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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Question Removing HD partitions in Win 8 - back to one large C: drive.

    We just bought my wife a brand new laptop running...you guessed it...Windows 8, with "Yours truly" as technical support. This machine came with the hard drive partitioned with the main C:drive and three partitions D:, E:, and F:. I would like to remove these "partitions" and return the space to the C: drive so that there is just one large C: drive. I can find a lot of stuff on the web about partitioning a hard drive, but nothing about how to actually remove the partitions and return the drive as one big C:. Any insight as to how to accomplish this will be greatly appreciated, Thanks.

    Ron M

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    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Hi Ron,

    I think it would be safest if you attached a screenshot of your drive layout from Disk Management.

    Do you have a W8 install DVD?

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I have to agree, a screen shot would be helpful. A new PC might have a recovery partition with the factory image, it might have a small system reserved partition, etc. Also I assume this new PC uses the UEFI/GPT system. I am unsure if this new system requires a separate partition to work properly. I would be very careful to ensure these partitions are not needed by the system.

    Is there any explanation of what these other partitions are? The removal should be very straight forward assuming these partitions are not needed by the system. Any partitioning app could do it, even the Win 8 Disk Manager (assuming the partitions are behind the C Drive, not in front of it). If any of the partitions are in front of the C drive this would require a 3rd party partitioning app.

    I would personally keep at least one of the partitions and use it for data storage. In my scheme I have allocated approx. 75 Gb for the OS and apps, and the remaining HD space for a data drive. By segregating the data onto a separate partition, you do not have to restore the data if you have to restore the OS. Use the approved method to move data to a separate data drive (partition). The article was written for Win 7, but the method is the same for Win 8.
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    Lounger
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    Ron —

    All good advice above. I would say, before you undertake these changes IMAGE your system and practice the recovery operation up to the point of actually initiating a restore.

    In addition, if you proceed with this operation it is advisable that you use a partition manager on a boot disc or flash drive to implement the actual changes. Windows can do it but as so often is the case, 3rd party utilities can be more powerful as well as straightforward.

    A good choice, and free: 'Partition Wizard Bootable CD' from MiniTool at this link:

    http://www.partitionwizard.com/download.html

    This excellent tool will also check and perform 'Alignment' of partitions, which to make a long story short, is crucial.

    And, to get the 'Partition Wizard' iso onto a flash drive, XBoot — free, funny to use at first, but very capable (can integrate multiple boot utilities on one flash drive or optical disc):

    https://sites.google.com/site/shamurxboot/


    If all this sounds like a lot of work, it is — you are fundamentally restructuring the bedrock of your Windows system!


    Good luck.

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    5 Star Lounger
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    satrow, medico and HansPeter, thanks very much for your responses and their "educational" nature. I am rethinking my "unpartitioning" of the C: drive. I did not even begin to realize what a lot of work it could be and all the "things" that had to be considered. I know when I am "over my head" in technology so to speak.

    To answer your questions:

    satrow: No, I do not have Win 8 install disk - it came with Win 8 installed and that is all.

    Medico: I am afraid you lost me when you mentioned UEFI/GPT. While I am somewhat technically literate, a lot of this "new stuff" has gone beyond my realm of understanding - not that I couldn't probably figure it out, but you have raised a number of things that I am not sure exactly what they mean.

    HansPeter: I did not know that I would have to get involved with software to deal with this situation.

    CONCLUSION: I did not know that there would be such a significant (in my mind) amount of work involved, so, I will just leave it as it is for now and deal with it. I have no idea why this disk is partitioned the way it is, but I am sure I can learn to live with it.

    Ron M

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    If the partitions are just blank partitions that is one thing. New PCs do not use Bios any more for the most part. They now use the new UEFI system. If you do a Google search you will find a bunch of info on these things. Since my PCs are still from the "stone age" I cannot help much with these new systems.

    I find it difficult to believe a PC seller would actually partition a HD prior to sale. I suspect one of the partitions may be a recovery partition. This partition will assist in putting your PC back to factory fresh condition. In my mind the only reason to keep this partition would be to reset to factory just prior to selling or donating the PC. I would ALWAYS recommend Imaging for whole disk back ups.

    I kind of think the other couple of partitions are used by the system for some reason of which I am not totally familiar that has to do with the UEFI system and/or GPT. The new UEFI systems can use a GPT table versus an MBR. A Google search has a large amount of info on the subject.

    To answer one of your concerns, the amount of work to add the space from 2 or 3 partitions back into the C Drive is not really very great, assuming the partitions are not needed. You simply delete those partitions using a partitioning app such as that listed above (I also us Partition Wizard) leaving unallocated space, then increase the size of the C Drive to encompass this unallocated space, assuming the unallocated space is behind the C Drive on the HD. Even partitions ahead of the C Drive can be done, but these are more involved.
    Last edited by Medico; 2013-06-27 at 13:12.
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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    If the PC came with Windows 8 preinstalled, it is definitely UEFI/GPT. It is also configured with Secure Boot. The only partitioning tools one can use on this setup have to be UEFI/GPT aware. You will have a small EFI partition (probably hidden) used for booting Windows and another small hidden system partition as well, in addition to the partitions you mentioned.

    Repartitioning is not something to be taken lightly in this circumstance, and must be done with a full understanding of what, why and where.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Thanks bbearren. I just do not know enough about these new systems to really comment too much on them. As stated, removing partitions without really knowing what's in them might be dangerous. If you go to Disk Manager and post a snapshot from there we might be able to tell just what you have.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

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