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Question about new hard drive

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  • Hard Drives
  • Partition
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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July 5, 2011 5:08:47 AM

So I just installed a new hard drive and I'm not sure what the best way to partition it would be.

I want to put an Operating System on it at some point, but for now I just want to use it as storage. I assume I should make 2 partitions, but how big should I make each and should they both be primary partitions or should it be one primary and one extended?

I just dont want to have to reformat the whole thing when I go to put on the OS so I want to set it up correctly the first time. Also, its a Samsung F3 1 tb.

More about : question hard drive

a c 104 G Storage
July 5, 2011 12:17:00 PM

Hello and welcome back to the forum

Depends which OS you are going to install later, and what OS you are presently running on your older HDD.
You should make about a 100GB first partition for the OS later, and don't format it. Leave it unallocated.
Then make a 500GB second partition for storage. Format it with NTFS and give it a drive letter. Leave the last 400GB +- unallocated for now. (those partitions can be adjusted according to your wishes)

The 3rd partition is left unallocated so it can be used if need be for certain backup software that places an image of your HDD at the end of the disk, or for another partition if you need it, or to extend the second partition if needed. If you don't leave some unallocated space at the end, you have no options later.

The drive should be set up as Basic, and all 3 partitions should be primary partitions.
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July 6, 2011 12:58:01 AM

I messed up and accidentally formatted the 1st 100 GB partition. How do I start over exactly?
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a b G Storage
July 6, 2011 1:14:17 AM

I am not a fan of partitioning a hard drive it’s better and more efficient to just have one big partition. If you install an operating system onto your data drive ensure that the data is stored in a directory not used by Windows and it will not be overwritten by installing the operating system. Remember always back up your data.
To delete the partition you created go to disk management, right click on the drive and select “delete partition”.
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July 6, 2011 1:32:03 AM

If I just use one partition for everything, how will I know where to store everything so that it doesn't get erased when I install the OS?
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a c 104 G Storage
July 6, 2011 1:41:54 AM

It's no big deal to start over. What is important is to decide how you want to partition this drive and when you get to 'Where do you want to install windiws', choose Drive Options (Advanced). There you will see the partitions you already made. Just delete them one at a time, and begin anew.

When you start over, again choose Custom (Advanced) for a clean installatioin, the Drive Options (Advanced) and set up your partitions and size here. Your Primary Boot partition leave unallocated. If you are going to have 2, or 3 partitions, you can set them up here, and later in Disk Management you can format the backup or storage partition.
Then choose the first (boot) partition that's unallocated, and Windows will put the 100MB system hidden partition up front and the OS in the rest of the partition. IF you format it first, or leave it formatted from a prior install attempt, Windows will place the MS reserved partition in a different location which is not optimal.

Only the guys at Dell and HP get this part right the first time! Most everyone else has to go back and redo the installation after they figure out the steps and why and wherefor of the different components
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a c 104 G Storage
July 6, 2011 2:11:45 AM

ramulux said:
If I just use one partition for everything, how will I know where to store everything so that it doesn't get erased when I install the OS?


Well, if you have only 1 large partition, you can't. You would erase everything in the partition you were making for the OS. If you were going to use this drive ONLY for data storage, there's nothing wrong having one big partition. But if you want to install Win-7 cleanly later like you mentioned, you have to have space for it.

With Win-7 you can install it in a partition with data already present, or even install it in the same partition with another version of Windows (new to Win-7) but these are NOT clean installations, they are updates, and it can get very confusing.
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July 6, 2011 3:18:51 AM

I'm not understanding how to create just a partition without giving it a volume name and such. When I go to create a partition I go through the wizard, make it 100 GB, choose a drive letter, and then it automatically starts formatting once I'm done.

Could you explain what I should do with a little more detail? I'm using Windows XP and doing this with the disk management tool.
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a b G Storage
July 6, 2011 4:01:09 AM

Why not just use 1 big partition? There is no performance gain by creating multiple partitions on a single drive. The drive is less than 2TB, I'd just create 1 single partition, I see no advantage and it is just creating more complexity for yourself to deal with. Simply create a subdirectory called data and put whatever you were going to store on the other partitions there. Multiple partitions in windows only make sense in 2 scenarios, using a drive larger than 2TB or using multiple drives/volumes.
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July 6, 2011 4:27:33 AM

I think it would be best to just make 2 partitions so I dont run the risk of getting my data destroyed when I install the OP. Right now I just want an explanation as to how I create a partition for my OS without making it an actual drive and formatting it. Also if I have a 100 gb partition for my OS how big should I make the other partition for storage.
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a b G Storage
July 6, 2011 6:02:25 AM

I would just make it the remainder of the drive.
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a b G Storage
July 6, 2011 9:09:33 AM

Quote:

Well, if you have only 1 large partition, you can't. You would erase everything in the partition you were making for the OS. If you were going to use this drive ONLY for data storage, there's nothing wrong having one big partition. But if you want to install Win-7 cleanly later like you mentioned, you have to have space for it.

