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Dell Inspiron M5010 Hard Drive Partitions seem to be reverse

by RetiredCoastie / November 18, 2012 5:57 AM PST

My wife got a new computer and I got her hand-me-down. I have noticed that the OS is in the 58.5 GB partition and the Data section, which seems to be unused has 229 GB of unused space. We have had this laptop for roughly since 2010. I thought that the space allocation was supposed to be the other way around.

Does anyone have suggestions as to how I can fix this?

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All Answers

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First why this is.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 18, 2012 6:00 AM PST

As folk began to demand their files are saved when we restore the OS, many makers did this so copies could be in that other partition while the OS is restored. Works most of the time.

To change this you use Dell's advice on the matter or tools like GPARTED to resize as you see fit.

Keep in mind XP and some OSes have strange issues at say 127GB so be sure you know your OS limitations.

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This old man is not all that computer savvy
by RetiredCoastie / November 18, 2012 8:13 AM PST
In reply to: First why this is.

Thank you for your input. It sort of explains why, but it does not explain how I access the larger part of my Hard Drive so I can use this space. Also, people need to understand that I am in my 60s and not all that computer savvy.

When I was taking Typing Classes in High School, all of the typewriters were manual. I can remember when the first IBM PC - Home Computer was introduced to the world in 1981. I was 29 years old at that time.

So this brings the question, why am I being forced to use the smaller space for my files and such when there is a much larger area that is unused (other than a few interesting files that I assume are the re-boot files)? That, and how do I start using the larger free space for files or should I just keep saving my files to memory sticks?

(This is very reminiscent of the days when we had to save files to Cassette Tapes, 8-inch (200 mm) Floppy Disks and later in 5.25-inch (133 mm) and/or 3.5-inch (89 mm) sizes.)

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Not being forced at all.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 18, 2012 8:35 AM PST

We can resize with tools, we can use the other drive letter. Nothing is forced here at all.

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Unless you wrote it wrong
by volvogirl / November 18, 2012 9:14 AM PST

Those amounts sound ok to me. Does the large partition have a drive letter like D:? What Windows are you using? XP? Is the smaller partition the C drive? Has your wife been storing her data there too? The bigger one is probably D: When you first save a document, etc. stop and change it to the other drive letter, after that it should remember. You may want to set up a folder or folders on it to put your stuff in. I wonder if you were looking at the hidden partition Dell puts on the hard drive to keep a copy of the os so you can restore back to the factory condition? Hopefully that partition isn't being accessed or messed up.

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by RetiredCoastie / November 18, 2012 1:10 PM PST

Yes, the smaller (58,5 GB) is the C Drive and the larger (229 GB) is the D drive.. I never really took the time to investigate this laptop until it got handed down. (I am such a good sport letting my wife have the newer computers. She knows less about computers than I do. LOL)

This Inspiron is running Windows 7. From what I can tell, the information on the Larger (D) Drive is the reboot instructions. This whole things seems to be **** Backwards, but then again, I am not that swift on computers. (I really need to get my Grandchildren to straighten me out on this one. LOL)

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