Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Partition Wizard on 1810TZ

I always wipe out the entire hard disk and fresh install my own OS whenever I get a new PC or notebook. This time round I plan to stick to the pre-installed OS, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit since I don't have a genuine copy of W7 DVD installer. One of the reasons I like to do so is because the PC makers always bundle many bloatware in the pre-installed OS which most of the times slow down the performance. Also, I would be able to learn the ins and outs of an OS by running through the installation and setting it up from scratch. On the other hand, pre-installed OS has its advantage, the PC makers typically include a recovery partition where users can restore to factory default setting by one press on the keyboard (ALT F10 for 1810TZ). Users have less headaches too with a guided step-by-step setup to get the machine up and running in minutes.

This time, I don't want to act smart and want to be a dumb user, so I walk through the setup like others...


Somehow I am just too arrogant. Hehe... I fail to stop myself to get into more technical when I see Acer did not slice the big 320GB hard disk into 2 partitions for system and data. This is always the first item in my checklist if I install my own copy of OS. Partitioning a hard disk does not really get easy with Vista and now W7 if the hard disk is big in size. Small size hard disk like the one in HP Mini that I blogged previously was OK with Windows Disk Management tool, I realized there is a ceiling size of how much size you could shrink using this tool which in turn prohibits me from repartitioning to the desired size. Fortunately I got to know a software called Partition Wizard...


And yes it's free! Plus, this software is darn simple to use even to dummies (to resize the hard disk). Don't have to worry about getting things wrong, everything can be undone before the actual change.

I plan to resize the one-big partition into 2, with 50GB for system (C drive) should be more than enough for W7 and the rest of the free space should be partitioned to data drive (D drive)...


Click on C drive, click on Move/Resize, and move the slider or type in the size, click OK. The change is not immediate that it allows review before actual change. Once comfortable, click Apply...


Since the resize is on the system partition, PW will ask for reboot and follow by this progress screen...


Wait a few minutes and PW will boot into W7 after it's done. Launch again PW, extra gray area can be seen now, that represents the free space which was freed early. Click Create to create new partition for D drive, the data drive. No snap shot this time as it's really a simple process or you can refer to PW's online help here. One tip, you can also combine this step into previous step.

Here's what I get...


Some may worry about losing the recovery partition that keeps the factory default operating system by repartition. No worries here. As long as you only resize the C drive and keep both hidden recovery partitions untouched, you are safe to go with the recovery function ALT F10 (during boot up) intact after repartition. I would recommend to execute Acer's eRecovery Management software to burn a copy of the OS into 3 DVDs before you do anything, just in case.