How should I partition a fresh computer?

I'm about to build my new computer, a Q9550 rig with (for now) 1 HD, a SATA Black Cavier 640GB HD.

How should I look to partition this computer? I plan on splitting the drive into quite a few pieces, but I haven't built a Vista machine. How large should my system partition generally be? 30GB? 40GB? Smaller? And should my system page file be in a separate (ideally next?) partition or in the same one? Is this important to performance?

Finally, if I were to add a second drive, is it to my benefit to put the system page file on that drive? Or does it make little difference?

Thanks, kslghost
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  1. I still cant see any advantage in partitioning a single hard drive into multiple partitions .

    It cant improve speed and it cant improve data security

    and it definitely cant improve access to a swap file , though this works if the swap is on another physical drive
  2. Well doesn't it still help considerably in case of a corrupt system partition? This way you can simply reformat it without losing a ton of data that can be stored on a separate partition. I certainly understand that it doesn't really improve speed, but I guess it's more for organizational purposes than anything else.

    Does it actually harm speed significantly?
  3. I havent used Vista much at all , but with XP if your system was corrupted you simply do a repair install which replaces all the windows system files with new copies from the disc and leaves your data and installed programs alone .

    Vista has the same capability according to a google search I just did .


    Obviously this is no substitute for data back ups on another disc or CD but it does mean that partitioning your hard drive to separate the OS and data doesnt achieve much [ if anything ] in that circumstance

    Other posters may have different opinions
  4. Yea, generally I would rely on repair, but if something catastrophic happens (short of hardware failure obv), sometimes a repair install won't do the trick (rare). Anyone else have any opinions on this? Also, anyone know how large a Vista partition should be? My XP was 20GB on my old computer, but I might handle this one a bit differently.
  5. kslghost said:


    Does it actually harm speed significantly?



    The speed impact that partitionning may have will be negated at the first OS failure that won't be repairable and by the time you'll lost trying to recover your precious data (if it still exist..) from the failed partition...

    You'll loose much more time in that single crash that by the speed impact of partitionning over your entire life..
  6. Yeah, I'll definitely partition. I could never live with one giant hard drive, I have a tough time organizing as is.

    Any ideas on the size I should make this partition? Also, should the page file be on the system partition or not?

    Thanks as always guys :P
  7. I would say that 40GB would be a good size for the Vista partition. It's also probably a good idea to put the page file on a separate partition so it doesn't badly fragment the system partition.
  8. I partition my drive into 4 partitions:
    1. OS and applications
    2. Data - makes it easy to backup and keeps it separate from OS in case it needs to be reloaded
    3. Video and Music - this is the largest file and includes only items that I don't need to backup because I have a and original CD or DVD for backup or I make a one time DVD for backup so I don't have to do a periodic backup on it - separating these files makes backups of the #2 data easier and a lot faster
    4. Backups - backups of the #2 drive in addition to my offline flash drive backup. The on HD backups are quick and easy and I do them regularly. Since the #2 data set is small - less then 2GB for me in data accumulated over 8 years - I keep about 5 generations of backup. This won't help me if hard drive crashes, but will if I accidentally erase or corrupt data.

    Regarding the suggestion to just do a windows repair, doesn't that create problems for the applications, most of which edit the registry to add code to it?
  9. Windows repair may or may not cause problems for applications. The repair itself, as far as I know, isn't known for touching the registry. At least, that was my XP experience. I only twice had a corrupted file that kept me from booting in XP and system restore didn't work (couldn't get past a blue screen). I had to boot from windows disc and choose repair.

    Thanks for the advice, guys!
  10. OK - you say you are doing a limited repair that replaces only the corrupt files. Above Outlander talked about "you simply do a repair install which replaces all the windows system files with new copies". If you replace all system files you replace the registry.
  11. to answer your question, i'd do at least a 75 gig partition for the hard drive if you're using vista. i did 50 gigs and spent a whole day trying to resize it. i download a lot of crap though and have a few other programs installed.
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