Hard Drive Partitions in Pavilion a1350n

Discussion in 'HP' started by sdavies6, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. sdavies6

    sdavies6 Guest

    I got my new Pavilion a1350n, and was very surprised to see the way they've
    partitioned the drives. In the past, all of the computers I bought have had
    the drive partitioned into a small C drive for applications, operating
    system, etc., and a larger D drive for data files.

    This new one with a 250G harddrive is partitioned into a 240G C drive and a
    10G D drive. The D drive is almost filled with is 8.5 Gs of what is called
    a recovery drive. This is the system, out of the box, and must be copied
    onto disks to make recovery disks.

    I called HP customer service and was told that even after I make the
    recovery disks, the D drive may not be erased and the C drive may not be
    repartitioned. So, I'm stuck with a usless D drive and a large C drive
    which will not allow me to completely segregtae my data files from the
    operating software. I was always taught that one should separate data from
    the operating system for a smoother running machine and less need for
    defragging. In addition, it is so much easier to have a drive in which the
    only file structure is my own data file organizing; photos, docs, etc.

    Does this seem right, and did I get the proper information from HP?
     
    sdavies6, Mar 20, 2006
    #1
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  2. sdavies6

    Ben Myers Guest

    Yes, that is the typical out-of-the-box factory-delivered hard drive setup for
    most name brands today. You get one C: drive partition and nothing else.

    I would retain the recovery partition no matter what. 10GB out of 250GB is
    small potatoes, altho 10GB was large a few years ago. And it gives you the
    possibility of creating other recovery CDs should you need them. Figure that
    you'll need at least 5 blank write-once CDs, maybe more if the recovery has
    gotten more bloated since I used the recovery CDs which came with an HP P4
    computer.

    If you are absolutely certain that you have error-free recovery CDs, you can
    blow away the C: partition, and TRY to set up a C: partition the way you want
    it, but there is no guarantee that HPs canned recovery will work properly. If
    the recovery does succeed on a smaller C: partition, then set up your data
    partition on the remaining hard drive space.

    To give you a more definitive answer, someone would have to have done exactly
    what I am suggesting you try... Ben Myers
     
    Ben Myers, Mar 21, 2006
    #2
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  3. sdavies6

    sdavies6 Guest

    Thanks for your help. I don't think I'm gonna start to tinker with the
    partition. If HP had any class, and sense, they would have provided me with
    a set of recovery disks. In that case, they could have made a small C drive
    and a nice healthy sized D drive. In this case, partitioning the drive was
    almost worthless. I'll just go along with it and try to set up my files
    smartly.
     
    sdavies6, Mar 21, 2006
    #3
  4. sdavies6

    Ben Myers Guest

    Put HP in the same class with Dell and Lenovo and Gateway. At this time, I do
    not think any of the major name brands routinely ship recovery CDs in the box,
    certainly not with consumer-oriented systems. Some of them may do so with more
    expensive business-class systems. It's an unfortunate anti-consumer trend
    brought about by the perception that computer systems have to be ever lower and
    lower in sticker price. Putting less in the box helps to lower the price... Ben
     
    Ben Myers, Mar 21, 2006
    #4
  5. sdavies6

    sdavies6 Guest

    My last computer was a three year old SONY, and it had a full set of
    recovery disks as well as a logically partitioned drive. Of course, it was
    higher priced than the HP.
     
    sdavies6, Mar 21, 2006
    #5
  6. sdavies6

    Ben Myers Guest

    Yes, and the world of computers has changed significantly in the last three
    years. For the better? Maybe yes, maybe no... Ben Myers
     
    Ben Myers, Mar 21, 2006
    #6
  7. sdavies6

    Jim Guest

    Even if you have a good set of recovery disks and repartion the drive
    when you redo the system restore it will reset them back to factory.
    So, you have to buy retail copies of the Operating System and all of
    the software that you want to install and start from scratch. Which
    will probably end up costing more than the box. Otherwise you really
    have to get into the restore process and mess with it. The re-partition
    is one of the last steps. Of course messing with this will void the
    warranty.

    The bigger problem that I had with my a1250n was that from the factory
    it comes with a 32 bit OS. Since, so much of the software doesn't work
    in a 64 bit environment, most you could not even install, you really
    need to have a dual boot machine to gain the advantages of 64 bit
    processors. It can be done, but with get difficulty.
     
    Jim, Mar 22, 2006
    #7
  8. [Intentional top-post.]

    Not directly related, but you may want to think about "disaster
    recovery" type backup.

    In December I described the concept in this article:

    <
    [Should be available in Gougle Groups as:
    <http://groups.google.com/group/comp.sys.hp.hardware/msg/8e1eb2782d459eaa>]

    Note that in my case the needed software was a free/bundled version of
    Dantz Retrospect Express. I don't know what that software costs in its
    retail version, nor if there are any other comparable (and good)
    products.

