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How to properly partiton + and install Vista 64 on 3 h/drives

Last response: in Storage
January 21, 2008 11:03:09 AM

I am researching while waiting for the evga gpu on step up. This is a new build and not sure of the size and number of partitions for best performance. The wd7500aaks is the primary drive with the (2) wd1200jd's from previous build for storage.
If I'm thinking right the o/s goes on the 7500 in it's own partition, what size? The 1200's are just for storage, should they be partitioned too? Did not plan on hooking up the 1200's until after the o/s loaded and working. I need to format them. Will do after new system up and running. Should there be a separate partition for games etc..
Where I've only build one system before in 03, I've learned a lot about research. It's easier to do it right first time, rather than 10 times the wrong way.
This is for 24/7 use with multiple users. I have never filled up the 1200's previously, although we will be adding photo's this time. All opinions welcome, Should I be aware of anything special with Vista 64bit?
January 21, 2008 11:27:46 PM

Only have one drive in when you install Windows. In cases one partition for the OS/programs, if you have to reinstall Windows, you'll have to reinstall your programs. For for the OS/programs 35GB - 40GB should be enough. I like about 30% unused probably overkill. As for other partitions, partitioning for storage rally has to do with organizing data. On my wife's machines I only have one storage partition, any more and she's way too confused :)  On my machines I have 2 to 4 partitions on drives but I'm an organization freak, about only thing in my like that's organized
January 22, 2008 10:52:21 PM

Thanks g-paw, If I understand you right. Load Vista 64 to a 40GB partition on the WD7500aaks. Should there be any more partitions on that drive, or will the two 1200's be fine for everything else. Are the games and programs on any certain drive or order?
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January 22, 2008 11:45:35 PM

I put the OS/programs on the first partition but some like to put their games and other programs on a 2nd partition. Given I don't game I don't want to definitely say one or the other but regardless, you'll have to reinstall everything with a fresh install of Windows. Given you have 750GB unless you have an enormous amount of data it really wouldn't matter. You can't go wrong either way. If you decide to split the OS and Programs, I'd give about 25GB to each, again with Partition Magic you can always resize. I would suggest you get Partition Magic, which allows you to create and resize after Windows is installed. As for the DATA partition(s) it's really how you want to organize your data. I have my work on one and downloads on a second, and photos, music,videos on a 3rd. For backup I don't ususually partition other than one machine where I created a partition for an Acronis image on the C partition. Not pimping Partition Magic :)  , but my experience when I first started partitioning was a lot of changes until I got it the way I wanted it. But again, do not put in the backup drives until Windows is installed Doesn't matter how you install programs. Since it's generally not a good idea to install programs with the antivirus running I install that last. After installing Windows install the mobo drivers, most CDs have an auto install and best to reboot when asked Install my firewall and Partition Magic first so I can partition and create a file for any downloads. Obviously, don't do anything on the Net except download updated versions of programs from trusted sites and don't don't download any P to P programs until the antivirus is installed
January 23, 2008 12:19:10 AM

To make backups easier, consider using separate partitions for data you back up and data you don't (e.g music that you have on CD anyway so it is easy to restore). Also consider frequency of backups and perhaps have separate partitions for data you back up regularly and other that is done only occassionally (eg. archive files that don't change much). Consider separate partitions for the different backups. Do you want to encrypt any data and maybe have it all on one partition? Separate partitions for different users? All depends on your data, uses, preferences, and how anal - oops I meant organized - you are.
January 23, 2008 9:33:06 AM

Thanks again g-paw and rockyjohn.
Will do a little more planning. Am going from xp to vista. Will there be a big difference in setting up? Please excuse lack of knowledge, sometimes the more I read on a subject the more confused I get. What is the (easiest) way to make a copy of complete system to reload when I screw up.[partition magic?] When I did xp in 03, I had to install each disk one at a time over and over till I got it right. I've learned a lot over the years, but by far not enough.
a b G Storage
January 23, 2008 10:05:38 AM

Personally, here's how I would go:

#1 120GB - OS and Programs
#2 120GB - Download drive, scratch drive, page file drive
750GB - Data
January 23, 2008 11:15:55 AM

when you partition a drive, performance takes a hit. HDrives are cheap, just buy an extra Hdrive.
January 23, 2008 11:51:57 AM

Certainly runswindows95 idea of the OS/programs on a 120 makes sense depending on how old the drives are, I'd say 3 years or older probably not, and the 120 would be a slower but not sure it would be noticeably slower. The problem you're running into is there is no Right way to configure drives other than keeping your data off the partition(s)/drive(s) your OS/programs are on. For backing up your drive/partition with the OS/programs you need a program like Acronis True Image, Norton Ghost, or a similar free program. Never used Ghost or a free program but Acronis is excellent. What you have to do is create an Image of the OS/program drive/partition, which Partition Magic doesn't do. Acronis not only creates images but will let you back up your settings for certain programs, e.g., IE, Word, Excel. If your getting Acronis and Partition Magic would suggest doing the following: 750 1st partition C 60GB OS/programs; 2nd partition D Downloads ( create a Folder) and page files (create a Folder) 25GB; 3rd partition E for data. On E recommend creating Folders for different type of data, e.g., Documents (Word, Excel) or Work -whatever makes sense for you - and then Folders for Photos, Music, and Video. Keeping things together makes it easy to find things. For programs let you set the default save, set it to save to the appropriate folder. For those that ask, save to the appropriate folder. #1 120 - Data Backups. #2 120 Acronis Images and Backups. Acronis will backup your data but to a proprietary format, need Acronis to restore, which is fine. But I also like to have my files backed up to their original format so I use a program called GoodSync, Of course I'm a backup fanatic :) . If you get Partition Magic, you can always create and resize partitions until they are set up the way you like them. Finally, given I have a lot of drives and partitions as you will, I always change my DVD drive drive letter to X after installing Windows and Partition Magic and run the Drive Mapper Wizard in Partition Magic. Programs when installed will note the Drive letter it was installed from and will look for the CD if needed in that Drive letter and this wizard changes where the program looks from the original driver letter to the new one. The reason I do this is that if I add a hdd or optical drive or plug in a flash drive or external hdd, the DVD is always the last drive letter. These are just suggestions and will not increasd performance, many much better ways to increase performance other than managing drives and partitions, but at least for me a reasonable way of doing it. Pretty much what ever you finally decide, you'll be making changes
January 23, 2008 11:11:57 PM

Thanks everyone, more reading. Gpu card should be here next week and I can get moving.
January 23, 2008 11:32:43 PM

Let us know how you get it set up