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Windows XP/2000 Disk Prep

By seeker1
Jun 21, 2005
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  1. I have tried to defrag the XP drive, so that I can partition it for 2000. But for some reason, XP has distributed files in three separate areas widely spread on the disk. To divide the disk equally I need to consolidate XP, but neither of the defragmenters that I have tried are able to do so. One of the zones is unmovable, but I'm not certain what files comprise this area. I have no partition tools except Disk Management. Is there a way to use this so that the files are moved, instead of being lost? Currently, the XP partition occupies the entire 80GB drive.
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 8,165

    Your best bet is installing a second harddisk (buy or borrow).
    Then get hold of Drive Image/Acronis Trueimage, and Partition Magic or similar.
    Take an image and copy that to the second harddisk, just in case. If you select 'compress' it will be quite small. Both DI and TI only image the 'occupied' space.
    Then use PM and resize the harddisk down to e.g. 40GB at the beginning of the disk. Perform the task in PM.
    Then create the second partition with PM and perform the task in PM.
    Finally use PM to format it, it's a lot faster than Windows format.
    You can do all tasks or actions in one go, but it is more secure to do them one at a time.

    At the end you still have a working XP in partition C.
    Now make a new directory on your C-drive and copy the 3 files: boot.ini, ntdetect.com and ntldr into it. These are in C:\ (root of C-drive).
    Install W2K on the new partition. W2K will overwrite the 3 files you just saved.
    When done installing W2K, it will probably boot straight into W2K.
    No problem, you need to copy those 3 files back, overwriting the ones that were left by W2K.
    boot.ini may be read-only, so rightclick it, select Properties and UNtick Read-only, and click OK.
    Now use Notepad and modify your boot.ini so that it will look like:
    The above defaults to XP. If you rather want W2K, change the default= line to:
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINNT
  3. seeker1

    seeker1 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 34

    Thank you for your response. Your advise seems sound, but a bit outside of my computer budget, at this time. The extra harddrive is no problem, but my copy of Partition Magic is too old to use on XP, and I have't access to the other programs. This has started me looking for freeware apps which could serve the same purposes. Could you give me any advice or comments on any particular programs?

    I have two other HDs onboard, one which is just an archive, and another which is set aside for Linux. I guess that I could simply copy the archive to the same drive with XP, to provide a clean slate and transfer the archive back afterward?
  4. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 8,165

    There is a free Ranish Partition Manager here: http://www.snapfiles.com/get/ranish.html

    Try the trial version of R-Drive
    http://www.soft32.com/download_13455.html
    Don't know what it lets you do though...
    The Image is purely for backup purposes in case anything goes wrong.
    If you want, just copy all your important files etc. to one of your other disks.

    Ranish should be able to do what what PM does, and it's been around for a long time, so quite trustworthy.
    BUT, you run the risks, not me, so who gives a d a m n LOL
  5. seeker1

    seeker1 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 34

    I had already downloaded Ranish, but despite the free aspect, I don't want to take an unreasonable risk with my data. Of course, if you haven't used Ranish, you couldn't endorse it...I was just hoping.

    If I just simply copy XP to the archive drive, will it be fully operational? I just trying to figure out how to apply or not apply the procedures that you outlined with the boot.ini, etc.
  6. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 8,165

    You want 'free', you have to be prepared to take risks.

    Copying is no good, some files are not copyable, and you boot won't work, because the masterbootrecord MBR is missing.

    Copying as such WILL get all your personal files over.

    One of our moderators (Nodsu) recommends Ranish, provided you know about partitioning, so I think you are safe to use it.
  7. seeker1

    seeker1 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 34

    That's why I ask questions, to take advantage of other's experience and reduce the risk.
    Correct! Since my last post, I went ahead and tried it with exactly the result that you described.
    My current problem is that Ranish requires that the drive be defragmented prior to using it. But, no defragmenter that I have tried is able to move unmovable files. Unfortunately, I have a small section of unmovable files right in the center of the drive where the partition wall should be. Is there any method of dealing with this, short of buying Partition Magic or such?
  8. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 8,165

    Get the trial version of Diskeeper, they have all the options you need.
    http://consumer.execsoft.com/downloads/downloads.asp?RId=1
    You'll have to register with your name and email, but it is the very best program for defragging on the market.
    I have been using their Workstation version for years, and it's great.
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