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Hard drive partion

Gabby-airGabby-air Member UncommonPosts: 3,440

So when I removed vista from my computer and got XP the tech guy partioned my hard drive into C and D, now I would like to only have one hard drive so am wanting to get rid of D but is there any way to do so without loosing data on it? Also is there a reason not to get rid of the partion? I ask because the tech guy partioned it without asking me and there are some files in the hard drive which I have no idea what they do and will my games on the hard drive work after the merge or will I have to reinstall them and what not.

So ye in short I would like to combine my two hard drives without loosing any data, any help is appreciated.

Comments

  • ShinamiShinami Member UncommonPosts: 825

    Actually what you have is near-perfect on paper.

     

    One partition for your OS

    A second partition for all your programs.

     

    This is all well and good and I am sure this is what you already have, but what you want will lower performance by a bit...and it will also endanger you as you fill up that HDD. Below is my suggestion to you on a professional level. This is what I do for my clients:

     

    1) Go out to a store and buy a second hard drive. If you can afford a Solid State Hard Drive, that is good. If not, just buy a second HDD, 10,000 RPM like Raptor or Velociraptor if possible. Worse Case Scenario, buy another copy of the same HDD you have.

     

    2) Do the following:

     

    ~One HDD partitioned two ways. Most Memory on one partition. Have it be a low capacity HDD with higher performance. The first partition is for the OPERATING SYSTEM you will use. Windows 7 comes to mind (or even XP). The second partition is for your PAGING FILE that you will set away from the OS partition. When the OS needs to look for a paging file, it will instantly access the second partition and find it instantly. That helps the OS a lot.

     

    ~The Second HDD is for all of your programs. What I do is that I use the OS HDD and the only programs I have in there are for the OS itself...like utilities and the such in the same drive. The Second HDD itself is for all the entertainment programs you know and love. Your games and everything else. Your second HDD should either be a LARGE capacity HDD or a Performance HDD like Velociraptors come to mind.

     

    Don't integrate your two partitions into one...You have a better setup the way you have things now. The reason I stated to get a second HDD is because even if you have a Mechanical HDD split into 2 partitions, they are still in the very end ONE PHYSICAL HDD and when the drive is under full load in use, it will affect both partitions....but for now you have a blueprint to better organization.

     

  • Gabby-airGabby-air Member UncommonPosts: 3,440

    Yeh i read about doing that but the thing is my hard drive is split evenly, and programs like Steam install all my games on my main drive while my second drive has enough room. So yeh, all my games and everything are also pretty split on both hard drives so its quite a hasle finding things and it would be a lot easier to organize things if all of it was in one place.

  • noquarternoquarter Member Posts: 1,170

    To get Steam to install games to the D drive Steam itself should be installed there. I believe there is a way to move the Steam data without having to do it manually but I'm not sure. If not it would involve moving all the data to D and reinstalling Steam.


    If you want to merge the partitions into one C partition Acronis Disk Director works great, I think the trial copy will do simple tasks like that. There's some free partition managers I haven't tried that might work well like gparted and Cute Partition Manager.

  • Kaelaan21Kaelaan21 Member UncommonPosts: 349

     

    NOTE: While typing this out - I realized why Shinami suggested that it was the best fit for you and why it is NOT for me. When I had a single drive setup, I used to use disk utilities such as perfect disk. This ensures that my often used system files were moved to the beginning of the drive during offline defragmentation. Also, it would remove any fragmentation of the page file and any other files normally locked by Windows. So, if you use high end defrag programs - two partitions will only cause a loss of performance in the long run. If you don't defrag weekly or use Windows defrag, then ignore my post. :)

     

     

    Original Post:

    I'm not quite following the logic on why people believe this is faster. Typically, this is usually done to separate the system, programs and data. If you clone the system and programs then during a restore, the data will be left unharmed on a complete system restore.

     

    In terms of performance, having multiple partitions on a single drive will probably cause more overhead if you have your programs installed on a separate partition than your operating system. Why? Because the hard drive will constantly loading data from your games (when playing) and background operating system file requests at the same time - the head of the hard drive has to move back and forth between the two partitions of the platter. When on two separate partitions, the head will take a longer seek operation than if the files were on the same partition. Drives with higher seek times such as the Raptor series or better yet SCSI drives will perform better when compared to your typical 7200 RPM SATA.

     

    But, why bother putting extra overhead on the drive for the only benefit of a complete system restore of only your C: partition.

     

    I agree with Shinami's second bullet point though. If you want to separate the two for making a system restore easier AND get better performance AND not need to worry about space - you NEED two hard drives. One for your operating system and core system programs. Solid state drives are perfect for this. The second for your games and data and page file (if you have one).

