Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Divide and Conquer Your System

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Divide and Conquer Your System

Article excerpt

Dear Dr. Bombay: I recently discovered my hard drive is partitioned into C:, D: and E: drives. In Explorer, I thought the D: and E: icons were for future hard-drive installations. My C: drive is approximately 70 percent full, and D: and E: are virtually empty. Having the computer literacy of Larry, Moe and Curly combined, should I dump all my miscellaneous files and software over to D: and E: and limit C: drive to basic operating system files?

-- PC Stooge

Dear Stooge: Maybe the thing you should dump is your current operating system. In ancient times, DOS and early versions of Windows 95 couldn't deal with a hard drive bigger than about 2 gigs. The brainiacs at Microsoft weren't keeping up with the hardware, but I guess nobody could have expected big hard drives to get so cheap so soon.

Anyway, to compensate for deficiencies in the operating system, PC makers started carving hard drives into 2-gig partitions. To you, they look like additional drives.

Setup programs generally want to install software on the C: drive, but you can almost always override the default without any problems. If most of your stuff is already installed on C:, try storing documents and data on D: or E: instead.

But, you know, it's just plain easier if you only have one partition to worry about. First, upgrade to Win98 so your PC can handle big partitions. Then take 70 spare bucks and get Partition Magic (www.powerquest.com), which should be able to redo your drive without any data loss. Or, you can take the scorched-earth approach, which consists of using the DOS utility Fdisk (on the Win98 setup floppy) to remove all your partitions, then creating a single partition, then reformatting the hard drive, then installing Win98, then reinstalling all your software. Please don't try any of this without geek supervision.

Dear Dr. Bombay: I loaded Kiplinger Tax Cut yesterday. …

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