If i partition a 120gig HD to let's say 60gig or 40gig and ONLY install the OS and the games i want to play, would it make it faster for gaming compared to using the whole disk for an overall use?
It won't make games or OS loading any faster, but it has the advantage of allowing you to reload only your OS and programs when (and I mean when) Windows requires a reload. You will be able to leave your saved games intact and only have to re-install them.
Yeah I partition my HD's like that the main reason is so that when I do a reinstall hmm well IF (I have gotten extreamly effecient at fixing and tweaking XP) and things like photo's and music and movies are more secure from crashes of the OS... even if you do partition remember to back up your data ! I recomend ghost good for DVD's although I recently switched to external fire wire drives becouse 20 DVDRW's take waaayyy tooo long.... also it saves you a little time on defragmenting your HD if you put music and photo's on the seperate partition they dont change size or get moved so your OS is the only thing that needs to be defragged hmmm some people even make a 3rd partition for the swap file I havent done that one yet but its supposed to make your system faster and require even less defragmenting ? It sounds cool but 3 partitions ! whoa ! lol
Personaly I have found seperate disks are the ideal way to go. I realise not everyone can afford them but now even a 80GB internal drive is about $50-60. It is the ultimate insluation to windows crashes . Just some food for thought.
But don't forget that partitioning does not protect from viruses. So if your OS gets infected, it may infect the partition as well.
Modmandan is right, partitioning does not affect load speed. Load speed is determined by the hard drive itself, not by how much you partition it. A hard drives RPM and search rates are fixed. If it's fast hard drive speed you're looking for, then that's been covered in various threads, with SATA and RAID being some answers for that.
Jonathan is right about ghost. The only thing that is impervious to getting infected is an image made before the infection. Separate hard drives can still get infected.