  • Kaelaan21Kaelaan21 Member UncommonPosts: 349

    Originally posted by noquarter

    To get Steam to install games to the D drive Steam itself should be installed there. I believe there is a way to move the Steam data without having to do it manually but I'm not sure. If not it would involve moving all the data to D and reinstalling Steam.



    If you want to merge the partitions into one C partition Acronis Disk Director works great, I think the trial copy will do simple tasks like that. There's some free partition managers I haven't tried that might work well like gparted and Cute Partition Manager.

     


    I accidentally installed Steam on my system drive before. I couldn't figure a way to point Steam to the second drive short of mucking around in the registry.


     


     


     


    SIMPLE SOLUTION:  Create symbolic links. They are similar to shortcuts, but the OS treats them as if the files were actually in the mapped location.


     


     


    32-bit OS:


     


    xcopy "C:Program FilesSteamsteamapps" "D:Program FilesSteamsteamapps" /k/r/e/i/c/h/o/b/y


    rmdir /s/q "C:Program FilesSteamsteamapps"


    mklink /d/j "C:Program FilesSteamsteamapps" "D:Program FilesSteamsteamapps"


     


     


     


    64-bit OS:


     


    xcopy "C:Program Files (x86)Steamsteamapps" "D:Program Files (x86)Steamsteamapps" /k/r/e/i/c/h/o/b/y


    rmdir /s/q "C:Program Files (x86)Steamsteamapps"


    mklink /d/j "C:Program Files (x86)Steamsteamapps" "D:Program Files (x86)Steamsteamapps"

     


    I accidentally installed Steam on my system drive before. I couldn't figure a way to point Steam to the second drive short of mucking around in the registry.


     


     


     


    SIMPLE SOLUTION:  Create symbolic links. They are similar to shortcuts, but the OS treats them as if the files were actually in the mapped location.


     


     


    32-bit OS:


     


    xcopy "C:Program FilesSteamsteamapps" "D:Program FilesSteamsteamapps" /k/r/e/i/c/h/o/b/y


    rmdir /s/q "C:Program FilesSteamsteamapps"


    mklink /d/j "C:Program FilesSteamsteamapps" "D:Program FilesSteamsteamapps"


     


     


     


    64-bit OS:


     


    xcopy "C:Program Files (x86)Steamsteamapps" "D:Program Files (x86)Steamsteamapps" /k/r/e/i/c/h/o/b/y


    rmdir /s/q "C:Program Files (x86)Steamsteamapps"


    mklink /d/j "C:Program Files (x86)Steamsteamapps" "D:Program Files (x86)Steamsteamapps"

  • ShinamiShinami Member UncommonPosts: 825

    I don't use steam so I am curious to something :)

     

    If one can't configure steam to install outside of default directories, can't one go into Start/Run/RegEdit and see if there is an Installation Path there? Then simply change from C to D and then move programs from C to D?

     

    What I am asking is if the System Registry has a STRING entry for the Install location, and if it exists.

  • Kaelaan21Kaelaan21 Member UncommonPosts: 349

    Originally posted by Shinami

    I don't use steam so I am curious to something :)

     

    If one can't configure steam to install outside of default directories, can't one go into Start/Run/RegEdit and see if there is an Installation Path there? Then simply change from C to D and then move programs from C to D?

     

    What I am asking is if the System Registry has a STRING entry for the Install location, and if it exists.

    There probably is, but I wouldn't trust it.

     

    If steam uses COM+, ActiveX or ATL controls then the individual DLL files that Steam uses will be registered in multiple places. You would need to identify which ones aren't shared by other programs, unregister them using regsvr32, move the files (if they aren't already in use; if they are you may need to reboot first), re-register the files. 

     

    During installation you are asked what the installation directory is. But, if you already have a bunch of programs installed then it may take a long time to uninstall and reinstall all of your games. The above instructions to create the symbolic links is a work around since Steam itself is rather small. It's the applications installed under Steam that take up the bulk of the room.

  • Gabby-airGabby-air Member UncommonPosts: 3,440

    Originally posted by Shinami

    I don't use steam so I am curious to something :)

     

    If one can't configure steam to install outside of default directories, can't one go into Start/Run/RegEdit and see if there is an Installation Path there? Then simply change from C to D and then move programs from C to D?

     

    What I am asking is if the System Registry has a STRING entry for the Install location, and if it exists.

    Yes I did some research and it seems I'm able to move steam completely to my second drive by installing it there so that works great. So ye the problem has been solved, and thanks a lot for all the help guys!

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