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Recover 'lost' space after partition deleted

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Pearguy, Jul 17, 2016.

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  1. Pearguy

    Pearguy Thread Starter

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    Hi Guys

    I'm running XP and Lubuntu on an old pc. I recently erased my Local Disk D, which had most of my personal data on it. Local Disk C is still there and contains the XP OS.

    I'm not so bothered about losing the data that was in D (the really important stuff was backed up) but Disk D took up nearly 40GB of space which I am now unable to access or utilise.

    The full story is long so rather than recite it here if anyone is able to try to help it would be better if I just supply information as and when you require it.

    I should say that I'm very much an IT beginner; until this all started I hadn't even heard of partitions, and sadly I'm still struggling with them.

    Needless to say, very grateful for any help.

    Tech Support Guy System Info Utility version 1.0.0.2
    OS Version: Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Service Pack 3, 32 bit
    Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.80GHz, x86 Family 15 Model 2 Stepping 9
    Processor Count: 1
    RAM: 2039 Mb
    Graphics Card: Intel(R) 82865G Graphics Controller, 96 Mb
    Hard Drives: C: Total - 24998 MB, Free - 1771 MB;
    Motherboard: Hewlett-Packard, 085Ch
    Antivirus: avast! Antivirus, Updated: Yes, On-Demand Scanner: Enabled
     
  2. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    You have one hard drive which contains one partition (called "drive C" by Windows) and some unallocated space? And you want to use the unallocated space to create a new partition or to increase the size of "C"?

    You may want to show a screen shot of the Disk Management window to help describe. If you need help with a screen shot see TSG Posting a Screenshot. FWIW to take screen shots with Windows Vista or latter I prefer to use the built-in Snipping Tool.
     
  3. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

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  4. Pearguy

    Pearguy Thread Starter

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    EDIT:
    Sorry chaps, I forgot to mention that the D Disk deletion was accidental.

    Hello TerryNet

    Thank you for your quick response. Yes, one hard drive, designated in My Computer as 'Local Disk C'.

    As to creating a new partition with the unallocated - and at present inaccessible- space, I'm unsure; still reading up on the pros/cons. Happy to follow expert advice either way, if partitioning is no real advantage then perhaps just allocate the space to drive C.

    But I would like to install at least one more distro as I'm determined to get the hang of Linux once and for all, and the web offers conflicting advice re dual boot and the necessity/non-necessity of partitioning to house multiple OSes.
    Disk management screen shot below.

    flavallee, likewise, thanks for your post.

    Yes, someone else recommended Partition Wizard but I'm struggling with it at the moment due to some apparently unexpected results and my own lack of tech savvy. Can you tell me what screen shot(s) to post, i.e. at what stage of running the tool, would be helpful?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2016
  5. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Looks like two hard drives?

    Your "C" partition is pretty small. I'd want to add at least that 19,3 GB unallocated space. What is the "F" partition? Why not delete that?

    If desired you can probably assign (with Disk Management) a drive letter to that large partition on Disk 0. If you are going to install another OS there just let it be.

    As an aside, I like to give my partitions meaningful names, as those drive letters are arbitrary and not used by anything outside of Microsoft.
     
  6. managed

    managed Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Your screenshot shows 2 hard drives, Disk 0 is probably an 80GB and Disk 1 a 60GB (the drive capacity is always a bit lower in Disk Management because Windows measures it a different way than the makers).

    Looks like XP is on Disk 1 partition 1 and Lubuntu is on Disk 0 partition 1. Micro$oft numbers disks starting with 0 (zero) and partitions starting with 1 !

    Can you confirm that XP and Lubuntu both work ? Do you get a menu to choose which you want ? Does it mention GRUB on the menu screen ?

    EDIT : @Terry I posted before seeing your post, I think Lubuntu may be on disk 0 1st partition.
     
  7. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    I think that you are correct, Allan. Thanks.
     
  8. Pearguy

    Pearguy Thread Starter

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    Terry, Allan, thank you for your replies.

