System Image to regular storage drive

I have 2 internal HDs (500G each). One of them serves as a system image but I am looking at changing it into a regular storage drive for my programs that currently have nearly filled up my current storage drive.

So how do I change a system image drive into a normal storage drive. If it can be optimized for gaming, that would be preferred.
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  1. Best answer

    There are three things I'll be assuming in my answer. First, that you already have your image drive connected to your computer as an internal hard drive. Second, that you don't want any of the data on it any more. Third, that you don't have any type of RAID setup right now. And if I could make a suggestion, you've been doing a great job in backing up your computer, and now's not the time to stop. Get an external drive to continue your backups on.

    These steps are written on a Windows 7 computer. Other versions of windows will be similar; ask if you need to know where to find something. Open up the start menu and search for 'disk management'. An option should come up labeled 'Create and format hard disk partitions'. Click that, and a window titled 'disk management' should open up. The top half of the window should be a list of all the partitions on your system with columns like Volume and Type and Filesystem. The bottom half is what we're interested in. You should have each disk in your system listed here as a horizontal block which is divided into the different partitions on the disk. You should have two or three disks here: your main hard drive, your image hard drive, and a CD drive if you have that installed. Your main hard drive is the one with the C partition on it.

    Now that you've found your image drive that you want to set up, delete any partitions on it by right clicking on them and selecting Delete Volume. *WARNING: you can't go back from this step! All data on these partitions will be lost!* The nice thing is that windows won't let you delete your operating system partition by mistake, so don't worry about that.

    OK, now you should have a disk which is full of nothing but unallocated space. Right click in the space and click 'New Simple Volume'. A wizard will open up and guide you through all the steps. Accept the default size in order to use your whole disk, click next, give it the default drive letter, click next, when asked about formatting give it a name you can live with in the volume label field, click next and finish. It will format your drive and then windows might pop up the autorun box like when you insert a flash drive, because you just added a new disk to your system! If not, look in Computer and you should see the disk with the drive letter and name you just gave it.

    Now you can get busy figuring out how to move games to the new drive. It should be faster just having them launching from a drive your system isn't running on, so don't worry about gaming performance. Ask if you have questions!
  2. I know that this system use to have a RAID setup and Im rather rusty on what that means...its been years since i had to think about it. How do I find out what setup Im using?

    EDIT: Nevermind. I did a quick Google search to refresh my memory. Nope. Not using a RAID setup. Both HDs show up as individual drives.

    Also, yes. I am going to make a new system image on the external harddrive! Thanks again!
  3. You're welcome :)
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