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Partitioning...

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February 2, 2010 4:09:46 PM

Hello all, I'm building a new system with Win7 pro that'll primarily be for photo editing with Photoshop and I plan to add a few 1TB HDDs for media storage to stream to a ACER Revo HTPC. My concern right now is in regards to partitioning. I've got a WD 640GB HDD that'll be used for the OS and data/applications. I've been involved with builds before, but never really got as far as setting up the initial startup of the OS and configuring. One of my friends recommended 75gigs for the system, 415 for the data and 150 for backup. Your thoughts? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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February 2, 2010 4:18:23 PM

You can't partition the primary drive after you install an OS.
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February 2, 2010 4:20:00 PM

Also, in general partitioning isn't really needed. Do you have a specific reason for partitioning? If not, for general users it makes no difference and offer no advantages.
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February 2, 2010 4:20:51 PM

Doesn't it give you the option to partition during the OS install?
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February 2, 2010 4:23:50 PM

It does allow you to partition. As to why you'd want to do it, there is absolutely no reason.

And you definitely shouldn't backup everything up to the same drive. You need to get a second HDD (internal or external) for the backup. If you were to lose the drive, you would lose the backup, thus defeating the purpose of having a backup.
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February 2, 2010 4:28:24 PM

That's pretty much what I thought, but my knowledge is limited on the subject. Backing it up to the same drive didn't make sense either. Thanks.
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February 2, 2010 5:10:06 PM

No partition here either, 500Gb external HDD for any vital stuff, transfer data and unplug till next time :) 
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February 2, 2010 9:18:57 PM

Theoretically, you could create a partition for the OS which you could feel confident about wiping without losing any of your actual data if you were concerned that the Windows install itself had a virus.

In general though, it's really not needed. And yeah, it would be a bad idea to create a backup partition on the same drive.
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February 2, 2010 9:42:24 PM

You can partition from Windows 7 however the problem is you are generally limited to splitting an existing partition in half...which kind a makes the whole idea moot. There are several reasons to partition:

1. At home in your dresser.....do you have all your clothes in one drawer or do you have a socks drawer, underwear drawer, shirts drawer, pants drawer, etc. ? If you do, explaining the organizational benefit shouldn't be necessary.

2. Seek time - When you access a file, the OS has to search thru the entire MBR.....goes faster on a 64 GB partition than on a 2 TB partition.

3. Disk Speed - The outside of your disk is twice as fast as the inner edge. Forcing page and temp files to this area forever on a small partition at outside edge of disk as opposed to letting windows put them anywhere only means that performance decreases over time.

4. Formatting - NTFS file protections aren't necessary for temp / page files so lose the NTFS overhead and make this partition FAT32.

5. Wear and tear, backup - Is there really a reason to have your entire HD backed up every day ? After your last program was installed, why is there a need to backup the "Programs" partition ? Set the utility to back up OS partition once a week, temp / page file partition never, programs partition once a month, data partition once a day or whatever works for you

6. Wear and tear defrag - Is there really a need to defrag that programs partition except before installing a new program ? Set the utility's schedule to do once a month.....set the OS drive and data drives to a different schedule that works for you.

6. Fudged OS - What's easier to make an image of and restore an image .... a 64 GB OS partition or a 2 TB entire drive ? Wouldn't it be nice to fit that entire system restore image in a compressed file on a USB pen drive ? Try that with 2 TB of data.

7. Whose smarter you or windows - Ya know how windows and other defraggers claim to put your most used file at the beginning of the drive ? What's your most used file ? Mine is probably that 40 GB data partition backup that my backup software makes and puts it where I told it to way at the end (slowest part) of my HD.....I really don't want windows deciding that big fat file should be at the fast part of my HD.

8. Migration - moving from Windows 7 to Windows 8 and want a clean install ? Clone your disk to a new one, wipe the C partition (OS only) and install Win8 on newly formatted partition. All ya data, all your programs, all your special custom files for those programs are still there on Programs partition. Simply install the programs over themselves and all custom toolbars and customizations remain.





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February 3, 2010 1:12:17 AM

JackNaylorPE said:
You can partition from Windows 7 however the problem is you are generally limited to splitting an existing partition in half...which kind a makes the whole idea moot. There are several reasons to partition:

1. At home in your dresser.....do you have all your clothes in one drawer or do you have a socks drawer, underwear drawer, shirts drawer, pants drawer, etc. ? If you do, explaining the organizational benefit shouldn't be necessary.

2. Seek time - When you access a file, the OS has to search thru the entire MBR.....goes faster on a 64 GB partition than on a 2 TB partition.

