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Merge Multiple Partitions

I have a 160G HD with three partitions. The partition containing Windows and Programs is about to overflow. How can I merge all three partitions into one without losing any of the data?

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In reply to: Merge Multiple Partitions

Some owners only have the XP CD and not the XP SP1/SP2 CD required to boot and repair an over 127GB drive with Windows XP. AGAIN!!! If you were to merge the partitions with PARTITION MAGIC and then have an issue but only had the XP CD (no SP1/SP2) then you would be "not ready" to repair the OS. Most will throw up their hands and format the drive which is a shame since that was not needed.

The answer is PARTITION MAGIC but be aware of the limitations of your XP.


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Partition Magic

In reply to: BE CAREFUL!!!

I don't own Partition Magic. I have a WinXP disk but I had to download SP2. Will that work?

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In reply to: Partition Magic

If you don't have the proper XP SP1 or XP SP2 install CD you must take care not to make a boot drive over 127GB. Why this is so is noted at

As to PARTITION MAGIC, it's software you see for sale.


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(NT) Partition really careful with XP

In reply to: Nope.

I had a similar problem. My partitions were too small and after time they started to fill up. I wanted to create one partition from 3. I used partition magic, everything seemed to be going as planned until the boot. It was all over but the crying. Lost my master boot record (among other things) so life was a bit of a challenge for a couple of weeks.

How I fixed it: Bought another harddrive, installed xp pro on it, drivers and basic programs. I purchased a third party file extraction program that finds deleted files and proceeded to find and capture all of my files. This was not easy!!! Deleted files from years past popped up and there was a manual process of reveiwing thousands of files.

Anyway, once that was done, I dumped this info in a directory that could be saved and I formatted and installed the original OS and programs on one partition on C: and loaded everything back on it. I formatted the new drive and it is now just storage.
I recovered 99.9% of what I lost but very work intensive...I WILL NEVER ADVISE SOMEONE TO USE PARTITION MAGIC, ESPECIALLY ON XP PRO!!!!!


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Reversing NTFS partitioning

In reply to: (NT) Partition really careful with XP

Dear all,
Hope someone can help me to solve my problem.
Last week Saturday accidentally I have "partitioned" my Western Digital harddisk(250GB) to three NTFS partitions with Partition Magic software as follows:
Partition 1 (NTFS) size 10GB as primary active
Partition 2 (NTFS) size 27 GB as logical
Partition 3 (NTFS) size 113 GB as logical
Before this action I had only one NTFS partition with approx. 180GB of data.During partitioning I didn't saw that Partition Magic was moving any data from one place to antoher.
After "partitioning" via windows explorer I can see three partitions(NTFS) as given above with no data.

Is there any method that I can recover all my data by reversing these partitions to only one partition as it was originally?
If I simply merge them am I going to lose my data's?
Question nr:1:
Hope you can help me to solve this (for me very big) problem.

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Looks very grim.

In reply to: Reversing NTFS partitioning

Unless Partition Magic has an undo command your next call is to


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Why not buy a larger hard a 250-320GB ?

In reply to: Merge Multiple Partitions

If you merge the partitions on a disk that's about to overflow....the OS/data/etc., may no longer fit because of the larger clusters and less efficient use of disk space.

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Info I left out

In reply to: Why not buy a larger hard a 250-320GB ?

Sorry i left out what may be pertinent info. In fact, I do have a 250G HD (external). I also have an 80G HD (external). How would you suggest I use them to solve my problem w/o having to reinstall everything? Thanks for all the help so far.

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Do you have enough room on the externals for the

In reply to: Info I left out

data on partitions 2 and 3 from the 160GB ?

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Room on the Externals

In reply to: Do you have enough room on the externals for the

I have 100+G remaining on the 250G. I generally use it for video work. What is your recommendation?

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After rethinking this I don't see how you can ultimately

In reply to: Room on the Externals

enlarge C: unless you reinstall everything or buy something like Partition Magic or Acronis Disk Director which would allow you to reallocate the existing disk space. Sounds to me it would like it would be less costly (time-wise) to buy the SW than to spend all the time loading/reinstalling the SW to recreate the existing setup. That's really a big pain that I do almost anything to backup !

You could copy the data off D: and E: to folders on one of the externals and then delete the existing partitions and reallocate the unallocated space as desired. You could even make a single partition out of the remaining space. The problem is you still need something to expand C: to use the available space.

NOTE: My primary objection to drives with single partitions is they're bigger and take more time backup, image, scan or defrag.

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Can not See Problem

In reply to: Merge Multiple Partitions

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El Cheapo speaks

In reply to: Can not See Problem

Thank you all for your very helpful guidance. It appears that I will have to open my wallet. I'm going out tomorrow and buy either Partition Magic or Acronis.

