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Undoing a Disk Partition and E-mailing Photos

Sunday, March 27, 2005; Page F07

My Sony Vaio laptop is partitioned into a C and D drive, but I'm running out of space on the C drive. What can I do to fix that?

There's no easy fix for a too-cramped C drive -- especially not on Sony's models. The most straightforward, but not cheap, option is to buy a disk-partitioning utility that can merge partitions without reformatting them, such as Symantec's Norton Partition Magic ($70). Before you run this, back up your data, just in case anything goes wrong. Also, make sure you don't erase the hidden system-recovery partition (Sony, like too many other manufacturers, does not include standard Windows XP CDs with its machines, instead sacrificing some of the hard drive to store those files).

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We frequently criticized Sony's past drive-partitioning habits for precisely this reason. Once the C drive -- the home of Windows, most of its supporting files and many applications -- runs out of space, the computer grinds to a halt. To me, the high risk of this far outweighs any benefits you might derive from keeping your data on a separate partition.

The pictures I e-mail to my family always arrive embedded in the body of each message, not as separate attachments -- so when they open my e-mail, they've got baby pictures all over the screen. Can I stop the photos from displaying automatically?

No. The recipient's e-mail program, not yours, usually determines how attachments are displayed. And most now present any photos inline to save people from having to fire up a separate program to view them.

The simplest workaround is to post your pictures at a photo-sharing site, such as Ofoto (www.ofoto.com). That way, your recipients will see only a link to the pictures (plus, in some cases, a small preview of one of them). They'll also spend less time downloading your message.

-- Rob Pegoraro

Rob Pegoraro attempts to untangle computing conundrums and errant electronics each week. Send questions to The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071 or rob@twp.com.

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