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Top Student
Posts: 5
Member Since: ‎01-02-2012
Message 1 of 3 (4,957 Views)

How do I gain access to the D drive? I need to access backed up info and delete some

How do I gain access to the D drive?  I need to access backed up info and delete some info as my memory in drive D is full and is now eating up my drive C memory.  I have never had a computer that does not allow drive D access.  Help

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Regents Professor
Posts: 4,494
Member Since: ‎09-04-2009
Message 2 of 3 (4,955 Views)

Re: How do I gain access to the D drive? I need to access backed up info and delete some

lmcgrath1 wrote: How do I gain access to the D drive?  I need to access backed up info and delete some info as my memory in drive D is full and is now eating up my drive C memory.  I have never had a computer that does not allow drive D access.  Help

Hello lmcgrath1, The D: Factory partition should never be used as a backup drive. The D: partition (drive) is the HP Recovery Restore partition. Is is used to restore the system to the original factory state as it was when shipped. The D: partition is only slightly larger than the data needed to restore the system to the Factory state.


If you have some data on the D: Recovery Restore partition, you should try and remove this data and put it on the C: partition.


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Posts: 15,965
Member Since: ‎04-14-2009
Message 3 of 3 (4,946 Views)

Re: How do I gain access to the D drive? I need to access backed up info and delete some


Forgive any mistakes – this is being written on the fly.  It is not meant to be a technical response, just one that helps explain some of what is going on with that “D” partition.

Hanspuppa is correct, you mustn't get into your Recovery partition; do so, and you will risk losing your ability to recover the ability to run your computer in the event of a catastrophic failure.  If your computer stops working because the software that allows your computer work properly fails, you need the information in that Recovery partition to repair the computer.  The files and information that are in the Recovery partition won't help you if the physical disk dies (disk failure):  The recovery partition can help you if the software that runs the computer dies.


If the "D" partition is your Recovery partition, it only has a little bit of physical disk space allocated to it.  That means that the Recovery partition can only be used for its own files - you cannot add anything to it.  The computer created the Recovery partition - it should be large enough for its own data.  The user of the computer should never add any of his/her own files to the data in the Recovery partition - that fence should not be crossed.  If you need to use the Recovery, you will do so using programs specially created to allow you access to the files inside that area.


What is Memory? 

What is disk space?


Partitions - Disk Space:

A Partition is a defined space on a physical disk.  A partition is like a fenced in area on the disk.  A partition can be any size that is less than the TOTAL size of the physical disk.  There can be space on the partition that is dedicated for use by the computer, it can be divided so some space is for the computer and some space is for the User, or the space in the partition can be free physical space that can be used however the User of the computer desires.


Windows computers start out with the "C" partition (this is true enough for this explanation); this is usually the name of the disk partition where the big software lives that controls your whole computer (Windows 7, Vista, XP, Linux).  There is also some space in the "C" partition that is dedicated to you, the user of the computer, where you can store your own files (games, email downloads, music, etc.).  The amount of space you get to use for your own files depends on the size of the disk:  on the "C" disk, the computer uses all the space it needs for the software that runs the computer; you get what's left over.


Some computers have more than one DATA disk, that is, some computers have a second physical disk similar to the "C" disk but without the software that runs the computer.  The extra disk is usually totally dedicated to the computer user, it's where you can store your own files, make some backups, divide up the space however you like. The name letter of that disk depends on how the computer is set up the first time - it might be "D", "E", or "F".  The name letter is just that, a name - name letters are created by the computer as it's being set up the first time so the computer (and you) can tell the spaces apart.  The names have importance only insomuch that they allow you to understand that the spaces are different from each other.  There is nothing magic about the name letter "D" by itself.


If you buy your computer with an extra internal disk, then that disk could be named "D" when the computer is set up for the very first time.  The computer names the partitions (fenced areas) as it creates them, one after another.  If you have an extra internal disk, it's possible that the partition will be named "D" and the Recovery Partition will be named “E”.  If you don't have an extra physical disk in your computer, then the letter "D" might well be used for the Recovery partition.  Every time the computer is asked to add (or create) a new partition, it uses the next letter in line to help identify that fenced area as separate from other areas in the computer.

Disk space is the physical space available for your files.  For example, when you download a file from your email onto your computer, or when you import the music from a CD - that data / file takes up physical space on your computer.   If you download (put on the space) more than it can hold - too many files, too much music, or too many videos - you will run out of physical space. 

Games take up physical space on the computer.  When you INSTALL the game onto your computer, it will take some amount of space - how much space depends on the size of the game.  War Craft takes more space than does a simple game of Solitaire (card game). 

Most programs (games, and/or extra software that you buy or download for free) will end up on the “C” disk unless 1) you have anywhere else to put it, and 2) you tell the computer to use that other space during installation (of the game / software).

You can easily buy and connect an extra external disk for your computer.  They come in many sizes (from a few hundred gigabytes to one or more terabytes).  Most use USB to connect – some might be wireless.  Extra external disks are economical and easy to use.  Some come with their own backup software so you can use the disk to make backups (copies) of the data on the rest of your computer.  Excellent!


What is Memory?

There are two types of resource on your computer - memory is the space in which the computer instructions live while the computer is serving you.  That is, the memory is where all the commands live while they are active or ready to be used.  When you turn on the computer, some of the instructions in the computer wake up and load into the memory so they are (very quickly) available as soon as you need them.  It's like turning on your car - some of what you need to drive the car wakes up and gets ready so you can use the car and drive it.  Other items, like the radio, maybe your music player, and the heater, do not wake up until you need them (turn them on).  When you get to your destination, you turn off the car.  The car still takes up physical space, but the parts that make it ready to drive are now quiescent (quiet, turned off).


Memory is a little like disk space in the sense that you can have little memory cards or big memory cards in your computer.  The Memory card holds instructions; the number of instructions that are available at one time is controlled by the size of your memory cards.  That's why a computer with lots of memory runs better than a computer with a little bit of memory - you can store more instructions and have them available faster when you have more memory in which to make those instructions available.  Having more memory in the computer is like have lots of power to drive a small car - it's easy for the car to quickly accelerate and go fast if there's lots of power compared to the size of the car the engine is trying to move.  A weak, small engine in a big heavy car means it takes longer to make the car move and it's harder to go fast.


When you start to play a game, the computer goes to the physical file, grabs the instructions for the file and then puts the instructions into memory so you can interact with the game.  It's the memory that allows the interaction in real time - you ask the game to do something and the game responds.  The speed at which the game responds is controlled by the CPU (Central Processor Unit - the brain); the processor is dependent on the memory - if the memory card is small, then the CPU must wait for the instructions to load while the memory gathers the information.  (If the memory is big, but the processor is slow, then the game will still be slower than you like; the instructions are there and waiting in the memory, but the CPU might be slow to issue the instructions.)  When you stop playing the game, it closes up and sits there on the disk - taking up physical space but not using memory (and not using the CPU).


You can run out of MEMORY when you are using the computer.  For example, if you open your email, open a bunch of webpages, start running a big game (or more than one game at one time), and then you try to listen to music, play a movie... eventually you will ask your computer to do too many things at one time and you will run out of memory.  The computer goes slower and slower and slower... and it may just stop doing much of anything useful at all.  It just thrashes around and nothing works as it should.  This is also related to the speed of the CPU and how well it handles the instruction load.  Most computers now have more than one CPU and they run very fast.

I hope this helps.


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