How Do I View the Contents of My Hidden D: Drive?

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In the past I’ve had what was called a recovery drive on my system, D:. Now, with Windows 10, I no longer have D:, but the recovery partition is still there. How do I view what’s in it?

As we’ve discussed in other articles, machines with Windows 10 installed frequently have multiple partitions. One or more of those partitions is typically labelled as a “recovery partition”.

While in the past you may have seen such partitions assigned a drive letter like D:, there’s no requirement that it always be that letter. In fact, there’s no requirement that it be assigned a drive letter at all.

Recovery partitions not having a drive letter is actually a good thing.

Read moreHow Do I View the Contents of My Hidden D: Drive?

How do I transfer my system to a replacement drive?

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My hard drive states that failure is imminent and I should replace it immediately. My questions are as follows: When I replace my hard drive, will I need to install a new operating system? Is there a way to clone my current hard drive completely including my operating system? If I am able to clone my entire hard drive, will I need hardware or some device to set up between the old hard drive and the new while I do the transfer? What is the best way to save my existing files if I can’t salvage my entire hard drive? Are there software programs that can help me do this?

There are indeed programs that can help.

They’re called “backup programs”.

While there are many, many ways to do what you’re looking to do, I’m going to review what I think is the most appropriate way.

In fact, it’s the exact way that I frequently do exactly what you’re asking about.

Read moreHow do I transfer my system to a replacement drive?

Should I Partition My Hard Disk?

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What are the benefits of a partitioned hard drive, or some practical uses of a partition?

Disk partitioning is one of those things where you find many conflicting opinions. Some will swear that proper partitioning aids performance, makes backing up easier and is just generally “better”.

Others just opt to let Windows sort it all out, believing that improper partitioning might well prevent the file system – already optimized for both safety and performance – from operating in a maximally optimal way.

The truth is somewhere in between, I’m certain.

While I tend to fall into the latter camp, I’ll look at some of the pros and cons to partitioning your hard drive, and make a recommendation if after all is said and done you’re still not sure.

Read moreShould I Partition My Hard Disk?

What’s a dynamic disk?

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Leo, first, thanks for all I’ve learned from your newsletter and your books. A couple of weeks ago I bought Saved! Backing Up With Macrium Reflect and began learning how to use Macrium Reflect. I registered the book and downloaded the pdf version. A few days ago, I downloaded and installed on my Windows 7 laptop the trial version, version 5.2. Now that I’ve succeeded in creating the rescue CD and booting from it and creating several daily scheduled full backups on a 1 TB external drive, I decided to purchase it.

But when I went to the website to buy a personal version for home use, I found that there are two options. A standard version 5 or a professional version 5. The web page explains that the professional license offers the features of the standard license plus “Dynamic disk support” and “Restore images to new hardware using Macrium ReDeploy”. I think I understand why Macrium Redeploy might be very helpful sometime in the future but dynamic disk support begs a few questions. What is a dynamic disk? Does my Windows 7 laptop have a dynamic disk? What is dynamic disk support? Does a home user, like me, need dynamic disk support for a Windows 7 laptop?

It seems like a disk would be a really simple thing. You put some data on it, add a little organization around it to find that data and your done. Right?

Dynamic disks are a little more complex, but the good news here is that most folks really don’t need to worry about dynamic disks. But they are kind of interesting, and I’ll go into some detail on the different things they can do.

Read moreWhat’s a dynamic disk?

Can I Combine Two Drives into One?

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I have a PC, which I’ve upgraded about as much as I can, and I’m just looking to get a new one. My current PC has two hard drives: operating system drive and a secondary storage drive of 256 gigabytes, approximately. So would it be possible to transfer the data from both hard drives on to one… say, one terabyte drive installed into the new machine?

As long as the new hard drive has enough room for everything, you can absolutely transfer data from both hard drives onto it.

I want to cover the process, how I’d go about doing it, and some of the options for actually getting the data transferred.

Read moreCan I Combine Two Drives into One?

Does Having Multiple Partitions Shorten My Hard Disk’s Life?

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I have a Solid State Drive for Windows and applications and a hard drive for data. I also have some games on the hard drive. Right now, I have only two partitions: C and D (those are actually two drives, but yes, I get the idea). I want to know if having multiple partitions on my hard drive would shorten its life? For example, let’s say I have three partitions on my 1 TB hard drive. Partition D for games, partition E for data, and partition F for downloads. Now let’s assume that I would play a game and download a patch around 4 GB or a free game from Steam around 10 GB at the same time. Because all my downloads will be saved to partition F and my games are all installed on partition D, performing these two tasks would force my hard drive to move its head to and fro between its outer and inner edges of the platter. Right? So, would that affect my hard drive’s lifespan more than if it had been left as a single partition?

The really short answer is no. These would not affect your hard drive’s life span. But from the sound of your question, you’re making some assumptions here that aren’t really valid. Let’s take a closer look.

Read moreDoes Having Multiple Partitions Shorten My Hard Disk’s Life?

How do I backup multiple partitions?

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I’m backing up a multi-partitioned hard drive. When making the image backup, can I make one of all of the partitions in one image or do I need to make multiple images? To restore the backup on a new drive, do I use the image disk to boot up my computer and copy everything to a new blank unpartitioned hard drive? Is it that simple? Or do I need to install other significant things like Windows or drivers and so forth? I really don’t know. I’ve been told that if I clone my hard drive with Windows XP and if I need to replace my machine, the cloned drive will not work. If I clone with Windows 7 and on a cloned hard drive, it will work on a new machine. Is this true?

We’ve got several really good fundamental and common questions about backup.

Let’s look at each.

Read moreHow do I backup multiple partitions?

How do I use an “unallocated space” partition in Windows 7?

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What does “unallocated space” on a hard drive mean? Is it just sitting there, waiting to be used when needed or what? My hard drive is now divided into two halves of 250GB each. I would like to have the whole hard drive clean and free. I searched your archives but there is nothing on deleting a stuck partition.

Well, in a sense, it is just sitting there, waiting to be used. The problem is that it’s waiting for you to tell it how it should be used.

Basically, you have an empty, unused partition and you need to decide how you would like that space to be used. Then, you need to tell Windows to use it.

Fortunately, this is pretty simple in Windows 7 and doesn’t require any additional tools; basic partition management and rearrangement is built right in.

Read moreHow do I use an “unallocated space” partition in Windows 7?