Unless you've installed two hard disks in
your PC, there is NO good reason for NOT
partitioning your C: drive.
Even if you do have multiple hard disks, you
probably should still partition them. Why? Well,
in a Windows environment you can fit more stuff
onto smaller disks because of the way Windows
works with cluster sizes, but that's not the main
reason. The main reason is that it makes the
organisation of your backups so much simpler. I
suggest the following steps:
1. Partition the C: drive into C: and D:
drives, making D: much, much smaller than C:. On a
20 gigabyte drive, for instance, give 3 or 4 gigs
only to the D: drive.
2. Install all software programmes on C:
3. Save all user files (letters, spreadsheets,
pics, etc.) on D:
Now, when you come to your weekly backup (and
don't tell me you're not doing one!) all you have
to do is backup D:, rather than fishing your way
through the C: drive trying to work out where your
letters ended up.
Partitioning the disk makes finding your files
much easier all round really. It also slows disk
fragmentation, and has a mulitude of other
benefits. The only problem with disk partitioning
is that it's hard work if you're a novice, and
particularly hard if you're computer is already
set up with just the one C: drive.
If you are willing to start again from scratch,
backup all your user files and then give
PARTMAN.EXE or its Win XP equivalent a go (always
found on the installation CD). Beware though that
it will DESTROY EVERYTHING on your hard disk and
that it is irreversible.
If you're not willing to go back to scratch and
reload everything, get a commercial programme that
will do the whole job for you without destroying
any files. The commercial programme wil also
resize your partitions for you on the fly when you
need to alter them later.
PARTITION MAGIC is probably the most accessible
commercial programme on the market today, though I
use the shareware program 'Paragon Partition
There are some freeware partition programmes
around, but the ones I've seen are so tough to
operate that you probably wouldn't want to muck
around with them unless you were an expert, and if
you were an expert then you would have partitioned
your harddisk a long time ago.