Windows Legacy OS forum

General discussion

Increase system efficiency

I posted a discussion titled ''Dual hard drive install'' yesterday about having a corrupted Windows install and how to fix. I bought an 80 gig drive at CompUSA for $30 after rebates and installed that as the master and put WinXP on it. Once the system was up and stable (note to self: get firewall and anti-virus going before venturing onto the internets), I put in my old 250 gig as a slave drive. Thankfully I can recover all my pictures, songs and programs off the old one. However, I want to make this system as efficient as possible. So I have a few questions:

1) Can I delete all the WinXP files off the 250 gig, as the boot drive is the 80 gig? It's unnecessary to have it on both, especially as the 250 gig WinXP install is corrupt.

2) Some programs are not running off of the 250 gig that did before. Do I have to reinstall these on part of the 80 gig? Things like AVG Anti-virus aren't working from that location.

3) I put Windows on its own 10 gig partition of the 80 gig. Should I install all new programs to that partition, or the remaining 70 gig partition, or even a partition on the 250 gig. Like I said, efficiency is the goal.

4) I am now trying to be more careful with valuable data, so I'd like to make sure my pics and songs don't disappear. Other than backing them up to a DVD-R, should I put them on the 250 gig disk that doesn't contain the OS, so that should I have to reinstall WinXP, I will not risk losing my stuff? That was a close call, and I'd like to not take the chance again.

I think that's all. I basically need to know if I can run things off the 250 gig, if I should copy them over, or what to do to maximize efficiency and minimize risks of data loss. Thanks for the help. If there's an article I can be pointed to, I'm all ears.


Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Increase system efficiency
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Increase system efficiency
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Some Answers

In reply to: Increase system efficiency

1: Yes

2: Yes

3: Doesn't matter (from an efficiency standpoint)

4: From an efficiency standpoint, it makes no difference. From a backup standpoint, it might not be a bad idea. Just don't let things linger too long without backing them up to DVD (and reburn the DVDs every 2-3 years, since they tend to go bad after a time, also NEVER use those CD label kits that have an adhesive. It seeps through and causes decay on the data side of the disc)

Collapse -
Another question

In reply to: Some Answers

Thanks for the answers. You answered yes to the question about deleting the Windows OS off the 250 gig drive. How exactly do I do that? I can't go to Uninstall programs, because that would take off the OS install I am currently using. Do I pretty much just get the files I need off that drive and reformat it? Or can I just get the OS off?

And you said from an efficiency standpoint it doesn't matter where I install new programs. But where does it make most sense? I am thinking the 10 gig partition is good, but I am no pro.

Thanks again.

Collapse -
More answers

In reply to: Another question

Just wipe out the Windows or maybe WinNT folder on the other drive. That should take care of Windows... Then you can also wipe out Program Files and Documents and Settings once you're sure you've moved all your photos and what not somewhere else temporarily.

As for the program installation... I'd say the 10GB partition. That's what we tend to do at work. There's a 10GB partition for the OS and apps, and then everything else goes on the partition made of whatever's left. We only back up the "other" partition as well.

Collapse -
More questions!! from Peter

In reply to: More answers

I am interested know a bit more about what you think - To summarise what I believe you have said:-
(C)10Gb - systems and programs
(D)70Gb - "other" stuff
(E)250Gb - music

1/ Can you define with examples what constitutes the "other stuff".
2/And where would you put things like the pagefile,
3/Or Docs & settings folder
4/ Other special folder like startup, install path, My doc, ....
5/or more specifically all data files and temp files.?
10Gb doesn't seem much if all of the above is to be store.
Can you also read my posting on the other thread and comment on what I have said.
You comments would be much appreciated.

Collapse -
Also curious

In reply to: More questions!! from Peter

I am also curious on these things AussiePete mentioned. And like I said, if I need to make a larger partition, I can do it now because my drive is pretty barren. I don't know if I'll understand, but any explaination someone has is good.

