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Hard-Disk Partitioning

Posted on 2007-04-09
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I have windows 2003 x64bit with exchange 2007 on it, I have one primary partition of 100 GB and an extended partition is 200GB, now on primary partition 70 GB has been used up, so i was thinking is there any way to extend the primay partition; means i can take up the space from other drive which is 200 GB, because theres nothing on it, or i was thinking that i will format the second drive and only make one drive, but not sure how to do this.
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Question by:usmansultan
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Lee W, MVP earned 250 total points
ID: 18879537
Why is the C: drive so big?  100 GB?  Don't you have the Information Store on the other drive?
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by:PUNKY
ID: 18879538
If you have Partition Magic, you can merge these 2 partitions into one.
If you use Vista, the merge partition / or resize is built-in Vista.
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by:Nick Denny
Nick Denny earned 250 total points
ID: 18879746
There are a few different ways you can achieve what you want.
However, leew's question is relevant - why so large a C drive?

To answer your questions:
"extend the primary partition" - you can easily achieve this using a few free softwares,
bootit NG (http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/utilities.html) being one of them.
Reduce the size of the 200GB partition, "slide" it to the end of the drive, then increase the size of the primary partition.
"only make one drive" - using bootit, delete 200GB partition, increase size of primary to maximum.
If you require more details on using bootit, please post back.
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by:usmansultan
ID: 18879747
The C: is 100 GB because exchange 2007 is on that drive, and the reason why i am resizing is because of the mailboxes that staff members are using up, its quite huge and it will continue to grow, right now its around 60 GB and i have couple of more staff to transfer to exchange and can i use partition magic on windows 2003 x64 bit, if yes from where i can download it.
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by:Nick Denny
ID: 18879752
WARNING:
Word of caution, whenever you change paritions, ALWAYS ensure you have backed up adequately in case of data loss.
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by:usmansultan
ID: 18879765
I have posted why i am using C: so big, now is it wise to have just one partition or it should be two.
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by:Nick Denny
ID: 18879806
Was there a reason for the 200GB partition?
If it is "spare", you can either merge it with the primary as above or as leew suggests, use it for the Exchange Information Store.
I have no experience with Exchange2007 so am not best placed to advise which is better for you.
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by:usmansultan
ID: 18879866
200Gb was to store software, i am not sure if i can use it for exchange information store, and secondly can i increase the partition size of C: to around 250GB, i am not sure if i can do it in the freeware version of bootit,  and is it going to work on windows 2003 64bit version.
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by:Nick Denny
ID: 18879911
from http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/bootitng.html
# Compatible with all Windows versions (9x/ME/NT/2K/XP/2003/Vista).
# Compatible with x64 (AMD64/EM64T) and Windows 64bit OS (non-GPT).

The free version will resize, slide etc.
When you boot into it - you do not install it, but cancel, then move on to "partition work".

There are some tutorials here
http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/examples.html
(the bottom video is about resizing partitions)
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 18879931
usmansultan,

It is NEVER (well, almost) a good idea to put the information store - or any user accessible data on the C: drive.  Move the information store onto the other partition.  That would make the most sense.  Otherwise, you run the risk of corrupting Windows and the Information Store if for some reason the C: drive fills up.  A properly managed server (and I'm sure you want that) should have nothing but the OS on C: and the core program files for applications.  Data should be stored on other partitions.  If you resize your disk - which may work - you run the risk of corrupting your drives and losing everything short of a backup.  This, in my opinion, is foolish.  Just move the store.

Moving the store should be easy - though I have not worked on Exchange 2007 yet, I can point you to this and would generally believe the process should be pretty similar.
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by:usmansultan
ID: 18880060
Ok..Thanks for the info.Now when i am going to shift the information store to the other drive which is 200GB and i think it should be enough for that;  am i going to lose anything, because drive maps would be changed,before it used to store/access/retrieve everything on C: now it would be D:, and are the users who normally access emails from the server are going to get affected.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 18880097
Users should have ZERO knowledge of where the information store is - Exchange is the only thing that needs to know where it is and provided you move the store appropriate within the eXchange administration tools, there shouldn't be any problems or prolonged user issues at all.  (ALWAYS do a backup prior to any major system maintainance and if possible do this in a test network first so you can have some experience and better understanding as to exactly what will happen.  Microsoft has made Virtual PC and Virtual Server free downloads and VMWare has Virtual Server available for free as well.  Assuming you have a Technet Plus subscription (something I consider a must for any IT department, including a department of 1 - it only costs $350 and includes two tech support calls to Microsoft and TONS of software) you can create a test network on a single computer with sufficient RAM.

Note: do this off hours - the Exchange Information Store will be taken offline for the duration of the transfer and if this IS partitioned and NOT two separate physical disks, the move could take notably longer because instead of having one disk reading while another writes, your having one disk (or RAID set) both reading and writing which can dramatically slow the move process.  And of course, while the store is offline, users cannot receive new e-mail - and new mail from the internet should be queued on the sending servers until your server can accept the messages again so unless your system is off for 2+ DAYS, it's VERY unlikely any e-mail will be lost.
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by:usmansultan
ID: 18880485
Thanks, we have got technet plus subscription, i was just wondering where i would get the guide or steps to do it.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 18880688
I realize this may be dated - and I don't currently have a 64bit OS handy to test things - but this may help - again, do in a test environment first.
http://www.petri.co.il/move_exchange_stores_to_a_different_disk.htm
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by:usmansultan
ID: 18887263
I havent got a test environment, means we have got 4 servers here, all of them are live and on the main server i have installed windows 2003 64bit , now i dont have a spare server where i can test out, so i was just wondering what would be the best logical way of doing this.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 18888936
It's foolish to make major network changes without testing first and/or knowing exactly how things should affect your networking.  Get another machine and test it.  It doesn't have to be a full server class system - just something that is able to run a 64bit OS (someone in the office got a workstation you can swap the hard drive in and setup a test box temporarily?.  In addition, VMWare can host 64 bit guest operating systems on the right hardware. http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=1901.

As I said, I don't currently have a 64bit OS handy to test this, but the process should be easy enough though someone else will likely have to provide exact details on how to move it.
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