partitioning dell harddrive

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I had to get a Inspiron 6000 after killing my 5150 (poured tea on the
keyboard).  The problem is that tech support is totally unable(or
unwilling) to help me with partitioning this drive whereas they had no
reservations whatsoever in helping me with the 5150.  Because of old
legacy programs, I need to keep my drive configuration the same: C, D,
E, F and G.   The computer comes with three partitions, a basic FAT
partition of 55MB, then a basic NTFS partition of 33.64GB which
contains the C drive and finally a 3.55GB partition at the end.

What I would like to do is combine the last two partitions and
repartition them into my C, D, E, F and G drives.

1: Can I delete what Dell has on the 3.55GB third partition and recover
the space?

2: Can I then repartition it and the NTFS partition into what I need?

I'd hate to have to FDISK and reload WinXP and all the drivers since I
had a devil of a time when doing that with the 5150.  However, if all
else fails, can I do that and just leave the 55MB of FAT at the
beginning of the drive and have my own partitions after that?

Thanks for any help


Re: partitioning dell harddrive

Partition Magic will do what you want.  The Dell FAT partition has some
utilities that might come in handy if you have a problem--there is really
not enough space there to worry about--I'd leave it alone.

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Re: partitioning dell harddrive

Thanks for the reply, Joe.

Unfortunately, I've started to do a clean install.  I've got XP back up
and running but there are definitely tweaks and adjustments still
needed to get things running right...but at least it wasn't quite as
painful as the clean install I did on the 5150.

By the way, I assume you are talking about the 55MB FAT partition
before the C drive.  Just out of curiosity, anything crucial in the
3.55GB FAT32 partition after the C drive?

Re: partitioning dell harddrive

I've never seen Dell use the 2nd partition--the 55MB FAT partition is
standard Dell--my guess is the other partition had some other purpose.

By the way, I'd still recommend getting a copy of PartitionMagic or
something similar and creating a drive structure similar to what you had on
your old machine.  I keep all my software on C:  and all data and other
files on the D: or E: drive.  Then I back up the data drive frequently, but
only have to make an image of the C: drive when I install new software.

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Re: partitioning dell harddrive

Hi Fellas,

The 55MB FAT partition contains Dell utilities for checking your Dell

The 3.55 GB partition contains a backup image for restoring your computer,
it's akin to a Norton Ghost image.

My advice is to delete the 3.55 GB (and subsequently keep a backup copy
using your DVD burner), retain the 55MB (which is pretty small) for the
nifty Dell utilities which may come in handy when your laptop is not
operating well (e.g. overheating, blue screen) etc.

I have managed to do a clean XP installation with no problems.

When you boot up with the XP operating CD, you can choose to delete the C:
partition and the unknown 3.55 GB partition and then reformat the whole
thingee under NTFS.

Alternatively, if you do not want to reinstall XP, you can use something
like Partition Magic to simply delete the unknown 3.55 GB partition, convert
it to NTFS and then attach it back to C: under NTFS.

I have tried both methods with no probs!



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Re: partitioning dell harddrive

Thanks guys.  Good information.  I've reformatted my drive and I
actually have XP on drive D with a copy of 98 on C.  It does sound like
Partition Magic would be handy to have for times when I need to resize
a partition without deleting the operating system.

I do use Norton Ghost so I'm glad I didn't loose anything out of the
3.55GB partition that I can't recover on my own.

By the way do either of you know what it takes to make my Dell and
Norton Ghost recognize an external DVD burner that I have on a firewire
drive?  I've been able to play DVDs from that drive and I appear to
have been able to burn a DVD to it though the resulting platter would
only play on certain things so it may not have been a successful burn.
BUT when I run Norton Ghost and try to burn a disk to that external
burner it doesn't recognize it as being there.  So I've had to use the
CD burner on the Dell and that takes a lot of disks to Ghost.

Thanks again for that useful information.

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