Un-Partitioned disk
February 22, 2006 9:26 AM   Subscribe

Unpartition my HDD is it possible, without reformatting?

i originally had my HD partitioned into C: and D: drives, at 30 GB each. i recently reformatted my computer and somehow lost the partition, which isn't THAT bad, but then i realized i lost 30GB's of usable space on that drive. so i re-partitioned it in disk manager, but i want to delete the partition without losing that extra 30 GB's of space.
i tried at the command prompt using partdisk to delete the partition, but the same thing happened where it won't recognize the space from the partitioned drive.
my goal would be to have the C: drive count for the whole allocated 60 GB's of space with no partitions.

system: AMD 1.21, 60 GB WD 7200 rpm hard drive, windows XP SP1 OS

Thanks for taking the time.
posted by kevin_2864212 to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Yes, it is possible. The easiest way to do this is with a piece of commercial software like Partition Magic.
posted by rxrfrx at 9:29 AM on February 22, 2006

Most companies want you to pay for this - they know you are in a tight spot.

I recommend downloading Acronis Disk Director - the trial version has a specific "restore old partition" menu option that works well.
posted by meehawl at 9:42 AM on February 22, 2006

If you don't care about any data in the existing partition, I think you can use the extend command in diskpart to grow a partition in Windows XP. See command reference here.
posted by curse at 10:00 AM on February 22, 2006

I would recommend using a Linux based LiveCD that has DiskPartd on it.
Like this one here

I recently used this to shrink an existing NTFS partition so that I could install Linux.
It should have no problem expanding your existing partion to use the empty space.

Don't worry about it being Linux based, it is all point and click. About the easiest tool I've ever used for something like this.
posted by Eddie Mars at 10:29 AM on February 22, 2006

Backup your data before you try resizing any partions.
posted by Good Brain at 12:06 PM on February 22, 2006

When you install Win2K or XP from cd, you get the chance to delete all partitions and create a new one.

I don't think Win 2K or XP will let you resize the boot partition. But you can use Disk Management (right click on My Computer, choose Manage, then choose Disk Management) will let you create a partition in the unused space, give it a drive letter and format it for use.

Partition Magic will consolidate the drive into 1 partition.
posted by theora55 at 1:26 PM on February 22, 2006

Make sure to make a backup. I tried the exact same thing you are asking about with Partition Manager. Very nice program, easy interface, etc. One problem, it didn't work for me and the drive needed to be completely formated. The kicker was that I could see all the filenames, but not read any file.... Backup First.
posted by maxpower at 2:49 PM on February 22, 2006

The problem is not that you need to create or delete partitions, it's that you need to resize one. And doing this requires that the disk be offline, i.e. not mounted. So you usually have to boot from a floppy or CD/DVD-ROM and run a program to do this.

On the commercial side, the most popular is Partition Magic. There are also free utilities such as GNU parted. If you don't know what you're doing you are going to want a front-end to parted because it's not very friendly. In fact if you have to ask I think you should consider using one of the commercial ones which will have a lot more of the "dangerous edges" rounded over, so to speak.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:03 PM on February 22, 2006

On the commercial side, the most popular is Partition Magic

PMagic has a lot of limitations It won't work with removable drives, it doesn't like dynamic drives, and it wants you to front payment before you get any action. I was using PM back in the mid-90s and it was ahead of the game then but it's really lagged in the last few years.

Really, try Acronis. It's better than PM. If you want greater flexibility for a Windows program, then Paragon Partition Manager is probably the best.
posted by meehawl at 7:36 PM on February 22, 2006

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