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Do not pay to much

In reply to: El Cheapo speaks

but don't be greedy either.
u c there are several versions of partition magic.
those who are cheap, are quite functionless, althought they have merge function.
those who are expensive, they are as much functionable
as Disk Sirector is.
that's why i recommended u to buy just Disk Director
but, it's up to u anyway.
so wish u Good luck and best regards.

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Good tip

In reply to: Do not pay to much

Thanks, Noizxland. I'll keep that in mind.

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A good program for resizing partitions

In reply to: Can not See Problem

Check out Its product BootIt has all the features for creating, deleting and resizing partitions on the fly without loss of data.

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In reply to: Can not See Problem

GParted is also an excellent tool for managing partitions. The live cd is excellent, just make sure to change your boot settings to boot off of the cd drive so you can run the cd without loading the os.

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In reply to: gparted

oh, forgot to mention that gparted is free, just download the iso and burn using nero

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Gparted info

In reply to: gparted-cont

Yeah, I figured that when I saw the URL with "sourceforge". Thanks.

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use partionmagic, that's all...

In reply to: Merge Multiple Partitions

install this fantastic program and you will do what you wanted to do and more...

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A difference of opinion

In reply to: use partionmagic, that's all...

Do not merge partitions, it can cause problems. Each partition has a drive letter "C", "D" etc. When you merge partitions one or more of them will disappear. That means links, registry entries and other pointers that include a drive latter may no longer work. A better solution is to change the size of the partitions. Partition Magic can resize partitions. This is one reason I do not partition disks if possible.

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msgale is correct!

In reply to: A difference of opinion

I have 3 partitions on my computer and msgale's recommendation is how I operate. It avoids the disadvantages of having 1 partition and does not cause any problems with the registry or shortcuts.

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Not with XP Pro

In reply to: use partionmagic, that's all...

See my response today under and earlier discussion on this problem...Partition magic crashed my box hard...It tooks weeks to find all of the lost info. Most was backed up by not all. Always have a fresh back up not matter what. That way a simple reimage or format and reload is all you need to do. Which will take a lot less time than I did recovering my files. As mentioned earlier, Acronis is a decent program but I found Handy Recovery to be much faster and less of a draw on system resources. John

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Try Acronis Disk Director Suite

In reply to: Merge Multiple Partitions

Reasonably priced, Acronis products have always come through for me. It will change partition sizes without reinstalling. Check out their web site.

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In reply to: Try Acronis Disk Director Suite

I used acronis and was going to try and set up a partition so that I could save a protected copy. Anyway, I had some difficulty and their technical support was lacking. Long story short, I thought I was doing something smart to prevent future problems with lost data but instead created a unusable partition that cannot be reclaimed and is about 30% of my harddrive. Acronis was very helpful in taking my money but not helpful with technical support.

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How I've done it

In reply to: Merge Multiple Partitions

Read some of this discussion and here's how I've done it. I back up my C: drive with an imaging program. I've used Disk Image for years with great success and it can resize partitions on restore and I always get a bootable result. Back up your data partitions using a file copy program like windows explorer and create an image of your C drive. If you've got the space, all of this can be done on your external drives. You can then delete the partitions using FDISK or a similar program and create a single partition or multiple ones with different sizes. I always try to keep data files off my C drive to keep backups more managable. You can then restore the image to C: and copy the data files from the backups you've made. Disk Image can resize the C partition for you, but I'm not sure what it will do to the partition it has to get the room from. Keep in mind that you have programs that will be looking for data on partitions that no longer exist and you will be seeing error messages for a while. Just relocate the data and all should be fine.
I have copied the entire CD contents of two programs that either need the CD to run or need to install huge data files onto a partition other than my C drive and installed them from there, so they run without the CD but don't dump the huge files onto my C drive. If you've done anything like that, those programs will probably not work until you reinstall them.

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Cut and Paste could be a free solution

In reply to: Merge Multiple Partitions

In your original question you stated the problem was ''The partition containing the Windows and Programs is about to overflow.'' However, you did not state how large that partition was as well as the other two partitions. If you made the c: partition too small you may well have to purchase Partition Magic and enlarge your c: partition. If you have equally divided your 3 partiitions then I would suggest trying to find out what files are taking up the space on c: and cut and paste these files to another partition or to the external drive. If you have large video files on c: for example, you could cut and paste these to another partition. I would right click on the My Documents folder,choose Properties,General Tab, and see how much space it is taking up on c. You could also consider relocating My Documents to another partition. For example, I have over 20 gigs in My Documents right now. If you right click on My Documents, again choose Properties , under the Target Tab, you will see an option to Move the location of the My Documents folder. Simply choose another partition with adequate space to hold your Documents. I would also run Disk Cleanup under All Programs/Accessories/System Tools/ Disk Cleanup. Then check Add/Remove Programs and carefully screen to see if there are any Programs on your pc that you really could do without and remove them. I would only merge the partions as a last resort. You are better off to keep important data off of the c drive on another partition or external drive.

