to E, you should have plenty of room to install it on C. For Office, it's best, in my experience, to do a custom install. If you click Full or typical installation, you can end up with tons of things that you never use. Do the custom install and save a lot of space. If all they need is Word, Excel and PowerPoint then you can uncheck other things they won't be using. Why install Outlook or OneNote when you don't use them? I kill off spell checking for languages I can't speak, etc. You'd be surprised how much fat you can trim off.

    You're more than welcome :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  12. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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  13. jonyjoe101

    jonyjoe101 Registered Member

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    EasUS Partition master Home edition the free version I used on xp several times. Even if you stop the operation halfway through it wont mess anything up.
    It has been successful everytime even when the operation was interrupted. Other partition software if it hangs and you need to stop it the hard drive become corrupted (raw).
    Worst case scenario "testdisk" can fixed a hard drive where a partition was interrupted, fixed it twice when using other partition software.
    But good idea to image your drive before partition. but easus is pretty safe on XP from my many use of it on enlarging or shrinking the c: drive.
     
  14. er34

    er34 Guest

    BrianK, thank you for your post and advise. :thumb:

    I should underline that this is not my machine.
    I don't like C:\ being so small and I prefer it being bigger. So I asked for advise how to extend the C:\ partition to make it bigger.
    The reason is I must perform a lof of non-standart task such as moving quite a lof ot standart locations to non-standart places (which might potentially in future cause some problems). Additionally, there might be some programs I might need to reinstall to move their files to E:\ Finally, being so small (C:\) it fragments a lof more often then the bigger partition, which causes slow down. I'd prefer to make C:\ bigger.


    Johnny123, thank you for your post and advise :thumb:
    I want to extend the C:\ because there is a lot of free space from E:\ and additionally I think I have spent a lot of time on it and I have already performed a lot of cleaning/removing unnecessary files. I have also already moved whatever possible (including documents) to E:\
    I am sure there is a lot more I can play with and move to E:\ but why should I spend time to do this - to make it the non-standart way when I can do it the standart way and fast.

    Thank you jonyjoe101! I'll consider this.

    Thank you all ! :thumb: I still have not done anything on this case because I am very busy working and I don't have the time to visit this computer. Perhaps in the weekend.
     
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