Unallocated partition on HD

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

Hi...my recently purchased second-hand computer has a 60 Gig "unallocated"
partition. I discovered this in the Computer Management - Disk Management
pane.
The OS - XP Home (SP2) - is running well on the remaining 137 Gig, formatted
NTFS, Healthy (System).
Can I format the "unallocated" portion, call it say X, and copy the entire C
drive over to X, using it as a backup? If and when the time comes and the
current Windows installation plays up - I know, this is not like Windows -
can i just rename X to C and pick up where I left off?
While I am formatting X:
Should I format it as "Primary" or "Extended" partition?
Should I mount it to an existing NTFS folder, like my present C drive or
Documents and Settings folder.
Alternatively should I just merge the "unallocated" part with the existing
partition, using which software?
Lot of questions, but I have limited experience in the field of computers.
I know that much; a little knowledge is very dangerous!

Regards: Les
5 answers Last reply
More about unallocated partition
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    "LesG" <LesG@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:4C71854A-6256-4C48-A4F4-FC3ECB7A0C5E@microsoft.com...
    > Hi...my recently purchased second-hand computer has a 60 Gig "unallocated"
    > partition. I discovered this in the Computer Management - Disk Management
    > pane.
    > The OS - XP Home (SP2) - is running well on the remaining 137 Gig,
    formatted
    > NTFS, Healthy (System).

    CAUTION: There is/was a BIOS/OS limit at around 137G. Before you mess with
    any settings make a full image and file level backup.

    Then investigate 48bit LBA support in your BIOS.

    See Q5 here
    http://www.48bitlba.com/faq.htm
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    LesG wrote:

    > Hi...my recently purchased second-hand computer has a 60 Gig "unallocated"
    > partition. I discovered this in the Computer Management - Disk Management
    > pane.
    > The OS - XP Home (SP2) - is running well on the remaining 137 Gig, formatted
    > NTFS, Healthy (System).
    > Can I format the "unallocated" portion, call it say X, and copy the entire C
    > drive over to X, using it as a backup? If and when the time comes and the
    > current Windows installation plays up - I know, this is not like Windows -
    > can i just rename X to C and pick up where I left off?
    > While I am formatting X:
    > Should I format it as "Primary" or "Extended" partition?
    > Should I mount it to an existing NTFS folder, like my present C drive or
    > Documents and Settings folder.
    > Alternatively should I just merge the "unallocated" part with the existing
    > partition, using which software?
    > Lot of questions, but I have limited experience in the field of computers.
    > I know that much; a little knowledge is very dangerous!
    >
    > Regards: Les
    >

    BootItNG has a full featured 30 day free trial offer. It can non
    destructively merge the unallocated space with the main partition or
    create other partitions as you want. Partition Magic is another
    program, though it does not have the free trial offer. Note that
    although these programs should do the partition work non destructively,
    you should always have a full backup of important data before doing such
    work just in case.

    --
    Rock
    MS MVP Windows - Shell/User
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    If the drive was initially setup using a version of Windows XP that did not
    have SP1 or SP2 integrated then it would have encountered a 137GB limitation
    cap. It would only partition and format up to 137GB max. Following the setup
    the system might have been updated to SP2 which then enabled you to see the
    remaining unallocated space. Basically the answer to your question is yes.
    See here
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;309000&sd=tech

    Merging the unallocated space will require you to delete your existing
    partition and create a new partition. This will cause total data loss and a
    reinstall. You will need to create slipstream version of XP if your current
    version does already have SP1 or SP2 integrated (as I mention above)
    http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/slipstream.htm

    or to do this non destructively you can purchase third party software such
    as Partition Magic 7 or higher. With PM you can simply select your current
    system partition and choose the option to "Resize". However make certain you
    have made a backup of important data before doing this. Another third party
    option is BootIt NG. While it is a bit more difficult to understand than PM
    it is a very stable and less expensive alternative.
    --