Collapse -
To answer your questions

In reply to: Increase system efficiency

1/yes - but dont be in a rush as you may need some data files.
2/Most program unless they are dos programs or standalone program have to be install - some you maybe able to just copy the directories across and they may run and register themselves - however this maybe only a few programs - if I were you I would do everything correctly by starting fresh.
3/ leave the 10Gb just for the system and install all other program on the 70Gb - you should also consider which disk(s) is going to have the swop file (virtual memory) and restore point files. I would have made C drive about 20Gb and have all that on this drive (less to defrag) with non systems programs on the remaining 60Gb. All your music can go on the 250Gb drive
There is a problem though because most program as default want to install in "C:\programs files" - you can change this to default to D:\programs.. but in windows 9X & Me even windows components would still create a directory called "c:\Progra~1" - not sure if windows XP has fixed that idiosyncrasy! In short you will need to specify the install directory every time you install a new program and even then some dont even ask.
Also read this article;EN-GB;842626you should have read this article


Collapse -
Now what?

In reply to: To answer your questions

In regards to AussiePete's response, is it too late to do any of this? Can I increase the partition or make another 10 gig partition to put all the system files on? Not to sound like a complete fool, but this is all really new to me and I want to make the best system I can. If you suggest reformatting and starting over, now is the best time as I only have WinXp and a few free programs on the 80 gig drive.

And how do I choose where the SWOP file goes? Again, not something I am familiar with.

That article was not found on the Microsoft site, by the way. Any other reading material is eagerly accepted.

Any tips on how to get the most out of this are welcome. I would like to learn how to do this right.

Collapse -
Sorry - what now??

In reply to: Sorry the article

I have asked cursorcowboy a few questions and will see what he says - The basic idea as very briefly outline in that M$ document is to separate fixed from variable files - ie programs on one partition, and data files on the other partition - my big question to Microsoft is how!!! as the windows operating system doesn't allow easy separation - from where I sit all you can do is tinker at the edges - I tried on a system running windows ME to separate most "special folders" such as My Doc, Temp, startup, and IE Temp and so on - in the most part it worked but ended up with some programs still wanting to store in the original locations on C drive even though I deleted ever reference to C drive in the registry.
Anyway see what cursor has to say - he's very knowledgeable with MS windows.

Collapse -
My Documents, etc

In reply to: Sorry - what now??

Excuse me for butting in, especially as I have only ever partitioned a drive once before on an older machine, and even then had a technician holding my trembling hand whilst I did it, Happy

I agree with Aussie Pete that for the C drive, at least 20GB should be used. I know by standards of only a few years ago 20GB is still massive, but it is getting smaller figuratively speaking, and Windows, Windows/System, etc is getting larger.

I wouldn't bother trying to move any of the Windows default folders, eg My Documents, temp, Program Files, etc to any other partition. I would just let Windows install those basic files where it wants to. Also, I would keep the swap file, (or page file, whatever you want to call it), on the C drive. I understand the swap file should be at least the size of your RAM, or double the size, so on machines that have 1GB or even 2GB of RAM now, you need a swap file at least the same.

Any programs that you "know" you are going to keep, and won't change significantly over the years, eg IE, OE, Microsoft Office, or other word processor, database or spreadsheet programs should stay on the C drive, but anything else can go on another partition, or another drive if it is physically a different drive. The speed of access of hard drives nowadays is so great that you would not see any difference in loading these programs. Keep the C drive as free as possible.

Data such as documents, music, pictures, videos, etc, can be stored on the largest partition, but always backed up to CD as soon as possible.

Just my 2 pennyworth,


Collapse -
Very good info

In reply to: My Documents, etc

I wish I would have used my head and asked this before I went and set everything up. But on the good side, I am only going to lose the free programs (AVG Free, Spybot, Spy Sweeper, Firefox, etc.) if I reformat right now and repartition to 20 gig/ 60 gig, and then reinstall Windows XP.
That being said, should I just go ahead and do so? Better now than later. Doing this is free, and Partition Magic is not, so I'll save the coin and do it my way.

And this will not affect the 250 gig drive, correct? Should I unhook it at first and set up the 80 gig and then plug it in? Just making sure, guys.

Collapse -

In reply to: Very good info

Hi DC,

I can't answer your question about disconnecting the 250 GB drive as I'm not a technical person, although I don't see why it should be harmed in anyway if you leave it where it is. Just be sure to take your time and partition the correct drive.

20GB/60GB sounds good. Although Gail on Haris' thread has stated what I didn't myself but perhaps should have. She says she hasn't partitioned her drive at all and has no problems. And in fact, on this new(ish) computer I now have I haven't partitioned either. I have a 220 GB drive, and just use separate folders to contain my [Games], [Music], [Videos], [Utilties, (like AVG, Spybot, etc)], and so on.

