1TB Partitioning Strategy Question

Hello everyone,

I am currently waiting for my new build parts to come in. My HD is the WD Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache.

I am planing on using the computer for gaming, photo editing, running some engineering software, and general tasks like web browsing, etc..

I have read quite some partitioning strategies guide, but I thought I'd get the opinions of the guys @ Tom's Forums.

I will be triple or quad-booting XP 32, XP 64, Windows 7, and Ubuntu. I know that each operating system should have its own partition, but what about the size of this partition. Where do you think I think install my software? Should I make each partition big enough so that it fits the OS and the software I am going to install on that OS? Should I install the apps in a separate partition?

I know I will have my media in a separate partition, but what about the OS and the apps?

I am looking for a setup that wouldn't slow me down since all I have is this 1TB for now. I also know that the first partitions to be created on the drive will be on the outer edge of the platter, and that will reduce the seeking time. I plan on installing the OSes first.

I would really appreciate some feedback from people who have experience with this.

Thanks a lot,
9 answers Last reply
More about partitioning strategy question
  1. Consider,,you could install all the os's in the primary active partition [with whatever bootmanager] leaving enough space for those little apps that need to be there drivers,antiv,firewall, etc,then install all your software in separate partitions..
    Then you could use Norton ghost to image your primary partition and all the os's,,because if that sucker ever crashes...:)
  2. I would do this:

    C: 500GB for OS, softwares, production files, games.
    D: 500GB for music, movies and personal files.
  3. 200GB for C and the rest for D. You only want your OS + installed programs to take up space in C, plus things like system restore/pagefile/etc. And make D your data drive.

    For you mortals without ZFS: don't use partitions to seperate data (movies/music/software/documents/etc), use folders instead.
  4. From what you guys are saying, it is ok to install more than one OS in the same partition?! As I said, I am planning on installing XP-32, XP-64, and 7. Shouldn't each OS have its own partition?

    All my media will be in one partition, and separated into folders. This issue is set, but what about the OS and apps?

    Thanks in advance for your feedback.
  5. Windows can co-exist with another windows version on the same partition, though limitations exist. I'm not sure about these, you may want to look it up from a microsoft resource.

    Basically the Windows dir will be renamed, and other dirs shared. Ideally you would install each OS on its own partition, though windows will overwrite the MBR sector everytime for the boot menu. Windows 95/98/ME is generally not compatible with this partition sharing as far as i recall. Other Windows versions should have less restrictions.

    Why would you like both 32-bit and 64-bit XP? Are you really going to use three operating systems?
  6. Well, the new system I will be running has 4GB of ram so I want to use 64-bit so that I can put all the 4GB to use. On the other hand, there are some apps that I need, and they do not run on 64-bit OS. I will see the difference in speed between 32 and 64, and then if 64 is headache free, and responsive, I will totally switch to it.

    As for Windows 7, I just want to test it, and enjoy DirectX 10. I officially skipped Vista.

    So yeah, I think I am going to have a 20-25GB partition for each OS and I will extend each one of them depending on the size of apps I will install in each OS.

    How does that sound?
  7. If you mean that your going to extend them after the fact then no that doesn't sound like an option since you'll only be able to extend the last partition, without it being a major headache.

    I would give Windows 7 a bit more space than than the others (about 30gb). You could go with less for Ubuntu (about 15). I would reccomend putting your home folder on the large partition that you're using for all the data because that will make updates to the OS much easier if you decide to do a fresh reinstall.

    In this case it would be much better to give each OS more rather than less space because you have a whole terrabyte to work with.
  8. @ jsrudd

    Thanks for the feedback. What I did at the end is go with XP32, XP64, and 7 64. Each OS got 200GB, and the remaining partition for storage got the rest. It's running perfectly so far.
  9. I just saw your answer after I wrote my comment, and yes so far your best choice, anyway, this is what I did.

    I have a 1TB Seagate hard disk and for personal decision I got 5 partitions on it:

    C: SYSTEM --> 149GB, Windows 7 64bits (software installed:62.7GB - Free space: 87.2GB)
    D: DOCUMENTS --> 199GB
    E: PROGRAMS --> 199GB
    F: BACK UP --> 199GB
    G:WEB --> 181GB
    TOTAL 927GB

    I never save my data in the System partition. I have experienced loss of data when the system have crashed mostly under Windows XP without can recover my files 100%. Nowadays, even Windows 7 works perfectly, I still have reserved my system partition just with my system files.
    I have stored a back up with a clean install and drivers updated and I do not have problems at all.

    Miguel Flores
    Graphic Design & Standard based Web Design (Personal Website)
    Phone +511.6237408
    MSN: kunst_mike@hotmail.com - miker@pixelperu.net
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