I'm building a gaming computer and read that having two hard drives is good to have for backing things up and speeding up your computer. So my understanding is that on one hard drive or partition you save the OS only and on the other hard drive or the other partition you keep your programs and games and all that so that if you get a virus it gets saved to the hard drive or partition that contains your programs and games and only corrupts those. In that event you can open the OS from the other hard drive or partition and reinstall windows but you lose all the other files. Is this correct or have I confused something?
I wouldn't recommend relying on something as tenuous as a second hard drive to help you prevent damage from a virus. Any Virus that you get is likely to start damaging your system drive regardless of where it is installed. The purpose of havng more than one drive has more to do with what type of drives you use than it does with virus protection. If you want to protect yourself from a virus infection, get a good virus scanner program and install it, be very careful about the source of programs you install on your computer and use good judgement when visiting websites that could be engaging in questionable activity. A good virus program will provide warnings about suspicious websites and programs.
Now to explain the real purpose of having more than one drive. Basically, to get better performance, you want to get an SSD with a capacity between 60GB and 256GB(120GB and above is preferred) to use for your Operating System and most used programs and games. SSD's are much faster than mechanical hard drives, but they are also much more expensive, so you want the programs that will benefit the most from high speed data transfers to be installed there. The HDD should be AT LEAST 2-4 times larger than the SSD. It is used to store less used programs, programs that don't benefit from the higher speed and all of your data (Pics, Videos, Documents and other data files).
Okay thank you guys, you're clearing this up for me. So say I only had a 1 tb hard drive, there would be no point in partitioning it into one smaller section for the OS and one big section for everything else?
also, since SSD's are really expensive would having just 1 tb hard drive be okay for gaming performance? (I'm using it literally for games alone, I have a laptop for all my other things)
As I said in my post, SSD's are quite a bit more expensive, however, an SSD is NOT a requirement for a gaming system. It's more of luxury really, however, for many, it is a luxury well worth having because it significantly improves the load times of the operating system and games.
Partitioning your HDD to effectively create two disks provides very little benefit, IMO. Personally, I wouldn't do it. However, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that if you feel it helps you to organize your files better.