helpful or not /result is less disc space

  Miyah 10:56 12 Sep 2005

My laptop started playing up and although I've always used the factory restore option when I've had real problems before, after talking to someone (who I was told knew about computers) and them saying they would sort it, I let them get on with it. It already had the hard disk partitioned into a C and D drive. On the C was just the restore to factory settings (Fat 32). On the D drive XPHome SP1 plus installed SP2 and updates etc.

He did the following .......

The C drive was left untouched. He reformatted the D drive, then reinstalled the XP SP1 with NT file format from the XPHome Disk I had with the laptop.
He then overwrote the D drive with the factory restore (Fat 32) from the C drive. Something I was told to do with drivers not being available ... or something.

When I was going to reinstall everything today, I noticed that available space on the C drive was very, very small. If I open up the windows defragmenter, the Analyse is showing a large red unfragmented section, mirroring the size of the blue defragmented section. It was not there before. It will not defragment. On the D drive I am now seeing a larger strip of unmovable files, and again there is less available space than previously.

Any ideas why this would be ... does it matter on the C drive ... can I reclaim the space on C or D ... should the Fat 32 have been written over the NT ... and also why do it, what was the point of reformat etc on D drive in the first place?


  keith-236785 12:07 12 Sep 2005

first off, formatting D was a waste of time and could only lead to a loss of your data, it is not important to the running of windows and is where i personally store all my downloaded files including any photos/documents etc. then in the case of needing to re-install windows, a simple format of C: and setup windows, all my data is intact and i can install all my existing software quickly and easily.

so back to your problem, how big is the actual hard drive (should be on a sticker on your lappy), how big are the partitions (C: +D:), dont expect them to add upto 40gig if you have a 40gig drive lol it doesnt work quite like that, it will probably be about 36 or 37 gig (my 160 gig is 152.5 after formatting) so i "lost" 7.5 gig, you should lose around 3gig

if you click My computer and select Manage, then disk management. it will show you the partitioning information of your hard drive, dont do anything there yet, just take a note of the sizes and come back to us. if you use a restore cd rather than a full XP CD then you might actually have a third partition which is hidden (this is where the data for the restore is held, the cd is only to boot up the restore program)

also let us know if you want to start again with re-installing windows or want to work with what you have (but i have to say, windows works much happier on drive C:)

if you want to make the partitions different sizes, you can but you need a program such as Partition Manager or something similar.

  Miyah 14:47 12 Sep 2005

Okay, the hard disk is 60 GB. (I have not reinstalled anything yet bar AV /Firewall /anti spyware.)

The partition C should only hold the Mulitivision Mirror Disk, which restores laptop to when delivered. The partition for this drive is set at 2.79GB Fat 32 showing a status of Healthy (System) It is showing only 366MB now as free.

The partition D holds the Windows XP Home. The partition for this is set at 53.0 GB. Fat 32 showing a status of Healthy (Boot)

The laptop came with the the full Windows XPHome CD and the install CDs for the applications.

I would like to start again with re-installing windows. Would it be easy for me to do? I'm not a complete novice, but am not very far from it when it comes to doing anything that isn't just 'using' the laptop :)

If I do re-install windows on a single C drive, I will lose the Mirror Disk restore yes? ... so will I be able to set up everything to be how it would be 'out of box' again?

Or have I misinterpreted what you meant?

  keith-236785 10:27 13 Sep 2005

sorry to be so long replying, from what you say, if you format c: then you would lose all the install files so you would be unable to restore your system.

your drive D: is big enough so should not cause a problem, however the 366MB left on C: is not enough.

is it possible that your "freind" has installed something into drive C: which has taken some valuable space (the default directory for nearly everything is C: so when installing things such as Microsoft Office it would install into C: unless told different.

just re-reading the original post, try running error checking on drive C: (my computer, right click on C: and select properties/tools then error checking. it might require a restart to begin the check 9it will tell you if it does.

this might reclaim the red section (though red on a drive normally means items that cant be moved), worth a try as a free and easy option.

A Program such as Partition Magic MIGHT help but im not sure if it can resize a partition BEFORE the windows one though it is a powerful application. it is not free though, Ranish Partition Manager is free but i have not used it so cant reccomend or help with its use.

on the september cover disc of Computer Shopper (issue211) is Paragon Partition manager which i have installed and appears to be very good.

first thing i would do is to check the C: drive for something which may have been installed AFTER windows. (as windows fits on a cd to install and only takes about 1.3 gig as a fresh install, drivers for all the stuff supplied with the pc should also be there) you should only need about half the space leaving the other half for whatever it needs.

in this case, DO NOT FORMAT C:

try a partitioning prog but before you do, backup your C:drive so if it goes wrong you can copy it back (hope its that simple)

if you get a partitioning software running, reduce the drive d: by 5 gig, format it as E: and fat32, then try to copy all files from C: to E: then if drive C: screws up you have got a backup on drive E: show all hidden and system files before copying so everything is copied.(hope that makes sense)

  Miyah 16:15 13 Sep 2005

no worries ... and thanks for reply.

Okay have run the error checking scan on the C drive and whatever it did, it has taken the free space up to 896MB (31% ). Will this be okay now, if I choose to leave everything as is?

If it would still be better to do something, have I got this right:

I leave the C drive as is. Back it up.
See if I can create another partion of 5GB on the D drive and call it E.
Making sure all hidden files are shown, transfer all of C to E.
Take out the C/D patition so it is now just C.
Install Windows on the C because it will run better on the C drive.
So will end up with Win XP on the C disk drive and the Multivision MirrorDisk, plus whatever else he might have put on there, on the more roomier E drive.

Yes? If so many thanks for the help. :)

[Just a thought but I was wondering, I have the following with the laptop - Notebook Supporting Utility Disk, full Windows XPHome Installation Disk and the installation disks for all the media programmes that came pre-installed. So would I be able to do everything with those that the MirrorDisk on C drive would do, or are there other settings, or whatever the tech term is, that I would still be unable to restore?]

  keith-236785 20:29 13 Sep 2005

896MB should be ok, really it should need no more than the space for the files, but as said windows normally installs to c and as the default it might be used by the pagefile which can get quite big. give it a go and see how you get on. hopefully it will work ok. just take care not to install into C:

good luck

  keith-236785 20:36 13 Sep 2005

im not sure if i would mess with the partitions if everything works ok, but either way, dont remove D:, just make the drive C: bigger if you can without losing any data or windows. the restore data will need to be on drive C: as thats where the restore cd expects to find it.

the idea is to make the drive C: about 5 gig, drive d: whatever is left (after you create a 5 gig drive E:)

if everything works ok, you can then remove the drive E: and make drive D: bigger.

best not to mess unless you are still having problems.

really the drive C: should be a hidden partition which cannot be seen via windows. but as said, that is how its been set up and changing it would probably cause more trouble than its worth.

good luck

  Miyah 20:49 13 Sep 2005

Right ... got you. Can see what you mean cleary now.

Thanks once again.

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