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new portable harddrive has 3 partitions - I want only one

EasyAim
EasyAim asked
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
SHORT VERSION:
   * In detail, how do I convert my new external hard drive from three partitions into one big partition?

LONG VERSION:
  I bought a new IOGEAR portable hard drive (80G).  Apparently, trying to be helpful, they had it come in three partitions.   I transfer large files and I need only one partition.
   I opened up  "My Computer" > "Manage" > "Compute Manager" > "Disk Manager"

   I thought if I deleted one of the partitions it's volumn would magically jump into the remaining partition - but it did not.  I'm in a mild panic thinking that perhaps I may have destroyed a third of my new hard drive.
   I then re-formatted the first partition thinking it would ask me if: (1) do you want to keep the same partitions or (2) do you want to use the partition that you just deleted.
  Neither question popped up and now I'm waiting around as Windows unnecessarily re-formats one partition of my my new hard drive.

   QUESTION: In detailed baby-steps, who do I need to do to convert this device from three partitions into one partition?
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If you don't have data(or a small easily movable amount) on the new drive delete all 3 partitions a then create 1 large partition. If you have data back it up move it to 1 partition, delete the other 2 partitions and use diskpart to to expand the partition to the now unallocated space.
Info on disk part
http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/diskpart.mspx?mfr=true
_

Commented:
Look through these and see which one best fits your needs:

Not free

PartitionMagic
http://www.powerquest.com/partitionmagic/

Partition Manager
http://www.partition-manager.com/n_pm_main.htm

BootIT Next Generation
http://www.bootitng.com/bootitng.html

Acronis PartitionExpert
http://www.acronis.com/products/partitionexpert/

Freeware:

Ranish Partition Manager
http://www.ranish.com/part/

Partition Resizer (I have used this one before. I don't remember if it does NTFS)
http://www.zeleps.com/
rid

Commented:
In general, when you delete one partition, you just remove that one, and it leaves empty space behind. This empty space needs to merged into an existing partition (resizing a partition) or used for a new partition (not what you want) to be useful. The advice above in this thread is what you need!
/RID
As jamientor mentioned it depeds.
anyway, if u  want to merge partition without losing data u should be looking for some disk manager utility then.
I use Disk Director, unlike other utilities includes recovery feature and i find it very reliable.
http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/diskdirector



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Commented:
i suggest using bootit-ng for this task.
you can increase partitions by using a simple slider, delete or create other ones.
when you boot from the floppy or cd, don't let it install on the disk, use ESC. then select partiton work.

Author

Commented:
CLARIFICATIONS:
  * I am using Windows XP Professional
  * There is no data on this new harddrive.  I don't care if the whole thing is reformatted.
  * I don't care if it uses NTFS or FAT32 but per the above comments it sounds like NTFS is the only possible system if I want 80G space to be one partition.
  * I'm not interested in purchasing any software to do this one-time process if Windows XP has the capability to do so.

  = = = = = = =
The following worked:
 * select the 'Start' button
 * select 'Run'
 * type 'diskpart'  - this opens up a dos shell window with the DISKPART prompt
 * enter 'list volume' - note the volume number of your device of interest
 * enter 'select volumn N'  - where 'N' is the volume number
 * enter 'extend'

This automatically converted the harddrive from FAT32 to NTFS and it scarfed up all the partitions into one partition.

Everyone, thanks for your help pointing the way....


Thanks
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Commented:
>>  it sounds like NTFS is the only possible system if I want 80G   <<  you can format FAT32 up to 128 Gb

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