Good luck,


Collapse -
The only problem...

In reply to: Re-Partition

With that is if I am to have to reinstall Windows for whatever reason, it'll wipe everything out, whereas having it and other system files on a separate partition will prevent this from happening, or so I like to believe. Please tell me if I'm wrong. And if no partition is a good idea, then away I go. I just want to do it right this time instead of a year down the road.

Collapse -
Mark your opinion is alway welcome

In reply to: The only problem...

What Mark says about having permanent type of programs (like MS office ect...)on the C drive make sense - all other smaller transient programs can go on drive D. One thing I would do directly after installing windows is make a pagefile as large as you will need and possible even fix the size ie set the minimum to say 1.5Gb - this way the pagefile will be at the beginning of the disk and wont get fragmented.
As to making the primary partition (ie 10gb) larger I think XP lets you increase the primary partition without loss of data - however the 70Gb partition will be reformatted.
One thing I must point out - when you reinstall windows your data files are not lost, only systems and program files - files in non system folder are not touch - but you must understand that even though some of your other programs folders wont be touched you still have to install these program again so that they get registered with the system. To be on the safe side I just copy everything from windows, program files, and Doc and settings folders to another folder or simply backup everything.

Collapse -

In reply to: Mark your opinion is alway welcome

Thanks Pete. Actually, thank everyone. I think my concerns have been alleviated. I have nothing on the 70 gig partition, so I may as well just delete the partition and have the complete 80 gigs for the OS, programs, updates, etc. All my ''toys'' will go on the 250 gig drive. Plenty of room for video editing, music, material, whatever.

Thanks ladies and germs. I think I'll just make it into one drive for programs and apps and a larger, separate one for files.

Collapse -

In reply to: Beautiful

LOL Happy

Pete's right, and you're welcome DC.

Good luck.


Collapse -
Final Question

In reply to: germs??

So then, assuming I didn't lose everyone with the "ladies and germs" joke, to delete said partition, I go to Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Computer Management, Storage, Disk Management, and then right-click on the 70 gig portion (NOT system part) and choose Delete Partition. Click Yes because there is no data on it anyways, and voila...back to a whole 80 gigs. Correct? I think this is right, but I want to be 100% before I jump in over my head.


Collapse -
interesting idea

In reply to: Final Question

Collapse -
One last idea...

In reply to: Increase system efficiency

After posting within and reading the thread ''Now then I find out why my C drive become Low Disk Space.?'', it seems that partitioning the 80 gig drive again isn't even needed. Could I just delete the partition, making the drive whole and use the entire drive for Windows and programs, putting my files for music, video, etc. on the 250 gig drive? It would simplify a lot.

Collapse -
U want the good or bad news first

In reply to: One last idea...

The good news is:-
I have found the M$ article(s) that explain how to extend a partition without data loss -
The the bad news is:-
You cannot extend the current system or boot partitions only data partitions. Therefore you are stuffed - Serves you right for calling us germs!!!!lololol

To read these article goto start/help&support then type in the search box:-
To extend a basic volume

For reference sake these are the full articles;en-gb;325590;en-gb;300415
There are some programs that will do it like partition magic but rather than spending money just copy stuff to your old drive and reformat/install using the XP CD.

Collapse -

In reply to: U want the good or bad news first

So thinking that the problem was solved, I have gone and downloaded the free utilities I wanted and am setting it all up. I can either keep it with the 10/70 gig partitions, buy Partition Magic for $20, or just reinstall. I'd rather not spend the money, but I'd also rather not reinstall. It is out of the question to just leave it and deal? I have no idea what I should do.

Collapse -
Just leave it the way it is

In reply to: Damn

and do as yewankers suggested ie:-
c - 10Gb system and just a few main and frequently used programs like msoffice
d - all other stuff
e - music
It really is a better way in my opinion - means you working in a smaller area of your hard disk most of the time = faster

Collapse -
Yes I must agree

In reply to: Just leave it the way it is

After all this discussion about options, perhaps the best option is to leave it as it is, and avoid all the hassle.

10GB isn't bad as a system disk with your main programs. It is much more than the HD's we used to have just 2 or 3 years ago, and you still have the 70GB partition and 240GB disk for all your extra stuff.

