Holy Deja Vu! I just got done dealing with this exact situation a couple of weeks ago - the difference being the hard drive was only a 20 GB drive partitioned into 9.5 GB and 10.3 GB respectively.
The answer to this question is a resounding MAYBE. It all depends on what, if anything Sony did to the hard drive that MIGHT block anyone from combining the partitions into one big happy drive. The laptop in question originally came with Windows ME and was upgraded to Windows XP.
First of all, let's tackle the why of the situation. According to Sony, they set up their drives into two partitions so you have drive C: as your main drive for Windows and other software and drive D: as the home for your work files. Of course, this is silly as they leave the default My Documents folder (found under c:\Documents and Settings\etc... since Windows 2000) on the C: drive and NOT on the other partition. Most users have no clue as to how to reassign it so the one folder where MOST Windows apps want to put their work files is on the other drive partition. DOH! Makes NO sense...
The good news is that repartitioning a drive CAN be done using the right software. There are a few programs on the market that will allow you to repartition your drive(s) and not have to go through the pain of backing everything up. Paragon Partition Manager and Norton Ghost are two programs that will work.
The bad news is that these programs cost money. Paragon Partition Manager will set your wallet back about $49.95 (direct from Paragon's web site http://www.partition-manager.com ) though you should be able to find a copy for less elsewhere. They have a demo copy that will give you a "tease" to give you an idea how the program will look and function but won't do the actual job of repartitioning your drive.
Ghost, many moons ago, before Symantec bought them out was a great program. Since then, however, the application has suffered at their hands and has become bloated beyond reason. I tend to avoid Symantec products whenever possible.
DISCLAIMER: Be aware that Sony is quite rigid in their policy regarding their computers. Rigid to the point of where you wonder if you actually bought the laptop from them or they are merely being generous and are loaning it to you. If your laptop is still under factory warranty, modifying the partitions MAY void the warranty. You may not be able to get any support. Also, note that should you EVER have to send the laptop in for service, be sure to have your files backed up. Any laptop you would get back will have the hard drive restored to its original factory partitions. Data files will be purged off the drive. In fact, if you've added any extra memory to the laptop, you will probably want to remove the extra stick before sending it in. It should also be noted that should your laptop be Vista compatible, Sony will STRONGLY suggest you leave the version of Windows that came with the laptop. You can use the laptop all you want, you just shouldn't ever upgrade it - at least according to Sony.
Now then, with that disclaimer in place, we can begin. The first step - regardless of if you're using Paragon's product, Norton Ghost or are simply going to install a copy of Windows on a clean partition - is the same. Back up your data files! If you've got a CDRW or DVD RW drive in your laptop, you can burn the files to disc and stick it in a safe place.
Next, you will want to visit the VAIO's home page and download the latest set of drivers for the laptop. Windows MAY have all the drivers you need for the laptop, but it never hurts to have the latest version handy should you need to go the route of reinstalling Windows. You'll want to burn them onto another CD and stick them in a safe place with other software you will be wanting to reinstall later on.
Paragon Partition Manager/Norton Ghost:
Install the software from the CD. Once you've got it rebooted, launch the program. The programs have a merge partitions wizard. Run through the wizard and apply the changes. Once it's done, it will want another reboot and you should have one big 60 GB (or thereabouts) partition.
Now then, when I did my repartitioning, I ran into an unknown error. What the exact error is/was, I'm not quite sure. The program merely stated that it ran into an unknown folder error and the only way to fix it was to run Chkdsk - which I did and it came up without errors. Should you run into this problem, the only way to combine the partitions would be to wipe the drive partitions off the disk and start over.
Keep in mind that if you do this, you will need an actual bootable installation copy of the version of Windows on your laptop. A "system restore" disk will not do any good as it will put you back at square one - two partitions. On the bright side, you can get a copy of most versions and flavors of Windows CDs fairly cheap. Keep in mind, you will still need the CD KEY (usually found on the sticker on the laptop) for your version of Windows. You MAY be able to get a replacement disc from Microsoft. Or, if you know someone with the same version of Windows, you should be able to borrow their disc - provided you use YOUR CD Key. If all else fails, you may have to get an upgrade copy of the OS.
Insert the disc into your laptop's cd rom drive. Boot the machine and when the machine comes up to the prompt to Boot from CD... press any key - that should force the laptop to boot from the disc.
If you're using an upgrade disc, the setup program will detect that you've already got a copy of Windows on the hard drive and move on with the installation.
