General discussion

Re-sizing Disk Partitions

- Windows XP Home Edition
- Dell Inspiron 2200 Laptop
- 320 GB HDD

Current Partitions: 4 total
- 47 MB FAT (EISA Configuration) w/ 40 MB free space (85% free)
- (CHappy 33.28 GB NTFS (System) w/ 26.72 GB free space (80% free)
- 3.92 GB FAT32 (Unknown Partition) w/ 356 MB free space (8% free)
- 260.84 GB Unallocated

Q: What are the 47 MB FAT (EISA Configuration) and the 3.92 GB FAT32 (unknown partition) disks for ? .. (best guess)

- Can either one of them be deleted without consequence ?? (I am under the assumption that there can only be 4 partitions)
- I was told that one of those partitions might be Dell Boot Manager that needs to stay, the other that has only 8% usage might be able to go away ..

How can I shrink the (CHappy Partition down to around 15 GB ??

Ideally I would like to shrink the (CHappy partition down to 15 GB, and create a (DHappy and (EHappy partition (making them as large as I can). (assuming either the FAT/FAT32 partitions can be deleted)

Then I would like to know if MY DOCUMENTS can then be re-assigned to the (DHappy and/or (EHappy partitions, leaving (CHappy strictly for system usage ..

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How old is this laptop and what Service pak of XP?

and does that 47 MB FAT partition show as a drive letter? If so, do you know if there's data on it? I'm fairly certain the 3.92 GB FAT32 is some sort of recovery partition. The 260 GB unallocated is just as it says. It's un-partitioned space. I am, however, wondering if this was the original drive that came with the laptop. This seems like an odd setup. I asked about the service pak level of the OS as that will determine if you have drive size limitations. If it's the first revision, I believe you're limited to 127 GBs. In any event, It should be possible to do some of what you desire but will need software to do such. I know that Acronis Disk Manager and Symantec's Partition Magic should allow you to manipulate partition sizes. You may move the My Documents folder to another drive letter. The MS powertoy "Tweakui" can assist in doing that. This is only a partial answer without further information about your system.

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I'll suggest not shrinking the system drive to 15 GBs. That's rather limiting.

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I suggest you not do this.

The OEM supplied restore media usually wipes out those partitions and any safety that pundits told you about virus or other is now dated.

This advice is dated and as you discover not easy enough to implement after the fact.

Why not put your stuff in it's folder and back that up?

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More info ..

I just replaced the original 40GB HDD with a 320GB HDD, that's why I have the unallocated space (sorry, I should have mentioned that) ..

Prior to installing the new HDD, I used Acronis: True Image v.10 to back up the entire Disk (including the FAT/FAT32 partitions) ...
After installing the new HDD, I did a recovery to the blank HDD - installing the original partitions configuration onto the 320 GB HDD .. and that is why I have the unallocated space now ...

I have brought all updates up to date .. Service Pack 3 is complete, all priority updates are complete, all Optional Hardware updates are complete ...

I have installed everything onto (CHappy that I am going to need (programs, virus software, etc), and do not anticipate needing much more to install ..
I am currently only taking up 6.93 GB on a 33.2 GB partition (C:), so that is why I was thinking of shrinking it down to around 15 GB ....

On my desktop, I have an 80GB HDD that is partitioned to include a (DHappy partition, and I like the convenience of having (CHappy separated and (DHappy exclusively for MY DOCUMENTS (only problem is, someone did this for me and I do not know how they did it) ...
The current configuration has the(CHappy partition pretty much holding the PROGRAM FILES and WINDOWS folders, (DHappy hold the 'personal' folders that go to MY DOCUMENTS ...
When my desktop starts to run slower, I can simply do a recovery to the (CHappy drive and not have to mess with the (DHappy and 'pre-determine' what stays and goes .... and in just a few minutes I have (CHappy back to a clean install point and am running smoothly again ..

Plus I have the convenience of keeping (CHappy off my network, and (DHappy the only shared drive ...

This is how I would like to set up the HDD on this laptop also .. but I would like to go one step further and divide the HDD on the laptop to include a (DHappy and an (EHappy partition.
I would like to make (DHappy 80GB to 100GB for MY DOCUMENTS, and let (EHappy be the remaining and use it exclusively as a place to park my Acronis backups ....

