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How do I un-partition a drive?

by atikovi / August 17, 2010 8:42 AM PDT

I?m not even sure it?s the right term but here is the problem. I bought this used Dell 9100 that has two 500GB hard drives. The previous owner set it up as follows; System Reserved (C:) with 100MB total capacity & 48MB free space, Local Disc (D:) with 465GB total capacity & 453GB free space and Local Disc (E:) with 465GB total capacity & 399GB free space. The problem is I have some software that only works from drive C and there is no space there for it. I?m not sure what the previous owner intended by calling drive C a System Reserved drive as it only contains a few small folders and files. How can I find out which hard disk this C drive is part of and how do I join them back into one drive?

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Go to Disk Management for the status of the drives...
by Papa Echo / August 17, 2010 9:31 AM PDT

Start>Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Computer Management>Disk Management. Here you will see all the drives, with numbers asigned, Disk 0, 1, 2, 3....,and within each drive, you will see the Partitions[with drive letters]
Report what you see [with screen shot, if possible], and one of us here should be able to help.

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What operating system is it?
by Paul C / August 17, 2010 9:31 AM PDT

Regardless of what you state (or don't state), can I assume that the OS is on the C: drive?

Assuming you're running Windows XP, Vista or 7, right-click My Computer (XP)or Computer (Vista and 7). Select Manage from the drop down. In the window that opens up, select Disk Management. You'll then see a graphic representation of both drives on the system and the partitions that are on each one.

Now, as for merging partitions: The link I'm providing is for Vista, but it should work in 7 as well:


Alternately, you can buy one of the many disk management programs that are out there.

Hope this helps, Paul

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by atikovi / August 17, 2010 9:50 AM PDT

I'm running XP Pro. I see Windows is on E: I went to disc management and it shows: Disc 0 465.75GB, System Reserved (C) 100MB (Healthy System), (E) 465.65GB Healthy (Boot) and Disc 1 465.76GB Local Disc (D) 465.76GB Healthy

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Partition Wizard
by Schokers / August 17, 2010 10:04 AM PDT

There is a free program called Partition Wizard which is very easy to use and creates new and combines partition. You can find it at Sorry but I don't now how to enter a link into this reply - you will have to copy this address into your browser.

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Partition Wizard
by atikovi / August 17, 2010 12:57 PM PDT
In reply to: Partition Wizard

From what I've read so far it looks like I need to merge C and E together. Seems none of these free versions do the mearge function so I guess I have to buy one of the upgraded versions.

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by atikovi / August 18, 2010 5:57 AM PDT
In reply to: Partition Wizard

How would this work? I cloned drive E which has Windows and all my programs to drive D. Can I now reinstall Windows so that there is just a drive C and no E? Then can I clone D to the new C drive?

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I doubt that will work,...
by Paul C / August 18, 2010 6:54 AM PDT
In reply to: Clone? Windows usually won't work if you try to change the drive letter on which it's installed. Your real problem is that you have a system drive (C:) that has too little space. I'd seriously consider getting a third party program and merge C: and E:.

Given what you've told us, I suspect I'd do the following:

1. Backup everything you want to keep onto Drive D: (just copy and paste the folders).

2. Merge E: with C:, making sure that C: is the drive you keep. NOTE: This may result in Windows not being able to boot!

3. Reinstall XP on Drive C: (Disk 0). Reinstall all your software, run Windows Update and update all your applications.

4. Move the data you saved on Disk 1 (Drive D:) to where you want it.


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Won't work?
by atikovi / August 18, 2010 7:17 AM PDT

1) Backing up everything and copying them to drive D would be ideal but it only works for data. I have programs that don't copy over and which would take a dozen hours to re-install, thats why I tried cloning.
2) I was going to buy Acronis Disc Director 11 but at $50 for a one time need, I though I would try this first. If you think it's really the best way I'll go that route.
3) If I merge E with C why do I need to reinstall XP? It was already on E and which is now C.

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