How To Partition For XP?

Greetings all!

I am about to perform a clean install of Windows XP - home edition - on a 30 gig IBM Deskstar 75GXP and was wondering how i should partition the drive. Before XP, I had the drive partitioned as follows - using Windows ME:

c: Boot Disk 50MB - FAT 16
d: Swap Disk 550MB - FAT32
e: Windoze 2.4GB - FAT32
f: Internet 8GB - FAT32
g: Appz 5GB - FAT32
h: Gamez 5GB - FAT32
i: MP3z 5GB - FAT32
j: Data 4GB - FAT32

I understand XP has a new file system - NTFS - and that I should use this for all partitions. Please advise as to the best partition setup, i.e. are boot and swap disks required & is 2.4GB enough for XP?

Thanks in advance!

Hardware Junkie
14 answers Last reply
More about partition
  1. Partition and format the drive during the install as one partition. If you have 512MB of RAM or more, do without the swapfile!

    <font color=red>I aM WE ToDD DiD.</font color=red><font color=white> I aM </font color=white><font color=blue>SOfA KING WE ToDD DiD</font color=blue>
  2. You have a lot of partitions but well organized. Users have reported installing on a 2-3GB partion with success.
    Try a clean install to your drive E: and see how it works. NTFS works great but you can convert the file system
    later after you are up and running.

    <font color=blue>Remember.... You get what you pay for. :smile: All advice here is free.</font color=blue> :wink:
  3. Hi Lars:

    I have 256 MB of DDR on an ABIT A7A266 mobo running an AMD Tbird 1.2 GHZ @ 1.4 GHZ.

    Your recommendation as I understand from your post is:

    c: Swap Disk 550MB
    d: Remaining Drive Space 29.450GB

    Will this setup provide peak performance?

    Please advise.

    Thank you,

    Hardware Junkie
  4. Putting things on separate partitions isn't going to increase performance. It's going to increase ease of use. Maybe with your swap file being on another partition it will give better performace so just create a partition at 512MB (twice the size of RAM) and leave the rest as is. The only reason that it would have anything to do with performance is because it will keep it from getting defragmented.

    Other then that in Windows XP you have the ability to get rid of the Swap file all together, but it's not recommended unless you have 512MB or more RAM. So seeing as RAM is sooo cheap at the moment (and has been for about the last year), I would get 256MB more and say the hell with the swap and partition the whole drive as one.

    <font color=red>I aM WE ToDD DiD.</font color=red><font color=white> I aM </font color=white><font color=blue>SOfA KING WE ToDD DiD</font color=blue>
  5. i was told that the more partitions that you have, the lower the peformance of the hard drive is going to be..but i have found that to be a big huge pile of anchovies...(no cussin)
    it just helps to organize...and this guy has quite an orginization..
    i only have two..
    also, what is with the fat16????
    isnt that win95 standard?


    -DAvid

    -Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
  6. I haven't ever noticed performance increase either way! I would only do it for structure.

    BTW, Your pretty damn funny!

    <font color=red>I aM WE ToDD DiD.</font color=red><font color=white> I aM </font color=white><font color=blue>SOfA KING WE ToDD DiD</font color=blue>
  7. Some "heavy" software becomes sluggish when installed on a separate directory/volume from system files where the WINNT is in case of WinNT/2000, and similar for Sun Solaris. I've just read the recomendations on installation. People who install and provide the support, confirmed that. Minimun server basic production installation requires at least 3 independed controllers with several disks, some of them in RAID, but the main application must be on the first controller on the same volume with the system and boot. On a client (workstation) or for learning purpose everything should be installed on X: where the system files are.
  8. Junkie,

    First off, I should let you know that the 75GXP drives haven't had the best of track records. Otherwise, IBM drives are really nice. If you have 512MB Ram or more, you can do without a swap file, but if you have enough disk space, I'd go ahead and leave some swap file there, especially if you do work on digital video / large (like 300-400 meg) image files, or anything else that would normally eat up a ton of ram. If you have less than 512, I would deffinately setup a swap. I have 384 megs of ram in my machine, and since I have alot of HD space, I keep a 256-512M swap file.

