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What is the Best way to Partition

Last response: in Windows XP
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September 24, 2005 10:13:22 PM

Hi,

I am trying to partition an 80 GB Hard Drive into 6 Partitions of ( 20 + 20 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 ) namely C, D, E, F, G, H

I am going to install Win XP Pro SP2 on it.

My questions & concerns are as follows :

(1) I like to organize different folders into as many different groups as possible in order to find them quickly so I am opting for so many partitions. Are there any disadvantages of having so many partitions?

(2) I am thinking about leaving one 10 GB partition empty because last time I ran out of space on C & D partition & even though I had lots of room on last two partitions I had a lot of trouble allocating the space from last two G & H partitions to C & D Partitions. So which partitions should I leave empty this time so that in future I can easily allocate room to any partition that needs it?

(3) Last time I had C partition formatted as NTFS & rest all as FAT 32. This time I am thinking about making them all as NTFS partitions. Are there any advantages or disadvantages of doing so ?

(4) I have heard a lot of professionals leaving a separate partition for swap files. I do not know what that is & have never done it. Should I do that this time & if yes which one, how big & how?

Any help & Comments would be highly appreciated.

Thank You.
Greg

More about : partition

September 24, 2005 10:30:38 PM

the best way to partition is through disk management in the control panel in administrative tools.

you would want NTFS on all of them unless you made one of them a swap file.

having a seperate partition for the swap file isn't a bad idea, but it will never cover your butt if your pagefile and the hard drive you are (let's say) recording video on are on the same physical drive. You will get lost frames. Then there is the question as to custom sizing the pagefile or letting Windows do it. Each has its disadvantages and advantages. I'd say it is not worth it. depending on how much RAM you have, having your OS on a 20 gig HD could get a little tight. Esp. with all of the applications you might be running.

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September 25, 2005 2:59:42 PM

I wont do as many partition on such a small hdd. I would do only 2 or 3 max partition. Put at least 30 gigs for the OS. Because if you need to reinstall the OS, all the apps that would have been installed will have to be reinstalled and you will have to clean all the other partition with the apps installed on. The other partition would store your personnal data and files. In the case you you have to reinstall, you wont have to format this partition, so, all that is there will stay there. Do a folder for your music,one for pictures, another for the movies,and so on, instead of partition. you wont waste as much spacethis way than having a partition for each. And it will be easyer to manage. let say you have more than 10 gigs of movie, but only 3 of music. You get more movie. Where will you put them? in the music partition... this will make you mixing all the files again..

You can have a small one, like 5 gigs if you want for temp storage, or like a place to put temporary file while downloading, see, like a scratch partition.

Making too many partition waste space, because information for the partition need to be written somewhere on the hdd and that takes some place.

You may think that 80 gigs is big, but with newer apps, game and multimedia files you'll see that soon enough, you will need to get more room.


Use ntfs for all, it is safer. Old fat32 was only for old os like win98. At first, people were using dual boot system with win98 and xp for compatibility but now, with only xp as the os, no need for fat32 partition.

As for the separate swap file, it would work to have it like the very first of the hdd, before your os partition. Hdd are faster at the beginning than at the center. It was good when 128 or 256 megs RAM was pretty much standard but now, with 512megs or 1 gigs being some kind of standard, the swap file is not as used as before.

But if you want to try, make it no bigger than a few gigs because it will be wasted space. Your partitions should look like this: Swap partition, c: d: e:.

But one thing you could do is to set the swap file right as the firstthing after the instal and make it fixed size. This way, the space alocated will be at the beginningof the HDD and almost as fast as if it had its own partition. But if all I'm telling you right now about the swap file feel confusing, then I would not bother with that at first.

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September 26, 2005 3:28:58 AM

I wouldn't waste time making that many partitions. If I insisted on partitioning, the most I would do is 2. One for the OS/apps, the rest for whatever. That way at least if a problem came up and had to reinstall I could reinstall to that partition. Leaving my files on the other partition intact.

Personally though, drives are so cheap now, it's almost a waste to partition. You're not gaining any performance by putting a scratch disk/swap or page file on a different partition of the same physical drive. You might be creating slightly more overhead too with the system having to keep track of all of them. As far as organization goes, how is folder hierarchy different from one partition to another as opposed to all on one drive? Really the only way I could see partitioning as actually useful is if there were multiple users on a machine. I believe you could then set it up they could only access their own partition(s).
September 26, 2005 6:00:04 AM

Pat,

Some people have previously suggested to keep applications on a seperate partition. That way they say OS would run faster and in case if you need to reinstall OS you wouldn't need to install all the applications.

Is there a reason to have OS & Applications on together?
Thanks
Greg
September 26, 2005 6:03:06 AM

Pat,

Some people have previously suggested to keep applications on a seperate partition. That way they say OS would run faster and in case if you need to reinstall OS you wouldn't need to install all the applications.

