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Windows 7: "Free space" and "unallocated space" on HD - what can I do with this?

19 Aug 2011   #1
shawlli

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 
"Free space" and "unallocated space" on HD - what can I do with this?

Earlier today I tried to dual boot my hard drive to run both Windows 7 and Ubuntu. I wasn't able to do it properly (I must have done some wrong steps, I'm new to all this stuff and didn't realize how complicated partitioning was... ah.) and now my hard drive is left with "free space" (15GB, I think its an extended partition) and "unallocated space" (38GB, not sure what kind of partition it is) alongside my C drive (primary), Lenovo Recovery partition (primary), and something called "SYSTEM_DRV" (primary).

I think the "free space" is extended because when I try and create a new volume with the "unallocated space", I'm denied and a window pops up saying I have too many primary partitions.

The option to 'delete partition' for the "free space" is available but if I select it, a warning window pops up (included in thumbnail below).

What I'd like to do is reformat the "free space" and "unallocated space" in some way that it can be used/merged to the C drive.

I've included a screen cap of my HD in Disk Manager below.




Attached Thumbnails
"Free space" and "unallocated space" on HD - what can I do with this?-partition-delete.jpg   "Free space" and "unallocated space" on HD - what can I do with this?-diskmanager.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Aug 2011   #2
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello again mate.


If you delete the "Free Space" it will become unallocated space that you can extend the C: partition partition into.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2011   #3
Wishmaster

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

What BarefootKid said


Free Space is a Partion. Its a partition that was made, but never formatted.
Formatting it will make it useable in Windows.

Unallocated Space is space on the HD that is unused. It is not a partition, just dead space.
It can be made into a Partition and formated. Or it can be used to extend a current partition next to it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Aug 2011   #4
shawlli

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Thank you again Bare Foot again, and thanks Wishmaster for the further clarification! I didn't want to make the next step (deleting the "fee space") without knowing for sure what would happen.

Everything ended up working out fine, and I finally have a harmonious (from what I can tell so far at least haha) dual-boot set up between Ubuntu and Windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Aug 2011   #5
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Good to see you got it running and thanks for the update.


Have you considered creating and storing externally an image of the entire HDD now while it's all functioning correctly for use in future if/when all goes south?


Imaging with free Macrium

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Aug 2011   #6
shawlli

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bare Foot Kid View Post
Good to see you got it running and thanks for the update.


Have you considered creating and storing externally an image of the entire HDD now while it's all functioning correctly for use in future if/when all goes south?


Imaging with free Macrium

Yes, I'd definitely like to do this! I just have a quick question about how this imaging actually works though. I don't have a disk drive on my laptop, so would that mean I'd have do this on a USB/external hard drive? How large of an external hard drive would I need to do this?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Aug 2011   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

The best is to use an external disk to store the images. They are quite big - about 55% of the amount of data you image (due to compression they are smaller). So they may range from 10GB to 40GB to even more depending on how much you have on the partition you image.

I always recommend an external disk of at least 250GB for the purpose because you want to image frequently and keep at least 3 images (grandmother, mother child). You also want to image your 100MB active partition and your recovery partition once - just in case your HDD dies.

Another advice: setup a seperate data partition for your data. That will insulate your data from your OS. It is also handy because imaging the system and the data need not occur at the same time. You do that depending on the change frequency. Data Partition

The imaging frequency is a matter of personal preference. I used to do that daily, but I think once per week will usually suffice (depends how much of the latest updates you are willing to loose). Here are some thoughts on that: Imaging strategies
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2012   #8
AnneB

Win 7 Home premium 64
 
 

Just a word of THANKS! Was terrified what would happen if I deleted the 'free space' as well... So glad I found these posts!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Sep 2012   #9
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello AnneB, welcome to Seven Forums!


Glad you fund a solution.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 "Free space" and "unallocated space" on HD - what can I do with this?




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