How do I Partition a hard drive

  johnanthony 14:57 20 Sep 08

without messing everything up? Is there a free partitioning programme that I can download?

  DieSse 15:09 20 Sep 08

If you mean an "in use" drive with programs and data on it - then it's possible but fraught with danger.

Before you even consider it, you need to back up the entire contents of the drive. And then defragment it.

Can you explain a bit further the whys and wherefores of what you want to do - then some more practical advice may be given. There's usually no vital need to partition an "in-use" drive.

Free bootable Linux which has GPartEd (which I've used to partition NTFS Windows drives) can be found from here click here

  johnanthony 15:30 20 Sep 08

You are confirming what I thought. Yes its an "in use" hard drive. I have been told that it might be better to have all my programmes in one partition, all my data in another and then mirror both to two more partitions for back up.
I feel that I could do this more easily with an external hard drive, but that wouldn't be free though.( I'm not Scottish, just a careful OAP) What do you think?

  GANDALF <|:-)> 15:42 20 Sep 08

There is no need to partiton a drive in 2008. There will be no difference in speed etc. You need to back up your documents and you can buy a 8Gb pen drive for around a tenner. You need to assess if your documents/email addys/favourites are worth £10

  Pineman100 15:46 20 Sep 08

I really think that backing up to another partition on the same hard drive is false economy (I'm speaking as one OAP to another!).

It's fine for restoring the occasional corrupted file, or even a corrupt OS or software. But what happens if (when!) you have a hard drive failure? There's then nothing to restore from.

Add to this the risk of partitioning the in-use drive, and I reckon you're asking for trouble.

Honestly - do whatever it takes to scrape together the means to buy an external hard drive (plus Acronis True Image or similar). Then you're fireproof.

  Procrastinus 15:48 20 Sep 08

Have used Gparted very sucessfully for an 'in-use' drive. Use as a Live CD after downloading and burning an ISO image. You can expand,create and resize partitions easily.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 15:48 20 Sep 08

As Gandalf
even if you partition, if the drive fails you lose everything.

Back up anything you cannot afford to lose to external media (pen drive CD dvd or external drive) and check contents are accessable on a regular basis

  johnanthony 15:51 20 Sep 08

Thanks guys, that all sounds like good advice which I will take. It means I am still in the mode of "if it ain't broke don't fix it". Cheers

  David4637 16:12 20 Sep 08

I use a partition drive, C: for OS, and D: for data. My OS is XP (5GB) and I use Acronis to backup to the D:(takes 10 mins and is about 3.5GB compressed), and then burn to a DVD. I can restore the OS in 10 mins - its the best arrangement that I found. Its been tested for some 5 years. I have needed to restore about 3 times during this period. Its a very cheap option with Acronis at the heart of it, so don't be put off by the above posts. David

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