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How much is enough

Last response: in Windows 7
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January 28, 2011 6:27:13 PM

I know Win 7 requires about 15GB of space. I'm curious how much space should I allocate for Win7 without compromising the performance of the system. Is it true that the partition should at least have 50% of free space for it to run optimally?

Thank you.

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a c 395 $ Windows 7
January 28, 2011 6:30:16 PM

If you can give it the 50 percent it will run nicely!
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January 28, 2011 6:39:03 PM

Running the minimum, which you pointed out is 15gb, is adequate, but allowing for up to 50% of free space is contingent on what you want to use your machine for. But as area51 said, it would run nicely.

-- Ryan
Windows Outreach Team
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a b $ Windows 7
January 28, 2011 7:19:37 PM

What else will ypu put in the Windows partition?

You probably don't know, and even then, that might change in the future.

My suggestion is to not make your life more difficult by partitioning, unless you have a specific reason.
Performance should not be one of them, since any differences are trivial.

I can see it if you are planning a multi boot system.

Or, you are planning on cloning the partition to a future SSD purchase, IN which case, make it the size of the SSD.
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a c 209 $ Windows 7
January 28, 2011 8:04:36 PM

If you have a one-drive system then there's some sense to creating a separate OS partition because it means you can do an "image" backup of the OS without dragging all of your data files into it. But with modern hard drives the size they are there's no reason to scrimp on the space - I'd allocate at least 50-80MB for Windows, and more if I expected to install a lot of apps.

Apps should really be installed in the OS partition because their EXE and DLL files are loaded at the same time OS runtime libraries are, and having the files close together will usually make application startup faster.
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January 28, 2011 8:07:45 PM

don't forget to have room for Service packs and stuff. sometimes windows will store upwards of 10GB extra in back-up files
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a b $ Windows 7
January 28, 2011 8:13:26 PM

I believe that Microsoft used to recommend at least 20% free space on a partition. Less than that and you tend to get a performance hit.
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January 29, 2011 2:19:00 PM

Thank you. Yes, basically I was thinking to just have a C partition just for the system only (and some minuscule desktop and my documents files) , and another partition for everything else, files like mp3, mpeg, and other video stuff. Nothing too fancy....1 320 HD on my laptop.

I don't really see the benefit of a backup partition (on the same HD) since if the HD goes, everything goes. I have a system recovery CD plus an external HD for stuff like that. I also am not that advance to know that "image" backup business.
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a b $ Windows 7
January 29, 2011 3:56:15 PM

What do you wish to accomplish by having a separate partition for everything else??

Keep it simple, put it all in one "C" partition.

And yes, any backups should be to an external drive.
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January 29, 2011 7:36:48 PM

geofelt said:
What do you wish to accomplish by having a separate partition for everything else??

Keep it simple, put it all in one "C" partition.

And yes, any backups should be to an external drive.



Thank you. I was under the impression that having everything bunched up on the same (non-partitioned) HD (mp3 files, movies, OS) makes the system slower. Just wasn't sure how big of a difference it made.... it appears as it's quite insignificant after all? [although judging my the replies, some hold a different view:

ie :"Apps should really be installed in the OS partition because their EXE and DLL files are loaded at the same time OS runtime libraries are, and having the files close together will usually make application startup faster."

Perhaps it's just subjective, kind of like in Nascar...."the other car was much slower, 1/10th of a second, to be precise."

Who knows :) 

HD is 320 + 320 External.

ps. So each partition has a 10 % decrease in performance? I guess this outweighs the benefits of having everything separate, since burning DVDs (out of the storage drive) wouldn't be as fast?
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a b $ Windows 7
January 29, 2011 9:52:03 PM

If you want better performance on your laptop, replace the drive with a SSD; It will feel like a much faster computer.

Then, put the old 320gb drive in a usb external enclosure for backup.
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a b $ Windows 7
January 29, 2011 10:36:59 PM

I cringe every time I am faced with cleaning up someone's system with a large single C partition. Turns a 30 minute job into a multi hour job.

1. If the operating system gets fudged, infected or whatever .... whaddya wanna format and replace 1,000 GB or 64 GB ?

2. Windows is dumb when it comes to file placement .... check where ya page file is on a 18 month old system .... fragmented and on the back end of ya drive where the speed is 1/2 of what it is on the front end of ya drive. Putting it on the front end of the drive in it's own partition w/ temp files and all ya main disk access is kept forever on the front 9read fast) end of ya drive. If twice as fast isn't important to you, don't bother.

3. Thinking of adding a SSD when the next gen comes out or as soon as they come more affordable....easy job with a small C drive .... not so easy w/ ya big C drive ?

4. Install Windows to a new SSD after unplugging ya Hard Drive, once satisfied w/ the install, ya can just delete the old C on the HD and expand it. SSD install has issues, go into Boot Priority and boot off the HD instead.

5. Speed ..... there's no denying the fact that the HD is half as fast at the inside tracks as it is at the outside. Forcing ya files to where you want them to be can be as much as a 2:1 advantage.

6. OS infected, not operable ? Can't get those important files off ya machine as ya can't do anything ? Formatting C doesn't lose any data on E.

Set aside from 64 - 128 for the OS, page and swap files. Do what works for you from there.
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February 20, 2013 4:29:55 PM

Just upgraded an XP Pro to Win7 64. Did a clean install, left 75G for the system.

After installing MS Office 2010 and really not that many other apps (Photoshop CS2, Quickbooks Pro, Firefox, Skype, Dropbox, AdAware free, print driver, etc.) the 75GB system partition is about 40% full. And I haven't installed Acronis TI Home 2011 yet. 75G turned out to be OK, but if I did it again I would leave 100G for the system.

Also, because this PC had XP on it before, and the 2 drives were already formatted into one big 465GB single NTFS partition (RAID 0), when I installed Win7 Pro it did not create that 100GB "hidden" boot partition. All my boot files are on System (C:\)
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