With Win-7 you can install it in a partition with data already present, or even install it in the same partition with another version of Windows (new to Win-7) but these are NOT clean installations, they are updates, and it can get very confusing.


This is NOT true. If you only have one partition providing your data is in a folder that does not have the same name as one used by Windows it will not be overwritten when you install Windows, i.e. don’t store your data in a folder named “My Documents” instead store it in a folder named for example “Data”.

The second statement is completely untrue as well.
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July 6, 2011 9:45:16 AM

So just to make sure. If I turn my whole drive into one 1000 GB partition and then place all my storage into a folder called "data" I will later be able to install an OS on that same drive without the files stored on it being destroyed?
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a b G Storage
July 6, 2011 10:41:06 AM

Quote:
So just to make sure. If I turn my whole drive into one 1000 GB partition and then place all my storage into a folder called "data" I will later be able to install an OS on that same drive without the files stored on it being destroyed?


Yes, but always back up your data first! When you install the operating system ( XP, Vista, 7) make sure that you don't delete the partition but install into the existing partition.
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a b G Storage
July 6, 2011 3:44:42 PM

pjmelect said:
Quote:
So just to make sure. If I turn my whole drive into one 1000 GB partition and then place all my storage into a folder called "data" I will later be able to install an OS on that same drive without the files stored on it being destroyed?


Yes, but always back up your data first! When you install the operating system ( XP, Vista, 7) make sure that you don't delete the partition but install into the existing partition.



NO! This is not true. Pjmelect, I am sorry but you are flat out wrong. Maybe what you say works in a certain situation that you were in or with some extra steps involved but I would definitely need to see some proof if you claim that what you are talking about is easy or normal.

If you want to do a CLEAN install of a windows OS then you will need to erase everything on a particular partition to do a clean install.

Here is a link to a sevenforums article about doing a clean install, read the "Note: Do a clean install if ..."


If you do an upgrade installation of windows 7 then it will automatically look for the standard documents folders (my documents, my pictures, etc.) and save them in a folder titled C:\Windows.old (and a few other locations).

Here is a link to a sevenforums article about doing a upgrade install. Again read the "Note" and the "Tip" at the beginning.



I would say that using a separate partition for you OS is very beneficial. Personally I have my win7 64 bit OS on a 40GB partition, so I think that 100GB is a bit of an overkill. However if you are planning on keeping program files on that partition as well then I can see how 100GB would be more reasonable and I would probably recommend that you up it to 150-160GB just to be safe. Johns advice is the best for this because as he said if you leave space at the end that is unallocated you can allocate it later to either of the partitions that need more space. The tool that area51 posted a link to is a very good one to do just that, extend and modify partition sizes.
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July 6, 2011 10:12:58 PM

I still have a question though if I am going to make it into 2 partitions. The first person said that I need to make the 1st partition but dont format it or give it a volume name and letter. I dont understand how to do this. When I go to make a partition it automatically requires me to give it a name and drive letter and then when the wizard ends it automatically starts formatting.

Is that normal? Should I have two partitions that have been formatted, or do I need to somehow leave the 1st 100 GB partition unformatted but format the 2nd partition that I am going to use for storage?

I really appreciate all the information, but I am hearing different things and I would like to just get a simple explanation as to how exactly I should set up my partitions if I want to use one for storage right now and the other for an OS in the future.
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a c 211 G Storage
July 6, 2011 10:26:39 PM

You can always shrink the volume later after you install windows
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a c 104 G Storage
July 7, 2011 12:21:52 AM

ramulux said:
I still have a question though if I am going to make it into 2 partitions. The first person said that I need to make the 1st partition but dont format it or give it a volume name and letter. I dont understand how to do this. When I go to make a partition it automatically requires me to give it a name and drive letter and then when the wizard ends it automatically starts formatting.

Is that normal? Should I have two partitions that have been formatted, or do I need to somehow leave the 1st 100 GB partition unformatted but format the 2nd partition that I am going to use for storage?

