Expanding System Drive

June 14, 2009 at 06:35:08
Specs: Windows XP
I am running Windows XP Home and it is installed on my system drive (C:\) in Program Files. This drive resides on a Maxtor 80 Gb HD which is partitioned as follows: (C:\) 15.5 Gb; (D:\) 62 Gb. With all of the other programs and updates loaded over the years, I am down to less than 3% of free space on the C drive and it is having a dtrimental effect on system speed and reliability. So I purchased and installed a 500 Gb WD Caviar SE (Blue) HD, added it as a second drive, and partitioned it into three drives, G, H, and I. Then, using Norton Ghost, I copied "C" to "I" and "D" (which contains data) to "H." I am relying on disk copy to reload my programs later as I do not have any of my original program disks available to reload as they were all stolen. So here is my question:

Can I reformat that Maxtor Drive (which contains my system drive) to clear out the partition and run it as one 80 Gb C drive and then just copy my I drive back onto it? Or will this be a disaster?

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June 14, 2009 at 06:57:15
Your Maxtor 80GB was partitioned OK, you just didn't use it correctly. Having the OS on a small partition is great for maintenance purposes, but you shouldn't have been installing programs to it. The D: partition should have been for programs.

Your new WDC HDD *should* have come with a CD that could have been used to partition/format the new drive, then clone the Maxtor contents to the WDC. If the CD wasn't included, you could have downloaded it from the WDC website. Had you done it that way, there would have been no need to reinstall anything.

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June 14, 2009 at 07:22:30
I believe it was Bill Gates' idea to create "Program Files" in the "C" drive and every program I own, whenever I installed it, almost always suggests that I install it in "Program Files" located in the C drive. So I appreciate what you said, but recognize that there's not a whole lot I can do about that at this point. Or is there?

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June 14, 2009 at 07:29:33
What I would have done is:

- Install the 500GB & set it up as "X" for storage purposes.

- Move all data from the former 62GB (D) partition to the new 500GB disk & delete everything stored on the 62GB (D).

- Then, using EASEUS, merge the former 62GB (D) partition with the 15.5GB (C) as one system disk/partition.

Jabbering Idiots: Everywhere You Look!

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Related Solutions

June 14, 2009 at 09:28:30
"I believe it was Bill Gates' idea to create "Program Files" in the "C" drive and every program I own, whenever I installed it, almost always suggests that I install it in "Program Files" located in the C drive"

Maybe so, but there's nothing that states programs MUST be installed to C:\ Program Files. Certain programs will be listed there by default when Windows is 1st installed, but when any 3rd party programs are installed, you ALWAYS have the option of where to put them. Most people simply click NEXT & don't even pay attention...but it would have been as simple as changing C:\Program Files to D:\Program Files during the installation.

Yes, it's too late for that now, but it's something to keep in mind for future reference. Here's something else you may wanna look at:

Partitioning Strategies

Is it too late to try Sabertooth's suggestion?

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June 14, 2009 at 09:52:47
No its not too late to try Sabertooth's advice. In fact, that's exactly where I stopped and sought advice. I just downloaded EASEUS. Thank you, folks. I will let you know how it turned out.

But on that more esoteric and philosophical discussion, does anyone have insight into - if an operating system is best to be installed on its own drive - why "My Documents," "My Pictures," "My Videos," and a variety of other "My X" folders are installed by default to the "c" drive when it is that drive which most frequently is the home of the OS? When I open Microsoft Word, it always defaults to "My Documents." If I am supposed to keep all my documents and data on a different drive from my OS, why can't I make Microsoft Word look for "My Documents" on another drive? Any advice?

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June 14, 2009 at 10:04:59
Microsoft sets things up to work for the masses, the majority of whom are clueless about computers.

You NEVER have to accept the default storage location, though most people do. It's usually the "My Documents" folder or the desktop, but it doesn't have to be. Regardless, if you're just accepting the default, you should be backing up the "My Documents" folder to another drive or partition anyway, just in case of "catastrophic failure".

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June 14, 2009 at 14:33:32
Could have just used the program that came with the new drive to move everything on one or more partitions. Not much use in a partition anymore unless bios or OS doesn't support it. And that is common.

You should consider NTbackup also as part of your recovery toolbox.

"Best Practices", Event viewer, host file, perfmon, antivirus, anti-spyware, Live CD's, backups, are in my top 10

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June 14, 2009 at 14:59:13
I agree that I do not have to accept the defaults and always was free to choose another storage location. Silly me, I figured that there was a method to the "suggested" storage location. I did not think that Bill Gates would suggest I store my data and programs in a location that would not optimize my computing experience. But this is all somewhat besides the point.

The entire "My Documents" construct seems to be "computing for the clueless masses" in action. It would be neat if you could adjust Microsoft Word so that when it opens to "My Documents" (as it always does on default at startup) it opens to the drive where I want to keep my data as opposed to the drive where Bill Gates foolishly suggests I should store it. As it now stands, the word processing files I use most (yes, word processing, that's my principal use for a computer) are several clicks away instead of one, two or three.

BTW, that EASEUS program rocks and quickly solved my immediate problem. Thanks, all.

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June 14, 2009 at 15:08:23
Most program installers assume you only have one partition anyway. Always perform a custom installation of any programs. Then you will not only be given the option of where to install but WHAT features you want and which your don't.

To respond about the My Documents folder. If you have just the OS on the C partition and use System Restore your My Documents will NOT be replaced by a new copy. So it makes sense.

However, this doesn't take into account all the other ways you can lose the contents of the My Documents folder. That is why you should ALWAYS maintain at least TWO copies of all data you wish to retain.

I suggest following the suggestions presented in the Radified.com link jam provided. Then use an imaging program to image each of your partitions separately.

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