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Reformatting for the first time

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August 9, 2006 11:56:14 AM

I have been reading as much as I can lately about this. I'm glad I have as I found out that I have some extra steps with OEM version of XP PRO. Though I seem to be bouncing all over the place to find bits of info. Can anyone point me to a one stop shop for info on reformatting?

I'm reformatting a WD 120g Sata drive. I was considering making a partition this time around but I'm not clear as to what benefits I would see...if any. I use the computer for online gaming, basic web surfing and the family album. My main concern is the game though. Would partitioning bring me any benefits?

NTFS or FAT? Currently I'm using NTFS and I'm not clear on the differences between the two. I have read some things here and there but nothing really came out and said if you want xxxx then use this but if you want xxxx then use that. Can anyone lead me to a resource that could help clear this up for me?

I built the computer (first build) roughly 2 years ago and I've never reformatted. I'm hoping by doing this I can last another 6-12 months before upgrading. Computer is slow to respond (opening programs/closing programs/CPU usage jumps up to 80% by just clicking "My Documents"). I have tried software, tweaks in services and scans and nothing has helped. Looks like the last resort is the only thing left.

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August 9, 2006 12:47:59 PM

Reformatting and reinstalling your instance of XP should help out your lagging woes greatly. However, personally partitioning a single sometimes has little benefits when your looking to do online gaming, storage and and daily computing. My suggestion would be a second drive. NFTS is currently a Windows standard that has improved over the Fat file systems, you'll want to reformat with it. Partitioning is really a matter of preference, everyone has an opinion, as well as a style to which they do it. The only real benefits that come for it the fact that it reduces the hard drive access seek time. I personally like straight disk or raid configurations better.

But if you were to do so, you could divide your drive three ways 40/60/80. Having your OS and productivity applications on your 40, 60 for games, and 80 for your photo storage. That is in no way the best way, just my opinion.

Good luck.
August 10, 2006 6:07:26 PM

Thanks for the info. Perhaps I will look into an additional drive.

How would the configuration be with 2 drives for OS, Apps and Games? I've read some real elaborate partitioning schemes in the other threads but they all seem overkill for me.

I'm guessing it would be like this:

Drive 1 36G Raptor
C:\ OS - and OS dependant (12)
D:\ Program Files and Apps (20)

Drive 2 120G Caviar
E:\ Games(40)
F:\ Files, Pictures, Back-up's and other (70)


I would say the computer use time is broken down like this:

60% UT2004 - With Xfire and Teamspeak going
30% Internet - Multiple internet windows open along with MSNM and Xfire
10% Up/Dl - Up/Dnloading maps for server and redirect while browsing

Both drives would be SATA 150 but not in RAID. Would they both be masters? Would I have to run them on different controllers (mobo has two...Intel and SiS)?

Thanks!

Computer Specs if needed:
P4 3.2 Northwood (478)
Gigabyte GA-8KNXP(rev.2)
BFG OC 6800GS (AGP)
Creative Audigy-Gamer
Kingston Value PC3200 CL3 (2x512M)
WD 120G Caviar
Windows XP Pro (OEM)
Stock Cooling - No overclocking
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August 10, 2006 6:31:00 PM

For me personally, and I think PCCow said it best in that it's personal choice with no right or wrong answer, but for me I keep my OS partition at around 20G and leave the rest of the drive as a second partition, what ever size it is. I don't load a bunch of apps so 20G is fine for me, but I do put my apps like word processing, etc on the OS partition. The reason is they will need to be reloaded anyway if I reinstall so I see no reason to have them on another partiiton or disk.

Games go on a second partition or disk, and of course data as well.
August 10, 2006 7:07:15 PM

Quote:
I'm reformatting a WD 120g Sata drive. I was considering making a partition this time around but I'm not clear as to what benefits I would see...if any.

You always create one partition. This is where the OS is installed. I think you mean multiple partitions. So say you create two partitions. On the first you install Windows. On the second you put all your files and games. The advantage is that if something bad happens in the windows parition (ie. crash, spyware/virus, corrupt files) and Windows is lost, all the files on your second partition should be fine/safe. Now you can just reinstall windows on the first partition, and there are your files. You didn't lose anything. Using multiple partitions can save data in the event of a problem with the OS (you should also run backups), but it does nothing to improve performance.

Quote:
NTFS or FAT?

NTFS. It is better/faster for high capacity disks. Here are some of the features. You can use fat32, but you will find many limitations.

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Computer is slow to respond (opening programs/closing programs/CPU usage jumps up to 80% by just clicking "My Documents").

Two probable causes are that you don't defrag the drive and you probably have spyware. It's very common.

Quote:
Perhaps I will look into an additional drive.
Drive 1 36G Raptor

For your purposes you don't need a second drive. Especially not a raptor. UT2004 isn't exactly a bleeding edge game anymore. Raptor is overkill and a half. If you want to parition, I would make windows 20GB and use the rest for storage/games.

Quote:
Both drives would be SATA 150 but not in RAID. Would they both be masters?

With SATA there is no such thing as Master/Slave. Each drive has it's own cable and dedicated bandwidth. If you have two you can run them on the same controller, no problems. Set the boot drive in BIOS.
!