I really appreciate all the information, but I am hearing different things and I would like to just get a simple explanation as to how exactly I should set up my partitions if I want to use one for storage right now and the other for an OS in the future.


Hi again,

The steps you follow if you buy a HDD and partition and format it to store data on, is completely different than when you are going to cleanly install an OS on a drive. Review the last instruction note I detailed for you, it will help you to do it correctly.

When you install Win-7 from a DVD to a brand new HDD, there is nothing on the drive. It is Not partitioned or formatted. You decide on the partition size and dial in the size as you follow the installation steps, then Win-7 makes the MS Reserved 100MB partition, formats the partition you chose for the OS with NTFS, and installs Win-7. You're done! (no micro-management needed)

Since you already partitioned and formatted the HDD in Disk Management, in the first few steps of installation you will need to delete those partitions you made, which obviously removes the formatting, and you will need to start over. You don't need 3rd party partitioning programs or pre formatting. It's all built in.

Here are the general steps to follow:

Set BIOS to boot from DVD
Put Win-7 DVD in DVD reader

Boot system which automatically starts 'Install Windows' (3pages)
Regional settings: put in language, time & currency format, keyboard (US)
Which type of Installation do you want? Choose Custom - Advanced
Where do you want to Install Windows?: choose Drive Options (advanced)
Select partition or Unallocated Space: here you have to undo your prior work and Delete All the existing partitionr or All (click next) Once done, may or may not need to just start over with the 'clean HDD' & reboot from the DVD (with the clean HDD)

New Partition from Unallocated Space: (dial in Partition Size in MB (that will give you the OS partition. You can make other partitions in Disk Management later from the remainder of Unallocated space and fornat it after Win-7 is completely installed (click apply)

Choose Partition to install Windows in (the first unallocated partition you just made) (click next)
Here Windows knows it's a new HDD, makes the hidden 100MB MS Reserved partition first, then formats this section with NTFS, then installs the OS.
Windows Installation from DVD begins - reboots a couple of times - near completing then

Setup Windows Info Dialog (6 screens)
Names: Account, Computer
User Acct Password (optional)
Windows Product Key (now or later)
Auto Update windows (now or later, must be internet connected)
Timezone: date, time
Network (home, work, public) choose home

To Logon Screen
Windows successful!

Remove DVD from reader
Reset BIOS to boot from HDD

You're done!

Hope that's helpful


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a b G Storage
July 7, 2011 1:29:32 AM

Quote:

NO! This is not true. Pjmelect, I am sorry but you are flat out wrong. Maybe what you say works in a certain situation that you were in or with some extra steps involved but I would definitely need to see some proof if you claim that what you are talking about is easy or normal.

If you want to do a CLEAN install of a windows OS then you will need to erase everything on a particular partition to do a clean install.

Here is a link to a sevenforums article about doing a clean install, read the "Note: Do a clean install if ..."


If you do an upgrade installation of windows 7 then it will automatically look for the standard documents folders (my documents, my pictures, etc.) and save them in a folder titled C:\Windows.old (and a few other locations).

Here is a link to a sevenforums article about doing a upgrade install. Again read the "Note" and the "Tip" at the beginning.



I would say that using a separate partition for you OS is very beneficial. Personally I have my win7 64 bit OS on a 40GB partition, so I think that 100GB is a bit of an overkill. However if you are planning on keeping program files on that partition as well then I can see how 100GB would be more reasonable and I would probably recommend that you up it to 150-160GB just to be safe. Johns advice is the best for this because as he said if you leave space at the end that is unallocated you can allocate it later to either of the partitions that need more space. The tool that area51 posted a link to is a very good one to do just that, extend and modify partition sizes.


I have installed Windows (all versions) on many computers (it’s my job) on drives with data on that I do not want to overwrite and I have never had a problem. Naturally you do not choose the option to format the drive or delete the partition while doing so.

Creating multiple disk partitions using Disk Manager is easy to do so you do not need extra software. Resizing partitions with data on them can be more difficult but doable with extra software like Partition Magic.

I recommend using a single partition, but if you don’t believe me why don’t you experiment by adding test data to the drive and then install an operating system (no need to activate) and see how you get on. It will only take an hour or so to perform the experiment and you will learn a lot in the process.
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July 7, 2011 2:12:51 AM

That does not really answer my question. I'm not going to install any OS on this drive right away. I just want to make it usable for storage with the ability to install an OS on it at some point in the future.

