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I would like to know how to take an XP machine, defragment and (I'm not sure what is the right term here--compress, maybe?) move things around so as much of the end of the partition can be partitioned. I tried , but it resulted in less empty blocks and a grand total of one empty block at the end.

I would like to make an XP machine dual-boot Linux via Grub, following the approach at . Or some other approach.

I posted a previous question at How can I offer an XP-compatible migration to Linux Mint? , which gave a helpful and more user-friendly response than I had in mind, but when I went on a trial run to maximize contiguous blocks of free space at the end of the partition, defraggler seemed optimized for other goals.

I'd like any help knowing how to maximize free space at the end of a partition from XP.


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I'm not sure what you mean by "as much of the end of the partition can be partitioned". Can you clarify this? – prmths Sep 16 '13 at 0:05
i believe the QA wants the end of the partition to not have used blocks for an easier and safer resize. – Lorenzo Von Matterhorn Sep 16 '13 at 0:10
It's not free, but PerfectDisk has an optimization setting called called "Prep for Shrink" that does exactly this sort of thing (and runs on Windows XP). – martineau Sep 16 '13 at 8:43
@martineau, please rephrase your comment as an answer so I can accept it. – Jonathan Hayward Sep 17 '13 at 21:11
I would like to thank everyone who commented/responded. My friend had an XP only machine that moved like molasses in January, and now she has a dual boot system where she can opt-in to access XP as before, or experience Linux Mint, which seems to be an order of magnitude faster. I ended up using JkDefrag and quickly found out that a secondary drive had voluminous downloads but over half the drive's space had never been used. So, a painless migration to dual boot; and I expect that family will be using Linux when they can. – Jonathan Hayward Sep 23 '13 at 21:26
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Try JkDefrag. Unlike Defraggler, this defragmenter usually won't leave used blocks at the end of the partition.

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And it also shows clearly if a drive has a large never-been-touched area at the end! (-: – Jonathan Hayward Sep 23 '13 at 21:26
Exactly. Glad it helped :-) – Michaël Polla Sep 26 '13 at 15:23

I recommend PerfectDisk because one of the optimization methods it offers is called "Prep for Shrink" which sounds exactly like what you're seeking.

AFAIK it only runs on Windows (8, 7, Vista & XP), and while not free, its also not too expensive and there's a 30-day free trial. I personally have been using the Pro version for years, but the slightly cheaper Home version might be all you need.

Other than being a retail customer, I'm not affiliated with the company.

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To maximize contiguous free space on a hard drive or thumbdrive, I've found this method quick and sure:

  1. Naturally, backup the system; irresponsible not to recommend this
  2. Download and run MiniTool Partition Wizard (free)
  3. Launch MiniTool, select the partition you'd like optimized
  4. Select Move/Resize
  5. Uncheck ""Using Enhanced Data Protecting Mode"
  6. Size-down to minimum allowed
  7. Apply changes
  8. Go back to step 3 and resize back to max space (and Apply)

That's it. I've used this on WinXP through to Win10 for years.

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Can you provide a link to the software you have mentioned? – Burgi Jul 18 at 8:13

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