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How do I safely get my full 200GB back as one partition on C:?

I have a 200GB hard drive divided into two 100GB partitions labeled C: and D:. I was running Windows 2000 Pro on the boot partition C:, and Windows XP Pro on D:. I have replaced Windows 2000 with Windows XP on the C: partitio, and no longer need the separate D: partition. My question is how do I safely get my full 200GB back as one partition on C:? Everything on D: can go, but everything on C: must stay.

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You can do this one of 2 ways. First, you can use a third party utility such as Partition Magic or Symantec's Volume Manager to manage or merge partitions. Many people swear by these utilities, but I've had mixed results and usually stay away from them. You could also upgrade the XP volume to use dynamic disks via the DISKPART utility, which will allow you more freedom to merge and resize disks. Again, I've had mixed results with dynamic disks in Windows XP and avoid using them. The other option is to do a full backup to an external source (tape or external hard drive), delete the partitions and restore the data from the backup.

This was first published in March 2004

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