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I'm afraid to mess with partitions, so I ask here before doing anything.

This is my plan:

my plan

Is it safe / possible at all? I dont want to lose 600 gigs of stuff, so I am hoping someone could answer this with knowledge/experience on windows XP partition tool.

"not used" means theres nothing in that partition: I've deleted all files from it already.

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4 Answers 4

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You'll need a specific software for that. There's a program from Acronis (Disk Director) which lets you move and resize partitions (it's payware, but worth it, saved my ass a couple of times ... and moving 600Gig will take some time, expect a few hours operation).

But it will let you move the stuff on screen visually (much like the images you made) all beforehand, i.e. you reorganize without actually doing it, then you press 'go' and it will perform all the steps.

So what you'd do with that program, is delete partition a, move b/c/d to free space at the front, create new partition in now larger free space at the end.

Since this seems to be your secondary drive, not your drive with the operating system, I don't see much problems ahead (except the normal SNAFUs which can happen any time).

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Oh so those programs basically reformats whole disk by copy/paste the stuff in the disk in order to move the partition? :/ damn, that wont take just 2 hours, will take 2 days. – user28380 Feb 15 '10 at 23:16
@rookie: Not exactly copy-paste ... it manages to move the partitions in place by shuffling the data around on the disk. – Nicholaz Feb 16 '10 at 9:59

It's not really clear from the image, but as I see it, it seems like the 'a' partition is a primary partition, and the partitions 'b', 'c' and 'd' are logical partitions inside an extended partition.

If that is the case, and your main OS is on one of the logical partitions, there will also be some files and a bootsector in the primary partition, which are needed for it (the OS) to properly boot. So I don't think that you can safely remove the 'a' partition.

That said, I'm not sure it's even possible to start the disk with an extended partition and add a primary one after that.

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i think it is (possible to have a primary partition after an extended). it's also possible to extend the extended partition to include the whole drive, and create a logical partition to contain the free space (once you've shifted the other partitions). you may have a point re: if one of these is an OS partition, but i expect it's all data. – quack quixote Feb 15 '10 at 22:54
My OS is on another harddrive. i had OS before on this and several other HDD's :D but i switched to use one HDD for OS only, and so this partition became useless for me now and i want to get rid of it because it takes space in the partitions list in "my computer" list. – user28380 Feb 15 '10 at 23:12

I dont want to lose 600 gigs of stuff

Regardless how safe and secure any method may be, you do not tamper with partition tables without a backup.

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This doesn't answer his question, but rather supplies additional information. If you want to add "best practice" remarks, at least include a solution with it. I have not downvoted you as I trust you can add information and do better :) – John T Feb 15 '10 at 22:37
@John T - "This doesn't answer his question" does it not? read the quote. not having a backup is poor practice, this shouldn't need to be emphasized. The OP is raising concerns over loosing "600 GB of stuff", i answered this part of his question. a backup is the best security against the loss of data, anything wrong with that? once you have a backup it doesn't really matter which method you use to merge the partitions. In fact, the other part of the question "How to merge/resize partitions" has been asked and answered many times before, so the question might as well be closed. – Molly7244 Feb 15 '10 at 23:05
@John T - "Is it safe to remove a partition"? Not without a backup it isn't, there's always a chance that something goes wrong. The core question is about the safety of "600 GB of stuff", which i think i have sufficiently answered. – Molly7244 Feb 15 '10 at 23:09
I dont have time or resources to backup 600GB of stuff. so i just wish i could do this easy. if its not easy, i wont do it because extra partition wont hurt me, but just takes space in the list... – user28380 Feb 15 '10 at 23:13
No, the core question is about how to modify his partitions as outlined in the image. You didn't address anything about how to modify them as such, just a safety concern before doing so. – John T Feb 15 '10 at 23:14

I am not into hard drives, but I don't think it's possible to move hard drive clusters or mess with your partition table.

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