Many partitions put squeeze on disk space

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 May, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 May, 2006, 12:00am

My computer runs Windows XP Professional on an Intel Celeron microprocessor. The disk drive is divided into five parts: PART01(C:), PART02(E:), PART03(F:), PART04(G:) and PART05(H:).


Original capacity 4.18GB (4,490,407,936bytes)

Used space 4GB

Free space 176MB (184,823,808bytes)

File system FAT32

For some reason, every day my E drive automatically clogs up, saying there is only between 18MB and 50MB of space left, although this is not really true. In it I store all my system software (program files), Windows components and cookies. After I run Disk Cleanup (accessories) and delete some unnecessary files, I get one of two messages saying that I have more space left on the disk than I originally had, or that I have even less disk space than I originally had.

I have another disk drive: DISK1PART01(C:). Normally a Windows machine puts the System files, accessories and additional windows software bundled with the OS. This drive always has enough space so it does not cause any problems. But disk drives F, G, and H have about 10GB of space each. Is there software that can equally share this space so that I do not get serious problems when downloading or installing programs?

Sajid Sarker

Hong Kong

You are running a very odd set-up indeed. Perhaps you would like to explain why you have divided your hard disk into so many partitions. It seems an odd thing to do.

Also, it is quite unusual to put the system on any drive other than C. It seems to me you may want to think seriously about rearranging everything.

In general, it is a good idea with Microsoft products to put the OS and all system files on C. You may want to put some applications on that drive as well.

Most important, however, is for you to put all your data on a different drive. I would strongly advise you to back up the data drive automatically at regular intervals on another external drive. All of your applications can, if necessary, be reinstalled from the original disks.

Log files have become a big problem over the past few years with the growth of the internet.

These files can get out of hand. They can grow to considerable size if you are not careful. Software such as Adobe's Photoshop needs a 'scratch disk', or a place to put large amounts of data if you are working on an image. If you have not changed it, the default will be the disk on which the application is running. You may want to look at that in the preferences of the application.

For security reasons, you want what it takes to run the computer to be as minimal as possible, and it must also be backed up. Your data will be the same as described above. You may want a third disk for applications.

The most important aspect of your system is that it can be recovered quickly if it fails and that all your personal files and data are safe. To do this on your existing system, you may have to back everything up, reformat and repartition all the disks and start from scratch.

That may sound as if Sunday afternoon is gone, and you would be right. If you are hesitant to do this, ask a friend. If you get it wrong, a lot of damage could be done.


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