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I use Acronis

In that case, you should have been able to change the partition size during the restore process. I agree with Bob that doing this is going to render any recovery disks as impotent on that drive but, as long as you keep the old 40 gig intact, you could be OK. What will be important, however, will be the original service pack of your copy of XP. If it wasn't SP1 or above in the beginning, you may not be able to use more than 127 GB of the drive. In any event, you might try to just wipe the 320 gig drive and start over. Shrink the drive as you wish but I still don't see the necessity or think it's a good idea. Your choice. With the drive as free space, you should be able to restore just the primary partition information. After that, you use XP's disk manager to partition the remaining unallocated space as you wish or as XP allows.

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Reassigning My Documents

How do I reassign MY DOCUMENTS so it directs to a new drive ?

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Get the powertoy from Microsoft

this site called


Install it and look for the option to change or relocate special folders. I don't remember offhand what it's called or where it is. There are several nifty tricks you can do with this. Anyway, create the folder of your choice and point My Documents there.

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and the last paragragh in this move ' My Documents ' says:

To change the location of a special folder AND move the files,
right drag the folder to its desired new location and select
"Move Here" rather than useing 'this' dialog.
'this' - reffering to the previouse paragragh that tells you
that this 'function' does not move the FILES to the new location,
only the folde name.

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Re : Reassigning My Documents

Hello Everyone,

I am newbie in this forum and i want also know how i reassigning My Documents....

Eddie wilson

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Re: move My Documents
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Re-sizing Disk Partitions

You could probably achieve what you want but before you jump in with both feet, I'd suggest that you MUST ddetermine what the FAT and FAT32 partitions are.

My guess would be that the Unknown Partition is some kind of Dell recovery partition and as such, you should not meddle with it. It is fairly small and in the grand scheme of things, you can probably afford to leave it alone. If that's what it is, they are normally set hidden from the operating system as a protection against corruption.

The C: drive is self evident, it's your system drive.

The EISA Configuration partition is a mystery to me - I've no idea what it might be. I assume that since you didn't specify a drive letter, it isn't visible to the XP Home system. If it was on the original Dell disk, one of the Dell community members might be able to suggest what it is. Again, it's not really big, so it would be no great loss to leave it as is.

I agree with an earlier poster that 15 GB is a bit small for the C: drive, even if you move all your data off it. I run XP systems at 20 or 24 GB depending on the application set.

The unallocated space isn't actually a partition, it is what it says, unallocated, so doesn't count towards the partition count.

You say you understand that you can only have four partitions. That is true for Primary partitions, so you have one more left. But you can have as many Logical Partitions as you have drive letters for if you wish and the usual partitoning strategy is to keep system drives as Primaries (mostly they have to be but there are exceptions that needn't concern us here) and then make all your data drives Logical. They behave exactly like primary partitions, it's just the way they are allocated that is different.

To do this on your system as it stands, you would allocate a logigal partition to cover the whole of the unallocated space. This is rather like a container for your data drives and doesn't have a drive letter itself. An easy way to do this is to allocate a logical drive for all the unallocated space, which will likely get a drive letter of D:. Then delete it, which will get rid of the drive but leave the now empty container. Now allocate your D: Drive and E: drive as logical drives of the size you want in the logical container (whatever disk management tool you use will give you the choice of primary or logical, choose logical). Format the drives - as NTFS preferably - and you are set to go.

There are tools that will let you do all this dynamically without damaging your existing drives (I was a long time fan of Partition Magic but DON'T attempt to change the sizr of an NTFS-Extended disk with it (Vista and 7 create them), you will destroy the data!). Partition Wizard Home Edition (Freeware/Donationware) solves this problem but ALL of these tools are dangerous if you don't understand disk management so ALWAYS make sure you have a verified backup of the whole physical disk before you even think about using them.

If you are happier with Acronis, it's better that you should use that.

Good Luck!

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Any speeds on all these HDs? Do you have them connected via USB or are you plugging them in as you need them? Is this the original HD? >>>>>>>>>>>> - 3.92 GB FAT32 (Unknown Partition) w/ 356 MB free space (8% free) If it is what processor are you using? For the sake of clarity I count four drives here. Is this correct?

14% of free space is needed to run defragmentations on any HD except recovery partisans.

I would suggest simplify, simplify, simplify.

Have you tried the Linux OS's I'm think you might like them. Happy

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