Windows Partition Sizes

I'm building a new system which includes a 500GB Samsung Spinpoint HD501J. The computer will be primarily used for video editing, and maybe some gaming. I'll install XP Pro and upgrade to Vista in the future. I have an Athlon x2 6000+ cpu with 1GB RAM (which I will upgrade later).

I'd like to have one parition dedicated to video alone, and one to windows. Should I have a windows-only partition and install my programs on another partition or combine Windows and all programs onto one partition? How many partitions and what sizes should I make? Should I make a seperate partition for a swap file?

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More about windows partition sizes
  1. My 2 cents: Keep it simple, just use one partition.
  2. Your question is asked quite often and has a very simple answer. I will answer your question with a scenario. The senario is as follows: I just purchased a new Dell Inspiron desktop computer. The computer was configured with a single DVD+/-R/RW ODD and a single 500GB HDD. Dell configured the HDD with two partitions: a 40GB partition and a 460GB partition. The 40GB partition has the OS (for sake of this scenario the OS is Windows XP Media Center 2005) and program installations. The 460GB partition is blank. I immediately proceed to removing all the crapware that came with it. I inadvertantly uninstalled a crapware program that I should not have and now the pc is acting really funky. I curse Dell and begin a system recovery. I find out my MBR is F---ed and have to a completely install a new copy of MCE2005. My decision now is do I install 1 partition or 2? I figure if the disk goes bad I lose my data whether I have a single partition or two partition. However, if I two partitions and OS craps out on me I can just reinstall the OS on the OS partition leaving intact the other partition containing my illegal dvd rips. Thus, the answer may be obvious. If I care so much about my dvd rips, I probably would have two partitions; one for the OS and other for my DVd rips.

    I hope this helps.
  3. See below.
  4. A Samsung Spinpoint, I would like to see a better customer service base in the US before I delve into their hard drives.

    I you are seriously going to get into video editing, I would suggest you set up at lest a separate hard drive for the video data.

    I have two raids for the video work I do, one for the input and one for the output.

    But I would consider getting another drive for your data.
  5. to the OP. I see two possibilites here. One, as pointed out by sunangel, is to make a partition of 40-50 gig and install your OS on that, while putting all your data on the remaining partition. That was, as pointed out, if your have to reinstall the OS, your data will be safe. I've done that type of thing for years and its saved my work many times.

    A second option would be to buy a small hard disc, 80-100 gig, and put the OS on that disc while using your 500 gig disc as a second drive entirely isolated from the main OS disc, and then using the second drive for data. That is what I have setup on my present computer and what I'll be doing with my next build. The advantage to this is that since data is stored from the outside edge of the platter and then toward the center, access times will be slightly faster. Also, it provides an extra boundry of protection between the OS and your data.

    As to those who use only one partition, they are either gambling with their data, or they don't care if they loose everything and have to reinstall it all from scratch.
  6. Yup - two partitions. It won't make it any faster, but it is easier to manage your data that way. A separate partition for swap is overkill for most people.
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