When you get to the part where Windows setup asks you if you want to repair or install, choose the fresh install option. Next, setup will ask you where you want to install it. At this point, you will want to delete ALL of the existing partitions and create a brand new one - and you're going to want to make it as big as setup will allow it. Select the new unified partition and continue. Setup will then format the partition and install the basic files onto the hard drive.
It will then reboot itself and load the graphical portion of the installation program. Continue through the setup procedure and finish installing Windows.
After the last reboot, Windows will want to activate. Go ahead and re-activate Windows.
After that's completed, check the Device Manager (found in the Computer Management Console) found in Control Panel\Administrative Tools to see if there are any devices flagged with a yellow icon. These usually require drivers that Windows did not come with. Insert the CD with the drivers and install any/all of the ones missing.
Once you're done with the devices, you're in the home stretch - install any other programs such as Office, and anything else you use regularly and copy the data files back from the data cd to the appropriate location on the hard drive.
At this point, you should have a hard drive with one partition and everything should be up and running.
Submitted by: Pete Z.
Partitions are a good thing! I have my 120 gig HDD partitioned three ways (C:,D:,& E: ). If you use the partitions to your advantage, they can protect your information from being corrupted by worms, viruses, malware, etc.
First, you need to know why the partition was put there in the first place. Many times partitions are created to install the most critical information on a secondary "drive" which will protect the operating system as well as some key folders and files from virus attacks. A partition on a single harddrive fools the computer into thinking that there are two physical harddrives installed instead of just the one harddrive.
Most viruses are written to attack the root directory which involves the operating system. Viruses are generally written for the Main or "C:" drive or to look for particular folders or programs in the root directory, which is on the Main or "C:" drive. Generally speaking, viruses won't "jump" a partition. Having a partition will allow you to hide whatever critical information you have onto the second drive thus preventing the need for reinstalling the operating system. If the need to reinstall the operating system does come about then you will only need to reinstall the operating system and your programs. You won't lose any stored info as you will only reinstall to the Main or "C:" drive.
Data corruption due to frequently accessing a particular folder on a particular drive; or, accidental deletions will cause a great deal of heartache. You need to get into the mindset of using your second drive as a storage or backup drive. When you create something in "Word" and want to save it, then save it to the "Word" folder that you created on your storage drive. This process will keep you out of the C: drive when you decide to clean out and delete old information. You will be deleting from the storage drive and not the actual program itself which is situated on the Main or C: drive. (I am going to assume that the Main or C: drive has the lesser amount of space.)
Don't delete your partition. Look at the 10% that is used on your D: drive. See if there is anything that is worth saving. If so, then back it up to a CD or floppy. If not, then the next step is to reformat the partition. Right click on My Computer, select "manage" from the menu. This will bring you to the Computer Management window. Select "Disk Management" which will display all of the non-removable drives (the two drives of your harddrive). Right click on the D: drive and select "Format." This will completely clean out the D: drive. When the formatting is finished, close everything. Now you can create new folders in the D: drive and move any information you want to save to that new folder from the C: drive thus insuring its safety. You can also use the "send to" feature when you right click onto a particular folder. It will take some time and probably seem quite tedious. It will require you to inspect every program on the Main or C: drive, checking all the information you have saved to that program. Re-organization is never pleasant, but worth it in the end. From now on, always save everything to the Storage D: drive.
I would not suggest resizing the partitions as the Storage D: drive will be holding music and movies which take up quite a bit of space as well as all the information you will be adding initially from the C: drive. You will be surprised at how much space you will get back in your C: drive after you go through and clear out and move all the saved items to the D: drive.
If you are sure you want to delete the partition and go back to just one drive, you are looking at starting from scratch. This will mean deleting the partition, reformatting the harddrive, and reinstalling the operating system and all the programs that you normally use. If you just delete the partition, you run the risk of corrupting any information that is on the C: drive.
1) Back up any information that you want saved to a CD or floppy disk. Be diligent to label everything correctly for later purposes. Write down in order of importance all of the programs you use and find those disks. This is very important for later purposes. Reformatting will cause you to lose everything on your harddrive.
2) Insert the operating system disk that came with your laptop. Reboot to this disk. Follow all the instructions, including the part about deleting any partitions. Allow the system disk to be reinstalled onto your harddrive. This will take some time (about an hour or so). You will need to be present when this happens as there will be some questions to answer as well as entering your "Key Code" for Windows.
