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Windows 7: 4 partitions with lots of data on one drive. Can I merge without loss?

05 Oct 2010   #1
blotsome

W7 Pro x64
 
 
4 partitions with lots of data on one drive. Can I merge without loss?

OK. I bought a 1.5 GB drive to store back up system images and large media files (DVD rips and such). When I got it, I decided, for whatever reason, to split it up into 4 equal sized partitions (350GB), let's say F:, G:, H:, I:. Before loading Windows 7 on my main system drive, I decided to clone an image of my old XP system on F:, so F: is now bootable. I don't ever use XP any more, really at all, but it was nice to have a bootable drive when my system drive developed a bad boot sector. So F: has 331 GB of free space. G: has a half dozen backup images created by Windows 7, and has 110 GB free. H: and I: are exclusively for large media files (well, I am using H: also for 7MC's live TV buffer), and they have 10-50GB free.

Now, with libraries and Media Browser, it doesn't really matter that my media files are on two separate partitions, because through 7MC it appears that they are all together, which is great. But if I want to move something from H: to I:, it takes much longer than simply transferring from another drive, and I have a bunch of free space on the bootable partition. So ideally, I'd like to make F: much smaller, and reclaim that free space for other partitions. I mean, I could live with one partition for everything, but it may be nice to keep the bootable partition seperate, then have all the media and system backups together with the rest of the space.

Is this doable? I cannot backup this drive currently, so I don't want to do anything that is risky and could loose data (but on the other hand, nothing is terribly critical so a total loss would suck, but not be the end of the world).

I've seen Partition Wizard Home Edition recommended in another thread. Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Oct 2010   #2
pebbly

win 7 ultimate32bit, Win8.1pro wmc 32bit
 
 

Hi blotsome, Have a look at this thread and follow "gregrockers" advice How to merge partitions
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2010   #3
1Bowtie

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Yes it's definitly doable, but i'd like to warn against putting a backup in a partition on the same hard drive as the os. If the hdd goes so does your backup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Oct 2010   #4
Phone Man

Windows 8.1 Pro w/Media Center 64bit, Windows 7 HP 64bit
 
 

Partition Wizard is a great program. I would keep the OS on a separate partition for easier backups. I have two 1tb drives and I have the OS on an 80gb partition to leave lots of room for programs. The rest of that drive is a working partition for downloads and general storage. My Second drive is one partition for pictures/video. I also use Macrium Reflex to image the OS and working partitions to the second drive. (separate images for each) I then backup the entire second drive to an external drive. The Partition Wizard sites has a list of tutorials.

Jim
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2010   #5
blotsome

W7 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by 1Bowtie View Post
Yes it's definitly doable, but i'd like to warn against putting a backup in a partition on the same hard drive as the os. If the hdd goes so does your backup.
Yeah, my Win7 OS is on a completely different drive. I just have my old XP clone bootable from this drive (which I have only booted into a handful of times since my upgrade a year ago). I imagine I could probably just delete it completely, but a) I'm worried that there may be something I will loose, even if I can't tell you what it is right now (ha) and b) it was nice to have a bootable OS on another drive when my primary drive failed. I really don't use the XP boot. It's there for emergencies and just in case I forgot I needed something from my computer pre-windows 7 upgrade (which hasn't happened once in a year).

I'll look into Partition Wizard's tutorials and probably give it a go. Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2010   #6
1Bowtie

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Your welcome

You might also think about moving your valuable data to the Win 7 drive temporarily, them format the other drive and repartition it maybe in two partitions and move the data back. That's probably the way i would approach it, but let us know either way if we can be any further help
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2010   #7
blotsome

W7 Pro x64
 
 

Well, that isn't an option, because like I said, I have nearly 900GBs of media files and system image backups, and my primary drive is 300GB. I have no place to temporarily back up this drive, so if I am to modify the partitions, it needs to be a program that won't delete the data. I believe Partition Wizard fits the bill.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2010   #8
blotsome

W7 Pro x64
 
 

Darn. I made F: smaller, and extended G:, but you can't merge with the free home version.

Any other ideas?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2010   #9
derekimo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by blotsome View Post
Darn. I made F: smaller, and extended G:, but you can't merge with the free home version.

Any other ideas?
I just installed this Paragon Partition Manager Personal to see if it would merge

two of mine with the demo, it looks like it will do it. Make sure you grab the right

version 32 or 64 bit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2010   #10
IownAmoneyPit

Windows 7 Pro x 2/Windows 10 Home/10 Pro//Windows 10 Insider Preview ?
 
 

I found that trying to merge partitions with images or backups on them to be risky. When I tried it the merge failed and gave me a partition of worthless backups in RAW format the problem is that most partitioning programs do not recognize the file extension of an image or back up file.

A method I have used with success is to say copy the contents of drive F (XP bootable drive) to your desktop & when that is done extend G into F via disk management and then copy the contents of the XP bootable drive to the newly extended G
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 4 partitions with lots of data on one drive. Can I merge without loss?




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