Is there a reason to have OS & Applications on together?
Thanks
Greg
September 26, 2005 6:47:22 AM

Using Windows as your OS, 9 times out of 10, if you re-install your OS from scratch, you'll need to reload the applications as well, since the installers toss so much information into the registry (One reason to really appreciate Mac OS). This is why I don't bother to separate my Apps and my OS. It *may* provide a bit of a speed bump, but I doubt it's noticable in practice.
September 26, 2005 12:50:29 PM

There’s two ways to go about making partitions. Half way and all the way. Half way would be just making partitions and not knowing for sure what size to make them and just how many you need or want. Also, having to reinstall all your application if you kill the OS. Going all the way would be using an image program, something like Drive Image and placing the image onto another partition, what ever the latest version is or some other program for imaging you OS. This way if you kill the OS you won’t have to reinstall all your application over again, at least not all. I suggest using the latest Drive Image. That will cost some money and you will have to learn how to use it. I also like using Partition Magic for resizing my partitions, but I don’t install it or use it, unless I have to resize my partitions and over the years I learned what size worked best for me. Partition magic can also change NTFS to FAT and vise versa. As you can see making partitions is not that hard, but knowing what size to make them takes time learning and so does how to imaging the OS for all your work doesn’t go down the drain. If you don’t plan to buy and use some type of imaging program, then I say the more work you do can all be for nothing and I would agree with the others that maybe you don’t need that many partitions. If you install a lot of games, they will eat space fast and before you know it you’re resizing your partitions. I’m only familiar with using partition magic for resizing and if you have to do all that, it just goes to show the work that can end up down the drain if you kill the OS.
September 26, 2005 1:40:22 PM

This myth run since HDD exist.. Long time ago, HDD, processor, RAM and everything were slow compared to today's specs. Just like people still continue to recommend a sound card for gaming, because onboard sound takes CPU cycle which would make the game running at 112 FPS instead of 125... While at some time computer were strugging running game at 640x480 with quality detail at respectable FPS(read somewhere between 25-30), this is no more the case. HDD were pushing something like 10 MB/s, now they push 60 MB/s and more according to controller mode. If optimization was important back then, now it's another story. Most of the time, the computer system is plenty fast without any acrobatic manoeuvers with your hardware. The computer parts were updated, but not people's thought.

I'll tell you right now. The time you spent waiting to know which way to partition your system will never be took back from your system optimization. If you had installed everything straight on your HDD without any care, even the time lost by the lack of optimization would have been minimal compared to what you waited for answer..

So, with modern hardware, key now is not optimization (unless you are a speed freak that have a computer only for benchmark and high or low numbers and no life aside of that) but rather organisation. And having too many partition waste space and time. Get one for the OS and one for the rest. Having the apps on the same partition that the OS wont take more time to the OS, but save you a lot of time if problem happen. Most apps spread DLL, registry key and misc files in window's system folder that if you reinstall the OS, you'll likely have to reinstall the apps too. Then, you reinstall the newer version without having gone thru 3 version installed one over the last with registry key for each still in the the system, or outdated apps that sit there doing nothing than wasting space on the HDD. You are doing a clean start that will make your system run better. Hey, once the OS is fresh installed, and you have 3 partition with apps, running thru them trying to fid which one works and which dont will take time, that wont be regained over the time you'll use the comnputer. Gaining 3 hours one millisecond now and them takes time..

So, one partition for the OS and apps. then one for your data, save game and archived stuff and this will be the most efficient way to do thing with your small HDD

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September 26, 2005 10:44:33 PM

Quote:
Disk Management won't work, no OS. He'll need to parition it with the WinXP CD before installation.(which is faily simple)

:lol

Yeah, I don't know how I missed that one. I was thinking like he had a seperate HD other than the one the OS is on. oh well.

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September 27, 2005 2:48:51 AM

The best way to partition is to partition the entire HDD as primary, and create Folders in Folders to organize, then if for some reason later down the road you discover you need to have a separate partition, use Partition Magic 8 to reallocate and create what you may need, [PM8 can successfully restructure the same drive its installed on], all those partitions you've listed to create are seriously going to eat into your total HDD capacity because you really don't have 80G total available anyway, and each partition has a beginning and end reference.

Why do you think you need to chop up the HDD partitioning it like that in the first place?

A separate partition for swap files isn't necessary!

Above all else! If you have important data back it up to CD or DVD, most of the time when a HDD fails you won't recover anything off of it anyway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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September 27, 2005 3:11:56 AM

Personally, I keep my partitions at 130GB or less. This is cause I've seen how slow the PC industry is to adapt to change, and I don't trust any hardware or software out there right now to natively recognize 48-bit LBA addressing. But that's just me.
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