How should I set up my partitions if I want to use the drive for storage right now and put a OS on in the future with the least amount of hassle?
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a b G Storage
July 7, 2011 7:35:38 AM

Quote:
That does not really answer my question. I'm not going to install any OS on this drive right away. I just want to make it usable for storage with the ability to install an OS on it at some point in the future.

How should I set up my partitions if I want to use the drive for storage right now and put a OS on in the future with the least amount of hassle?

Ramulux, if you are not planning on installing an OS on this drive right away then simply partition the HDD like you already have done. When you are done with the partitioning simply delete the first partition that you created for an OS. This will leave a space at the beginning of the drive for installation of an OS later. When you later go through the installation process you will have to chose this space and create a partition and then let windows format it during the install.


Quote:
I have installed Windows (all versions) on many computers (it’s my job) on drives with data on that I do not want to overwrite and I have never had a problem. Naturally you do not choose the option to format the drive or delete the partition while doing so.

Pjmelect, please don't take this the wrong way I am in no way questioning your creditability. I completely believe that you install windows as part of your job, however you writing about how you did it this way or that doesn't help anyone if you aren't going to share how you did it.

Personally the only way that I know how to keep data on a drive and perform a clean install of windows is to partition the drive and have one partition for the OS and one partition for the data. That way the OS cannot touch the data partition and overwrite or try and format it. However this goes against your first post that said
Quote:
I am not a fan of partitioning a hard drive it’s better and more efficient to just have one big partition.


So I am confused and genuinely interested in how you are performing theses installs on one partition while saving all of the data on them. Because even if you do not format the partition and simply rewrite the over the current data you are gambling that windows will install on the same physical locations that the previous installation did. And windows installing in a neat and orderly fashion is not a bet that I would take.
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July 7, 2011 9:25:27 AM

Thanks a lot j2j663. Right now I have one formatted partition thats 100 GB. From there should I format the rest of the drive for another 890 GB or so partition, then delete the original 100 GB partition? That will then leave space for when I create a new partition while installing Windows? Just want to make sure.
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a c 104 G Storage
July 7, 2011 1:39:12 PM

ramulux said:
Thanks a lot j2j663. Right now I have one formatted partition thats 100 GB. From there should I format the rest of the drive for another 890 GB or so partition, then delete the original 100 GB partition? That will then leave space for when I create a new partition while installing Windows? Just want to make sure.



If you are going to use this drive now for storage, then add Win-7 later in the first partition, in Disk Management,go ahead and create a second partition in the area of unallocated space. Then Format it with the standard 4096 allocation unit, and NTFS. Assign it a DriveLetter so the OS recognizes it, then give it a VolumeName, You're all set.

You should consider Deleting the Volume in the 100GB space, or at least removing the DriveLetter and VolumeName if you assigned it one, so the OS doesn't recognize it and add it to your file system.
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a b G Storage
July 7, 2011 5:53:21 PM

Quote:
Pjmelect, please don't take this the wrong way I am in no way questioning your creditability. I completely believe that you install windows as part of your job, however you writing about how you did it this way or that doesn't help anyone if you aren't going to share how you did it.

Personally the only way that I know how to keep data on a drive and perform a clean install of windows is to partition the drive and have one partition for the OS and one partition for the data. That way the OS cannot touch the data partition and overwrite or try and format it. However this goes against your first post that said

So I am confused and genuinely interested in how you are performing theses installs on one partition while saving all of the data on them. Because even if you do not format the partition and simply rewrite the over the current data you are gambling that windows will install on the same physical locations that the previous installation did. And windows installing in a neat and orderly fashion is not a bet that I would take.


j2j663 I will repeat what I have previously said in my earlier posts, to install Windows (any version) on to a hard drive without deleting any data that is on it simply chose the option in the install program to install to an existing partition and do NOT delete or format the partition.

I think I understand where your confusion is coming from as, if you have data in say "C:\Documents and settings\user\My Documents" then installing the operating system will delete any data there, as when Windows installs itself and finds that there is already a folder called “Documents and Settings” it will delete it and any sub directories, and then create a new “Documents and Settings” folder.

So to insure that your data is safe when you install Windows make sure that it is in a folder that is not used by Windows or its installer routine. For example I am sure that j2j663_Data is not used in any way by Windows.


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July 8, 2011 1:20:39 AM

Should I delete the 1st partition before creating the other storage partition or should I delete it after the 2nd one is created? Does it even matter?
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July 8, 2011 10:48:23 PM

I'm still not sure what I should do with my first partition. If I have a 100 GB partition that is formatted, then I create a 890 GB or whatever partition for storage, should I keep the first partition or delete it after the 2nd one is created?

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