hi -- i'm thinking of rearranging how i've got the hard drives set up on my pc, and have a few questions about how to do it and its potential implications. i'd appreciate it if any of you could offer any thoughts/advice on this. the pc (win xp, msi kt333 ultra 2 mobo, athlon 2100+) has 2 hd's -- the c: is a 120gb with one partition and about 99gb free, and the e: is a 40gb with about 25gb free. i think i made a mistake when i built it in that i should've created multiple partitions on the c: drive, first of all becaue i'd now like to install linux and have the machine be dual boot, and secondly, it's starting to seem to me that it'd be wise to have one partition (or maybe even one physical hd) devoted specifically to being the system drive, where only windows resides & nothing else. my thinking in this is that, if you start having system or drive problems that would require windows to be reinstalled, you'd only have to mess with one partition, and could (maybe? -- i'm not sure about this) leave your installed programs & other files alone on the othr partitions. it seems like having to transfer all your files over and reinstall all your software would be by far the worst part about needing to reinstall windows. so here are the specific questions: 1. is this assumption i'm making about reinstalling windows correct? is it really possible to reinstall windows into one partition & have the new install work correctly with the programs & files from the old install residing on other partitions? or do you always have to manually reinstall all software whenever the os is reinstalled? 2. can the "program files" folder in windows reside on a different partition than windows itself? 3. is there any way to save settings & preferences from one installation of windows (like a "preference/settings backup") onto a cd so that you could recreate the look & feel of your old windows installation into the new one? like carrying over your old desktop wallpapers, windows sound effects, shortcuts, etc.? 4. are there any freeware partitoning utilities out there that are decent? partition magic is the only partiton utility i'm aware of at this point (i know it's not freeware). 5. since the system's now working fine & i've got some available space on the e: drive, would it be advisable to temporarily move all the stuff now on the c: drive to the e: and then repartition the c: drive & then move things back to the new partitions on the c:? would windows tolerate being moved around like that (i don't even know if it's possible in the first place)? sorry if these are loony/stupidly novice questions, but i'd appreciate any info you could offer. and i know -- "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." i'm just starting to worry that maybe having all my eggs in one basket, partition-wise, is a disaster waiting to happen if i ever should encounter serious system problems. had some modem problems recently, and at least one guy mentioned the dreaded "windows reinstall" as a potential fix. that's what got me thinking more about this. thank you.