    This is where things begin to confuse me as different tools (GParted, Partition Wizard, Disk Management) appear to bring up differing results; though my interpretation is hindered by lack of experience. This is possibly the steepest learning curve I've yet encountered and I get lost quickly.

    I will include a screenshot of what comes up on opening MiniTool, I expect it will mean more to you than it does to me just yet. Does it even tally with Disk Management? And would it be helpful if I perform a scan with Partition Wizard?

    Re your above posts:

    Yes, C partition is indeed small and I'm now struggling for space; recently got an on screen message to that effect. Currently deleting as much unnecessary stuff as possible to make more space.

    Disk (partition?) D was erased during the installation of Lubuntu.

    F partition has never been allocated. Its Properties shows it as having no used space and, rather confusingly, no free space either so happy to delete it if that's an advantage, but don't yet know how to do that.

    @ Allan, yes, Lubuntu and XP both work and are on the same boot menu, and yes, I just choose which OS to use on start-up. I believe there is no mention of Grub in the menu, at least not that I've ever noticed. I can of course re-boot to double check if it would help?

    Is 'Local Disk' just another name for a partition?

    And is making inaccessible hard drive space usable again as simple as just assigning a letter to it?

    MS analysis tells me to defrag C Drivebut I'm reluctant at present just in case something goes wrong before this lost space issue is resolved..

    [​IMG]
     
  9. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

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    After I saw your image in post #4, I also suspected your computer has 2 small capacity hard drives.
    If you remove the side panel and look inside the case, you can quickly confirm if your computer has 2 hard drives.

    --------------------------------------------------------------
     
  10. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    I have no idea why that MiniTool shows 5.1 GB unallocated where Disk Management shows the 24.41 GB partition with Windows installed. Perhaps Disk Management is not the lamest partitioning tool. :D

    Any partitioning tool (except mayby MiniTool), including Disk Management, should be able to delete the "F" partition and then resize (or extend) the "C" partition to include the adjacent unallocated space. For partitioning work that Disk Management is not able to do I use the free EASEUS Partition Master. Parted Magic is highly recommended by many here, and may be even better.

    Best, in my opinion, procedure is to enlarge the "C" partition and make sure you have a good backup, and then defrag "C."
     
  11. Pearguy

    Pearguy Thread Starter

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    flavallee, having goggled images of what hard drives look like it would appear, to my highly inexpert eye, as though you are correct re the two hard drives. Took a couple of pics, included below.

    TerryNet, I'll have a bash with one or other of the partition tools you suggest, my choice will likely depend on whichever seems easiest to use. If it can't handle the job or (more likely) if I'm unable to work out how to use the tool correctly, I'll try a different one.

    Any advice as to how to enlarge C Partition? Or point me at a tutorial for beginners? I've done some searching but most hits fall at the first fence; they tell what to do but not how to do it.
    Also, how would I create the backup you recommend? I'm assuming you mean of C Drive..?

    Thanks as always for the support.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Note how in my attached Disk Management window I have unallocated space to the right of the "C" partition. I could select the "C", Action - All Tasks - Extend Volume - and extend the "C" to include part of all the unallocated space. If you delete your "F" partition you will also have unallocated space to the right of the "C" and can do the same thing. With Easeus Partition Master you do the same thing, but instead of "Extend" you select "Move/Resize" and drag the right boundary of "C" to gobble up the unallocated space.

    Also note how I name my partitions instead of relying on Windows' arbitrary drive letters.

    Capture.PNG
     
  13. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Some people create backups by making a copy (or, better, multiple copies) of their data (including contacts, bookmarks, mail messages, etc.) on other media and making sure they have a way to retrieve some version of their Windows. In case of catastrophe they can install Windows (or "recover to factory defaults") and then copy their data from the backup. I used to do this, and still make data backups.

    However, I got tired of reinstalling Windows and getting all the updates and installing my applications so I now periodically create on an external hard drive an image of the partition(s) needed to recover or re-image the entire system. I use Macrium Reflect Free for this.
     
  14. managed

    managed Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Please go into Device manager and double-click on Disk drives and tell us what it shows for the 2 hard drives.
     
  15. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

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