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Question Regarding Partitions and Program Files


Super Duper Modulator
Staff member
So here is my question for all you that are much more intelligent than I on these PC matters. :)

As many of you may know I recently was having issues with my PC, whether or not it is fixed is still up for discussion, but during the course of repair I re-formatted my drive and started from scratch. Which is a huge pain for me. So I thought I would try to make things easier this time and try some different approaches. SO to begin with I partitioned my drive after re-installing Win XP and began installing many of my programs on the "D" drive. Since then I have created another partition and installed Win 7 as well.
So (long winded ain't I) here is the deal. When I have booted into Windows 7, I can access my program files drive, and many of them will just execute and open right up, but others will give me an error and not. Is there any way around this or are they simply not able to find the appropriate hooks or dll files needed and I should just go ahead and install them under 7 as well? Thanks in advance (y)


Super Moderator
Staff member
Some programs will run from both operating systems depending on the way the exe files were originally compiled by the Author, however, some will not.

For the problematic ones you will need to install them standalone in Windows 7 too.

You are correct when you say the some of the programs DLL files are native to the root of each individual operating system.



Super Duper Modulator
Staff member
If that is the case, the dll files being native to the os on that drive, am I really gaining anything by installing them on a separate drive? If something happens to my C: and I have to re-install XP again, will that break the link and I will have to redo the program install anyway?


Super Moderator
Staff member
Yes you will ferg.

There really isn't any advantage in what you are doing.

Where your 'D' partition would be somewhat useful would be to store all your program setup files & maybe other stuff you don't want to lose or have to backup because of a reinstall, maybe documents,pictures,music,emails etc.

One of the best methods (my personal choice) is to get hold of a program called "Acronis True Image Home 2009" & all your troubles & long hours restoring stuff will be over. It's not free but believe me it's worth its weight in gold (y)

If I can be a little long winded for a minute? :loco:

Take this scenario,

You format your HDD

You install your OS

You install your security software

You update all your drivers

You carry out all the many OS updates

You install all your preferred programs

You setup all your email accounts (if you use POP3)

You tweak the system to exactly the way you like it?

Realistically speaking, that can take days to achieve (but you know this already).

Now while we all have to go through that pain to get the system just the way we like it, we really only ever need to do it once :)

When you have the system exactly as you like it, you use Acronis to make a complete image of your system.

How it works:

You use it to create a partition (Secure Zone) on any disk, be it in your system or external, you then get it to create a full system image, during that process it creates a boot option whereby your system displays a F11 recovery option which is available to you every time your start your machine.

Once done it is untouchable by every threat source including total OS failure (the only time it would not be available would be if the HDD physically keeled over & died).

It works the same way as the recovery partition used by the big manufactures like Compaq, Dell etc (they use a software suite called PC Angel which is exceptionally expensive).

What does all this mean?

It means that in the event of a problem, be it,

OS degradation over time

Dodgy software install

Virus attack or whatever causes your system to go belly up, you are only a key press away from total recovery to the state you were at when you made the initial image.

To give you a prime example ferg, my system went down 2 weeks ago & normally it would take me about 3 ten hour days to get it reinstalled to exactly the way I had it. I had Acronis deployed so all I had to do was hit F11 on startup & choose the option to re-image.

The result was exactly the same as the full install & updates mentioned at the start of this post but the whole process took 15 minutes.

Acronis retails at Approx 49 bucks I think? & everyone should have it in their toolbox. :rolleyes:

Told you I was going to be a bit long winded :sorry: lol

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Super Duper Modulator
Staff member
Never apologize for being long winded towards me, I love learning new things :) After, I started setting my program files up that way, I actually stumbled upon some information that goes a long with what you are saying about there not being an advantage to what I have done but I wanted to get it in easier, more specific to my situation terms.
I had actually created an image of my drive with a freeware imaging tool that was posted here, DriveImage XML, but it wasn't long after that when I began having issues. So I didn't want to restore an image that already contained a problem. Are you familiar at all with this particular program, is it worth using? I realize that it will probably not be as good as Acronis though.
Thanks G.


Super Moderator
Staff member
I know of the program but have no first hand experience of it.

I have used Acronis so many times without issue that I have decided to stick with it, so haven't tried any of the free ones.

Another great feature of Acronis is this,

Lets say you had your image on an external drive?

The HDD drive dies in your machine or you just want to replace it with a larger capacity one?

You can create a boot media disc with Acronis & even if you have a new drive installed in your system you can boot from the disc, format, partition & restore your image from the external.

Apart from its many abilities, it's the ease of use, accuracy, reliability & low cost that won me over.

Whatever software you decide to use for imaging? the key is to make the image directly after a system has been freshly installed, updated & tweaked.

There's no point in making the image if the machine is not at 100% peak performance.