3. Disk Speed - The outside of your disk is twice as fast as the inner edge. Forcing page and temp files to this area forever on a small partition at outside edge of disk as opposed to letting windows put them anywhere only means that performance decreases over time.

4. Formatting - NTFS file protections aren't necessary for temp / page files so lose the NTFS overhead and make this partition FAT32.

5. Wear and tear, backup - Is there really a reason to have your entire HD backed up every day ? After your last program was installed, why is there a need to backup the "Programs" partition ? Set the utility to back up OS partition once a week, temp / page file partition never, programs partition once a month, data partition once a day or whatever works for you

6. Wear and tear defrag - Is there really a need to defrag that programs partition except before installing a new program ? Set the utility's schedule to do once a month.....set the OS drive and data drives to a different schedule that works for you.

6. Fudged OS - What's easier to make an image of and restore an image .... a 64 GB OS partition or a 2 TB entire drive ? Wouldn't it be nice to fit that entire system restore image in a compressed file on a USB pen drive ? Try that with 2 TB of data.

7. Whose smarter you or windows - Ya know how windows and other defraggers claim to put your most used file at the beginning of the drive ? What's your most used file ? Mine is probably that 40 GB data partition backup that my backup software makes and puts it where I told it to way at the end (slowest part) of my HD.....I really don't want windows deciding that big fat file should be at the fast part of my HD.

8. Migration - moving from Windows 7 to Windows 8 and want a clean install ? Clone your disk to a new one, wipe the C partition (OS only) and install Win8 on newly formatted partition. All ya data, all your programs, all your special custom files for those programs are still there on Programs partition. Simply install the programs over themselves and all custom toolbars and customizations remain.


This is the guy you want to listen to. Those are the reasons for partitioning. I agree 100%
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February 10, 2010 10:45:29 AM

JackNaylorPE said:
You can partition from Windows 7 however the problem is you are generally limited to splitting an existing partition in half...which kind a makes the whole idea moot. There are several reasons to partition:

1. At home in your dresser.....do you have all your clothes in one drawer or do you have a socks drawer, underwear drawer, shirts drawer, pants drawer, etc. ? If you do, explaining the organizational benefit shouldn't be necessary.

2. Seek time - When you access a file, the OS has to search thru the entire MBR.....goes faster on a 64 GB partition than on a 2 TB partition.

3. Disk Speed - The outside of your disk is twice as fast as the inner edge. Forcing page and temp files to this area forever on a small partition at outside edge of disk as opposed to letting windows put them anywhere only means that performance decreases over time.

4. Formatting - NTFS file protections aren't necessary for temp / page files so lose the NTFS overhead and make this partition FAT32.

5. Wear and tear, backup - Is there really a reason to have your entire HD backed up every day ? After your last program was installed, why is there a need to backup the "Programs" partition ? Set the utility to back up OS partition once a week, temp / page file partition never, programs partition once a month, data partition once a day or whatever works for you

6. Wear and tear defrag - Is there really a need to defrag that programs partition except before installing a new program ? Set the utility's schedule to do once a month.....set the OS drive and data drives to a different schedule that works for you.

6. Fudged OS - What's easier to make an image of and restore an image .... a 64 GB OS partition or a 2 TB entire drive ? Wouldn't it be nice to fit that entire system restore image in a compressed file on a USB pen drive ? Try that with 2 TB of data.

7. Whose smarter you or windows - Ya know how windows and other defraggers claim to put your most used file at the beginning of the drive ? What's your most used file ? Mine is probably that 40 GB data partition backup that my backup software makes and puts it where I told it to way at the end (slowest part) of my HD.....I really don't want windows deciding that big fat file should be at the fast part of my HD.

8. Migration - moving from Windows 7 to Windows 8 and want a clean install ? Clone your disk to a new one, wipe the C partition (OS only) and install Win8 on newly formatted partition. All ya data, all your programs, all your special custom files for those programs are still there on Programs partition. Simply install the programs over themselves and all custom toolbars and customizations remain.


Yes! Thank you! That was my thoughts initially and exactly what I needed to hear. So, are you saying/recommending that I need 4 partitions (OS, temp / page file, programs, and data)? Can all those partitions be made in the Windows7 setup or do I need a special partitioning program to do so? Remember, this is a 640GB WD drive so explaining which partitions I need and how much space for each one is greatly appreciated.
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February 10, 2010 11:41:40 AM

Two partitions are sufficient. The OS would go on a partition between 25 - 40 GB, depending on how many programs you plan to install. The other partition is data.
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February 10, 2010 12:25:27 PM

yeah i would say 2 partitions is all you need for what your doing. C drive (first partition) has your OS and some core programs. and your big side can be your data storage. and maybe some not so core applications like gaming.
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