3) Reinstall all of the programs that were lost at the time of the reformat/reinstall. This will be a tedious chore.
4) Create new folders that will be used as "save to" folders. This will allow you to have all of your saved information separate from your actual programs (which will cut down on frequent accessing and data corruption) as well as being better organized.
5) Fix in your mind how your harddrive is set up and remember to save all your info to the appropriate folder. This will eliminate most of the confusion and keep your harddrive in some type of order.
I know this is a lot of information. It would be best to print it out before doing anything to your laptop. I hope it helps and good luck.
Submitted by: Mike A.
My first suggestion would be to use Symantec/Norton's Partition Magic (originally made by PowerQuest). It is very easy to use. If you do not have room to install it, it can even be used if you are able to boot from the CD, although not as easy. It has an easy to use visual interface with various ways to see what you are doing, and an undo. In Windows, all the changes you make require a reboot, and all the work is done in DOS.
You didn't say which Windows operating system you have, but this will work with them all. If you can boot from the CD, you can even setup everything for a fresh or new install of Windows.
I have rearranged partition sizes, combined partitions, and created new partitions many times in the past few years, and on about a dozen different computers, including those with XP. I've rarely had the resources to do the suggested back ups, although I have made the rescue disks. I've moved well over a terabyte of data in the various changes and never had a problem.
If you want to keep 2 drive partitions, the program will allow you to resize the C: partition to use any portion of the unused storage space on the drive (including all partitions). You can split up the amount of unused drive space any way you see fit. You can do this as many times as you wish. You can split your drive(s) into as many partitions as you have drive letters available, C:-Z:
If you want to combine the 2 partitions into 1, Drive Mapper is included with Partition Magic. In computers using Win95, 98, & Window ME that are using FAT or FAT32, this wizard makes the various changes to driver letter information so that the programs still run. Basically lets the computer know the stuff on D: has been moved to C:. If there are references to a single CD or DVD drive, it will also update these changes in drive letters.
Partition Magic works with FAT, FAT32 and/or NTFS partitions. You change them from one format to another if you wish or need. You will be warned about making any changes your operating system does not support.
I like having a partition for storing just the data: document, photos, and anything else that you create or is unique. This makes it much easier to backup the really important stuff. The programs can always be reinstalled. Your pictures, documents, databases, tax info, etc.,
can't, unless they are backed up. It also has a backup program called DataKeeper.
If you are using the FAT or FAT32 system, you can also use this to change cluster size to reduce wasted space. It has a bar like chart showing you how much space is currently being wasted and can be saved by changing cluster size.
Once you have done the changes, you can uninstall Partition Magic and your changes are not affected. It doesn't have any special programs that make you keep Partition Magic so you computer will continue to run or continue to recognize the changes.
Submitted by: David H.
There is no "easy way" of repartitioning your hard drive. Moreover, if it took you a couple of months to realize that your hard disk is partitioned. Nevertheless, partitions are not bad by their own. Sure, you own a wardrobe and you realize it has some internal divisions or partitions. It is your duty to fill it up in a wise-way to later easily find what you need fast. Moreover, when you have to organize your stuff, it is best to clean up one partition (or should I say division), at a time. Believe me: your computer runs faster and smoother with a partitioned Hdd. 10 Gb is not a wrong size for a primary partition.
At this point I wonder what clogs your primary partition, because my work-horse machine has a 15 Gb partition for OS and programs but still it is 50% empty after 4 years of more or less intense web design (Dreamweaver + Photoshop + Ms SQL + MySQL + Ms Visual Studio .Net + virtual memory + Ms Office XP + etc., etc. to add up to a total of more than 60+ installed and running programs).
Big hard disk space hogs are music and movies and if you store them in the default My Documents folder, for sure your primary partition will be full in days if not sooner. Assuming you use Ms Windows, it is thousands times easier to move My Documents to secondary (or "D") partition than repartition you hard drive. Just right click on My Documents, select Properties, and then Move to move it to an appropriate folder on D drive. Maybe you have to create a new folder in advance. Repeat the procedure for every user you have on your machine, set owners and permissions as appropriate.
However, if you insist on resizing your hard drive you can use Power Quest's Partition Magic software. Then I recommend as Power Quest does, to make a full backup of your disks before any resizing. There are other resizing software, some of them GPL, some free but for sure those are not for the faint heart people.
