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New to partitioning questions

Last response: in Storage
February 4, 2008 8:16:01 PM

I am going to be building mt first pc on Thursday and need some help with Windows XP and partioning. I never installed a OS before so I have some questions when I get to the screen that asks about installing on a unpartitioned space. I am only going to have one hard drive (Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500gb). Anyone have any recommendations on how I should divide up that space. This is going to be used mostly for gaming. If I need to just keep all 500gb on one space do I still need to create atleast one partition or do I just install it on Unpartitioned space?

More about : partitioning questions

February 4, 2008 8:35:26 PM

You do not ‘need’ to have multiple partitions…

Chances are you want the whole disk as 1 partition (drive C) If this is the case at the partition screen choose to format the entire disk, it will keep 8meg and the rest will become drive C. After the format has completed it will ask you where to install windows, chose your newly formatted partition.
February 4, 2008 8:43:03 PM

Thanks. Exactly what I wanted to know
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February 4, 2008 10:26:00 PM

Have to disagree with Dirtdog15. One of the main reasons to partition is so when you have to reinstall Windows or for some other reason format the hdd, you don't have to worry about your data if it's on a different partition because formatting one partition does affect the others. If your using XP make the first partition 30GB - 40GB and use the remainder for storage. There are numerous ways to partition and reasons for doing so but if this is your first time, suggest you keep it simple with just 2. With a program like Partition Magic you can resize, create new partitions, and format partitions as FAT and FAT32 after Windows are installed.
February 4, 2008 11:06:14 PM

So it is ok just to install windows first and then worry about partitioning after I have all my drivers installed?
February 4, 2008 11:45:10 PM

If you use a program like Partition Magic that will create partitions after Windows is installed. There are some programs as well but have no idea how well they work. I've used Partition Magic for years and never had a problem and very easy to use
February 5, 2008 12:42:14 AM

i agree with g-paw, after you install windows, create another partition with partition magic. good luck
February 5, 2008 7:45:53 PM

I would have to disagree. Playing around with partitions is a bad idea in my experience, granted it was a few years ago but I've messed up a few hard drives royally by resizing partitions.

There are two advantages to having multiple partitions on a single drive:

1. Should you wish to do a reinstall, you can keep all your files on the bigger partition and just format/reinstall onto your OS partition.

2. By having the OS partition on the first part of the drive you guarantee to confine the OS on the FASTEST part of the hard drive. In particular, with the Seagate 7200.11 500GB, on the first 100GB the drive can sustain data reads and writes at over 100mb/sec, and this tails off across the rest of the drive. Your OS and applications should be confined within this section of the drive.

Setting up partitions with the windows disk is so simple its child's play, and because the drive is blank you can't mess anything up.

My personal advice would be to split the drive up 50/450, or if you intend to install lots of big games go for a 100/400 split.
February 5, 2008 8:18:30 PM

I for one have Ghost…

I have C drive for OS
And 2 others that are storage…

If I need to format I use Ghost and I am back in about 15 mins.

**So if we are suggesting he get a third party app like Partition Magic, I think a far better tool would be Ghost.
February 5, 2008 8:21:38 PM

cusimar9 is right about screwing up hdds playing with partitions but this is why Partition Magic is such a good program, as long as there are no interruption while it's doing it's thing, have never had a problem. Once there was a power outage and lost everything but was able to recover the hdd, now use a UPS. Twice I got stupid. Other wise never had a problem and been using it in one version or another for 10 years or so. Could do what cusimar9 has suggested and if you find down the road you want to add or resize partitions then get Partition Magic but if you have the $, I'd still recommend PM
February 5, 2008 8:25:07 PM

I'm sure the software has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years and is now reliable, but why can't you just setup the partitions when you install? Takes about 20 seconds with the windows disk!
February 5, 2008 9:40:03 PM

cusimar9 said:
I'm sure the software has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years and is now reliable, but why can't you just setup the partitions when you install? Takes about 20 seconds with the windows disk!

In my experience sooner or later I want to change the size of a partition, add or delete onr, etc. For whatever reason, just more comfortable doing it in Windows but again, certainly not saying anything wrong with your suggestions I guess it's like a lot of things with a computer, you want as much control as possible especially after the OS is installed. When I find a utility that helps me, I like to use it. I know there are a lot of ways of doing various things including partitioning but for me if there is a reliable program that makes it easy, I'll use it but again that's a personal preference.
February 7, 2008 11:14:22 AM

I just installed Vista last night and much to my surprise it didn't give me the option to setup the partitions like XP used to... looks like I'll have to get my PM disks out again!
February 7, 2008 11:45:03 AM

Breaking a 500 GB drive into maller partitions is a good idea in my opinion. If you ever try to back it up it will be far easier to back up 10-20 GB partitions than the entire huge thing. This is even more true for defragmenting the smaller partitions which will be much faster and multiple smaller drives have less of a chance of becoming fragmented especially if you are storing large gaming or multimedia files.

Also partitions will keep what ever data is on a certain partition physically together which will aid in access times.
With the way windows moves things around so much you would be amazed how scattered things can get after a few months of use.

Partitioning can be a bit tedious, but so can anything else with computers and doing it now will prevent larger headaches down the road.

Just some of my ideas. :hello: