If there is one thing that I’ve tried to stay away from in my computer tweaking, it’s been repartitioning a hard drive. Over the years, I’ve formatted, re-formatted and installed many a operating system. But I’ve never re-partitioned a drive. I’ve always tried to stay away from it for fear I’d damage a drive so bad, I’d have to make a trip down to my local Comp-USA to replace a drive I just fried.
But the other day at work, I didn’t have a choice. I was given the task of running Microsoft Update on one of our Windows XP Pro systems. The problem was that the joker who had set the system up didn’t understand the concept of “future growth”. They had originally partitioned the 20GB drive to a primary partition of 4GB (for the OS and apps) and the other 16GB (which was actually around 15GB).
Lot’s of room to grow right?
I guess this guy thought Windows updates didn’t take up any space, or he was never intending to update it. It also sure didn’t leave a lot of room for apps either… idiot…
So, back to the story, So here I am faced with re-partitioning a production drive. I was in luck on one account. The user primarily stored her files on the server (don’t ask….) so backing up the important data was a breeze.
A couple of days before, in my random surfing, I stumbled upon a program called GParted. Well, I figured I might need something like this one day, so I downloaded and burned the image to disc.
Sure enough, a couple of days later, I needed the app. So I popped the disc in the drive, rebooted (already had the BIOS set to boot from CD-ROM drive first then the HDD) and watched as the program started up.
The program loaded quickly (especially on an old Dell 4500s) and was easy to use. At first, I was a little confused on how to move the free space from the second partition back to the primary small partition. But after a quick read through the GParted documentation section, it became very clear what to do. (The exact documentation is here)
The repartitioning itself also went fairly quickly. All in all I found it to be an easy-to use, strong and very useful program. So my thanks to the GParted dev team!