    Harry Ohrn MS-MVP [Shell/User]
    www.webtree.ca/windowsxp


    "LesG" <LesG@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:4C71854A-6256-4C48-A4F4-FC3ECB7A0C5E@microsoft.com...
    > Hi...my recently purchased second-hand computer has a 60 Gig "unallocated"
    > partition. I discovered this in the Computer Management - Disk Management
    > pane.
    > The OS - XP Home (SP2) - is running well on the remaining 137 Gig,
    formatted
    > NTFS, Healthy (System).
    > Can I format the "unallocated" portion, call it say X, and copy the entire
    C
    > drive over to X, using it as a backup? If and when the time comes and the
    > current Windows installation plays up - I know, this is not like Windows -
    > can i just rename X to C and pick up where I left off?
    > While I am formatting X:
    > Should I format it as "Primary" or "Extended" partition?
    > Should I mount it to an existing NTFS folder, like my present C drive or
    > Documents and Settings folder.
    > Alternatively should I just merge the "unallocated" part with the existing
    > partition, using which software?
    > Lot of questions, but I have limited experience in the field of computers.
    > I know that much; a little knowledge is very dangerous!
    >
    > Regards: Les
    >
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    "LesG" <LesG@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:4C71854A-6256-4C48-A4F4-FC3ECB7A0C5E@microsoft.com...
    > Hi...my recently purchased second-hand computer has a 60 Gig "unallocated"
    > partition. I discovered this in the Computer Management - Disk Management
    > pane.
    > The OS - XP Home (SP2) - is running well on the remaining 137 Gig,
    > formatted
    > NTFS, Healthy (System).
    > Can I format the "unallocated" portion, call it say X, and copy the entire
    > C
    > drive over to X, using it as a backup? If and when the time comes and the
    > current Windows installation plays up - I know, this is not like Windows -
    > can i just rename X to C and pick up where I left off?
    > While I am formatting X:
    > Should I format it as "Primary" or "Extended" partition?
    > Should I mount it to an existing NTFS folder, like my present C drive or
    > Documents and Settings folder.
    > Alternatively should I just merge the "unallocated" part with the existing
    > partition, using which software?
    > Lot of questions, but I have limited experience in the field of computers.
    > I know that much; a little knowledge is very dangerous!
    >
    > Regards: Les


    Les:
    Apparently when the hard drive was installed on your computer, SP1 or SP2
    had not been installed. Because of this, only 137 GB of your large-capacity
    disk was recognized by the system. Subsequently when SP1 and/or SP2 was
    installed, the system could recognize the full capacity of your drive, but
    the remaining space beyond the 137 GB was (is) considered "unallocated" disk
    space, as you've discovered.

    As you obviously know, you can partition and format that unallocated space
    using the Disk Management utility. You can create a single partition or even
    multiple partitions should you desire. Unfortunately you cannot use the DM
    utility to "merge" your present C: partition with the newly created one (at
    least non-destructively). To do that, you would need a third-party program
    such as Partition Manager. It's the route I would take since PM is available
    to me and I'm not a particular fan of multi-partitioning schemes. But to
    each his/her own.

    So if you do not merge the two partitions - after partitioning/formatting
    the new space (no need *not* to consider it anything other than a Primary
    partition) could you not use that additional disk capacity to hold your
    photo/video files or other large-capacity files? You really cannot "copy"
    your operating system files onto the new partition for backup purposes.
    While you can use a disk imaging program, e.g., Symantec's Norton Ghost or
    Acronis True Image, to do so by "cloning" the contents of your C: partition
    (assuming the contents are no more than 60 GB), it's not the most desirable
    backup method by any means for a number of reasons.
    Anna
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    Thank you to all of you for taking the time to reply. The information is very
    usefull.

    "LesG" wrote:

    > Hi...my recently purchased second-hand computer has a 60 Gig "unallocated"
    > partition. I discovered this in the Computer Management - Disk Management
    > pane.
    > The OS - XP Home (SP2) - is running well on the remaining 137 Gig, formatted
    > NTFS, Healthy (System).
    > Can I format the "unallocated" portion, call it say X, and copy the entire C
    > drive over to X, using it as a backup? If and when the time comes and the
    > current Windows installation plays up - I know, this is not like Windows -
    > can i just rename X to C and pick up where I left off?
    > While I am formatting X:
    > Should I format it as "Primary" or "Extended" partition?
    > Should I mount it to an existing NTFS folder, like my present C drive or
    > Documents and Settings folder.
    > Alternatively should I just merge the "unallocated" part with the existing
    > partition, using which software?
    > Lot of questions, but I have limited experience in the field of computers.
    > I know that much; a little knowledge is very dangerous!
    >
    > Regards: Les
    >
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