I recently built up a new machine (my first time thanks to these forums) and I'm now employing a 1TB hard drive.
I've already installed Windows 7, a number of Windows apps and maybe 100 gigs of media. I've started to become concerned that one 1TB partition might not only be bad for performance but also a maintenance headache. So I went searching the forums and read this post about partitioning. Now I'm looking for help and the best method to set up my drive. I know I need a partition for Windows 7 and that's about it...
How large should a Windows 7 partition be?
Do I put my Windows apps/programs in a separate partition?
Do I want a separate partition for the swap file?
If I want to dual boot Unbuntu how large should that partition be and can it share the same swap file partition?
Do I wipe my drive and start from scratch or can I do this now, after I have Win7, apps and media already on the drive?
Sorry for the noob questions but I find this rather complex and I don't want to paint myself into a corner.
...you can then create a D:\partition for one sole purpose .... windows memory swapping and temp files. This is where your HD heads are gonna spend most of their time. No matter how much memory you have Windows is gonna swap stuff out. Programs and games will force writes to the page file even when oodles of physical memory is available. If ya wanna confirm for yaself, open task manager, go to processes tab, hit View / select columns and make sure Memory Usage and Virtual Memory Size boxes are checked. Right now, I have 1.2 Gigs of free physical memory and yet still have almost 400 MB paged out to disk. That's 400 MB of stuff that is being continually swapped between HD and memory.....you want that happening at full speed (outer edge) , 3/4 speed (middle) or 1/2 speed (inside edge).
So create a FAT32 D Partition of 8 gigs or so. Yes, FAT32 because NTFS has an overhead associated with it and you don't need "file protection" on files that get deleted or wiped at every reboot anyway. And yes I have benchmarked both FAT32 and NTFS Swap file partitions and it is faster.
Is that really optimal? Could Ubuntu share that swap file partition?
I actually moved ahead with this by wiping the drive, reinstalling windows 7, defragging the dive and then shrinking the drive. Oddly Windows partition tool tells me that I can only shrink the drive down about 500GB. What's that all about? Win7 can't be eating up 490 odd gigs of space. Do I just ignore this?