I have a C:\ drive full error

December 22, 2011 at 18:37:43
Specs: Windows 7 64bit Home premium, AMD Phenom II 965 BE 3.4Ghz
Resizing C drive and image/system restore wont work. I installed windows 7 on a 1TB drive with the C:\ partition being only 40GB. On previous versions it never needed to exceed that. This version exceeds that even after uninstalling MS products like MS Office and visual studio express. I should have more room but I still get full error. Instead of using software like norton Ghost to resize my drive I decided to format E:\ drive (which windows thinks is a system drive). After expanding C:\ drive using the windows install CD during reboot I could not recover from the changes to the hard drive using the windows recovery.My restore and image files which are on an extended partition don't work either. I decided to reinstall windows 7 and now it wants me to activate it and my original product activation key wont work. The install did retain the original install on the HDD. Is there any way to recover the activation without calling MS? Unlike others I never changed the hardware I just changed the partition size. Can someone help me please?

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#1
December 22, 2011 at 19:25:56
Did YOU originally install Windows or was it factory installed and you just resized it? (it makes a difference)
Did you install first and size down to 40GB or did you install as 40GB and then overstuff it? (it makes a difference)
In order to resize with Disk manager you would have had to delete the partition just after it and then expand C drive, though some aftermarket (not sure about Ghost) software could shrink and move the other partitions to make room for expanding C drive, but expanding C would be safer from Disk Manager.
If you installed from purchased DVD, then you should be able to reinstall with the same key. If it was factory install then you will need to contact the factory support for a recovery DVD that would be capable of reinstalling your OS properly (MS would not support with OEM factory install).
Restore images should be stored on a completely separate drive, not on a separate partition, and you would need a repair disk that you should have made when you finished installing in order to restore the image.

More details in a more logical order would be helpful for a more specific answer.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#2
December 22, 2011 at 19:48:54
40GB is awfully small for Win7. Since you have a 1TB HDD, which are you being so stingy with the space?

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#3
December 22, 2011 at 19:53:56
I built the PC from New parts and installed a purchased DVD of windows XP. I recently purchased windows 7 and shortly after the motherboard blew some capacitors requiring replacement. I had to contact MS to reactivate windows on the new motherboard. The windows 7 install was initiall 40GB for C:\ and 104GB for E:\ and F:\ each. I have only installed MS products in C:\ and third party programs in E:\ and F:\ partitions. On initial install with MS Office and MS C# express the C:\ partition was 27GB out of the total of 40GB. Since E:\ was setup immediately next to C:\ and at some point E:\ became a system partition I was unable to move it by moving the contents to a different portion of the HDD. Disk management wouldn't let me move E:\ due to the system status. Unfortunatly having both partitions as system made it easier to use system restore in the extended partitions for restoring to an earlier point. As for a backup I failed to set that up for this event. I couldn't even use a wipe program effectively to clean up free space because it was reported as not free space even after removing software using windows unistall.

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#4
December 22, 2011 at 19:55:29
I have never needed to create a large partition for C:\ and until windows 7 have never had a bloat issue on the partition. All 3rd party is installed on separate partitions to enable better/faster system restore when I get software issues in C:\ drive.

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#5
December 22, 2011 at 19:57:27
The extended logical partition holds pictures and large data files. There is also a partition of 250GB just for backup which is always full after 2 - 3 restore point cycles due to E:\ and C:\ being system partitions.

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#6
December 22, 2011 at 20:01:35
I didn't do anything to overstuff C:\... windows 7 did that all by itself. I even checked for viruses and other such issues and found nothing.

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#7
December 23, 2011 at 07:34:14
I guess everyone has their own opinions about partitioning & backing up. I know I would do it totally differently - at least 100GB for the OS, all programs on E:, data storage on F:, system restore disabled.

As Fingers pointed out, backups should go on a separate HDD, not to a different partition on the same HDD. Because if the drive fails, what good are the backups?


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#8
December 23, 2011 at 08:03:08
I don't keep backups on any HDD I copy to disc usually. But the restore is for when I screw something up I can recover usually very quickly on minor changes to drive contents. But I will start creating images on portable HDD from now on. Going to add Raid 0+1 after christmas with a spare 1TB for imaging the partitions.

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#9
December 23, 2011 at 18:56:42
I would recommend backing up everything now to an external drive, then:
Use Windows 7 disk to delete all partitions and create one partition of about 100GB (min.60GB) for your OS, then install (leave all else unallocated for now), then:
Use Disk Manager to make additional partitions, 150GB to 250GB for programs, and the rest for your files.
Raid 0 is just to make a drive larger and potentially faster by making two drives into one space (not secure, not redundant).
Raid 1 is a mirror array where one drive keeps an exact copy of the other. If one fails, replace the drive that fails and the array will rebuild it. This is secure since it is redundant.
For most, a good back up and possibly a drive image is enough, but a redundant Raid array is better, especially if accompanied by a daily back up to a completely separate drive. If you are planning on this, then wait if you can since you would have to reinstall again to do this.
I have a 500GB drive with a 100GB System partition (just over 40GB used for OS and Antivirus only), 150GB partition for programs, and the rest for files.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#10
December 23, 2011 at 19:01:32
Since I want redundancy AND speed is it better to go with Raid 5 since I will be using SSD or will it be irrellevant due to the SSD speeds?

I will be getting 4 x of the 128GB SSDs and adding a 2nd 1TB as a mirror to the first 1TB. So a raid 5 is probably best following your steps you posted?


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