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Partitioning HDD - help with boot.ini*

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August 30, 2008 8:57:36 PM

*SCROLL DOWN FOR boot.ini issue*

I'm about to reformat and partition my Seagate 7200.10 320GB hard drive. I've never partitioned before, but I've read some guides online including this one http://partition.radified.com/. However, I can't decide how to divide it up.

What I have in mind at the moment is this:

1. 15GB OS (Windows XP, I've read it can go as low as 5GB but I'd rather play it safe)
2. 4GB Swapfile (again it can go a lot lower, but on my previous system with 1.25GB RAM I was using 1.7GB of my pagefile when working with graphic-intensive programs e.g. Flash, playing it safe once more)
3. 100GB Apps (random stuff such as Office, Flash, Photoshop etc.)
4. 40GB Games
5. 80GB Data and Music (data includes images and rendered vids etc.)
6. ???GB Backup (There's 80GB remainder at this point, not sure how much of this I should use for backup images).
7. ???GB Temp directory (for temporary internet files etc., not sure if I will need this but I heard it helps avoid fragmentation)

7 partitions seems like too many, I'm leaning towards combining 3, 4, 5, and 6 in one way or another. Also, I plan on getting OSX for iPhone app development and installing that on a second older 80GB IDE drive, would there be any interactions between the 2 drives that I should worry about?

Any recommendations are welcome. Thanks
August 31, 2008 12:32:46 AM

i kept mine simple.

80gb - win xp / programs / games
516gb - data

you may want the swap file on the 1st partition. it's the faster part of the drive. 100gb for apps seems like a lot but i don't have a lot of apps. biggest program i have is probably photoshop cs3 extended. it's probably best to have a backup separate from that drive.

if i were you, i'd do something like mine or if you really want to break it down then...
1. 4gb swap file
2. 15gb OS
3. 140gb apps/games
4. rest data/music
August 31, 2008 1:00:49 AM

Just keep it simple.

1) 4gb pagefile
2) 100-150gb OS/apps/games
3) rest for storage

Keep a backup on another drive. It's not very helpful if the drive crashes with the backup on it.
Related resources
a b G Storage
August 31, 2008 1:19:24 AM

Never separate the OS and programs. When you have to reinstall the OS, you will have to reinstall the programs anyway. You have to realize programs such as Office, Photoshop, etc install files all over the Windows file. You delete Windows, you, in essence, delete the programs. What I would do is something like this. I broke it including about a 10% lost of space due to partitioning and formatting:

120 GB for OS/games/programs
160GB for Data
The rest for a swap drive.

August 31, 2008 2:06:31 AM

Interesting, a bunch of the guides that I read said to keep OS on its own partition to avoid fragmenting, but I can definitely see why that could be a problem.

Another question, if I order the partitions as

1. Swap
2. OS/APPS
3. Data

upon reformatting, will the OS/apps partition automatically get the "C" drive, or does it become another letter and have to be renamed. I've read something about boot drives not being renamable? Thanks.
August 31, 2008 2:36:57 AM

Partitioning the drive is great for keeping thing organized. But it's better if you have multiple drives. The slowest critical component in a PC is the HD. If you dedicate each drive to perform certain task then system performance is improve. Main drive 250GB(windows + programs), Data drive 500GB+(Video, music, etc), System Drive 160GB(temp files, paging, your Documents) and then the Backup drive 500GB. The backup drive can be an external. The data drive is best as multiple drive in RAID 0 to increase read/write.

If you have to reinstall windows; your documents and data is not lost. The information that gets read/write the most is the temp and paging. So, by moving that task to a dedicated drive, the main drive does not get fragmented as much. The only drive that needs regular defrag is the main drive. With the volatile temp and pagin gone from the Main drive, the defrag is quicker.

:at least 4 drives, or else 5 w/ raid:
September 1, 2008 6:47:03 PM

sportsfan12321 said:
I'm about to reformat and partition my Seagate 7200.10 320GB hard drive. I've never partitioned before, but I've read some guides online including this one http://partition.radified.com/. However, I can't decide how to divide it up.

What I have in mind at the moment is this:

1. 15GB OS (Windows XP, I've read it can go as low as 5GB but I'd rather play it safe)
2. 4GB Swapfile (again it can go a lot lower, but on my previous system with 1.25GB RAM I was using 1.7GB of my pagefile when working with graphic-intensive programs e.g. Flash, playing it safe once more)
3. 100GB Apps (random stuff such as Office, Flash, Photoshop etc.)
4. 40GB Games
5. 80GB Data and Music (data includes images and rendered vids etc.)
6. ???GB Backup (There's 80GB remainder at this point, not sure how much of this I should use for backup images).
7. ???GB Temp directory (for temporary internet files etc., not sure if I will need this but I heard it helps avoid fragmentation)

7 partitions seems like too many, I'm leaning towards combining 3, 4, 5, and 6 in one way or another. Also, I plan on getting OSX for iPhone app development and installing that on a second older 80GB IDE drive, would there be any interactions between the 2 drives that I should worry about?

Any recommendations are welcome. Thanks


AND here's another silly opinion:)  On my present hdd I have partitions from C to K,my first partition 10G's is for windoze and any programs that I run,but only for system stability and drivers I use no microshaft programs,D E,F nd G are used for some specialty programs,,H is 4G's for the swapfile never get defragmented so never needs defragging, I is for Ghost files sometimes have more than 2 ghosts,and last but not least,are J and K for storage and the usual junk..Total hdd size 320G's,wait'll I get my hands on a 500G,,I'll use the same protocol,because it is fast,efficient,and reasonably trouble free,and when there are problems,,well that's what Norton Ghost is for..
I have used this or a similar pattern since "way back when" I never have to give any thought as to what the swapfile is doing it is set at 700 to whatever,it used to be a problem on the "C" drive as it would get all fragmented and louse up the whole operation,windoze needs no help in THAT department,,the point to all this rambling is,,that the primary "OS" partition is the one that needs to be given priority,it needs to be fast ,stable,easy to defrag no more crap on it than needed,and BTW many programs will run on another partition without having to be reinstalled,and if they do need to be well then it is no problem,at least their user created contents are still there ,point,,replacing user created content is far more difficult and time $$$ consuming than simply reinstalling some crashed program,windoze simply cannot be trusted with MISSION CRITICAL programs or data,love that Norton Ghost..
Anyhow for what it's worth [$2.00 ,, inflation y'know :)  ] you now have a few choices,use the one that suits your needs and enjoy your experience....:>
September 1, 2008 7:35:24 PM

Well at the moment I'm trying to figure out how to move my swapfile to the front of the HDD without messing up the boot files. Right now I have it as:

160GB C:\ WindowsXP and apps | 160GB unformatted

I want it to be

5GB Swap | 160GB XP and apps | 155GB data

But I know the boot.ini will get messed since it will be past the 1024 cylinder point. How do I go about setting this up?


EDIT: I partitioned as so using partition magic:
http://img371.imageshack.us/img371/1548/part1zh9.jpg

However, the system booted fine without any changes to boot.ini (seen here: http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/5247/part2ma9.jpg), even though it is in volume C:\ which is beyond the 1024 cylinder zone...as far as I know this shouldn't be possible? Also I know that there should only be 1 active partition on a system, but should that be the partition containing the OS or the boot files?

Can someone explain? Thanks.
September 2, 2008 3:50:23 PM

I didnt see anyone mention that a MBR disk can only have 4 partitions. But you might want to make that part of your plans.
a b G Storage
September 2, 2008 5:37:45 PM

Not quite correct. Only four primary partitions. Use extended partitions and you can have (I'm not quite sure what the limit is) loads more.
!