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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    I have a Dell Laptop with a 150 Gig Hard drive. Formerly I was using XP but upgraded to Win 7 a couple of months ago. Win 7 has been working fine but I need to get rid of a mess of former partitions to utilize more disk space. The drive came with a hidden recovery partition, the obvious C: drive partition (about 70+ gig) a D: drive (70+ gigs - presumably for backup purposes). When I did the Win 7 upgrade, I wanted to get rid of the hidden recovery partition and the D: drive partition (I backup to an external hard drive). I assumed, wrongly, that the entire disk would be reformatted as part of the upgrade to Win 7 (actually a clean install). I still wound up with the D: partition in place. It was weird that there seemed to be a number of unallocated and free space segments as well as the C: and D: drive partitions. - see the attachment to visualize this "mess". The only difference between this picture and what I had after the upgrade was that the D: drive partition was stil there. I then removed the D: partition using Disk Management tools and wound up with an extended partition instead (this is what the attached file shows as of now. I did an upgrade clean re-install of Win 7 over the Win 7 I had at that point hoping this would clean up the mess. Alas, it did not. and the situation depicted in the attached file is what I have today. There may be something you can do with the Disk Management utility, but the best I can do in trying to expand the C: partition is expanding no more than the 8 gigs available in the adjacent unallocated space. I can't seem to figure out a way to make use of the next segment labelled as "free space". I don't know if I could accomplish this with the Disk Management tool or a third-party partition manager. It seems to me that I should be able to re-format the whole bloody drive (not just the C: partition) and re-install Win 7 but I don't know how to do that if it would help - the format command requires specifying a disk, and that is only the C; partition. Any help would be appreciated. My explanation of what I have done to get where I am may not be totally correct and certainly not detailed, but the end result is what I have shown. Don P
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    Don Plorde

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger
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    Are you willing to reinstall Windows 7? If so, then do that, But when it gets to the select-a-partition screen (not sure of the name) there should be some option to perform advanced disk partitioning. Select that. You should then be able to delete every partition on the drive until you have one large empty space that you can install into.

    Another possibility is to run the installer again (as I suggested above) but only delete the last three partitions (the 8MB, 23.78GB and 4.15GB partitions) and tell it to install in that empty space. After the installer has finished the reformatting, shut the laptop down and boot into your C: drive and see if you can extend it now. (I haven;t tried this with a Windows install disk, but it has worked for me with a Linux install disk.)

    Other than that, a partitioning utility should be able to fix this for you by deleting the three partitions so that you can extend C:.

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I had similar problems. You should not need to reinstall once again. Use a 3rd party app such as Partition Wizard to repartition your hard drive. It's free and easy to use. Choose all the unwanted partitions one at a time and delete them. Be sure to save your partition containing windows 7. Once you have deleted all the extra partitions, you will have a lot of free space. Format all the free space as an NFTS partition, I believe simple volume, then choose your Win 7 partition and expand the volume. Choose the entire amount of the simple volume you just created. When completed your Win 7 partition should should occupy the entire hard drive. The Win 7 disk manager is somewhat basic and can not, for example, recover the recovery partition because it is physically located ahead of the C partition, whereas the 3rd party app can. I did this on 5 seperate PCs with great success.
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  4. #4
    Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Johnson2191 View Post
    Are you willing to reinstall Windows 7? If so, then do that, But when it gets to the select-a-partition screen (not sure of the name) there should be some option to perform advanced disk partitioning. Select that. You should then be able to delete every partition on the drive until you have one large empty space that you can install into.

    Another possibility is to run the installer again (as I suggested above) but only delete the last three partitions (the 8MB, 23.78GB and 4.15GB partitions) and tell it to install in that empty space. After the installer has finished the reformatting, shut the laptop down and boot into your C: drive and see if you can extend it now. (I haven;t tried this with a Windows install disk, but it has worked for me with a Linux install disk.)

    Other than that, a partitioning utility should be able to fix this for you by deleting the three partitions so that you can extend C:.
    Good suggestion! I'm not adverse to re-installing Win 7, it really only takes 30 min. or so the last time I did it. Fortunately I had not loaded up the laptop with programs and my personal data as I wanted to fix this partition thing before I went through loading everything again (good choice, I might ass). I sort of recall that in the original install and//or my re-install that there was an Advance option which would have allowed me to format all the unwanted partitions and C: drive. Thanks for the tip!
    Don P
    Don Plorde

  5. #5
    Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Myers View Post
    I had similar problems. You should not need to reinstall once again. Use a 3rd party app such as Partition Wizard to repartition your hard drive. It's free and easy to use. Choose all the unwanted partitions one at a time and delete them. Be sure to save your partition containing windows 7. Once you have deleted all the extra partitions, you will have a lot of free space. Format all the free space as an NFTS partition, I believe simple volume, then choose your Win 7 partition and expand the volume. Choose the entire amount of the simple volume you just created. When completed your Win 7 partition should should occupy the entire hard drive. The Win 7 disk manager is somewhat basic and can not, for example, recover the recovery partition because it is physically located ahead of the C partition, whereas the 3rd party app can. I did this on 5 seperate PCs with great success.
    Thanks Ted. I just tried a third party partition manager today - Easeus Partition Manager. It's free also and has had good reviews. Not having fiddled around with partition managers, I wasn't really sure that I tried the right approach. I gave that extended partition area a drive letter and the did a delete partition. It showed that the new un-allocated space resided before the C: partition instead of after it. Whoa! What's going on here? I then tried to move that new partition to reside after the C: partition manager but didn't seem to figure out how to do it based on the Help info. I considered moving the C: partition before the "rogue" partition, but was warned of the danger in moving the C: partition. At that point I decided I shouldn't muck around lest I screw thinks up further. Without more specific direction and using Partition Wizard you suggested, I think I'm going to follow the advice of PeterJohnsonxxx in the first reply. Re-installation of Win 7 is no big deal. As noted in my replay to Peter, I had not loaded up all my programs and data, so I won't have to repeat all of that again. I'll let both of you know how this worked out. If not, I may come back for advice using a more powerful partition manager. Don P
    Don Plorde

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    You don't need to use 3rd party utilities or re-install, Windows 7 has all you need in Drive Manager.
    Delete the extended partition and you will have about 35GB of contiguous un-allocated space.
    Right click on the un-allocated space and create a basic disk and quick format it.
    This will give you a D: drive for your data - you should always split your disk into OS and data partitions.

    Now all you need is an external disk for backup.

    cheers, Paul

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I am of the opinion that you do not "need" to split your hard drive into seperate partitions. That's why I said extend your primary partition to the unused space. If you so desire, then yes the new drive can be used as a seperate partition for data, but it is not a requirement.
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  8. #8
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    The advantage of 2 partitions is you can re-build the OS without worrying about losing data - assuming you save the data to the other partition.

    cheers, Paul

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