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Removing a hard disk partition

shermans
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: 07-09-2007

Removing a hard disk partition

Oh dear, here we go again.  I am embarrassed to keep asking for help like this.  Having resolved my recent PSU problem thanks to the forum, I have now tried to sort out the Windows XP operating system on my laptop.
The laptop has a 60Gb hard disk.  Some years ago, I partitioned it into a system partition "C" with 20 Gb. and a Data partition with 40Gb.  However, Windows has got more and more bloated and I have run out of space on the C: drive, which means I can no longer hibernate nor can I defrag the disk ; there just is not enough room.
So I decided to remove the DCheesyata partition, because I keep all my data these days on my desktop computer, which I back up onto an external hard disk as well as a large memory stick as belt and braces.  Therefore, I do not need a separate DCheesyata partition anymore.  I wanted to consolidate the C: partition and the D: partition to give Windows more room.  That would then leave enough room on the only single 60Gb. partition C: for any short term data to be stored as and when necessary - I need no more than a few Gb. for that.
So I deleted all the data from the D: partition.  I then went into Computer Management in Windows and attempted to delete the D: partition.  Well, I think it may be an extended partition of C: rather than a logical drive.  The problem is now that this old D: partition is showing as "Unallocated", and I am stuck therefore.  I still only have the original 20Gb. for the C: partition and I cannot use the rest.
So please can anyone tell me how to consolidate the the C: partition and this unallocated partition or segment ?  I would once more be very grateful for instructions.  I used to know how to do this, I think, with Fdisk years ago but I am getting too old to remember all that !
Thanks very much. Sad
11 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Removing a hard disk partition

To put it bluntly, unless you reinstall windows you can't just add the partition to an existing one. I vaguely heard of the odd partition manager or two that claimed to be able to do this years ago but i never trusted them enough to get it right and even then, you needed enough extra space on the disk for it to temporarly work with in order to do so.
My advice would be to reinstall the OS and when it asks you to select a partition, do so. Delete the current c: partition and then make one large partition and continue with installation. Of course you'll need to reinstall all your software etc but it'll also run a lot quicker without all the bloat.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Removing a hard disk partition

I've used Partition Magic to do such things, but it's a bit risky.
Can you not just install a second copy of XP on the 40GB D: drive?
I typically install 2 copies anyway as a backup in case the primary gets corrupted/damaged.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Removing a hard disk partition

You would need to use a boot disk to do it
There are a number of free options - even Linux
This is one option http://www.geeksdo.com/howto-resize-partition-with-partition-wizard-home-edition.html
http://www.partitionwizard.com/free-partition-manager.html
pwatson
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Re: Removing a hard disk partition

I've used GParted successfully for this on many occasions and, most recently, to shrink an active Win 7 partition in order to install XP and dual boot.
shermans
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: 07-09-2007

Re: Removing a hard disk partition

Thanks, that is what I was beginning to fear.
Now there is an alternative that has come to mind.  I have made a back-up of the C: System including Windows and Program Files using the Microsoft Back-up utility, which I keep on a separate external hard disk with loads of room on it.  I was wondering whether it might be possible to take the hard disk with the two partitions out of the laptop, and connect it to my desktop computer with an external connector module which I have for this purpose.
I had to do that recently to restore the missing NTDLR from a backup when I think the NTDLR got deleted by a virus, so I know that I can connect to it in this way.  Could I then re-partition the hard disk while connected externally, and if so, how ?  Presumably, I would have to use Fdisk for this purpose (if I can remember how ?)
Having got one single 60Gb. partition hopefully, I would then restore the System and Programs from the backup using the Microsoft Back-up Utility again onto the hard disk, and then re-install the hard disk physically back into the laptop.  That is my idea at least.
Do you think this would work ?
Thanks.
redsetter
Grafter
Posts: 76
Registered: 12-05-2013

