I need to increase the capacity of my boot partition C drive and this is the location where xp is installed can i do it without formating the partition or reinstalling xp coz i have customized it and dont want to redo it all again. i have 160 gb free space on the other physical partition and about 80 on the same.
please let me kow if that is possible
No problem if you use Partition Magic, or one of the many other partition resizing tools that are available. If you don't want to pay (who does?) you can often find them on magazine cover disks or a little googling will turn up some free ones.
As always, if you're as paranoid as you should be, back up any irreplaceable data before attempting this sort of low-level work.
I'm very, very surprised. I've never had any problems whatsoever using these sort of tools to resize any parition. (There are some partitions that PM can't handle, e.g. FreeBSD or Solaris ones, but that's not the case here.) In your case you would just reduce your data partition by, say 10Gb, then increase the boot partition by the same amount. Indeed, the manual for Partition Magic 8 refers to the resizing of bootable partitions in various places. For example:
"When you create, move, or resize a bootable partition, the partition must
begin below the boot code boundary specified in the above table for the
operating system to boot."
I have done this many, many times with Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP and various Linuxes without any problem whatsoever. The only time there has been any difficulty is when using Partition Magic with Windows Server - they sell a special, pretty expensive, version for this case - but there are ways round this. Has anyone else had this problem with bootable partitions?
I'm sure that other partitioning software should also work OK. In fact here is an article, complete with screenshots, showing PartitionExpert by Acronis being used to resize an XP boot partition.
The only other solution that I could make would be to use disk imaging software to image your partitions. I believe that some will allow you to restore to a different size partition.