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How do you create a partition?

by BrianZachary / October 22, 2007 7:05 AM PDT

I have Windows XP Home SP2. I have a 120 GB hard drive partitioned as follows:

C Drive (NTFS) = Total Size: 108 GB, Free Space: 51.6 GB
D Drive (FAT32) = Total Size: 3.70 GB, Free Space 1.67 GB

This is the way the computer came when I bought it 2 years ago, except the free space size of course. What I want to do is create a new partition to move files I want onto so that I can reinstall Windows without the risk of losing any of my files. I have no experience whatsoever creating partitions and any instructions I have read on how to do so are very confusing, especially at Microsoft's website.

Is it possible to create a partition, move my files to it and then do a destructive reinstall of Windows, or would I have to save my files somewhere else? I guess I'm asking if it's possible to format just a partition instead of the whole hard drive. I am willing to just do a backup reinstall, but if I move my files I want saved, I won't need a backup. I don't have an external hard drive, so that isn't an option.

If anyone can give me a "Partitions for Dummies" explanation on creating partitions, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

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(NT) What PC do you have...Make/Mfg, Series and Model # ?
by VAPCMD / October 22, 2007 7:31 AM PDT
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Here you go.
by BrianZachary / October 22, 2007 7:48 AM PDT

I didn't think to include all that because I didn't think it was needed for my situation. Anyway I have an eMachines W3052. Not sure what else you need.

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Why did I ask for info about your PC....???
by VAPCMD / October 22, 2007 11:50 AM PDT
In reply to: Here you go.

without knowing about the ailing or target PC, it's way too easy to make a bad recommendation. Most clone PCs . . home builts don't have recovery or hidden partitions that could be compromised. On the otherhand, most BIG BOX PC...those made by Dell, HP, Gateway, etc., do. So bottom line, having simple info like it's an HP, eMachine, Dell, etc., can really does make a difference.

In this know about the recovery partition whereas many many have no clue there is one or what its' purpose is.


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I understand, VAPCMD.
by BrianZachary / October 22, 2007 3:09 PM PDT

I see what you're saying. I've heard it's cheaper to build a computer or have one built than to just buy a new one. I'm not against having one built or "refurbished" as they say, and I don't care if that's spelled wrong, so there...LOL

Anyway, you can get a whole system already built and with a warranty all boxed up at Walmart for a very reasonable price these days, which is where I got mine 2 years ago. Sure you get a bunch of stuff included that you will never use or want, but it's really not that hard to go through and get rid of what you don't want, like AOL, Norton, McAfee limited time trials.

The reason I bought this one is because at the time I had an older used computer that was given to me. It probably came with Windows 98 or older and was very slow with like 56K Ram, I think. I had to replace and add to the memory, replace the ethernet card, video card and a few other things. When I was told the motherboard should be replaced too I had had it and figured if I'm going to keep spending money on replacing parts in this old piece of junk, I might as well just buy a brand new piece of junk...LOL

Anyway, I've been using the one I have now for more than 2 years with few problems and I don't plan on getting a new one or upgrading as long as this one keeps going. When this one fails, I will just have to get a newer piece of junk. Maybe they'll have more systems that come with Ubuntu by then, instead of just Dell. That would be cool.

Ok, I really didn't mean to go on about all that, but I just get carried away sometimes. Sorry about that.

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Partitions >>> off subject
by billzhills / October 22, 2007 7:41 AM PDT

Drive D: 3.7 gig >

Sounds as if this system is a HP/Compaq.

If this is so then the D: partition is for system recovery. The Recovery Partition (D) allows you to press the F11 key for Windows repair/destructive recovery.

Use of the Recovery disks in destructive recovery re-establishes the existing partitions.

The lazy way to accomplish what you want is to purchase an external drive. Partitioning a drive is not worth the time as it limits the overall drive size in unusable space. (IE: 6 gig file > 4 gigs free space drive C: > 5 gig free space drive D:)


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That's a future option.
by BrianZachary / October 22, 2007 8:02 AM PDT

No, it's an eMachines but the D Drive is the recovery drive. I can use F11 to bring up the recovery/reinstall options. I know how to reinstall Windows with backup but then I have to hunt in the backup for all my files, including desktop shortcuts and favorites. It's not hard to do, but it is tedious and I end up with all the extra backup items I don't need.

One of my future goals is to buy an external hard drive, but my financial situation at the moment denies me that luxury. As you can probably tell, I try to keep my free space at a good size, so I'm not worried if I lose a few Gigs with a new partition, at least my files will be safe.

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Just to re-state [the recovery drive]
by billzhills / October 22, 2007 8:47 AM PDT

The recovery partition or disks using
destructive recovery returns the drive to factory conditions.

To re-size and re-partition drive C for OS and files can be done.

Just do not use the destructive recovery option. If you do say bye bye to your files.


PS: the only safe files are those that are burned to 2 or more CDs kept in different locations. Happy

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OK thanks, Bill.
by BrianZachary / October 22, 2007 2:52 PM PDT

I guess I will wait until I can get an external hard drive as that will probably be the easiest way to save what I want to keep and then be safe to just do a clean format and destructive reinstall of Windows.

Kinda funny, there's one instance where something destructive is also clean...hehe

Thanks again, Bill.

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Suggest reading thru STORAGE
by VAPCMD / October 22, 2007 11:54 PM PDT
In reply to: OK thanks, Bill.

the better more reliable solution is INTERNAL.


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That may be, VAPCMD.
by BrianZachary / October 23, 2007 3:18 PM PDT

I understand what you are saying that an internal hard drive might be better than an external, but I'm not internal minded. All those wires and cables inside a computer confuse me and I wouldn't know what plugs into where.

The advantage with an external hard drive is you can just plug it into a USB port. Plus the fact that you can plug it into any computer to access files on it. I don't know if there is anything to install to get it to work, but usually with USB devices, Windows will detect and install whatever drivers are needed.

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(NT) Did you read the posts in STORAGE on external HDDs ?
by VAPCMD / October 24, 2007 9:59 AM PDT
In reply to: That may be, VAPCMD.
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Which thread?
by BrianZachary / October 24, 2007 3:53 PM PDT

Is there a particular thread you want me to look at? There are way too many threads to look through all of them and I don't have that much time for the rest of my life.

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