Personally, I wouldn't remove the partition. All my hard drives are partitioned. The O/S and applications are on C: (as normal). All my personal files, data, photos, music etc are stored on other partitions. If anything goes wrong with my C: drive I don't lose anything important, (although my D: E: and F: drives are backed up regularly to DVD as well).
If you do want to remove the partition I am told a good free Disk Manager is Ranish from click here
If you are using a DOS system (Win 98 or Win ME, thee is a command called JOIN, which will link two drives together to create a new drive, unfortunatly XP has done away with this. This was used in the dark ages when a 5gb drive was all you would ever need. --What happened to those days?.
I prefer to be able to scan. copy, or backup smaller rather than larger "drives." Whatever you like is best until something or someone convinces you otherwise.
Partitioning started for me in a dire period with 98 and SCSI troubles, before I knew about scanreg /restore and had to re-install too many times. I had just reached the dizzy heights of a 4.3Gb HD after Windows 3.1 a 700Mb HD, and a new build computer.
i've had another think and realised that if i delete the partition then i'm going to have to make dvd copies of my documents regularly which i really wouldn't keep up, so the next best thing to safeguard the data would be to seperate it from c:. hence a partition is needed. then just because i can i'll create an image of c: to put in d:....then i'm left with 'what happens if there is an hdd failure' so i'll create a full disk image of the partitions (which is actually 3 having downloaded acronis true image trial, apparently acer put there own software into a small partition..god knows why)....