Merging Partitions

  heidelberg 08:53 02 Jan 2005

A Happy New Year everyone.

I am trying to merge 2 partitions, both on the same drive (15GB in total). I have used the search facility within this forum, but found no answer to my problem. Whenever I attempt the merge, using the merge wizard within Partion Magic 7, I am told that the cluster sizes of the two partitions are different, one is 512 bytes, the other is 4 Kbytes. The filing system is NTFS.

I run XP Home, and the drive concerned is the second drive and largely contains backups etc.

Any suggestions?


PS this "follows on" from a posting I made last week

click here

I didn't want to resurrect that one - I thought a new thread would be better.



  bremner 09:12 02 Jan 2005

These are the default cluster sizes for NTFS

512MB or less 512 bytes
513MB to 1024MB(1GB) 1024 bytes (1KB)
1025MB to 2048MB(2GB) 2048 bytes (2KB)
2049MB and larger 4096 bytes (4KB)

As you can see a 15GB drive will have a 4KB cluster.

This would seem to indicate that the partition with 512b clusters is not NTFS or that during formatting the defualts were changed by the user.

Can you confirm catagorically that the partition is NTFS.

  bremner 09:16 02 Jan 2005

If it definitely is NTFS then I know Partition Magic 8 will resize NTFS clusters - I do not know if this is a feature of v7

  keith-236785 09:27 02 Jan 2005

if you could backup the data on the drive to your main drive, you could remove both partitions from the second drive and then create one large partition in their place

to do this in xp, right click on My Compute and choose manage, once the window opens, click bottom left option (disk management)

this will open a new window which will show the drives you have fitted. before going any further, make sure you have moved ALL data you want as the next step is to remove the partitions which will destroy everything on the drive.

start with the last partition on the second drive, right click on it and choose "delete logical drive" or "delete partition" whichever it gives you the choice of.

once done, do the same for the other partition on the drive, then if yopu have no more partitions on the drive, right click again and choose Create Partition. make it the full size of the drive, once done right click again and format the new partition, exit disk management and goto My Computer, see if you now have one drive with the full 15 gig.

if not, go back to disk management and see if you can find where you went wrong....


  heidelberg 09:28 02 Jan 2005


The partition is definitely NTFS. The manual tells me that I can change the cluster size on FAT and FAT32 partitions. Indeed the "resize clusters" option in the Operations menu is greyed out.

Thanks for help so far.


  dan11 09:37 02 Jan 2005

This should be fairly easy and no need to use norton ghost. Just use the in inbuilt partition magic of XP. You want to merge G+H to make it a bootable C drive and then change your C+D drives to slaves G+H ( although they may not be exactly G+H).

Transfer all the data you wish to save from your G+H drives, to a new folder on D.When you have saved every thing you want to open disk management.

Right click my computer > manage > disk management. Your G+H partitioned hard drive will show on the right hand side.

Right click in the H section and pick delete partition, you will be prompted to "do you wish to continue as all data will be lost" pick yes.

Now do the same with the G drive.

You should now have a drive unallocated with no drive letter. Right click on the drive and pick new partition. This will start the wizard. Pick primary partition > max hard drive space will be next > new hard drive letter will be next ( just choose the letter offered as you will change this to C later) > next you get the option to format in NTFS or fat32 ( choose the one you want)You also have the choice of a quick format. Pick your option. The end of the wizard will come up and windows will format the drive.

Now you should have you old C+D drive with your operating system on and a fresh partitioned formatted slave.

If you wish to use the 15 gig drive as your main boot drive (C) and your 80 gig as slave post back for instructions.

Good luck.

  dan11 09:38 02 Jan 2005

Ah, not as fast at typing as you paperman27 :-)

  heidelberg 10:53 02 Jan 2005

Thanks for responses paperman27 and dan11.

I will be doing a little of each of your suggestions.

Firstly to back up data from G & H to a new folder on D, then delete partitions and reformat.

I want then to install Windows XP, SP2 (I assume that I won't need SP1 as well!!) onto the newly formatted drive, but leave C & D as they are at the moment ie bootable with the old installation of windows.

I can then install on "new XP" the rest of the software I wish and when satisfied I'll "ghost it"

Eventually I do wish to use the 15 gig drive as the main boot drive (C) and the 80 gig as slave so as suggested by dan11 could you post the instructions on how to do this.

Many thanks again


PS I'll keep the forum posted as to how it's going - in case it is of any help to others.

  dan11 11:02 02 Jan 2005

To use your 15 gig drive as the main bootable drive (with a clean operating system on it) and have your 80 gig as a partitioned slave drive.

Shut down the computer and turn the power switch off at the wall. Earth yourself by touching the case. Look at the jumper settings at the back of the hard drives. If the 80gig is jumpered as master and the 15 gig is jumpered as slave, do this. Change the jumper on the 15gig to master. Change the jumper on the 80 gig as slave. If both are master, leave the jumpers. Take the IDE cable out of the 80 gig and put it into the 15gig. Leave the IDE cable out of the 80 gig for now.

Bootup the computer, with the XP disk in it. This should start the fresh windows installation, if not you will have to change the boot order in the bios to cdrom first.

Install windows and drivers.

Shut down the computer; attach the old 15 gig IDE cable, the one you unplugged to the 80 gig slave.

Boot up

Your new system should now have the 15 gig as C, with operating system and the 80 gig as a partitioned slave. Now you can move what you want to any partition. When you are ready you can delete the old C partition, now G?, to get rid of the old windows operating system

  heidelberg 12:23 02 Jan 2005

Thanks dan11.

I'll keep posted as to what happens.


  heidelberg 14:28 02 Jan 2005

Now have C & D drives as they were, ie bootable with XP SP2 and all other applications. G & H are now merged and reformatted, and labelled G.

Is it possible for me to install a second copy of XP home, and XP2 on drive G, and still maintain C & D as they were (for the time being)as the bootable version of XP, without changing jumpers etc.

When I am happy with the new installation it will then become the master, bootable drive, and I can delete the original installation of XP. I keep getting a message that the installed version is more up to date, ie it has SP2 installed, and thta I can't install 2nd version.

Hope this makes sense!!


All I get when I try the second installation

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