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Trouble creating a partition


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#1
Ima Noob

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To be blunt... I'm a tech idiot... I know some of the basics, but that's about it. Now I'm going insane trying to reformat my computer for the first time. To compound my confusion, I just did a full, "clean" install of Vista over top of XP; however, it wasn't quite as clean as I thought it would be.

So now I am trying to partition my drive. At the moment my hard drive is reading 68.3GB free out of 76.6GB and when I attempt to shrink the c: I am limited to shrinking it by only 6GB.

This is the first time I have attempted to reformat a hard drive and I've been wading through webpage after webpage to walk myself through it. After some more searching however I am truely stumped on this one.

Is this 6GB limit normal? Is it a bug? Would it be better to use specialty software to assist in the partitioning?

Any help for this tech illiterate noob would be much appreciated.

ps: Any advise or detailed guides on the actual formatting procedure is always welcome as well.
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#2
Troy

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Hi there Ima Noob, I love that name! Welcome to Geeks to Go, lets sort out these partition questions for you.

I just did a full, "clean" install of Vista over top of XP; however, it wasn't quite as clean as I thought it would be

What do you mean by this? A full, clean install will wipe the HDD first (therefore, not technically "over the top of XP"), meaning you lose all data (programs and files). An upgrade will be over the top of XP, and usually keeps your data intact. Sometimes an upgrade can be 'messy', as some programs are incompatible, or a virus might cause some drama, etc... I always recommend doing a full, clean install (after backing up your data first, of course!).

when I attempt to shrink the c:


Have you read this article? I just found it after doing a quick search.

I recommend creating your partitions during a clean install, which is discussed in this article.

Other than that, if you have any linux experience, you could use a linux live cd to organise your partitions for you, I don't remember which distro I used for this, I'll have to find it. Let me know if you're interested in this route.

EDIT: Here is the link to GParted, the Gnome Partition Editor. I thought it only came on some live CDs, but you can burn it to your own CD or even USB flash drive. I actually just tried it myself, shrinking my C: to create a 10GB blank space, and then formatting this space, on which I am going to install a linux dual-boot. Read up and have fun!

Edited by ruthandtroy, 11 June 2007 - 05:29 AM.

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#3
Ima Noob

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ruthandtroy: Thank you for the response, I checked the links, the second was new to me but when I tried it I recieved the same problem as before. Tomorrow I think I will try the partition software you recommended. But no, no linix experience at all.

After taking another look at the shrink volume window I finally read the little statement that having pagefiles or snapshots enabled may reduce the amount of space available to shrink the partition by. Again, I am very inexperienced in all things tech, so I had to do alot of homework in my very sparse spare time to figure out what a pagefile was in the first place, so please correct me if I am wrong. The problem is that even though I have 65GB of drive space free, the pagefile, which is located at the physical 'end' of my hard drive means that I only have about 6GB of contiguous space at the end of the hard drive for the new partition to be created.

With that in mind, and I am not sure that I am going about this properly, I disabled virtual memory, deleted the pagefile and defraged the HD. Now I am up to 10GB available for a new partition, isn't that still a bit low? I still have 65GB of free space and I was aiming more in the 20GB range.

So why am I still getting such a small available space? Is it still a pagefile that is getting in the way? And what is a snapshot that is mentioned as being another factor in available space? I haven't been able to find much information about this myself, but it sounds to me like it is Vista's form of system restore points. Is this correct how/can it be moved or removed to free up the extra space?
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#4
Troy

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I'm not sure what program you used to defrag your hard drive, but may I suggest you do it again anyway with JkDefrag? I find this to be a much more efficient program at defragging a hard drive. This may help you out a little more. You can download it from my signature.

Apart from this, you'll have to wait for someone else who actually has Vista to answer your other questions, as I haven't got it myself (yet) :whistling:
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#5
ViprXX

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im kind of confused on why your trying to resize your c: partition. If I understand what your trying to say I think you may be confused yourself. your c: drive partition is 76.6GB and you have 68.3GB free on that partition for programs and files, etc... which is normal. windows and other things are using approx. 8 gbs of your hard drive which is normal. you should re-enable your virtual memory and pagefile also. don't know if i explained what I mean very well but if not just ask.
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#6
Troy

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As I understand it, Ima Noob is trying to get a 20GB partition separate from the Windows installation, I'm assuming to store personal data on. It is a good idea to create a separate partition for data storage so the operating system/apps are able to be repaired/replaced if need be, without wiping all your personal data.

I always partition my hdd's so that 40GB is for OS and the rest is for data, sometimes another partition for a linux dual boot. This particular setup works well for me and my needs.

Although, it would be nice if we could confirm an end result in focus: Ima Noob, could you please define this for us? Has my above assumption been correct?
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#7
Ima Noob

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Sorry for my long absences, I appreciate the help, it's just that life happens...

At the moment, yes, I am attempting to split my drive into two partitions with the end result being able to store files and documents and easily reformat the drive now and any other times in the future. My target range for the size of the second partition is about 20-40GB; however, as stated, when I use Vista's built in partitioning tool the most that I can get for that second partition is (now) 10GB.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but this is the logical process, right? Everything I have ever read on formatting has always stated that partitioning the drive is recommended before reformatting.

At any rate, I tried the Gnome partitioning tool that you recommended... is it designed to run on windows based systems or just Linux? And I ran JKdefrag, it didn't create any more available space however, even when using the "force together" option which should push everything to the front of the disk. The graphical display (which, by the way, I greatly miss from the defragger on other windows versions) shows a single little green dot indicating some sort of data near where the end of the drive would be, and I can't seem to move/delete/locate that data.

I am still assuming that the trouble I am having is that there is some file or errant data near the end of the drive and the partitioning tool can't create the new volume around it and can't over write it. In other words there is only 10GB of contiguous data for it to shrink down. Am I correct in assuming this?

ps. I have been using Vista's built in defrag and partitioning tools and now JKdefrag.

Edited by Ima Noob, 16 June 2007 - 09:15 PM.

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#8
Troy

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there is only 10GB of contiguous data for it to shrink down. Am I correct in assuming this?

Yes, it seems to be what I would assume also...

is it designed to run on windows based systems or just Linux?

GParted is a live cd, therefore it does not need an operating system at all to be able to do its thing... However, it does detect what is on the hard drive, so it should pick up your Vista installation.

Everything I have ever read on formatting has always stated that partitioning the drive is recommended before reformatting.

I always recommend partitioning the hard drive, and then installing the operating system. If you have spare copies of your data and a little time on your hands, this would be a sure-fire way of achieving your goal.

EDIT: unless wannabe1 has an answer...

Edited by ruthandtroy, 16 June 2007 - 09:34 PM.

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