General discussion

C drive almost full, D drive empty. Get rid of partitition?

My 15 GB internal drive is partitioned as follows:
C drive: 5.89 GB w/ 423 MB free (7%); File system FAT32
D drive: 8.15 GB w/ 8.12 MB free (99%); File sys NTSF

Sony apparently partitioned it this way. This is a Sony Vaio notebook # PCG-FXA32, about 3 yrs old. It has Mobil AMD Duron processor (900 MHz); 256 MB SDRAM; DVD-ROM; 1.44 MB floppy drive (no CD-R drive), WinXP(SP2) home ed. (I am not vey proficient with computers.)

All programs/data are on the C drive, and it is obviously running out of space. The program files that are visible to me add up to 867 MB. There are other programs (such as Windows XP, AOL) that do not show up under program files-- or, at least they don't give any size data. I only have Word files, a few spreadsheets, e-mails, and some e-mail photo attachments stored on the computer. No music, videos, digital photos, games, etc. Many of the programs I don't really use (don't even know what they are). I tried to delete or move them to D drive, but I got a message saying something like: If I do this, some other programs my not work. I was able to move just a few.

PROBLEM: How best to gain access to the rest of my hard drive? When I try to Defrag, I get a message that in order for Defrag to work properly, I must have 15% free disc space. I can still go ahead and defrag, but I'm not sure if it's an optimum defrag.

I've looked at threads in this forum and others, with similar questions. I have some ideas, but I need help in understanding my options:

1) Partitioning software: Partition Magic 8.01(Powerquest), Disk Director 9.0 (Acronis), Drive Copy, Partition Manager 6.0 (Paragon). These are some options that I've seen reference to. Partition Magic seems to have the most references. Would one of these enable me to expand my C drive and to eliminate the D drive (or , at least make it very small)? Is one of these better for my purpose?

2) Compress the program files that I don't use. I have never done this. I don't think I have compression software. But, is this an option that will gain me disc space. If a program is needed, will it automatically uncompress? Or, will I get some sort of message saying that I must unzip this program? What compression programs are recommended?

3)Uninstall or delete programs, then re-install on D-drive. If I am able to do this, could I go back to my two "Application Recovery" CDs and pick a particular program for re-installation on drive D? If I delete a program from C drive, and I get a warning message saying some other program might be affected, should I heed this warning? If I install a program on the D drive, and if I'm working on C-drive, will a program on D drive be accessible to me while I'm on C-drive?

4) Store all data on drive D (Word files, spreadsheets, e-mail, contacts, etc) and keep all programs on C drive. Sounds good, but I really have no idea how to go about doing this. (I have AOL, by the way). If I move all my Word files to D drive, will I still have access to them when working in the Word program on C drive?

So, basically, I'm running out of disk space. But, in reality, I have plenty of (unaccessible) disk space. I don't think I really need any partition whatsoever-- at least not for my purposes. Please advise on the best/ easiest method to resolve this partition problem. (Remember, I'm not all that good with computers).

Thanks for your help. I think a lot of people will benefit from the answers. There are related posts in many different forum areas (Storage, WinXP, general, etc.) But it's all sort of fragmented.

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You could simply learn how to

isure that you install all app's etc, all files etc to the D drive and use the partition the way intended. Their intent was to limit the C drive to the boot programs and related. They simply failed to rtell you or you didn't read the documentation where they explained it.

Just relocate your stuff to the D drive and get the discipline.

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Sony pre-installed most of the software

I added only a few items -- an old version of Office, software to operate the hp printer/fax/scanner, anti-spyware,etc. AOL was already installed on C drive. PC-cillan was already installed also. There really is no documentation about the drive partitioning except in a spec sheet. It came out of the box running everything on C drive.

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Well, just uninstall some of them and reinstall

on the D drive. Office is pretty big. You get to install it wherever you want by electing to do a custom install.

Since most programs want to install to C:/Program Files, simply create a Program Files folder on the D drive, then, in most cases, you will be able to simply edit the path by changing the C to the D. In the Office app's [Word, Excel, etc] make sure that you use each of their options to change the default file folder to be one that you create on the D drive.

Go to: to see how to redirect the My Documents folder to folders that you create on the D drive. When you do that it asks you if you also want to move what there now. Then you should be able to keep from putting things on the C drive.

Even when you install an app to the D drive it will put a few small entries on the C drive. These are just links for Windows to use.

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