Marcelle's laptop (a Compaq Presario 2500 with 60GB of hard disk space) succumbed to malware. I'm helping him out so that I can play a few days of Sims 2 on his laptop. ;) To avoid future problems with Microsoft Windows reinstallations, we'd like to make separate partitions for games and data. That way, the next time he has problems with Windows, he can just wipe C: and scan the other two drives.

Unfortunately, Compaq's QuickRestore System Recovery CD makes one NTFS partition that occupies all of the space on the hard disk. PartitionMagic would've done the trick, but its hefty price-tag just isn't worth this one-time use.

Linux to the rescue. I'll be installing Ubuntu on Marcelle's laptop anyway so that he has a relatively safer system for browsing the Web and posting blog entries. When he's in a strange network, he can use Linux to protect himself from the worms and malware that would just love to reinfect his computer.

Ubuntu's based on the popular Debian GNU/Linux distribution, and among other things, it contains a tool for resizing NTFS partitions without losing any data. You don't even need to defragment your hard disk before resizing it. I had to run chkdsk from the Windows recovery CD to take care of a persistent error in the filesystem before I could use ntfsresize, but resizing it was easy after I took care of that problem. I followed the suggested usage in http://mlf.linux.rulez.org/mlf/ezaz/ntfsresize.html and set up the partitions just the way I wanted them.

Hooray for Linux! Microsoft Windows might not anticipate my need to organize data the way _I_ want to, but free software gives me the tools I need to do what I want.

今やノート型コンピューターは弁当箱と同じくらいが一般的だ。 Now note computers are as common as lunch boxes.

John Sturdy writes:

If only I had known about Ubuntu being able to do the resize for you — I've just spent a rather sore week setting up an uncooperative Windows machine as dual-boot, using a variety of tools including Partition Magic, parted, and others!

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