Partition a hard drive

I would like to no if there is a way to add a partition to a hard drive that has windows xp already installed

Yes, there are a few apps that can do it, including Paragon Partition Manager and Partition Magic.

I prefer Paragon Partition Manager, as it seems more stable, but both programs can split an existing drive into multiple partitions while keeping the current installation in tact.

If there is available space on the disc, with a software like partition magic should be possible to resize the windows partition and add another partition. But always after doing a backup of important data, to be safe :wink:

:doh: too slow :stuck_out_tongue:

There’s really no compelling reason to partition a drive, unless you need to do a multi-boot system with different OS’s. It’s always better, in any case, to just add another drive.

I have used Partition Magic more times than I can count for re-partitioning a harddrive that already has data on it, and it’s fairly safe to do it without a backup. I think it has gone wrong twice for me where I had to recover the installation and data from backups.

If you’re happy with a 99% chance of re-partitioning without problems and 1% chance of losing data on your harddrive, then you don’t need to backup. If those odds aren’t good enough for you, then you need to backup your harddrive first as geno888 said.

It’s not something that everyone has to do or will even benefit from, but separating the operating system and installed software from all the user data is reason enough to partition a hardrive if you want to use cloning/imaging programs to make backups of your system installation. This makes it possible to store the system image on e.g. one DVD or a few DVDs. I can still fit an image of my Windows XP on a single 4.7GB DVD (but just barely with full compression).

There can also be other benefits to partitioning a drive such as e.g. making it slightly easier with some programs to making backups of data without also backing up all of the OS and software, but it can also be slightly more difficult to perform the initial system setup because some user folders need to be moved to another drive; this is no different than setting up the system to use another harddrive for data, however.

Advising someone that it’s “fairly safe” to perform partitioning tasks without a backup is pretty irresponsible. Especially when the person doing it has no experience.

The truth is that one would be a complete fool to try any partitioning tasks without a full backup, particularly if it involves the system disc.

Can’t agree with you there. :disagree:

Repartitioning your harddrive with a tool such as Partition Magic is not like playing russian roulette with your data. It’s fairly safe, i.e. moderately or reasonably safe.

If it wasn’t fairly safe there would be no point in having that feature, because it would be just as fast or faster to just back everything up, clear the partition table, create the new partition table, and then restore everything.

As I said above, it’s not 100% safe so if those odds are not good enough for you, then you need to make a full backup first.

The truth is that one would be a complete fool to try any partitioning tasks without a full backup, particularly if it involves the system disc.
If the amount of work needed to recover from a failed re-partitioning is not significantly higher than the the amount of work needed to make a new backup of your disk, then it’s not foolish to re-partition your drive without a backup.

If there’s data on the disk that you cannot afford to lose, then you shouldn’t perform such operations without making a backup first.

Any significant change you make to a system always contains a risk that it will become unusable. That includes installing any software, any system update, and any software update, so performing such operations should always be a calculated risk. You can ignore the risk but that doesn’t mean the risk goes away.

Do you make a full backup of your system everytime you install a program or an update, or everytime you let Windows or your Anti-Virus program update your system? If you don’t, than you are also taking a risk that your system installation or data becomes corrupted or inaccessible. And although the risk is lower than it is for using Partition Magic or a similar re-partitioning program, that risk is repeated over and over and over again.

I’m an occasional fool, but being a complete fool is something I haven’t achieved yet - nobody’s perfect. :wink:

There is always some sort of controversy with such threads. Golly, what a waste.

Look, EVERYBODY should do backups often, especially before making any significant changes, including partitioning. It’s just safer to do it that way than not. Odds are nothing will happen when you use Paritition Mananger to resize, but if that 1 in 1000 shot hits you, you don’t want to be caught unawares, right?

A second drive is a good idea. But in the event you don’t have one, a partition is a good thing.

I also think it is a good idea to partition your OS BOOT drive so that the partition is like 20 or 40 gig, making it a manageable size to GHOST.

Program files on the C: drive, yes, but games, data, etc. on other drives/partitions should make imaging faster, more convenient and re-installs easier.

I have partition manager and what i was trying to do was get rid of the partition D on my HP notebook which I finally did but it left 1gb in drive D and tried getting rid of the 1gb and it would hang up upon reboot. I reformatted drive D and a few other things and finally got rid of the 1GB
Then i tried to partition drive c and make a drive d which i did. Then I tried to merge drive D with C and it would again hang up upon reboot. So I went to partition manager website and looked into posts and saw what i could do. I deleted drive d and resized drive C back to before partitioning.
The reason for this exercise was I plan on getting a notebook next year with Vista on it and two of my usb devices will not work with vista and I will need a partition to use for windows xp for the devices.
Anybody else have trouble merging hard drives

One thing I have done when I have trouble like that is to do a Norton GHOST image as LOCAL > PARTITION > TO IMAGE on a drive not affected by the partition operations. Then I go ahead and nuke all the partitions and start from scratch, partition it the way I want (or just make the whole thing 1 big partition) then when done, boot to GHOST again and do a LOCAL > PARTITION > FROM IMAGE. That way, no matter the size or location of the new partition, as long as the image has enough room to expand, it will restore no problem.

Works like a charm.

Ghost 2003 = Win

Agree with what DrageMester said , never had a problem partitioning my harddrives using P/magic several times but also can also see the point of view of C/Dan … true there is always a possibility things can go wrong , but if done correctly , % is low …
Only 2 things in life afaik are 100 % , you pay taxes and you are going to die lol

With proprietary notebooks like HP, there are hidden partitions placed there for restoring the system. The BIOS may be set to look for it as well, it’s hard to say as they all use proprietary BIOS and start-up routines. Sounds like you worked through it. But in theory, you should be able to pull it off, although in the case of a Vista notebook, you may also be up against components that only have Vista drivers offered by the notebook maker. Certainly worth looking into before you buy the notebook.

It won’t do you much good to create a dual-boot if all the components don’t work in XP. I have no idea if Vista will even allow dual-boot in that configuration. It’s also possible that by next year, there will be Vista drivers for your devices. All in all, you need to do some research.

If possible, always do partitioning tasks from floppies or a boot CD. Windows-based applications usually rely on a reboot routine that can fail and make the drive unbootable. I still use an old copy of Partition Magic that runs from one floppy, works fine.

I have better luck with Paragon Partition Manager than with Partition Magic, though I own both.

To each his own , have never used Pragon PM , never had a prob with Partition Magic , ps never b/up’d either … oh well guess i’m a " gambler " :eek:

for anybody looking in, here’s a free copy of Paragon Partition Manager 2005


I prefer Acronis Disk Director

Is that deal still going?

I tell ya, I jumped all over it and got my free copy. It’s a great app. :slight_smile:

Yes, Acronis Disc Director and True Image is a great pair of tools. Matter of fact I rolled my system back this morning to my start image after messing around with some crappy software.

Norton Ghost 2003 is my app of choice to backup image. The DOS version still fits on a floppy. :slight_smile:

the safest, easiest and cheapest partitioning is done with a windows cd, forums have been full of people with issues with 3rd part partitioning for years, I still don’t trust it.

when it screws up, there’s little choice but to start all over from scratch, why people want to hold onto an older install amazes me.

windows xp let’s you delete a smaller system patition and save a larger data partition intact

if you make a system partition too small for full installs of games, just start a program folder on the d partition

I hardly ever defrag a data partition, but frequently defrag my system one, and something’s wrong if it takes more than 5 minutes.