Hi all,

Just got my new PC up and running from Mesh - pleased with the Kit but had a couple of questions on it. I've gone for XP Pro and predictably the system comes with a fair bit of bloatware (but not too horrific I don't think). The 300Gb drive I went for is broken into a 4Gb recovery partition (its FAT32) and a 296Gb NTFS block for the rest...

1. Partitioning
First thing I wanted to do was partition the drive to save windows fragmenting and help manage my cr@p a little better. Last time I did this was via FDISK four years ago and its all a bit hazy...so I was chuffed to see the 'Disk Management' feature in XP that seemed to let me repartition from Windows. Not so... I don't ge the option and it seems that this may be because it doesn't let you resize an existing partition, but only create new ones?! In other words is this only good for adding a new drive (or presumably formatting)?

Anyone have any idiot's tips for me in future?

Anyway, in the end couldn't get it working so installed my ancient copy of partition magic and repartitioned through that instead. Worked fine but I've now heard that I've b*ggered my recovery info because of my new partitions. So....

2. Recovery...
Erm, yes. Well it seemed a safe option but apparently I've now a 4Gb bookend on my hard drive that's not a lot of use for anything. Can I update this recovery info without resorting to 3rd party backup software? I'd like to finish installing my base apps and then set up a recovery position (although my willpower failed and WoW jumped the queue last night ) but I've never used one before so any tips appreciated.

3. Stripping down XP & bloatware
Finally, I've noticed that despite the SATA drive, 2Gb of Ram, X2 etc, windows feels a bit laggy. There's a pause before most things happen (it screams along once its underway) that I'm not used to and wasn't expecting. Starting apps or accessing DVD drives are particularly unresponsive at the outset. I've taken out all of the additional software that I can find installed (Cyberlink suite, couple of ISP bits and pieces) but there's nothing majorly incriminating.

Anyone have any ideas as to what may cause this initial lag (sorry that's a very vague question!) and how I could knock it on the head? My old Tbird was slower overall but definitely quicker off the mark (it did use Raid0 but I hope that's not the only culprit)

Thanks for any advice!