Thursday, November 13, 2008

How to partition a hard drive in Windows Vista with maximum shrink

Okay, I should've called this article How to shrink partitions in Vista... mea culpa! Shrinking existing partitions on your hard drive in Windows Vista can be a real pain, or at least that's my experience using a machine which came with a preinstalled version of the OS. My faithful copy of Partition Magic turned out to be too old for my computer, so I was left with Vista's built-in disk management console, which isn't actually the most user-consoling piece of software out there. Nevertheless, I managed to shrink my 200GB+ C: to my liking. Here's how. 
  1. If you have no idea where to start, here's a Lifehacker step-by-step guide. Generally hard drives with preinstalled OSes have two primary partitions (C: and one which contains the restore image). C: is the one you'll be working on; don't do anything to the partition which contains the factory image.
  2. Don't start partitioning just yet. Check the available shrink space first. If Vista won't shrink a certain partition beyond a certain level, it has its reasons (read more). If you still need to shrink the partition, first delete temporary files (I recommend the excellent and free CCleaner) and shadow restore points (here's a how-to) and try again. This should increase the maximum size by at least a few gigs.
  3. Still thirsting over (presumably wasted) space? Check out a smarter way to manage System Restore space and apply accordingly. In addition, you could also tweak your paging file and/or move it to a different hard drive.
  4. By now C: should be optimized to offer maximum available shrink space. Hit 'Shrink'.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Error codes in real life

Okay, I deleted my last post as I said I would. It's hard to think of an implied reader or audience when you're blogging and don't really expect anyone to read your posts, but here I go again: in case you've hung around my blogs, you know I haven't been posting in a while. Multiple reasons, in order of severity: Read post
  1. Blogger's template collection borders on ugliness. They haven't introduced new templates in forever. Tweaking your template to make things a tad prettier isn't easy either -- every once in a while bugs emerge (such as horrible bx- errors) and often they're around for so long that one can't help but wonder whether Blogger is even interested to serve its loyal users. Right now I can't even rearrange my page elements.
    • Solution: taking control of your own code. You have to be more than a casual coder, and must be willing to accept this kind of overhead. Of course one can always move on to a different platform, but then again each platform has its own nuances. Besides, people are like trees -- they grow roots, don't they?
  2. My last whining of the day which involves Blogger. You do come across websites which offer template hacking tips and custom templates, but compared to WordPress' fanspired support system it's nothing (Amanda's Blogger Buster is perhaps the only beacon of hope). The templates are usually dull, and the best ones are usually ported from WP templates.
    • Solution: start writing. Of course it's time consuming, but there's definitely demand for it, and it clears up your etchy self as well.
  3. I tried installing Windows XP on my computer that comes with Windows Vista Home Premium preinstalled. Horrible consequences: Vista refused to load, and XP didn't even get installed. Lost all my data. Tried backing up using Ubuntu but my lack of Linux know-how got into the way. Went to Staples, where I got my machine from, and they demanded $80 to perform the backup. Yeah right.
    • Solution: besides fining Staples and similar joints for being a public nuisance, everyone ought to know how to use Linux, at least on a basic level. Backup and imaging software help, but one ought to know how to take care of such preinstalled OS-generated issues manually. Perhaps Windows PE?
  4. Always running short on time. Have too much on my hands: reading, writing, assignments, worries. Hardly have time for social networking, online or off. Needless to say the world isn't what it used to be...
    • Solution: you make time. For instance, write short posts, but still do post every once in a while, preferably on a weekly basis at least.
Will do.