Eliminating a virtual drive

I have an 80GB hard drive seperated into 2 partitions. C: (25GB) is almost full and D: has only a few gigs used. With Windows XP there seems to be no way to change the size of a partiton so here’s what I’m thinking of doing:

  1. Copy everthing on D: to a flash drive.
  2. Eliminate the virtual drive D:
  3. Replace the files from the flash drive.
    What I need to know is this. When I delete the D: drive will the entire hard drive now become C: with the full 60GB?

No, that won’t work.

Someone will be along with good advice on this shortly, but no matter what you choose to do:
Back up
Back up
Back up!

before you do ANYTHING to that partition.

Once you delete the old D: drive partition, you’ll need to use a partitioning tool to expand the C: drive. PartitionMagic is such a tool, or you can look for a free tool, I know some exist.

Not if you use the partitioning software that comes with XP. You’d need third party software like Partition Magic, or Partition Commander.

You could backup everything on both C and D to backup media, delete both partitions C & D, make a new partition, reformat the drive, reinstall Windows, and restore everything back. But it’s my experience that Windows backups are pretty much useless and never restore correctly.

Good Luck with that. (You’ll need it.)

Glad I asked before doing anything. I’ll try the software approach. Thanks all.

Following up on Bewildebeest, it’s important to note that while you can back up 99% of the files on a Windows OS or other hard drive, it’s not just the files that make Windows “go”.
There are some elements of the file system critical for making the PC actually boot and run Windows that are NOT elements of a backup set.
Trying to just restore the contents of a drive without understanding that non-file elements like an MBR, etc exist is a needless task.

I’ve used EASEUS Partition Master which is free, it’s not as easy as Partition Magic. It works as well but it’s not as user friendly.

Beware even with Partion Magic you can mess things up and lose data.

Might I ask what do you have on your drive that you can’t use both? You could uninstall your programs and reinstall them as D:/program files/xxxxxx

I used to do this. I’d keep my music and such on “D” and run all programs from it.

In reality, it’s probably better just to save your pics, music, movies, documents, on a drive and just do a clean install. It’s easier and it gets rid of any malware and such.

Also remember that if your drive is old, some of it may have acutal hardware issues, such as sectors that are physically bad, so even with a clean install you may wind up with less space.

Another good free program to try is

Returnil Virtual System 2008 Personal Edition

I’d look that over too.

I just want to take this extremely rare opportunity to praise Vista and point out that its disk management utility does allow you to expand/shrink partitions. So it can’t be all bad, right?



Problem solved! Thank you **Markxxx **for the Easeus Partition Master recommendation. Downloaded, installed, and ran it in about 15 minutes. Couldn’t have been easier. Extended the C: drive by 10GB with a simple click and drag. Excellent program!

Easeus was what I was going to recommend. i don’t know why people on this board get so full of doom and gloom when it comes to doing something like this. It must be because it’s too easy with this free software.

By way of explanation, every now and then, these tools go badly sideways and the person you told to try them loses every cussed file they ever had. At that point you’re stuck with a client or friend who is either angry or grieving.
If you’ve been through this scenario, or one very similar to it a dozen times, you too will wind up sounding like a pharmaceutical company disclosure whenever you suggest a risky procedure.
I know the risks, but I cannot assume that someone like the OP does. As such, I scream at them to back up their files before the process, which is the best I can really do.

Can it make an Image, like Ghost? Can it save over the network or only to a local disk? Long time ago I used to make an image with Ghost so I could just restore the partition from the image but I have not done this in ages. I am thinking it might be a good idea when I install the OS to make a (compressed) image in a separate partition an then I have the option of restoring from there like many brand computers do. Or restore from CDs.

I’m glad I didn’t post a lame pun about eliminating a virtue, and so should you.