How can I gain the free space from FAT32 drive (E:)?

By safesonic ·
I have inherited a desktop pc running Windows XP Home Edition with the following setup:

Disk 0(C:)6.13GB NTFS -system [4.86GB Free]
Disk 0(E:)22.50 GB FAT32 [20.22GB Free]
Disk 1(D:)6.01 GB NTFS - Boot [30MB Free]

Both are Basic drives. There is data on each drive.Windows is continually warning of low disk space, what is the best method to allocate the space from E without losing any data?

Any ideas would be appreciated.

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Easy answer is you can not

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to How can I gain the free s ...

But you can move data off the C Partition to the little used partitions to free up space on the C Partition.

Things like the Page File and the My Documents Folder come to mind as the first things to move.


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Booting off of ?

by TheChas In reply to How can I gain the free s ...

If I read this right, your system is booting off of the drive.

If so, there is absolutely no way to allocate space from the E drive to the D drive as they are physically different drives. (Well, you could do a RAID configuration. But you would have to back up and restore all of your files.)

As your D drive shows only 30 MB of free space, that is the source of your low disk space warnings.

The simple solution is to buy a larger drive to replace the D drive and use the drive manufactures tools to clone your existing D drive onto the new D drive.

As Col stated, you can get some relief by moving the page file (Virtual Memory) to a different drive. Along with your My Documents and email folders. To move these, you need to change system settings, not just drag and drop the folders

Moving software that you can easily uninstall and reinstall will also help. Just select custom installation and select an alternate drive for the destination.

You can also gain some free space on the D drive by deleting old update recovery folders in the /Windows folder. You are usually safe in removing the $NtUninstall folders that are more than 6 months old.


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by PC-guru In reply to Booting off of D: ?

D is his factory partition which will always be like that because the manufactur makes it that way. i dont think he actually boots from it. but he has 20/22 gb of free space on E so he really cant free much space even if he did delete such files. your computer is fine the way it is buy and external if you want more space.

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Look Closer at The Drive Details

by TheChas In reply to D

Look closer at the drive information that was posted.

Disk 0(C:)6.13GB NTFS -system [4.86GB Free]
Disk 0(E:)22.50 GB FAT32 [20.22GB Free]
Disk 1(D:)6.01 GB NTFS - Boot [30MB Free]

Drives C and E are on one physical drive. Drive D is on a different physical drive!

I suspect that whoever set up this system started out with what is now the D drive as a single drive on a cable select system with the drive connected as the slave drive. When they added the second drive, Windows renumbered the original C drive as D and has been booting off of D ever since.

Further, in no way should Windows be flagging low disk space if the Windows drive has over 50% free space as the C drive has. True, Windows should flag the D drive as having low disk space. But, this would not be critical if D is not the boot / system drive.

I do agree that a fresh install on a larger drive is the way to go. But, as this is a used system, we do not know if the user even has the Windows CD to perform an install from.

Any way you look at this, the user has to create more free space on the D drive in order to stop the low disk space warning.


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It's best to just bite the bullet...

by tonedoggydogg In reply to How can I gain the free s ...

You can sit there and try to reconfigure Windows to move you My Documents folder, recycle bin, swap file, or whatever else to the larger drive, but the time it'll take to learn how to do that, and the risk involved, along with the risk of possible configuration issues when installing things in the future make it all worthless. Whenever Windows must access another drive for memory or to open a program, it slows down. Trust me, I know from personal experience.

I would quickly install Windows on the E: drive and force your BIOS to boot from E:. If you have problems, just change your BIOS back to booting on C:, since you will not have "uninstalled" your present Windows installation.

The downside will be that you will need to reinstall all of your programs. The good news outweighs the bad: you will not lose any documents, since you're not writing over anything, your Windows will be a fresh install and may run faster, you will be able to utilize all that space without any strange configurations, and this process will probably take 2 hours tops.

A side note: I would just buy an inexpensive drive that's much larger because with software nowadays, anything under 80GB may not be spacious enough. Spending $60 at tigerdirect.com or microcenter may save you a lot of trouble in the future when you're out of disk space again. :)

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convert the FAT32 partition to NTFS if a W2K and above system

by CG IT In reply to How can I gain the free s ...

then you go buy something like EASEUS partition master which will allow you to resize partitions. $59.00 USD.

you can take some free space off of E partition and allocate it to D partition.

But like another mentions, if you have the restore disks, might be best to reinstall to reclaim all space and create partitions that don't leave you without any free space for the system drive.

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Look Again

by TheChas In reply to convert the FAT32 partiti ...

Look again.

Unless the data was typed in wrong D and E are on 2 different physical drives. Aside from setting up a spanned RAID configuration, there is no way to allocate any of the E drive space to the D drive.

That, and all partition management software does state that there is a risk of losing your files and data when you resize a partition.


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Ah! my mistake.

by CG IT In reply to Look Again
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Not so hard...

by trevwb In reply to How can I gain the free s ...

Had the exact same problem on my sister?s XP laptop..C Drive running out of space and fixed it fine.
Download ?Partition Wizard? (free)
http://www.partitionwizard.com/ and install. Shrink drive/partition E at the front/beginning by whatever you like (EG Shrink it by 10GB so it ends up 12GB). The data at front of Partition E will be moved along automatically to adjust.
The free unallocated space (10GB) is also now at the end of partition C. Add this TO partion C, also turning it into NTFS.
A reboot will be required during the process.
Risk of losing data..very low it?s like getting your tonsils out, they have to warn you of the risks but they are minimal/rare.
Always back everything up first...which you do already of course:).
I always do a Scandisk error check and Defragmentation first.
Now her computer works perfectly.

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Only problem with that is

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Not so hard...

That the C and E Partitions are on different physical HDD's so it's not possible.


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