One thing I would do differently from Fred Langa. I would skip the reformat and reinstall procedure in Step 8 and Step 9, and instead use PC Decrapifier to clean up the OEM garbage. Whatever remains can be removed by Absolute Uninstaller . Otherwise, Fred is right-on. He is a true Windows expert, and I respect his advice greatly.
Originally Posted by Clint Rossmere
Please note: I recommend Absolute Uninstaller over Revo Uninstaller for two reasons: (1) better Windows 7 compatibility, and (2) 64-bit functionality without having to pay for a Pro Version. For 32-bit Windows XP or Vista (32-bit), Revo is just fine.
And, seriously, Windows 7 or Vista will need a lot more than 20GB to operate correctly. [s]50GB[/s] 100GB for 32-bit, and even more for 64-bit.
I agree with Bob. With a 640GB HD, don't short the OS partition. There will still be plenty left for whatever you need. Plus you have the 2 TB NAS. I would set up an OS partition for 64 Bit of 75 to 100 GB. Then you should never have to expand this partition in the future.
Dell tends, as most PC builders do, to load a lot of "Stuff" they think everyone wants on their PCs or many trial apps that everyone "needs" to buy. I heard PC Decrapifier does a great job. I use Revo Uninstaller for the other apps that PC Decrapifier does not get.
Have fun with what sounds like a super system.
If you are using Vista's own partitioning program, I would recommend that you defragment the disc before partitioning. However you need to use a defragger that actually moves files around rather than merely putting files together. An example would be PerfectDisk. When I first tried to partition my new computer, the the added partition was tiny and of little use. The reason is that Vista will not go into any space where there are an files, and even on a new computer the files can be scattered around the disk. After I defragged with PerfectDisk, I was able to create partitions of reasonable size. At the time I was doing this, third party partition programs did not work on 64-bit Vista so I had to use Vista's program. To-day there may be third party partition programs that will work.
Paragon Backup and Disk Manager (the link is for the Paragon bundle) will do all the file moving and partition shrinking anyone would need, to reclaim that wasted space in 64-bit Vista or Windows 7. And Paragon also will defragment and consolidate (optimize) the partition if you desire. Acronis Disk Director 11 will be coming out soon, and will be capable of doing similar things. Even the Linux g-Parted program doesn't care about 32-bit vs. 64-bit Windows partitions, as long as they are NTFS (which nearly all are nowadays).
Shrinking a partition with data scattered within it is not dependent on the "bittedness" of the Operating System. The differences are between the partitioning programs themselves, and again, disk utilities like these are not sensitive to the "bittedness" of the Operating Systems installed on the disk. They are only sensitive to the File Systems themselves. And in that regard (for NTFS), Windows is Windows is Windows, regardless of version number or "bittedness".
The one exception is any "Hidden Recovery Partition", but they are so small that you probably won't even notice they are there. Just don't delete the Recovery Partition by accident.