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munz

Unable to reclaim 70GB free space on vista partition

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hello all,

i have a strange partition related problem under vista ultimate, please bear with me while i explain. it started when i tried to install vista ultimate retail over my existing WinXP Pro (via upgrade) however i was prompted that it is not possible unless i make more room on C:\. at the time my partitions on 2x320GB SATA RAID-0 using the on board Intel ICH5R were as follows (P4E 3.2GHz @ 3.84GHz, P4C800-E Deluxe, 2GB OCZ):

C:\ (Operating System) 16GB

D:\ (Windows SWAP) 4GB

E:\ (Applications) 6GB

F:\ (Games) 70GB

G:\ (Storage) 500GB

In order to make room for Vista, I used partition magic 8 and repartitioned the drives (I reduced drive G:\ by 14GB and extended drive C:\ by the same):

C:\ (Operating System) 30GB

D:\ (Windows SWAP) 4GB

E:\ (Applications) 6GB

F:\ (Games) 70GB

G:\ (Storage) 486GB

The above process took about 3 hours and was sucessful, after which I booted once in XP. this was when i decided it's probably better to do a fresh install of vista instead of upgrading xp. i inserted the vista disc and started the install process. right from the very start of the vista install, I was having problems deleting and partitioning F:\ the 70GB Games partition. i kept getting an error, i can not remember the exact error but i vaguely remember vista installer stating something to the effect that "there was an error with the partition on drive F:\".

i was however able to delete and recreate the partitions on drives C-E without any problems. it's the F:\ partition which gave me the error. after completing the installation of vista, i tried to format F:\ using disk management. i get the following error message everytime: "There is not enough space available on the disk(s) to complete this operation."

The only thing I have not tried is deleting the storage partition G:\...which i do not want to do as it contains all my important data and I currently do not have a drive large enough to back it all up. could this be an MBT issue or something simple that's corrupted but easy to fix? i have no boot issues or any drive problems accessing any of my data on any of the drives including G:\, the contents of which were initially created when i was using WinXP Pro. it's just F:\ that's not there and i can not access the free space.

is there some diagnostic which can run that could shed some light on this issue without putting my data at risk? i've installed vista despite being unable to access the games partition F:\. i'd prefer a solution which doesn't involve deleting any of my existing partitions (namingly C, D, E and G). i'm attaching a jpeg of my current drive map, any suggestions how i can reclaim the 70GB free space?

dkmgmtvs5.jpg

many thanks

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IMHO...

Back up your files. Wipe the drive. Partition as one big drive. Install your OS. Restore your data. Stop the insane partition schemes.

Thank you for your time,

Frank Russo

thanks for your input. i don't know about vista but under XP my computer would slow down with everything on the same partition. obviously vista is an entirely different OS and i don't know what's best but i guess i can get rid of that swap file partition. still, wouldn't it be a better idea to keep at least 4 partitions? when i install photoshop CS2 it prompts to install it on a partition different to that of your OS as it would adversely affect performance.

anyways, if a complete wipe is the only option then for me it means deleting the array is my only option. i'll look for a drive big enough for backup. if anyone comes up with a way to fix this partition problem without affecting my data please let me know. thanks a mil.

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you have 3 primary partitions.....

if all is backed up, try leaving the boot partition as primary then put all the others in the extended

nothing wrong with having multiple partitions on a drive - makes it easier to defrag application/game specific partitions instead of defragging the whole drive everytime

another reason to have multiple partitions is speed. the partitions at the beginning easily have reads of 70M/s on a decent 7200IDE whereas at the end it drops to 30-35M/s

so boot, apps, games or even swap near the front while the other crap at the end - exactly how the OP has partitioned.

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you have 3 primary partitions.....

if all is backed up, try leaving the boot partition as primary then put all the others in the extended

nothing wrong with having multiple partitions on a drive - makes it easier to defrag application/game specific partitions instead of defragging the whole drive everytime

another reason to have multiple partitions is speed. the partitions at the beginning easily have reads of 70M/s on a decent 7200IDE whereas at the end it drops to 30-35M/s

so boot, apps, games or even swap near the front while the other crap at the end - exactly how the OP has partitioned.

thanks bazza, i'm going to get a 500GB drive to back up my storage. the partition sizes/location i had set were deliberate and for the same reasons you pointed out; they've helped a lot. i just hope that i am able to put all the others in the extended without losing the data.

i'll get a hold of the 500GB drive and give it a try. thanks again

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nothing wrong with having multiple partitions on a drive

The exception being munz's problem?

- makes it easier to defrag application/game specific partitions instead of defragging the whole drive every time

Defragging either is the same amount of work. Start, prog, access, system-tools, defrag. Neither is "easier". Unless you're sitting there "watching" the defrag (cause you're stoned or have nothing better to do), there won't be a perceivable difference.

another reason to have multiple partitions is speed. the partitions at the beginning easily have reads of 70M/s on a decent 7200IDE whereas at the end it drops to 30-35M/s

Inner/outer transfer rates and short stroking do not increase performance by an objectively measurable amount on desktop computers.

so boot, apps, games or even swap near the front while the other crap at the end - exactly how the OP has partitioned.

There's an easier way to stay organized that was introduced in the 80's. It's called directories.

Basically, partitioning for dual boot is fine. Simple partitioning (OS-n-apps / Data) is fine. Some people take it way too far for entirely the wrong reasons. This is where problems like munz's come from.

Thank you for your time,

Frank Russo

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i haven't been able to get a hold of a 500GB drive yet, i'll try again on monday. in the meantime if anyone knows of a software that can fix this partition problem in a RAID-0 without affecting the nearby partitions and their data please let me know as it'll save me a lot of hassle. thanks

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update: i decided to boot the system using my Windows XP CD and the F6 RAID disk. when prompted to install win xp on a given partition, i selected the 70GB unallocated space and selected create partition (RAW). i then exited the win xp installer, booted into vista and the OS recognized the 70GB RAW partition and prompted me to format it. problem solved. thank you all for your input.

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