I have successfully used versions of Partition Magic from 6 to 8 to accomplish the reverse, i.e. create partitions on a one full size partitioned hard disk to speed up a crawling computer or to install another OS. Many times, I have not made any backups at all and still I have had no issues yet (but I knock hard on wood!). Prior to resizing I always check disks for consistency (i.e. a full scandisk or chkdsk) and defrag it (I love Executive Software's Diskeeper).
Power Quest's Partition Magic GUI is as easy as it can be and very user friendly. Then it is hard to get lost or to make a mistake. Partition Magic double checks every step before making any change, but once you start and software scripts begins crunching FATs, MFTs and clusters you are in Computer Gods hands.
Submitted by: N. B. of Ontario, Canada
I have been there myself and it was a result of my own doing. I thought having a second partition would prove to be a big advantage for storing data files. The problem arose, just as it did in your situation, when the end user installed more "stuff". Most people accept the defaults for any new program installations, which is always somewhere on the "C"
drive. They do not realize that they actually have the option to install software anywhere they wish simply by modifying the installation path.
Why does that happen? I would guess that it would be in anticipation of needing a larger storage area for such files as music and pictures, or whatever. But most folks simply click through without doing a bit of analysis because they just want to be up and running. That's just human nature as it relates to computers, which are anything but human, of course.
Ok, no recriminations. What to do? As the above implies, saving the data from those program hogs, then uninstalling and reinstalling to the "D" drive following up with either a relocation of the data or simply pointing the program to the location of that data, is one option. Takes a bit of time, but patiently plodding through it will work.
Next option, buy some more software. I hereby disclaim any affiliation with Symantec, but I regard Partition Magic pretty highly. It will allow you to resize your partitions without having to do any of the first proposal. You can shift the balance as you wish, even create other partitions if you wish.
No doubt there are other ways to skin that cat, but the choice is yours. I took the second route on my brother-in-law's computer, which he uses to run his advertising business. Yes, that was a bit more mission critical than the typical home pc and that is why I have no hesitation in offering it as a very viable solution. It just worked, with a minimal of time outlay.
Hope this helps.
Submitted by: Mark S. of Clinton, SC
Your laptop has a C: drive at 10 GB, 7.5 GB used and a 50 GB D: drive, 5 GB used, right?
I guess whoever partitioned the machine intended to separate the system software from the data, a strategy that I use and recommend. The advantage is that, in most cases, the data changes faster than the system software and so you can run different backup cycles. A second advantage is that if your system gets (logically) damaged in some way and you have to re-install the system software, possibly wiping the C: disk, your data is safe. I made the assumption here that you are running Windows of some flavour but the same situation applies to Linux, Solaris, etc. So unless you really really want just the one hard disk, I'd recommend that you keep the two partitions for the reasons above.
What is clear, is that the 10/50 split is unrealistic. My laptop has an 80 GB drive and I have mine partitioned as 20 GB for C: running Windows XP Pro SP2 and the remainder as a logical data drive in an extended partition. In fact, my data drive is also split into two, one for my data and one for my clients (I'm an independent consultant).
So in your case, you could partition your drive as 20/40 and retain the data separation. Or you can revert to a single partition. Either way, you don't need to lose or reload any software or data, assuming the D: drive is all data! I use and recommend Powerquest Partition Magic for this purpose, though other dynamic disk partitioners are available. I've never lost data using PQmagic, so I stick with what I know, your mileage may vary. I have no connection with the company, by the way.
So, how does it work?
Step 1 - Back up all your software and data! It's a chore but better safe than sorry. Of course, you may not need to do this if you have a current backup!
Step 2 - Defragment both drives. It will make the next step quicker.
Step 3 - Reduce the size of the logical D: drive. If you have decided to keep the two partitions set up, reduce it to the new target size (40 GB in the example I used). If you are going to merge the disks into one, reduce it to release most of the free space (say reduce to 10 GB).
Step 4 - Reduce the size of the Extended partition to the size of the logical drive you created in Step 3.
Step 5 - Move the Extended partition to the end of the physical disk, so the unallocated space is adjacent to your C: drive.
Step 6 - Extend the C: drive to take up all the unallocated space.
If you chose to maintain the two partition set up, you are done. Make a new backup of both drives to restart your normal backup regime.
If you chose to merge the drives to a single volume, then there are a few more steps.