Re: Removing a hard disk partition

EaseUS Partition Master Free Edition
This is another tool to consider and worth downloading.
http://download.cnet.com/EaseUS-Partition-Master-Free-Edition/3000-2248_4-10863346.html
With xp every now and then its best to back up data and format the whole disk and do a clean install,its not that long to do.
Community Veteran
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Re: Removing a hard disk partition

All you need to do is resize the C: partition to use all the unallocated space. Later versions of Windows can resize partitions from within Computer Management, but I don't think XP has that ability, so you would need to use one of the previously mentioned programs.
PeeGee
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Re: Removing a hard disk partition

From this how-to
Start -> run -> diskpart
extend size=40960 disk=c
Though, IIRC, this action is queued until a restart, as c: cannot be extended on a "live" system.
You may need to adjust the size parameter if it generates an error due to not enough space.
With NT, partitions could be extended without concatenating, so I'm not sure what this operation does
Note: glad your system wasn't messed up. In the last few days, I "deleted" the "last" logical partition (having copied the data to the preceding logical partition) and XP deleted the last three logical partitions instead, removing 80GB of data I had recently loaded - fortunately, I had finished backing up a couple of hours before Cheesy
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shermans
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: 07-09-2007

Re: Removing a hard disk partition

Success !  Smiley
At least, fingers crossed but so far it all seems to be working.  Thanks again to you all for so much help and advice.
At first, I downloaded "GParted" as recommended by pwatson but having read the FAQs, it said that there was a possibility that it could corrupt the boot files.  So I decided to try PeeGee's suggestion of Diskpart.  I knew I could always go back to "GParted".  I experimented to begin with using another external disk.  When I came to try it on the actual hard disk, it would not let me because it was the Active Partition.
So undaunted, I took the hard disk out of the lap top and plugged it into my desktop as an extrenal hard disk.  I then made the partition inactive with Diskpart's inactive command.  Having done that I used the extend command in Diskpart without any size parameter, and to my relief it expanded the system partition to the maximum size of the disk.  I then made the partition active again, checked that the files all seemed to be there still, re-installed it into the laptop and started it up.  I am pleased to say that it started first time, immediately asked to re-boot, so I then re-booted and all seems to be working, with just one large partition as I wanted.  I am hoping that Windows will perform a bit better now, also.
I am really so grateful to you all for the advice and encouragement.  It is a great relief to have it all working again - so far !  No counting chickens but I can see no reason for it not to continue as it has begun.
Smiley
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Re: Removing a hard disk partition

I don't think you mentioned the desktop before.  Versions of Windows from Vista onwards have the tools you needed built-in; all the suggestions you were offered were to run from a CD/DVD on a standalone computer.
shermans
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,099
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Registered: 07-09-2007

Re: Removing a hard disk partition

ReedRichards
Actually, I did mention the desktop above but it is also running on XP.
Quote
I was wondering whether it might be possible to take the hard disk with the two partitions out of the laptop, and connect it to my desktop computer with an external connector module which I have for this purpose.

So unfortunately I could not access any Vista tools.  I know that all it has done is to put off the dreadful day until I have to move to Windows 8, but it would mean upgrading 5 computers in two locations, and buying 5 new versions of Outlook and 5 new versions of Office.  I also have a large array of software which I use for all sorts of things, some date back to W95 but which still work well on XP, but I fear many of my heritage products would have to go as well when I upgrade.  I know that XP will no longer be supported after April and I may be forced to bite the bullet, reduce the convenience and flexibility of have 5 computers and even have to think about using the Cloud, the security of which I just do not trust; I store nothing therefore on line.  Added to which, one location has a very poor broadband connection (512k if I am lucky) and so the Cloud is not practical there.
It does not seem that long ago that I was agonizing in the same way about moving from Windows 95/98 to XP, and ironically having exactly the same conversation on this very forum  Roll eyes
Anyway I continue to be greatful for so much advice - one reason why I could never move away from Plusnet.