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Thread: Partition Confusion




  1. Question Partition Confusion

    I am currently working with a computer at school. It is a Dell Precision 410. It has been constantly abused in the past 6 years of its life. It has one hard drive, but it is partitioned into 2 drives. One is about 3gigs and the other is about 14gigs. The partition for the 3 gig part is almost full with Win 2000 and all the other program files. The 14 gig hd part is almost empty. The computer is getting kind of slow and the IT guy at my school said the partition is partly to blame. Is it possible to undo the partition without reinstalling Windows? We do not have the cd for it (again someone messed around with it). Also, after a while of inactivity and you go to do something again, it makes this buzz noise (almost like a wrong answer buzzer) and then does something. Until it makes that noise, it doesn't do a thing. Is this caused by the partition? Any other ideas? We have a VERY small budget for computer stuff so this is what we are stuck with.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Partition Confusion

    There is a program (Partition Magic, or something like that) that can resize partitions without deleting or reformatting them, but it's a process I prefer to avoid.

    There are a few things you can do to try to clear up space on the 3GB partition. For starters, move the paging file to the other partition. This may cause a slight performance decrease, but it's worth the space. Next, clear all of the temporary files. Finally, if it's actually being used, move the My Documents folder and its contents to the other drive.

  3. Default Re: Partition Confusion

    Sorry, but what do you mean by the "paging file?" The only thing on that partition is the operating system and no documents etc.

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    Default Re: Partition Confusion

    Paging file is the new term for what used to be referred to as the "Swap File"
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    Default Re: Partition Confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by PorscheGuy997@yahoo.com
    The only thing on that partition is the operating system and no documents etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by PorsheGuy997@yahoo.com
    The partition for the 3 gig part is almost full with Win 2000 and all the other program files.
    Uh, which is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by PorsheGuy997@yahoo.com
    Sorry, but what do you mean by the "paging file?"
    What Darth said is true. However, if you didn't know that you probably shouldn't be trying to fix this. That said, to change the location of the paging file, go to Control Panel\System > Advanced tab and click the "Settings: button under Performance. Here, you'll be able to place the paging file on a different partition. If it's currently on the 3GB partition, move it to the other one, because it's likely taking up anywhere between 200MB and 500MB, which is a lot for a 3GB partition.

  6. Default Re: Partition Confusion

    Ok to solve the confusion. The 3 gig partition only holds the operating system and program files. The other 14 gig partition holds almost nothing.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Partition Confusion

    Like I said, start by moving the paging file if it's on the 3GB. Also, if it's possible you should uninstall some programs and reinstall them on the other drive.

  8. #8
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    Talking Re: Partition Confusion

    Hello, I am here to help answer your questions:
    these guys have good advices, however, you don't need to move any page file or anything like that. First off, we have to understand what is a partition, and the concept behind partition to answer whether or not it is the problem that had caused your computer to decrease in performance. Let's look at the train for example, the train on itself would run fine as a whole, by that i meant it's not being divided into sections, but why would people divide a long train section into multiple sections? It's because of convenience and usability. By doing that they now can do multiple things, each in it's own section without interfering with the other sections, example, one section could be use for luggages, one for animal, one for passenger, and maybe one for VIPs, you got the concept.
    That's basically the same principle with splitting your hard-drive into two or more partitions, by doing that you make the OS into thinking it's having two physical drives, but in reality there is only one. And when the OS think it has multiple drives, it will allow you to treat those partitions independently. Most of the times, multiple partitions are used for installing multiple OS on one physical drive or using one partition for backup while the other one is running the OS and other installed applications. Now that we have an idea what a partition is, let's answer your question.

    You said that the computer is making a buzz sound and you wonder whether it's caused by a partitions or not? the answer to that is no, a partitions is a virtual concept, it's not a physical thing, it can only be erased or damage in software concept, or unless the drive is physically broken into pieces. The buzz sound that you heard, i suspect it might came from the hard drive, the reason i said that is that, data on the hard drive are being accessed by the read and write heads, the hard drive itself is made of of platters, these platters spin at thousands of RPM, and the read and write heads are constantly moving in and out on top of the platter sufaces to read and write data. These components are physical components and with them working at high speed, over time, they tend to wear out and could be the source of the sound you are hearing. Oh other reasons why all computers tend to be slower over times is because of fragmentation, that means the files, or should I say pieces of files are scatter all over the hard drive, so it takes the read and write heads longer time to collect the data, other things that caused computer to slow down are spyware, viruses, adwares, and as your hard drive gets fill up with data, it's natural for it to be slower(I would tell you why, but I think this post is already long enough). However, one last thing why all computers tends to get slower over time is that, we know the transistors, wires, and many other components in a computer is made up of some sort of metal (mostly Copper). When metal are exposed to air(oxygen) oxidation will occur, which will degrade their ability to transfer electrical signal/current(which are just electrons), therefore, with times, all computers tends to be less efficient. Think of it as a highway, from a three-lane highway, and now it's only a two-lane, and still has to transfer the same amount of data, of course the speed at which the data get from one place to another will be slower.

    To help with your last problem, no, you don't need to move swap files are anything like that, that is not needed. Usually any files that's been created or installed by the OS or the installer, you don't want to move them around randomly like that, as you will see why later on. However, anything that you created, like a word document, a shortcut, image, sound file, a downloaded app(haven't been installed yet), yeah, you can move those around all you want, and it won't effect the performance a bit. All you have to do are the following:
    run a spyware applications to help remove junk from your computer, then run scandisk, afterward defragment your hard drive. Given what you posted, except the spyware program, the other two comes with Windows 2000. You can easily go to download.com and download spybot or ad-aware to help scan your computer, you'll be surprised with at difference it will make. Last but not least. You said your hard drive is partition into two partitions: So for example if I partitions my hard drive into two paritions, one will be C: and the other can be any other letter in the alphabet. Regardless, of what the other letter is, the Operating System will always resides on the C: drive, therefore, everytime you install new applications, the default path is usually "C:\Program Files\App_Name\....." from now on, don't use the default path that the application give, instead, when you install new apps, select browse and choose the partition that has more space. You don't always have to install application on the same partition with the OS. For example I have two partitions, one is C: and the other is D: ,say the C: partition is full, I can create a directory(folder) in my D: partition, I might call it "Program Files 2" and I will install new application in that partition from now on, something like "D:\Program Files 2\App_Name\.....". You don't want to move swapfiles or system files from one partition to another, because that will fragment the hard drive more. However, hard drive are spinning so fast now that you hardly notice any performace degrading from fragmented drive like you used to, but to the CPU, the time it has to wait for the drive to collect those data is still a very long time. So, you might want to try the steps I listed in this last paragraph to help speed up your computer, also, don't forget to scan your computer for viruses.
    Is this an essay? :), sorry guys.

    I hope that helps answer your questions.
    Last edited by Lone7; 10-07-2005 at 06:18 AM.

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