Can anyone help me with a Disk Partitioning question?

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


I managed to buy myself a new hard disk, but I'm fearfull of losing my
existing data, so I figured I'd post this question first.

My system has been complicated by the fact that I already have two
drive in my PC and I'd like to remove them both.

WinXP tells me that my main C:\ is a SYSTEM partition and is a 60gb
However... my BOOT partition is my F:\ Drive an original older 12gb
drive I started with.

I'm certain that I'm not the first to have this sort of thing pop up on
me but I haven't been able to find any clear info on the web. (one
reason I can't keep things as-is is b/c my f: drive has the tempo &
swap and I'm running out of space).

Question 1: What is my Boot partition about?
Is this where my PC looks initially to load up? (i.e.e it finds my F
drive and using that understands that the system (windows dir, registry
etc are located on the C: )

Q 1a: If this is the case, is it possible to temporarily move my boot
partition to the C drive so that I can copy the F off somewhere and
then do a ghost from my current C to a new drive?

Q2: If none of this is actually correct, is there any way for me to get
myself to a singular c:\ on my new drive (120gb) or will I need to have
multiple partitions on it?

Q 2a: If I need to have mult. partitions on my new drive is it possible
to somehow ghost my existing C and F partitions to it as-is with
something like Ghost or partition magic?

I read somewhere that certain OSs (actulaly prob. a BOIS thing) can
only have a boot partitition that starts before a certain number of

I've unplugged one of my CDroms and have my 120gb drive viewable in the
bios AND in WinXP already, so I think I'm OK there.

Obviously, messing with partitions is a tricky thing and I've begun to
burn off DVDs of some of my important data, but it would take forever
to get it all. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


- W
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More about disk partitioning question
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

    i don't really know what the terms 'boot partition' and 'system
    partition' mean, but it doesn't matter.
    Though i'd have thought that your boot partition is always called C.
    (assuming that boot partition means active partition)

    terms to use are Active partition, primary partition, extended
    partition, logical partition.

    Regarding your fear. Ther is no harm in taking out those drives.
    putting your new drive in as the primary master, and an old in as
    primary slave, and copy over. Making sure that the primary partition
    on your new primary master HDD is the Active Partition. (cd/dvd drives
    are typically on secondary).

    your Q1, - the partition where it initially looks is the Active
    Partition. I'm sure that is always C. You can put windows on other
    partitions too - maybe those partitions are what is meant by 'system
    partition'. It doesn't sound very technical - just a question of how
    the partition is used. I'd stick to terminology like that
    mentioned above.

    There is only 1 active partition. So you put your new drive in,
    partition it - usually with the windows installation booting off the
    cd - and make that partition active. So it won't think of booting off
    the other drives.

    Q1a) dunno. your terminology of boot system and system partition. I
    think I know what you mean. but boot partitions / active partitions are
    C. Are you sure you want to keep this set up on your new drive? Why
    not make one partition on your new drive. Make it the boot partiton and
    system partition i.e. just an active partition with windows on it.
    You can create other partitions too even with windows on them but they
    wouldn't be active partitions, since only one is active and that would
    be C.

    Q2) you can have a singular partition. Format it as NTFS. I have a
    160GB NTFS partition. Windows installation doesn't let you create a
    large FAT32 partition, and a large one is not recommended anyway if you
    have windows on it. Plus NTFS has more security features.

    Q2a) you can ghost whatever you like. use Norton Ghost. Partition
    magic doesn't do that.

    regarding certain OSs or BIOS thing complaining about partitions
    starting before a number of bytes. I have even had partition magic
    tell me that a partition may not be bootable because it doesn't start
    early. But I googled around, and found loads of ppl saying ignore the
    message, and they had no problems. I ignored hte message and was fine.

    Messing with partitions is EASY with partition magic. That is a
    standard program.
    Regading backing up. I personally find that it's worth investing in 2
    large identical size HDD and using that for backup. I use 2 identical
    sized HDDs. I have a c:\backups directory. copy it onto my d
    drive (another HDD - same size).
    I back up data and programs in c:\backups I have c:\backups\p
    and c:\backups\d
    p=programs d=data. I did sort of use a DVD system in addition. But
    I don't use the DVDs, because it takes too long to back up and
    retreive, and you gotta know which one what you need is on. For me,
    Big HDDs are worth the extra cost.
    all my important stuff installation files for programs, and data
    are in c:\backups.
    I could back that up, and wipe the drive.
    IT's also good to have another HDD with windows on it.
    My system is so convenient, I have 2 computers and a kvm switch. so I
    can switch between them with a hotkey on my keyboard. I frequently have
    some problem or other with one of them - and the other helps me fix it.
    And if I lose internet access, it's easier to diagnose whether it's a
    prob with that computer or not('cos i can switch to the other comp and
    try to go online).
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