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Backing up and cleaning house on a dual booting drive

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by thewizz, Oct 10, 2008.

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  1. thewizz

    thewizz Thread Starter

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    Hi, all.... this question has been a long time coming so I'm sure I've probably made it worse by not acting sooner and the answer .... well... let's hope IT is a lot simpler than the question:confused:.


    I have done some searching through various archives and have not seen anything helpful yet .... this question is about backing up and cleaning house.


    When I first initialized this 40 gig Maxtor drive five years ago, I made it a 'dual booter' with W98se, C;, and XP home, F:, on different partitions ... don't ask me why; but I did it. Anyway, the W98 install has long since failed out and I no longer need it and wish to delete it along with a small fat32 partition called, E:, and then re capture the space gained by the deletion of these two virtual drives for my active drive, F:, XP home. F: now contains much important data and some programs. What is the best way to do this? Incidentally, almost all programs installed within the last 1 and a half years have been installed on a totally different physical drive.

    But ... WAIT ... there's more !! ... :)


    F: was once infected by a worm, I believe the tech called it 'LookSee or Looksy” not sure of the spelling. The tech spent $600 of my money tring to clear the virus from every file it had landed in (he said) and he worked very hard but ultimately couldn't clear it completely and ended up abandoning that XP install, then subsequently re installing Windows in that partition, then dragging in most of my programs and data from the abandoned Windows install. Did a pretty good job too cuz it's been running well for about a year now .... but now here's the rub ... the F: is rapidly running outa' room (messages appearing) even though there is really not much working stuff on there. That's cuz the physical drive, itself, is filling up. That's cuz F: is filling up because it contains the remains of the abandoned install, and the other two virtual drives, C: and E: are useless right now.(Fat32) ... I've already junked just about everything that I dare on the active drive ... but there would be all that room available if I could just get my current data and programs onto a clean Windows install on an empty (but for the OS) physical drive... make any sense? .... that is, of course, if I knew the right way to approach this problem. Out of work can't afford the high dollar tech again so that's not an option ... and he really was awesome. I would REALLY like to take that 40 gig drive and format it and never again put anything much on it but system and emails ... everything else would go on my other drive in an enclosure. Physical 40 gig drive in question breaks down like this : ......... 14.6 gig fat32 =C:, 18.4 gig NTFS = F:, 4.99 gig Fat32 = E:. There is another internal drive with some current program files and lots of data, pics music, etc. I will take that drive out of the box and put it in an enclosure once I get this little drive safely cleaned up.


    What is the simplist path to take to get there? Is there an even better way? ...I'm a moderately competent Windows user and know my hdwe pretty well.
     
  2. fairnooks

    fairnooks Banned

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    I'm assuming, and if I read it right, that F is the system drive and does it appear as the far right partition in Disk management (C, E, F) and are all your apps on it as well now? If so, what I would do is make an exact image of that partition (I use Acronis True Image but there are several free ones as well but you may also need a bootable recovery disc to write the image back to the 40 gig later--simply cloning the partition directly to another open drive would negate that need) and store it on another drive temporarilly. Then format the 40 gig drive (or just delete the partitions) as one single partition and restore the image to it after that. If the partition was also resotored in the operation you could always use GParted Live Cd or some other non-destructive partition manager to go in and expand that partition to the full size of the drive afterward.

    I don't really make sense of the second part you put in red, it seems you want to extract the installed programs from the OS? If so, you really can't do that and have them remain functional so if that's critical to you, its not going to work, you either have to transfer the OS and programs together or install the os and then all the programs again.

    Hope that helps one way or another.
     
  3. thewizz

    thewizz Thread Starter

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    Looks like you clearly understand what I'm trying to do and I believe you have helped alot. I find it difficult to explain computer issues sometimes .. sorry for the misunderstanding. Thank you very much for thinking about my case.

    I own Partion Magic but that thing has left some nasty messes on some of my drives in the past so I don't use it anymore. Is Gparted safe? I know Acronis makes a partitioning utility too, right? I also own Ghost but over the years I have lost faith in ALL Symantec stuff. Wouldn't touch it with a 10foot pole.

    I believe there some imaging utilities on a Seagate or Maxtor set up CD I have that I could possibly use to image that partition to an external drive for safe keeping while I clean house by deleting or resizing or formating, depending on what I decide to do. It also occurs to me that once I've expanded the system partition to the full size 40gig size of the drive, it probably won't even be necessary to move the couple of aps that are on there off. There should be plenty of room for things to be happy :). Most of my aps reside on another drive altogether anyway. Anyhow .... think I'll give it a try here in a couple of days .... thx again. !!
     
  4. fairnooks

    fairnooks Banned

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    Sounds like that would work as long as the software allows you to make a recovery boot disk to copy the partition back onto the drive, or you can hook the drive up to another system and restore the image with the software that way. Good luck.
     
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