To partition or not?

I'm considering getting the WD Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS as an OS drive. Do I need to partition the drive to maintain performance? My preference is to leave it as one drive, but if it affects the OS performance at some point, then I will partition it. Please advise.
9 answers Last reply
More about partition
  1. I have not experienced better or worse performance when partitioning an HD. The real value comes in if you have to reinstall your OS, you can keep your data on another partition and keep your OS/Boot on a partition. If you need to reinstall, just format that 1st partition and your data is safe on the second partition.
  2. i dont think it makes much of difference.
  3. It doesn't make much of a difference but there are times when it's "felt". They are rare though for the majority of computer users.
    The idea is to have the drive parted so that there is a fast section at the end of the platters. This is where you usually put the OS because you want to load it as fast as possible and those files are going to be accessed the most frequently. I have my own theory that hasn't been proven out but if you have one hard drive, partition it into 3 sections. Make the middle section your OS and make it small. Install your programs and data on the outermost part, and a backup of your data and OS partition goes on the inner most part. What this can do is lower you random access times by keeping the head in the middle of the drive.
    The conventional wisdom is to put the OS and programs on the outermost and everything else on the inside. The only time this can cause slow downs is when you copy files from one part to another and they are both rather full. The head will be running back and forth full swing so get the largest cache size you can afford. I think right now it's 32MB for the 7200.11 drives. The larger the cache, the better the single drive performance is. You notice no difference with file transfers between multiple disks.
  4. How to store the data at a certain section? If I create drive C, D and E, which is at the outermost? And if I leave it as one drive, the first data would be stored on the outer section or on the inside?
  5. As a new drive you OS will already be on the outside/fastest part of the HD.
    Useing a defrag program like the one that comes with TuneUp Utilities will also move all your OS update to the to the outside as well.
  6. Most simple partitioning systems work by creating partitions from the outside in. So C: would be the outermost, fastest transfer rates, then D, and finally E. Special tools can move data like ZOldDude said, to the outside of the disk to speed things up.
  7. jprevost said:
    I have my own theory that hasn't been proven out but if you have one hard drive, partition it into 3 sections. Make the middle section your OS and make it small. Install your programs and data on the outermost part, and a backup of your data and OS partition goes on the inner most part.


    This is a very bad idea. Having the backup on the same physical drive as the data you are backing up will eventually result in not having a backup at all. When the drive fails you will not have access to your data or your backup. Always have your backup stored on different media (HDD, tape, DVD, etc) from the data you are backing up.
  8. firemist said:
    This is a very bad idea. Having the backup on the same physical drive as the data you are backing up will eventually result in not having a backup at all. When the drive fails you will not have access to your data or your backup. Always have your backup stored on different media (HDD, tape, DVD, etc) from the data you are backing up.

    I didn't say THE backup. Re-read what you bolded. I said A backup. Considering the original posters question was for his "OS drive" I don't think it's a bad idea to have a backup of your data on a different partition on the same drive. In case of a corrupt file system on one partition he can get it from the other. Only drive failure will make the backup useless. I have a ton of programs installed on my computer, and lots of games... my C drive is only 60GB and I still have 20GB free on it. I have a partition the same size on the inner part of my Raid0 that is 40GB (minimal size compared to the 500GB overall size of my array. Driveimage XML the C drive to my actual backup drive, then back to the E drive. Having personally lost data years ago with my 1st raid0 array, I've done nothing but create redundancies including off-site in my office.
    I do agree that if his ONLY backup is on the same drive that would be a bad idea, but not worse than having NO backup. Notice I'm assuming he's got a backup procedure, where as you aren't. Neither of us is wrong so maybe canuck21 could clarify.
  9. canuck21 said:
    I'm considering getting the WD Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS as an OS drive. Do I need to partition the drive to maintain performance? My preference is to leave it as one drive, but if it affects the OS performance at some point, then I will partition it. Please advise.


    the one thing one needs to remember about partitioning is,,when a hdd partition fails it is most likely ,but not always,the primary partition ,if,,,you do not partition your hdd and it fails,,,,,,also sometimes windoze will report bad blocks,leading one to think that the hdd is going south,,not necessarily so,could be windoze,don't panic run scandisk
    preferably from a dos disk...:)
Ask a new question

Read More

Hard Drives Performance Partition Western Digital Storage