Repartition without loosing data?

By kirock ยท 8 replies
Dec 22, 2007
  1. I know this can be done with Partition Magic, but i'm not paying $70 so I can do this once..ever in my life, when I can just buy an 80G HDD for $45.

    I have a storage drive sata 250G and was an ***** and didn't partition it when installed. A year later I now have 38G of data/files on it and I would like to break that up into 100/150G partitions without formatting.

    The demo P. Magic doesn't even work, it just gives you a view of what P. Magic can do. (Bite me comes to mind). Is there another freeware or demo that at least gives one free repartition before it self destructs?
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    The alternative is a procedural sequence:
    1. get a full backup of what you have
    2. delete the existing partition and create/format the new partition(s)
    3. then restore your backup (selectively or total)
    Be cautious however; you need the same program that created the backup in order to restore the data -- where does it run from when the system has be wiped clean by step(2)?

    [hint: you need a bootable CD with that program on it. ]
  3. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 1,221

    see isn't step one defeating the purpose? My C: drive is only 34.6Gb Raptor 10K rpm but is practically full. I have only the other drive E: which is 250Gb with about 38Gb of Steam game back-ups, downloaded software back-ups etc. No apps running in E:. I just don't want to loose this stuff. If I had something to back up 38G to, then I wouldn't have posted here.

    I know you are trying to help jobeard, and you are one of the best here and I read many of your posts, with no real interest other then to learn!
    But your "other" solution is just a standard Windows solution. If I could delete those files (ie. back them up) I would have already.

    So you're saying unless I pay for P. Magic, I might as well go buy a 80G hdd for $45, b/c it would be cheaper? @#$%%&* Windows and Bill gates, why the hell isn't something like PMagic already part of the OS (Disk manager)?


    Thanks jobeard.
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    the size of the backup is truly an issue, but the outline given has multiple implementations; it doesn't have to be total backup to one piece of media.

    a) your first issue is to backup the system itself (eg \windows, \program files)
    b) your data is the important stuff; this would allow you to flat reinstall an OS and the programs independent of your data

    c) your user data can be grouped into clumps that will fit CDR/W or DVDs
    All your user data is typically found in \Documents & Settings\yourLogin,
    and even that can have backups in smaller chunks (say by folders).
    These might be copied to another system over a network connection -- yea it
    takes significant time but you may have no other choice.
    Again, replicate one folder at a time.

    Before you start, research issues for swapping systems to a new HD to
    make sure you have an idea of issues on restoring.
  5. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 1,221

    Well the E: drive is simply storage, so no OS or system files or executables.

    Ok, here's the thing: i was able to dl a working copy of Partition Magic demo and got to the part of repartitioning the E: drive into 140/110Gb division.
    Then on the side panel it has "tasks to do" and "apply" button. so i press "apply" and it asks "Do you want to repartition said drive". YES! Then it gave message "no partition available". wtf? So I procedd anyway and it starts doing stuff and then reports error. Then another error and says application must stop. My E: drive was no longer visible in Windows. I panic and close this stupid app and reboot. Go to Disk Manager and reassign drive letter to "new volume". My E: drive is back and functioning ok, i.e all previous folders are intact and files are accessible. phew!

    Ok so what did I do wrong?
  6. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    I use acronis so don't know about PM you can try to make the partition you have smaller 1st than create the 2nd
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    well it's a demo, so anything could be wacked to disable it. My best guess is
    the demo will go thru the steps without altering the HD at all.

    Personally, I thought the price was reasonable even for just a single use and
    would encourage you to get a licensed product. You're going to save a LOT
    of time.

    Secondly, repartitioning has some sequencing requirements;
    *IF* there's free space, you can jump to Create Partition, otherwise
    will will need to create free space OR resize existing partitions.

    When I needed to create a triple boot environment, here's the steps I used to add two
    new partitions to a fully utilized HD (but it had free space in the existing partition).
    1. shrink the existing partition and verify it still had good free space, commit the changes. I rebooted the system to see how it looked from that OS's point of view. When happy with it, I moved to the next step.
    2. define the new partition(s) from the new unassigned area and defined partition types(s) for each
    3. ask each to be formatted per the partition type
    4. commit the changes to HD which then started the actual modifications to the HD. (for goodness sake, never do this on a laptop without using the AC power adaptor!)

    Resizing two existing partitions is straight forward AS LONG as there's good free space. You may find it best to shrink the existing partition so as to create an unallocated area between them and commit the work, then expand the smaller to take a major portion of the unallocated and let the other partition have the remainder. This will allow you to control the usage of free space :)

    Working in this manner will allow P.M. to show you the effect BEFORE the alteration(s) take effect and to backup and start over if you so desire.
  8. mscrx

    mscrx TS Rookie Posts: 310

    you could try gparted live cd. it can re-partition without loss. I used it to re-partition my laptops drive after I installed the operating system on it. worked perfectly and its absolutely freeware...

    my two cents
  9. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 1,221

    Ok, that's what I did wrong, I didn't resize the original (and only) partition first. I started to do that, but got scared I'd lose all that new undefined space. Will take another whack at it later today. (it's 250G, with only 38G in use, so tons of free probs there)

    OK, will look into gparted live too. Yeah maybe PM demo is still whacked, but chances are I just didn't do the steps in the right order.

    I plan to build new gaming rig in Jan and am trying to repartition this storage drive so I can use it as my new C: and D: (repartitioned). I'll leave my 36GB Raptor 10K rpm C: drive in the present rig, which the kids get as a new pc for them. (socket 939, 3500+ and my old 6600GT) (I'm taking my 7900GT with me for my new rig until I can afford a new 8800GTS). So this was just me trying to get this 2nd HDD prep'd for conversion to OS.

    Thanks gents for the help.
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