    I hope this helps (you or/and others).
     
    Frank Slootweg, Mar 22, 2006
    #8
  9. sdavies6

    Mike Chamlee Guest

    I just bought an HP a1330n that is partitioned the same way. I would like
    to setup a separate partition for data.

    I booted the PC from the "Recovery Tools CD" and selected option to create a
    data partition. The I received message that there was not enough free space
    on the disk, even though it actually has 230 GB free!
    I cleaned the hard drive & defragged it, then I ran the Recovery CD again
    but I still get the message that there is not enough free space.

    I'm wondering if I should delete the recovery partition ( I have created the
    restore Cd & DVDs) and then try to setup a data partition.

    BTW - I tried calling HP support, but it was a total waste of time. Person
    on phone had a thick accent that forced me to ask him to repeat most of his
    questions, he didn't know the word partition, asking me to repeat twice and
    then spell it for him. Then he put me on hold. When he returned first asked
    me why I wanted to create a partition and then gave me a "lecture" saying I
    would have to pay $60 and hour to speak with someone who might know how to
    solve the problem.

    Overall I'm very disappointed with their help desk, the guy I spoke to could
    probably only be of help to someone who knew absolutely nothing about
    computers.

    I do like the hardware for the price, it would be a challenge to build a
    similarly equipped PC at this price and include Windows XP Media Center
    Edition.
     
    Mike Chamlee, Mar 22, 2006
    #9
  10. sdavies6

    sdavies6 Guest

    When I spoke to HP customer service, the guy also had an accent, but he was
    quite understandable, and vice versa. Obviously, I weas chatting to someone
    in India, confirmed when I asked him what time it was where he was, and it
    was 13 hours different than my time. He was fairly knowledgable, and he
    stated quite simply that I could not change the way the drive was set up,
    erase the recovery drive or anything along those lines. I've since come to
    believe that he was telling me the truth, and if I was to figure out a way
    to do it, it would not be worth the effort.

    I believe the old sage wisdom of separating data and application stuff, is
    probably not as critical with drives as large as 250Gigs. I just made sure
    that all of my data is under one main folder, in much the same way as I
    would have set it up on a large D drive. Defragging every so often and
    keeping data where I want it, ought to do the trick.

    It was pretty nonsensical and cheap of HP to set up the computer as they
    did. If they were willing to spring for the recovery disks, or add 20 bucks
    to the price, they could have foregone the recovery drive and set up the
    drive in a more logical manner.
     
    sdavies6, Mar 22, 2006
    #10
  11. sdavies6

    craigm Guest

    While you may have 230GB free in the partition for the C: drive, all, or
    at least most of, the space on the drive is allocated to one or another
    partition. So, in terms of partitioning software there is no free space.

    Again, you haven't created any unallocated space which is what you are
    looking for.
    That would only give you 5-10 GB free space.

    Probably correct as there is nothing wrong with your system. It is
    meeting every specification HP calls out. Free warranty support is for
    fixing problems, not necessariuly helping people to reconfigure their
    systems. In my mind that should have a cost associated with it.
    If you want to have a data partition and corresponding logical drive,
    then you need to shrink the size of the C: drive and then its
    corresponding partition. Then a new partition can be created and a
    logical drive created within the partition.

    This is what Linux distributions do if you install them and set up the
    system to dual boot WIndows or Linux.

    You can also use google to find partitioning software. Do a search with
    these words

    partitioning software resize

    and you should find something useful.

    You can also find some information here.

    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winxppro/maintain/sct/scthch02.mspx#ETAAC




    For them, this would be unsupported and they can't suggest you do it.



    So, I'm stuck with a usless D drive and a large C drive
    See, my above comments.


    I was always taught that one should separate data
    I tend to agree that separating data and programs is a plus.

    However, many software packages spread themselves and their data all
    over the place. Some is under "Program Files" some under "Program
    Files\Common Applications" some in 'shared' folders, some under
    "C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data" in addition to where
    you put any data files you create. Also the registry can have entries
    all over the place. Keeping program and data files exactly where you
    want them may be a challenge.

    If you look at it from HP's viewpoint what was said by the support
    person keeps the configuration of the system matching what they will
    support. If you significanlty change things, the support people will be
    unfamiliar with your configuration and may not be able to provide useful
    help in the future.

    Also keep in mind that one of the most common suggestions for fixing
    software related issues is to do a restore from the recovery disks.
    While you have some control, a full restore will get you back to one big
    C: drive.

    The level of support you get is reflected in the price of the product.
    Consumers generally go for the lowest price, this tends to dictate the
    level of support that the manufacturer can provide.


    Hope this helps.

    craigm
     
    craigm, Mar 23, 2006
    #11
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