NOTE I have assumed that your current D: drive contains only data and doesn't have any software installed on it. If there is software installed there, I recommend you uninstall it from the D: drive and re-install it on the C: drive at this stage. That will keep your registry, etc., clean.
Step 7 - Copy the data from the logical D: drive to the C: drive (normal Windows copy or whatever utility you currently use). Change the settings in your programs to point at the C: drive, rather than the D: drive (Office documents, etc.).
Step 8 - Delete the Logical D: drive with Partition Magic..
Step 9 - Delete the Extended Partition.
Step 10 - Extend the C: drive to take up all the space you unallocated in Step 9.
You are done. Backup the C: drive to restart your normal backup regime.
Running Partition Magic.
ALWAYS make sure you have a valid backup of all the data on any drive you are meddling with before you start. I've never had to use any of these backups but there could always be a first time - probably if I didn't make the backup!
Partition Magic can be installed on your usual system drive (normally C: ). When you install it, it will offer to make you a bootable floppy disk recovery set. If you have a bootable floppy drive, I strongly recommend you make these disks. You can then run PQmagic from the hard drive, from the installation CD or from the recovery floppies.
Personally, I am happy to run it from the hard disk EXCEPT where I am changing the partition on which it is installed. So in my case, I run it from my C: drive to adjust the Logical drives in the Extended partition but I always run it from the installation CD if I am changing the C: drive (I don't have a floppy).
You can combine multiple steps in one run of Partition Magic, it stacks them in sequence until you click on "Apply". Perhaps I'm over cautious, I don't recommend this, especially when working with existing drives, I always run one step at a time. It takes a bit longer but if I were to encounter a problem, it's much easier to roll back one step than several. Note that PQmagic needs to switch into command prompt mode for some operations - it handles all this by itself, just be patient.
Hope this helps. Good luck.
Submitted by: Sav. M. of the United Kingdom
Rather like you, my laptop arrived with a 60Gb partition split in two, and a recovery partition (now deleted). I quickly set up 4 partitions - one for Windows, as far as possible, one for installed programs, and two for data.
It's a really good idea to have more than one partition, as I'll explain. Use what you've got wisely, rather than take a step backwards to one single partition. After reading this, you may want to create more partitions! If Windows 'dies' - or maybe when- you want your personal data as far away from the windows partition as possible.
- Keep your data safe: Keep your personal data separate from the partition containing the operating system as far as possible. If you need to completely reformat and reinstall Windows, your personal data will be completely untouched.
- Back up strategy: Smaller partitions make backing up easier to manage each takes less time and the backup file is smaller. It's helpful to be able to get backup image files - a compressed exact copy of a partition- to fit on one DVD, for example.
- If your partitions are smaller, that's much easier. You can then choose which to back up more frequently, reducing back up time.
If you're running XP, a 10Gb partition should be sufficient, provided most of your programs are installed in a separate partition. You mention you've some 'program hogs' - I'm going to assume you mean programs that take up a lot of disk space, rather than occupy lots of system memory and resources.
You also say some 10% of your 50Gb partition is used - I'll assume you want to keep this data.
So here's what I suggest:
- Uninstall your bulkiest programs and reinstall them using a base path of, say, D:\Programs.
- Progressively move all programs to D:\Programs
- Either relocate 'My Documents' (right click, set target) or simply use another folder for your personal data on a data partition. Many programs create odd folders in 'My Documents' so you may wish to keep your data separate from this anyway.
- If you use Outlook Express, say, you can relocate your message store to D: - Tools, Options, Message Store.
There are other areas of user data you can move too, often not obvious. You really don't want to lose your browser favourites, mail accounts, dial-up connections, or the folders a surprising number of programs create within C: by default. Fred Langa's site has clear write-ups on the advantages of such a strategy:
You can also consider moving your 'swap' file (pagefile.sys) to either a separate partition or a partition where data is relatively fixed and needs infrequent back up. That means your Windows partition back up is smaller.
has more detail. This can grow to up to 1Gb, depending on your RAM and usage, so you don't really want to back it up! It also may mean a marginal speed benefit in having your swap file less fragmented. (Control Panel | System | Advanced, click Settings in the "Performance" Section).
A more detailed review can be found here, for example:
and more on these issues at:
Note: Some programs insist on being located in C:. I've recently found one large program from a very well-known camera company (Canon) where the installation path could be specified, but which, as Canon eventually admitted, failed to install if this was changed.
