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Hey there, I finally had enough of my old tired hard drive after 10 minute start ups and purchased a new wd10ezex. I popped it in and cloned the drives to the new drive, swapped out the old for new and it works great. My question is, I have so many partitions and I dont understand what I can do to get back to drive "c" for startup and "E" for factory recovery. Here is a shot of my disk management. Seems I have just enough skill to do the bare minimum. I cant see what is on the other drive partitions and if they are required. I would like to allocate the unallocated space to my main drive. Any help for newbs would be great. I dont want to upgrade the PC as all i use it for is browsing the net and running a forum remotely. Cheers, Ed


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That layout looks quite typical. The System partition doesn't need a disk letter and neither does Factory Image. They can be removed with Disk Management. (Right click on the task bar windows icon.) If for some reason they are ever needed, they can be assigned again with Disk Management but it's best to keep them hidden so they don't accidentally get changed or damaged.

There are some options for the unassigned space:
1. Create a new partition. This will be separate from the C: drive, such as D:. The main advantage is that any data on it will usually survive a full Windows system install.
2. Extend the C: drive using Disk Management. Advantage: one big C: drive. Disadvantage: It will still be two partitions that simply look like one and will be slower than 3 below.
3. Use a disk partition utility to move the Factory Image partition to the end of the drive, and the Recovery partition next to it. Then use the disk partition utility to extend the C: drive as one large partition. Advantages: Faster performance and one big continuous partition. Disadvantage: Personal data will not survive a full Windows install. But that's covered by making regular backups.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, is there any Partition software you recommend for a 1 time use? Hopefully I can get yo this tonight. Thank you for the help, will do my best to sort this out and relocate the space as you laid out in option 3. Cheers, Ed

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In all honestly when ever I replace a hard drive, I usually format and install a FRESH copy of Windows, then re-install all my applications and have a Fresh copy of windows with all my programs, then I will copy my data files from my backup drive back onto my C:\> Drive. Its recommended to format and re-install every now and then and most of us do not do it so our computers bog down so its a good opportunity to do it when getting a new hard disk drive (HDD) or Solid-state Disk Drive (SDD)
 

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With Windows 10 it's possible to perform a refresh and keep personal data intact. A disk image and refresh is probably better than a full install for most people. That's especially true of OEM systems than keep the OS refresh files on a separate partition on the main drive. I usually install Windows on an SSD for speed and keep personal files on a separate drive to keep SSD size down. A third drive or NAS can be used for a C: disk image and D: backup.
 

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A Refresh will make sure the Clean Operating system files are put in place. but it does nothing to solve the files that are installed with your applications and programs. The OS does not know which files your programs installed and in what folders/directories they are contained within. You can Refresh windows 10, but all the files and folders associated with your applications will still be bloated, I found that the majority of the slowdown and bloat is from program files and not necessarily windows operating system files.

People install programs/freeware/trialware to try them all the time and remove them, almost half of them do not get removed properly, they leave ghost files and folders on your hard drive, they change drivers, etc. I had a stubborn program that would refuse to uninstall no matter how hard I tried and a stupid nag screen would come on every time I reboot, but since im smart with computers I was able to go into the registry and ini files and remove the junk and ghost folders I was able to fix it up but your average pc user does not necessarily know how to do this nor has the patience
 

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There is also a refresh option to perform a clean install. Like I said, with an OEM installed operating system you probably want to keep the hidden Windows installation partition. I've done clean installs to get rid of bloat myself though I try to do it as seldom as possible. There are utilities to clean up badly installed or uninstalled applications. I wouldn't pay for them but it's an option Some companies supply them for their own products.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This pc came with windows 7 and I did the free windows 10 update, If I do a factory restore am i going to be able to upgrade to 10 again?

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Yes. Provided there are no major hardware changes, you will probably be able to install Windows 10 directly using a downloaded Win10 image from Microsoft. A hard drive update doesn't usually constitute a major change. It's usually easier if Win10 is registered using an Outlook email account as the Windows login. The login method can be changed between an Outlook email and local login in settings.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well it seems I'm now stuck with windows 7, i cannot find any options but to pay for it or reinstall the clone image

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if you tied your windows activation to your hotmail or outlook or msn account, then your windows 10 licence will carry over when you re-install windows and sign in using your hotmail or outlook or msn ID
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I still have the original drive but wanted a clean install like someone mentioned. I did a factory reset and lost the windows 10 update

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The Compaq reset will revert the system to Win7. You should still be able to install Win10 again by downloading it from MS. To refresh Win10, use Start > Settings > Recovery > Reset this PC. Do not use the Compaq OEM option.

Windows 10 can be downloaded here. I find the best option is to create a USB flash drive installer. I keep a cheap, dedicated 8GB flash drive with the latest Win10 release on hand for emergencies. Create an Outlook email account to use as the Windows login. Then upgrade the PC by opening the flash drive and double clicking on Setup.

If that doesn't work, I would perform the disk image from the old drive to the new drive again. Create an Outlook email account to use as the Windows login. Then register the Windows installation using the Outlook email account under Start > Settings > Activation > Add a Microsoft Account. If Win10 needs to be reinstalled or refreshed, use that account to activate Windows. Once it has been determined that the upgrade is valid, you can probably delete the "FACTORY IMAGE" partition on the new drive and use the entire disk for Windows 10. Do not delete the 450MB Recovery Partition.
 

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Good explanation @ExDilbert - I have a Win 7 PC upgraded to Win 10 and I later used the Microsoft email technique when I reformatted to install a fresh copy of Win 10 Anniversary Update. Worked like a charm.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ok, thanks guys. I will give it a shot but still cannot move the unallocated memory for some reason. Will post a screenshot in a bit

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Discussion Starter #19
Alright, I got my windows 10 back guys. Thanks! Now I need to figure out the unallocated space I cannot use. So I did not make the windows 10 flash drive so I'm guessing that I should not delete the factory image incase I have to do this again 1 day?


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