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Help! New Hard Drive Setup and Formatting

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May 21, 2008 12:41:16 PM

I have a WD6400AAKS 640GB Sata 3.0 hard drive ordered and on the way. I am new to large capacity hard drives. I have never owned one over 80GB. I will be using windows XP Home for the operating system, and it will be a single hard drive system with CD/DVD rom drive as well. I play some games(Everquest and WoW). Other than that, it is used for internet and photo viewing. I have several questions and need help to get it set up properly:

1) Should I partition this drive or not? If so, what would be the best way to split it up? Feedback on partition sizes for OS and other partition sizes would be greatly appreciated.

2) When I install Windows XP, will it "see" all 640GB of the drive? I have read it may only show 127-137GB of the drive initially, and then you have to go into Disk Management and set up other partition(s). If this is the case, #1 question is answered. But, what size should I format the initial partiton at for the OS?

3) If making multiple partions, should they all be NTFS, or should any be made FAT32? Any info here would be greatly appreciated.


Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
a b G Storage
May 21, 2008 1:05:29 PM

1) Yes partition the drive 100GB for OS and programs and the rest for storage.

2) As long as you have XP SP1 or later there should be no problems.

3) NTFS is preferred. See here for file size limitations:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FAT32#FAT32
May 21, 2008 1:06:20 PM

Just follow the install instructions per xp setup....you will not have any problems....
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May 21, 2008 1:45:43 PM

Is it best then to keep the OS and all programs on the primary partition? Just wondering if the OS only could be put on the primary partition, make a second partition for programs(for games such as WoW and EQ, antivirus, photo programs, etc), and then a third for storage. Just wondering if this would affect performance or having any downfalls. My wondering/reasoning being if OS messes up and that partition has to be redone, I would lose all programs and settings, etc. Thanks!
May 21, 2008 4:24:18 PM

If you reinstall the OS you would also have to reinstall the other programs.
evongugg has given good advice.

Mike.
!