Submitted by: David L. of Shaanxi Province, China
Before you do anything with the D: partition, you want to be sure that any stuff that is present there is copied off onto CDs or DVDs - make sure that you verify that the data is actually on the burned disks before deleting anything. Make several copies just in case. Often computers from the big brand names have recovery software on there (or in a hidden partition) that can cause much misery if lost. Once you have the stuff on D: safely stored away, you can continue exploring the choices below.
One way to rearrange things is to create "Program Files" and "My Data"
folders on the existing D: partition and start installing any new programs and saving your data files into them. You could even uninstall some programs currently residing in C:\Program Files\ or other folders on C: and reinstall them there to free up more space on C:.
Another way to rearrange your drive space is to take unused space from the D: partition and transfer it to the C: partition. Programs like Partition Magic (from Symantec, http://www.Symantec.com , now) and Partition Commander (from VCom, http://www.v-com.com ) make easy work of doing that with their built-in wizards. I use VCom's product here. I have found legit copies at great prices on eBay. OTOH, there are partition management programs that you can download for free (from Download.com or MajorGeeks.com) that you could use to accomplish the same thing, but perhaps not quite as easily.
A third option would be to delete the Extended partition in which the D: logical drive exists, and add the resulting free space to your C: partition using the software mentioned above. I like to have several partitions on large drives, so I don't really recommend this option. I almost always set up (on Windows computers) a minimum of two partitions: Primary (C: ) for the Operating System and critical utilities, and an Extended partition containing three logical drives on systems I build: D: for application programs, and E: for the data I create, and F: for aggregating files for burning CDs or DVDs and other scratch or temporary files.
I have drive letters from C: to O: across three hard drives here and it is not as confusing as it might seem. So yet another choice is to subdivide the Extended partition (in which the current logical drive, D:, resides) into separate drive letters (logical drives) for your programs and data as I do. You just reduce the size of logical drive D: and make the resulting free space within the Extended partition into new logical drive(s) E:, F: etc. The above referenced programs are handy for this as well.
I would change the drive letter(s) of your optical drive(s) down toward the end of the alphabet (I usually use O: and P: for my opticals, but I have too many logical drives for that now so mine are down at Y and Z, which can be problematic for some programs) prior to creating new logical drives by using the Storage Manager (under Admin Tools in Control Panel) tool of Windows 2k/XP. That way the drive letter(s) of your opticals won't change as logical hard drive letters are added.
I hope this provides adequate food for thought and didn't muddle things up too much.
Submitted by: Bill H. of Groton, NY
Barnabas, it looks like you better start looking for that windows boot CD and begin backing up your data. (At this point, I should tell you that you should back up the install files for your drivers. You would be amazed when you finish reformatting and then find out you have no sound, crappy video and etc. Backing up your drivers before going ahead is important.)
Probably the most serious blunder many people make when reformatting their hard drive (besides not backing up their drivers) is to:
1) Turn on the computer
2) Sign in
3) pop in the CD and then
4) start clicking a whole bunch of buttons
That will just create another partition and we don't want that. Instead, you want to erase all other partitions that you may have and start a brand new one.
1) To do that, first you have to make sure that you can boot off the CD. As your computer boots up, press a special key to bring up the setup utility. The key is different based on your computer but is usually delete, insert, or F8.
2) Go to the boot section and then boot priority. Make sure that your computer boots up from your CD drive before your Hard Drive. This is extremely important. After you're done doing that, escape and save the changes.
3) After doing that you can go ahead to pop in your windows CD and restart your computer. The computer will now boot up from the Windows install disk. When you reach the partitions, delete your 10 gig and 50 gig partitions and other stuff that may be eating away your space if there is others.
4) Create a new partition under empty partitions and make sure you set the new partition as 60 gigs. Usually, the maximum amount will already be there so you just have to press enter.
5) Finally format your drive using NTFS. NTFS is a more efficient file system that XP uses natively and it's a really good idea to do it this way over say, FAT.
Now all it is to just let your computer do its own thing. It will install itself and you'll get other stuff done like creating user accounts and password. After it's done, you should start up and see a window telling you that you have 30 or 60 days to register your copy of windows by calling a special hotline. You should do that right away and then you're done.
Install your drivers and then begin moving in your other files.
Submitted by: Joseph C.
