What size is the drive?
Partitions are actually quite a good idea if used correctly, operating system and standard software on one partition, set the defaults to save and store all emails, letters, data, pictures and music on another partition then when you repair or reinstall the operating system all your data is safely on the other.
there are a many products that can do this the only problem with almost them all is that to remove the partition they will destroy all data on the drive!
the only product i know that works without doing that, is
VCom/PowerQuest PartitionMagic 8.0 or 8.02,
this product will remove the partition without destroying any operating system or removing any data. this version will work with Fat32, Fat16, and NTFS etc. it will remove, resize, add more partitions.
Swissknife and all others will remove or resize but any data will be destroyed
any older and it will not work with NTFS or the newer versions from Symantec who purchased this product mixed it with a dose of salts and ruined it.