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Windows 7: HD partitioning


15 Jan 2010   #1

Windows 7
 
 
HD partitioning

I just started on a new laptop with pre-installed W 7 Home Premium 64bit and need some help with partitioning.
I usually like to have a separate partition for my system files and another for my data files. When I look at the 500 GB HD on this new laptop I see what looks like 3 partitions in "Disk Management":

1) c: Simple, Basic, (Boot, Page file, Crash Dump, Primary Partition) 452 GB
2) Recovery D: Simple Basic (Primary Partition) 12.72 GB
3) System (no drive letter) (System, Active, Primary Partition) 199 MB

I am guessing that what is labelled as system (3) is not really a partition.

A) How do I partition the existing C: into 2 partitions, one for the system and program files and one for Data? Can it be safely done using the tools in disk management or should I use some other tool?

B) does simply copying the Recovery partition to a DVD provide a rescue recovery disk or is there a better way. This laptop did not come with a recovery disk.

Thank you for any help.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Jan 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

The first thing to do there is what you said last being the creation of a set of recovery disks before making any drive changes. If something goes bad at least you can restore things back to factory! The manufacturer's support site should have a page with instructions for this there.

1) For "shrinking" the present C primary down first in order to create a new partition in the vacant drive space created you would need a good 3rd party drive tool. The resize option in the Disk Management is generally troublesome when the OS is loaded on the partition you are trying to resize.

For 2) refer to the first part of reply!

A good drive tool for seeing C primaries shrunk in size without ending up with problems is GParted live for cd. Since you are booted live from either a cd or a usb flash drive with the live image written to it you can simply shrink the primary down so far according to how much is already on the drive.

Even if you decide to use another partitioning program the instructions for GParted explain how resizing partitions works. GPARTED DOCUMENTATION - RESIZING

General documentation starts off at GPARTED DOCUMENTATION - GENERALITIES

If you are brand new at repartitioning drives the first item of concern as well as the recovery disk set would be backing up any important files you want to keep externally or burn a few data dvds to avoid any loss.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2010   #3

Windows 7
 
 

I still don't see the point of making a separate partition for your data files......

If you ever have to reinstall Windows, you can just make a new installation ontop of the old one. Setup will just move your old data files to the Windows.old folder.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


15 Jan 2010   #4

Windows 7
 
 

You are absolutely correct of course. I am using the Recovery Disc Creation right now to create the necessary DVDs and will then go look for GParted live for cd. Thank you.

I still prefer to have a separate data partition for my routine backups. Old habits.

Also, I hopefully I will never need to use the recovery disks because I hope to find a good tool for image backups of the modified system partition to my USB external HD.

Any suggestions for this? I used Acronis 6 in my XP systems but apparently that will not work in Windows 7 unless I upgrade. Other options?

Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2010   #5

Windows 7
 
 

Bonkey the Backup Monkey. It's free and ez to use.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

7 already has two different tools to work with included. For backing up the entire drive to an external HD you would create a system image. Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup[2]=Backup

For simply restoring files and settings following a clean install of 7 to replace a previous one you would use the Windows Easy Transfar with files already backed up on the new partition. Windows Easy Transfer - Transfer To & From Computers[2]=Backup

Your laptop's user manual should point to the full recovery option seen at post for restoring everything bringing it back to factory without the separate disks usually a key combination. That automatically reformats the factory C primary during the restoration process. When lacking an external a second storage/backup partition is usually something to consider especially with a larger capacity drive.

For the latest available(well not quite latest withdrawn for some corrections) release of GParted live for cd you would download the iso image from Browse GParted Files on SourceForge.net

Now the small 94-100mb partition seen at the front of the drive is the boot sector the preinstalled 7 sees there. The D partition is all of the Windows files PLUS! note the word "plus" everything else that gets packed on along with 7 namely the manufacturer's prepackaged softwares.

One thing that would be usefull here however is a look at what you see in the Disk Management tool as far as present partitioning. If you can grab a snip of that with the Start>Accessoires>snipping tool and post it here that would be a help.

With only some 13gb tied up with D you can elect to dump that entirely once the recovery disks are made up or simply leave that present since a 500gb HD has plenty of room to work with.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2010   #7

Windows 7
 
 

Thank you again for all your help. I really appreciate it.

I attached the disc partitions image.
I'm perfectly happy leavfing the Recovery partition D: in place and of course the boot sector. So it is only C: that I would like to divide.
Nice tool snippit. Did not know about it.


Attached Images
 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2010   #8

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by surfasb View Post
Bonkey the Backup Monkey. It's free and ez to use.
Does that create image backups of the system partition you can use to restore the system if necessary?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2010   #9

Windows 7
 
 

Nope, not like Acronis.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2010   #10

Windows 7
 
 

I've used Acronis for years in XP. Restored the XP system image a number of times. But the version I have is ver 6 which I think will not work in W 7 - unless I am wrong? Am I?
Is the latest Acronis known to be dependable in W 7?
Are there free alternatives that are almost as good?
Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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