This is a common problem, and its very easy to deal with, but it does require purchasing a commercial software product. Get a copy of Partition Magic, from Symantec (the company that puts out the Norton products; this product was previously published by PowerQuest, which was acquired by Symantec, and you may find some PowerQuest labeled copies still floating around). The current version is version 8, you might find an earlier version, but I would not go back too far because issues have arisen with newer drives and older versions of utility software not designed to accommodate todays newer, larger drives.
Partition Magic will allow you to repartition the drive without reformatting the drive or reinstalling the operating system(s). Basically you will make D: drive smaller (or perhaps eliminate it entirely), and then, using the space thus freed up, make the C: drive larger. You can do the entire reallocation in a single operation if you have no files on the D: drive, or if the C: drive has enough free space on it to allow copying the entire contents of the D: drive to C: before you start (which apparently isnt your situation). Otherwise, you may need to perform the operation in a couple of steps, first making D: smaller, then C: larger, then copying D:s contents to C:, then taking D: all the way down to its final size (or eliminating it).
At your option, you can either end up with two more appropriately sized partitions, or just a single partition [however, there are good arguments for keeping the OS in one partition and data in a separate partition]. Note that if an actual program has been installed on D:, you cannot simply move the program to C:. In that case, you would need to uninstall the program(s) from drive D: and reinstall it on C: after you have completed the repartitioning. But it still beats reinstalling Windows itself.
Partition Magic is generally reliable; however this is the kind of an operation that does involve some risk, so you always want to backup your important files and data before undertaking this type of operation. Personally Ive never lost a partition due to using Partition Magic, but other people have, occasionally.
You may find some other commercial products or even freeware that performs the same task, but the nature of doing this (repartitioning a hard drive without reinstalling the operating system(s)) is so critical that in this case I would recommend sticking with Partition Magic, which is a tried and true and proven product that does this and does it generally very well.
Submitted by: Barry W. of North Canton, Ohio
Sorry to hear about the issue with the partitions. Any manufacturer that does that to their hard drives with the operating systems we have to day are nuts. Sorry to inform you there is no easy way to remove the partition.
Windows will want you to setup another physical drive with the unpartitioned space. So the advice I would have to you is back up all of your information and get ready for a reinstall. With a Sony VAIO I believe you can do this online at their website. You will also get all the drivers needed from their website as well. Unless you were one of the fortunate soles to ask for hard copies.
You asked if there was an easy way to do this. Only suggestion I have is back up information only. Do not back up programs. Such as MS Office, just the documents you have created yourself. Also make a list of all of your favorites and put them on a cd, floppy disk or even a key fob. When doing the reinstall, if you have windows XP, XP professional you will need to get into your setup and select your cdrom drive as the first boot device. To get into setup you will have to press your (ESC) key when you see the message at the bottom of the screen. It should read something like this...(Press ESC to enter setup). You will then look for boot devices, when you find boot devices use your arrow keys to scroll down and highlight it. Then use your left or right arrow key to change it to cdrom. Then press F9 to exit and save setup. However before exiting setup make sure to put in your Windows disk in the cdrom drive and then save and exit setup. After exiting setup your system will reboot, it will then try to read from the cdrom drive. You will see something on your screen that says boot from hard disk or boot from cdrom, select cdrom.
Then after booting from cdrom you will then see setup is now inspecting your computer. This is where the reinstall starts. Just follow the on screen prompts and it will guide you through the rest of the setup. After it has installed the first portion of windows on your computer it will reboot. It will ask again to boot from hard disk or boot from cdrom just let the timer run out if there is one, you will see it at the bottom right corner just after the question. If it does not ask, select boot from hard disk and your computer will boot from hard disk and setup will continue. At some point it will ask you about your product key. Your computer manufacturer should have supplied you this at time of purchase. It will either be a piece of paper/certificate from Microsoft saying certificate of authenticity. Or you will have a Microsoft logo on your computer with the product key located on it. There should be five sets of 5 lets and or numbers. You need to enter this number in exactly as you see it. Then click continue or press enter. Setup will continue. At this point it should take about 39 minutes to complete. After completion it will ask you're for your name and time zone. After this is done your Operating system will be completed. You will then need to install your drivers and I hope you have a hard copy of these drivers. You will need to find your video driver install it, then your chip set driver, then your sound driver, modem driver, net work card driver if installed. Do not install any software on your computer before installing your drivers. This could cause a lot of issues. After all the driver are installed you then should start installing your software. You can start with any software that came with your computer. If you have any issues with software or driver install I would contact Sony support hotline.
I hope your reinstall goes well.
Submitted by: Leroy N.