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In reply to: Cut and Paste could be a free solution

There are just too many responses to this question for me to read every one.
The short story is:
Partitioning of any large hard drive is the most efficient way to run a hard drive. Two partitions are mandatory as far as I'm concerned. And as I've built hundreds of PC's with partitioned HD's I guess you could say "I'm concerned!"

Operating just one hard drive on your computer without any partitions is like living in a house with no walls, not even for the crapper. (Picture that if you will. lol)

Although I consider that second partition as mandatory, the third or fourth partition is NOT.

When I hear someone say that their C: drive is full, I can only surmize that they are pack-rats. :))

Put your "Stuff" in one of the other partitions and clean the real junk files out of your C: drive and you'll have plenty of room.

Hey, I'm a pack-rat too, but I also practice "Drive Maintenance". I save lots of stuff too, but I save it on my second partition of my main drive or on my second hard drive. I can still get my entire C: drive on a single DVD, with Ghost 2003, by first deleting my junk, my Pagefile and my old Restore Points. I do this at least twice a week. Just deleting all the above mentioned stuff, gains me about 2 gigs of HD space.

Stop just jamming more and more stuff into your C: drive and start practicing good "Hard Drive Maintenance" and you'll never have to be on a forum or anywhere else, asking for help to gain space. OK?

Start off by running the "Disk Cleanup" program that came with windows. Then UN-Install all those nerdly Demo's, Trials and games that came installed on the computer. Then do a full Defrag.
Doing all that will help you immensely.
Good Luck,
the Doctor =|:)

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Partition Magic is hard to beat but like anything

In reply to: Partitioning

it's not foolproof or failsafe for everybody all the time. I've used it on a number of occasions but NEVER for merging partitons. I've seen posts that it can successfgully merge partitions but I would never attempt something that complex without a current, reliable backup...just in case. I've also reports where partition merges did not work as expected.

When it comes to partitions and systems with single hard drives....TWO partitions is the right number for me. I put the OS and all APPs on C and all DATA, patches, updates, downloads, on D:. If D: is large enough could even store backups of C: in a folder on D:. And I do that so I can have distinct partitions for easy backups/restores with imaging SW like GHOST. It makes backing up and restoring faster/easier and reduces time spent defragging, doing disk integrity checks, scanning for virii, file searches, etc.,

And I always add a second HDD to the systems I build to store my backup images. With images of C: and D: on a second physical HDD . . E: I'm fairly safe for fast backups and restores. And just for good measure....I copy those images to an external HDD...just in case.


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I agree...redirect My Documents to another partition then...

In reply to: Cut and Paste could be a free solution

Here is my setup:

120GB Hard disk 1 = 3 partions
C: WXP MCE label, total size 15GB, 8GB free = primarily OS
D: Programs label,total size 15 GB, 4.5GB free = all possible programs, during install just change c: to d:
E: Data label, total size 90GB, 30GB free space - redirect My Docs to this partition, set Quicken to backup to e:\My Documensts\Quicken, set Outlook pst to e:\My Documents\e-mail, (entire contents of e: is data I don't want to lose)

250 GB internal disk 2 - 1 partition
F: Movies and backup - ripped movies, backup sets

I use BounceBack professional 7 by CMS Products.
backup sets: E:\*.* ; Desktop and Favorites from my profile; Desktop, Favorites, My Documents from other user profiles. All scheduled Mon, Wed, Fri

This may seem complicated and redundant but it really is not. If either hard drive fails, I still have my data. It is very unlikely that both hard drives will fail at the same time. I am not a fan of desktop external hard drives but I like 2.5" or 1.8" USB powered hard drives to move data around different systems. I don't backup my ripped movies since I already have the DVDs. I also keep a spare 250 GB hard drive in the system...installed but disconnected.

Since all data is backed up, I don't think about reinstalling the OS and all apps that much. Never had a virus or spam problem...I have had OS corruption and dead hard drives. In those cases, I've just formated c: and reinstalled WXP without being worried about my data. With primary dead hard drive....just repartition the same way, install all apps, and run a data restore. If second hard drive crashes, all I have to do is replace the hard drive, setup single partition, format, and run a new backup then rip the DVDs again.

I have two laptops that my kids use to play internet games and do their homework. They each have USB memory keys to save their homework. They are allowed to backup on my system in their own profile. Ultimately, they are responsible for their own data...better to start them early.

...just my 2 cents. I've done plenty of data recovery for users. 90% of them don't know where their data is located so I stopped asking them a long time ago.

sorry if I steered off the subject at hand

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