From: Brian V on 2 Jan 2010 18:51
Yes they are paritions. I have looked at what you're talking about and seen
some of this on my computer, but never understood it.
I have even seen a smaller parition file. I assume they are for the recovery
disk. How can I check it out and look at it's contents or what it does?
Would rejoining them make more available space? Or is paritioning irrelevant?
From: Shenan Stanley on 2 Jan 2010 19:17
Brian V wrote:
> Inside my computer tower is one hard-drive. But I have two in my
> computer. It is like the drive is seperated into a C: and D: drive.
> Why is this? Can I rejoin them? If they were split, does it take
> away from the amount of space there is there (say it's 400gB would
> this situation make it 350Gb one has access to. The other 50Gb
> being a buffer of some kind?)?
One at a time.
"Why is this?"
Whomever setup your computer decided that is how they wanted to do it. It
could be that one partition contains the 'recovery' or 'restoration'
information - if you have to rebuild your computer from scratch for some
reason, this is the method the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) has
chosen to give you. It could be that the original installer intended for
you to use one partition for Windows and your files and one for installing
programs. Could be they intended you to use one partition for Windows and
installed programs and the other for your data. Could be they heard it was
better to split a large drive into parts. COuld be they were bored and
wanted to see what partitioning did.
"Can I rejoin them?"
Yes - but not with native tools on your Windows XP system (assuming you
posted in the correct group.) You could use a third party utility (there
are a few out there) to take all the space from one partition and give it to
the other - expanding its size. However - depending on why it was initially
done this way - this may/may not break *many* things.
"If they were split, does it take away from the amount of space there is
there (say it's 400gB would this situation make it 350Gb one has access to.
The other 50Gb being a buffer of some kind?)?"
It's just a partitioning scheme. It does not make the total space of the
physical drive any less - but it can mean you might not have enough space on
a given partition to do something you might want to do. For example - if
you had a 10GB drive and had it partitioned into a 6GB partition and a 4GB
partition (you wouldn't really have 10GB thanks to marketing - but let's
just pretend for now) and you wanted to save 5GB of files to the second
partition - well - you cannot. If you had access to the entire drive - it
only had one partition (yes - even if you have only one usable section of
the physical hard drive - it is still known as partitioned - just into one
piece) of 10GB - and you only had 4.5GB of it used - you could easily copy
the 5GB you wanted to that.
So - without knowing more about what type of computer you have or how it was
initially setup - the true reason of "why" is unknown - but is likely one of
the ones given or some derivative. You can rejoin them - but it's not
recommended and if you have used som much space that is necessary - better
you archive/cleanup or look into just getting a new hard disk drive to store
stuff than attempt anything like rejoining the space without knowing exactly
what you are doing and having a good fallback plan.
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
From: Daave on 2 Jan 2010 22:39
Brian V wrote:
> Thank you.
> Yes they are paritions. I have looked at what you're talking about
> and seen some of this on my computer, but never understood it.
> I have even seen a smaller parition file. I assume they are for the
> recovery disk. How can I check it out and look at it's contents or
> what it does?
> Would rejoining them make more available space? Or is paritioning
First, I would like to correct a mistake from my previous post:
>> You can only rejoin them by using a third-party disk partitioning
>> program like EASEUS or Partition Magic.
(Please don't snip the relevant parts of the post you are replying to.
By keeping them in your post, others can follow the thread better and
perhaps be more likely to offer helpful suggestions.)
Although the above programs can *resize* partitions, they cannot merge
them. Other programs (that aren't free can perform the merge function,
however. If you were interested in using one of the above freeware
programs to effectively (that is, not actually, but still accomplishing
the same end) merge C: and D:, it could be done if you're careful. If
your C: drive is large enough, you could copy all the data from D: to
C:. (If it's not large enough, you would have to use an external hard
drive for temporary storage.) Then you could delete the D: partition
completely. Since you already copied all the data off of it, you
wouldn't have lost anything. Once D: is deleted, you would have
something called Unallaocated Space on your hard drive where D: once
existed. At this point you could use one of the third-party disk
partitioning tools to expand C: so that it takes up the entire hard
drive (meaning you would no longer have any Unallocated Space).
I am not recommending you do this. I think it's nice to have a partition
only for data. I am just mentioning it to explain partitions and
If there is a small hidden partition on your hard drive, it could be for
any number of things, including diagnostics. Dell PCs have these
diagnostic partitions. You would be able to boot directly to the
diagnostic partition (entirely bypassing Windows XP) and determine the
health of your hardware components.
Sometimes there are larger hidden partitions that contain an image of
the entire hard drive the day it was that it left the factory. This way,
the PC user can return the PC to its original pristine condition if
there is a reason to do so (for instance, the hard drive is riddled with
malware or you are selling/giving this PC to someone else).
Just check your documentation; it will explain what your hidden
partition is for. If you can't find it and are still curious, tell us
the make and model and model number of your PC and we can show you where
on the Web to find out this information.
Merging or resizing the partitons won't make more space. I would leave
well enough alone if I were you. An exception would be if your C:
partition (presumably this would contain your Windows XP operating
system and all its service packs and updates as well as all your
installed programs) is too cramped. But you would need to be extremely
If your C: drive is 50GB (I believe that's what you stated earlier),
that is plenty large. Just leave it alone.
On another but somewhat related topic, I highly recommend you have a
backup strategy. Since you have the two partitions, you could regularly
copy your data (which should be on D:) to an external hard drive (you
could even use Windows Explorer or a free program like Karen's
Replicator that only copies recently added or created data). Then you
could use a program like Acronis True Image (not free) or DriveImageXML
(free) to regularly create an image of C:. This way, if a disaster
strikes, you can easily and quickly restore the most recent image of C:,
thereby preserving the most recent configuration of your system, that
is, OS plus programs.
Partitioning is optional. Many people just have one giant partition that
contains everything. Personal choice.
But partitioning is hardly irrelevant and has its benefits. :-) HTH.
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