That's quite a good system really.

I suppose the moral of this is, PC's are so flexible that whatever you choose will normally work.


Collapse -
I should check this...

In reply to: Yes I must agree

before I make a change. I have read to keep it and I have read to change it. What I decided to do was scrap it and reformat into one 80 gig partition and reinstall Windows. The main deciding factor was that I picked up 1000s of trojan horses, viruses, etc. when I first installed that drive and went online without first getting AVG or a firewall set up. There were lingering bugs, so I just cleared it out and started over. Tonight when I get home I'm going to start setting up the folders I'm going to use (Media, Utilities, Downloads, Programs, etc.) and all the sub-directories and then start installing everything.

Something that's strange, and may be fixed when I install all the drivers and programs, is that I have C drive at 80 gigs, D drive at 120 (the one I used to have as the boot drive), and I at 120, but I get some message sayinh I is not active or something like that and I can't access it. It's blank so I can do whatever to it, so how does this get fixed? I used to be able to click it and see the contents (nothing).

Thanks everyone.

Collapse -
Active partitions

In reply to: I should check this...

is the primary partition of a physical disk which has a mast boot record. Goto help and support and type "active partitions" in the search box to read all about it.
If I were you I would also put windows on the 120Gb disk and set up dual boot system - that way you have a ready made emergency disk. I do similar but I have Win98 on my other hard disk - this gives me extra flexibility in emergency situation with win98 being a DOS based system.

Collapse -
Good tips

In reply to: Active partitions

How do I install Windows again on the 250 gig drive? It is already installed on there (it used to be my only drive) but there is a corrupt file (hence the new drive). Do I change boot sequence to boot the 250, and if so, how? If not, please explain how to get XP installed on the other drive.


Collapse -
I've just tread your COMPLETE history

In reply to: Good tips

From all your post. Seems all this started because of a stutter!!!!!anyway, u r doing well and should be please with yourself.
Now, the second hard disk - I've only realised its 250GB with TWO partitions (was wondering why you started talking about 250Gb in the beginning then in the last few post started talking 120Gb) - what I dont think you said that you have 2 partitions on your old drive.
Anyway you need to make up your mind - but let me say this, you were having systems problems that were never really solved, so I would:-
1/copy just your data to your new drive for safe keeping
2/reformat as Bill has said
3/ Install another copy of XP on the old drive using your installation disks it will do everything but you need to make sure that;
a/ it does not reinstalling windows on your new drive,
b/ and that it sets up a dual boot system booting from your new drive first.

Alternatively, you could:
4/Take out the new disk and put the old one in its place - run the installation disk reformat and put a stand alone XP system.
5/Put thing back the way they were and we can then change the boot.ini files so you have a dual boot system as well as two stand alone systems.(hopefully!)

Collapse -

In reply to: I've just tread your COMPLETE history

You know what, I'm glad you brought that up. I was indeed having stuttering problems (well, not me personally; my computer) and I am thinking I may have figured out why. I went through every step I could, including switching the drive cables, doing the DMA switch, putting the PCI cards in new slots, ran all antivirus and spyware apps, etc. All to no avail. And it started doing it on the new install on the 80 gig. So I started paying close attention and noticed it was happening when my Netgear WG311 wireless card would disconnect or would change the level of the reception. So I uninstalled it and so far (fingers are crossed), the system has been good. I Googled that card and "stutter" and found it to be pretty common. So I don't think it was a hard drive or system issue. I am going to reinstall Windows on the 250 gig and run a dual-boot system. Thanks to all who have helped me out.


Collapse -
Let me know how you go and ...

In reply to: I've just tread your COMPLETE history

Collapse -
Inactive Partition

In reply to: I should check this...

Reading this as you orginal 250gig drive Partitioned.

If so then you have no data to lose.....

Go to Adminstrative Tools in the Control Panel --> Computer Managment --> Disk Managment

Listed will be your drives, Disk 0 should be your 80gig drive set active. Disk 1 your 250gig drive showing two sections one or both listed as Unallocated.

Right click on Unallocated section --> left click New Partition. Follow prompts to create an extended Partition, then logical drive, quick format in NTFS using default cluster sizes.


Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Here's Everything to Know About the 2019 Grammys

Find out how to watch the Grammy Awards if you don't have cable and more.