    Now, on to your quesiton:

    I haven't found any evidence of a performance increase by using a bunch of different partitions. Take in to account that windows puts the swap on the perimeter of the partition to increase speed (I beleive that's what it does, please correct me if I'm wrong) and if your partitions is at the beginning of the drive, then obviously, the swap cannot reach its highest performace. And, IMHO, it acutally decreases ease of use. I would normally stick to 2 partitions (or, even better, two separate HD's) 1 for Windows and your Apps, 1 for your data, files, mp3s, and stuff you never want to lose. And 1 more point: if you don't own a dynamic partitioning program (such as Partition Magic), it could make your life alot harder. For example: lets say you have your MP3z partition set at 5GB, and one day you decide to go on an MP3 rampage and rip all your CD's and leach off of your favorite p2p file sharing service. When all is said and done, you'll have more than 5 GB of mp3's. Without a program like Partition Magic, you'll be up a creek, and you'll just end up putting your run-over MP3's onto your Data drive.. Then you lose the organization you worked so hard to obtain. A better system would be as follows:

    1st partition: OS, Apps, games, etc.. (stuff that can be installed back later)
    2nd partitions: Data, files, mp3s, etc..

    On the 2nd partition put different folders called "MP3s", "School Work", "Play Stuff", "Work Work", "Downloads", etc.. (you get the idea)

    and don't put anything else in the root of the partition. just file things away in the correct folders as you get them..

    Hope that helps!

    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by MaestroFromLA on 12/30/01 09:14 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  9. agree, one of the few things MS did right....implementing the folders :D

    [insert philosophical statement here]
  10. In the old days drives were partitioned to keep the cluster sizes down. Creating a more efficient storage of files. For instance if your cluster was 4K a 1K file would consume 4K. If you had a 32K cluster a 1K file would consume 32K. This all changed with FAT32 and NTFS 5. Cluster sizes are kept to a minimum. Since all transfers are going through the same controller to the same drive, there is no performance benefit. No if you had seperate drives seperating from the OS would help. Also, moving the swap off the OS drive helps for performance. Remember drive doesn't mean logical it means physical. Even more performance of the other drive is on another controller.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    <b> If it beeps, It's still alive </b>
  11. Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply!

    With respect to cluster sizes, I have conducted some research - http://web.ukonline.co.uk/cook/Clustsize.htm - and it appears that keeping NTFS partitions under 4GB will allow for 4k clusters and under 8GB will allow for 8K clusters. NTFS partitions over 8GB will increase cluster size to 16k +++. For optimum utilization of drive space, would it not make sense to keep NTFS partitions under 4GB and 8GB respectively?

    I was also under the impression that having a swap partition at the front of the drive provides peak performance. Again, I am using 256MB of DDR SDRAM and do not plan on upgrading at this time.

    I am planning to partition the drive as follows:

    c: Boot Disk - 50MB
    d: Swap File - 500MB
    e: Windoze - 4GB
    f: Internet - 8GB
    g: Appz - 4GB
    h: Gamez - 4GB
    i: MP3z - 4GB
    j: Data - 4GB
  12. The only objection I'd have with all these partitions are that in the event of low partition space in any of the partitions, it'd take a lot of resizing to do. In my opinion, I don't think it's worth it to split it up into 8 partitions.

    I'd set it up like:
    Partition 1 - Swap File
    Partition 2 - Windows XP, Apps, Games
    Partition 3 - Data, MP3s, Downloads

    It'd be better like this, plus instead of organizing stuff into partitions, separate your stuff into folders. So much easier...

    In my setup, with two hard drives, the first HD is for just Windows XP + Applications (don't play games yet). The second is split up into two partitions: A 600MB for the paging file, and the rest for data, mp3s, and download programs.

    Happy New Year!
    Bryan

    BTW, what's your "internet" partition supposed to be?

    <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/btvillarin" target="_new">My Website</A> - updated basically everyday.
  13. well, going off instinct here. i'd say for what he's posted, the "internet" partition is 8gb, which is the largest partition he's got/will have. obviously "internet" can be easily translated into "porn". :wink:

    [insert philosophical statement here]
  14. ROFL!!! :lol: That's hilarious!

    <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/btvillarin" target="_new">My Website</A> - updated basically everyday.
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