Hard-drive split?

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?)?
0
Utf
12/29/2009 8:15:01 AM
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"Brian V" <BrianV@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message 
news:4DB2E4AA-D419-4C6A-9B7E-96534C1BF82C@microsoft.com...
> 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?)?

Your hard disk has been partioned.  That is it has been formatted into two 
parts which are seen as separate drives.  It is possible to re-format into 
one partition.  Either copy off ALL your data and reformat and re-install 
Windows and all your software - you would, then have to reconfigure your 
software.  It is also possible to re-partition using software like Partition 
Magic which claims to re-partition without the need to reformat - but I 
can't comment on its success..

Overall the best advice is to do nothing - unless it is actually causing a 
problem!

Regards.

Bill Ridgeway 


0
Bill
12/29/2009 12:21:41 PM
And if you only have a recovery cd / partion then likely your PC would be 
restored to the same state

Partition Magic or Acronis Disk Director can combine partitions on the fly - 
I've used both

"Bill R" <bill@compsols.wanadoo.co.uk> wrote in message 
news:eiBRDGIiKHA.5596@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
> "Brian V" <BrianV@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message 
> news:4DB2E4AA-D419-4C6A-9B7E-96534C1BF82C@microsoft.com...
>> 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?)?
>
> Your hard disk has been partioned.  That is it has been formatted into two 
> parts which are seen as separate drives.  It is possible to re-format into 
> one partition.  Either copy off ALL your data and reformat and re-install 
> Windows and all your software - you would, then have to reconfigure your 
> software.  It is also possible to re-partition using software like 
> Partition Magic which claims to re-partition without the need to 
> reformat - but I can't comment on its success..
>
> Overall the best advice is to do nothing - unless it is actually causing a 
> problem!
>
> Regards.
>
> Bill Ridgeway
> 


0
DL
12/29/2009 12:46:55 PM
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?)?

If this is a pre-built computer, with a recovery partition on it, don't
touch it until you understand a little more about the setup. Some people
get all excited by the opportunity to expand C: and wipe out the only
copy of Windows provided with their computer. There may be a hidden
partition, with your recovery software in it. Check the computer instruction
manual, for the procedure that covers burning a "recovery CD" or
"recovery DVD". If you prepare your recovery media in advance, you'll
be prepared for the day that the hard drive dies on you.

This tool will display the four primary partition entries on a hard drive.
A hard drive can have more than four partitions. One of the partition
entries can have a special entry that indicates more logical partitions
exist. This tool doesn't show any logical partitions. I use only
primary ones on my machine (more convenient).

    PTEDIT32 for Windows
    ftp://ftp.symantec.com/public/english_us_canada/tools/pq/utilities/PTEDIT32.zip

    PTEDIT32 screenshot
    http://www.vistax64.com/attachments/vista-installation-setup/7308d1224108918-hidden-partiton-recovery-dell-xps-420-dell-tbl.gif

You can see in the sample screen shot, there are three partitions on the hard
drive being displayed. Type "07" or "0C" might be considered "normal"
partitions. The ones marked "DE" and "DB" are different. "DE" is something
that Dell invented. Each manufacturer can hide different things in the partition
table, so it is a good idea to do your research first, so you don't erase something
you'll want later. At least one computer manufacturer uses an HPA (Host
Protected Area), which you can't even see in that display.

If you were building your own computer, you wouldn't do anything nearly
so complicated.

There is a table of partition types here, to help you decode them. Using
a single byte would seem to have been a mistake.

http://www.win.tue.nl/~aeb/partitions/partition_types-1.html

    Paul
0
Paul
12/29/2009 3:32:49 PM
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?)?

I will assume a few things, so please correct me if I'm wrong.

1. You have a PC that contains one hard drive and when you open My 
Computer, you see two "drives" (these are actually partitions) listed, 
namely C: and D:.

Some PC manufacturers (Sony, for instance) pre-configure the hard drives 
so there are two partitions. C: is meant for the operating system and 
all it settings and updates and also for all your installed programs, 
including all their settings. D: is meant for all your data: your word 
processing doucments, spreadsheets, music files like mp3s, videos, etc. 
The PC manufacturer could have just as easily included only one giant 
partition, which would contain *everything*.

Why do certain manufacturers do this? Perhaps there is a restore program 
that will work quicker if the system partition isn't too large.

You can only rejoin them by using a third-party disk partitioning 
program like EASEUS or Partition Magic. But you might decide you like 
the default layout; there's nothing wrong with it and there is some 
logic behind it. That is, you might be satisfied leaving well enough 
alone.

In addition to these two visible partitions, it's possible you have 
other *hidden* partitions. They can be seen by using the built-in 
Windows program Disk Management. Some hidden partitions are relatively 
small and contain diagnostics. Others are fairly large and contain an 
image that cean be used to restore the PC to its original condition. 


0
Daave
12/29/2009 6:59:18 PM
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 irrelevant?
0
Utf
1/2/2010 11:51:01 PM
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.

-- 
Shenan Stanley
     MS-MVP
-- 
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html 


0
Shenan
1/3/2010 12:17:53 AM
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
> irrelevant?

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 
resizing.

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 
careful.

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. 


0
Daave
1/3/2010 3:39:45 AM
Reply:

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