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What is the ideal Partitioning for Windows 7 Pro 64 bit with a 1 TB internal HDD ?

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September 14, 2013 2:38:45 AM

I have recently upgraded my system (I had a P-3 m/c !) to:
Intel 2020 P-4 2.9 GHz processor
Gigabyte B75-D3H chipset MB
4 GB DDR3 Corsair RAM
and 1 TB Seagate internal HDD

Now the problem is, I had a specific plan in my mind about the partitioning the hdd, i.e.
C:\ 100
D:\ 150 (Win-7)
E:\ 100 (Win XP-SP2)
F:\ 250 (Movies)
G:\ 150 (Music)
H:\ Rest (~180) (Data/ Documents)

[Previously I inquired here in a discussion reg suggestion for the same: http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-1695658/plz-advi... ]

Unfortunately, the guy in the shop from where I purchased the new system, started to partition the hdd after the assembling without asking me anything.
He partitioned it like :
C:\ 210 gb
D:\ 370 gb
E:\ 360 gb
and installed the OS Windows-7 Pro SP1 64 bit in the "C" drive.

Although it seems OK till now with this config., still I have some queries/ doubts in my mind:
1) What would have been the ideal/ better one as per the partitioning is concerned, my customized choice or the partition currently I am using ? (Performance wise or OS wise ?)

2) I had a plan to install Windows XP (which I used for last 6-7 years) in a different drive as dual booting with Windows 7 later but now I found, once Win-7 is installed, installing Win-XP is a complicated task !
Should I then reformat the hdd and install Win-XP first and after that Win-7 ?

3) Since I am using Win-7 64 bit version, many freeware applications/ tools/ s/w having a problem to install since they don't support 64 bit OS. For example, I have a HP 3550 deskjet printer, but I could not able to install it since when I am trying to install the driver s/w cd for the printer, it does not install being incapable of 64 bit OS (though I purchased a new Canon Pixma printer, still, the HP printer is also in a good working condition, but I had to keep it idle for this problem).
So will it be a wise decision, if I reinstall the OS, selecting Win-7 32 bit will be a better option ?

4) Every time I starts my system, after booting, a message appears : "Win-32 application stopped working --- get a solution for this online/ close this window"
Opting online option to resolve the issue does not helps ! Where is the issue ?

5) The system temperature shows a range from 47 degree Celsius to 53 degree Celsius. Is it normal for this system or something alarming ?

Thanks in advance for your valuable inputs :) 
a b $ Windows 7
September 14, 2013 11:02:55 AM

Since you are running Windows 7 Pro x64, I see no good reason to run Windows XP from a separate partition. It would be more efficient to download the free XPMode from Microsoft and be able to run XP in a window just like a program, so no need for reboot to switch between OSs.

I would stay with 64 bit Windows 7 and just use that HP printer from XPMode, although the generic windows drivers seem to work well with all my old HP printers so they do fine on x64 as long as they are not network printers. Ditch any old apps that won't run on x64 and find new replacements -- there are plenty around.

I don't like using partitions, it doesn't really improve performance much (if at all) and it is too restrictive. If you want say one partition for everything else, I could see that so you could reinstall Windows 7 on C and not disturb all your video/music/etc.

I would go to the E partition and delete it in disk management and then extend the D partition to include all of its former space.
September 15, 2013 12:23:55 PM

Thanks for your reply.

//" Ditch any old apps that won't run on x64 and find new replacements -- there are plenty around."//

Yes, Reg x32 vs x64, yes, it's true that each n everyday we are heading more towards x64 based applications. Tools like winzip/ winrar/ AV or Antimalware/ other utilities ... all have their x64 bit version available for download.

I have no idea about running XP by downloading free XPMode from M.Soft (infact, this is the first time I am using Win-7, i.e. any OS other than XP), so have to go through the exact process first. The idea is great and if I can able to implement the same, I have no problem in that.

//"I don't like using partitions, it doesn't really improve performance much (if at all) and it is too restrictive."//

Actually, apart from organizing my docs/music/videos/movies/pictures etc., (I was not sure whether more partitioning means more performance boost or not) I wanted to improve the performance through it (though at present, it's not so necessary for me). If the performance does not improve much, organizing part is not a big deal ... can be managed with different folders in a single drive.
But can you please explain a little bit more about the portion of your comment in this line : "and it is too restrictive" ?
It's not very clear to me ("too restrictive").
Related resources
a b $ Windows 7
September 15, 2013 12:40:34 PM

Too restrictive in that if you decide you need more space for videos or any other particular type file that has its own partition you have to go through the process of shrinking and expanding volumes, where just using folders on a single data partition allows you to just load up until the partition is full.

XPMode is very very easy to install and use, it does not require extensive knowledge and is far more stable than a dual boot setup, also it is very convenient to just open XP in a Window rather than having to reboot to use it.

Take a look HERE for download links and a good tutorial on installing and using XPMode. Best part is that it is free and includes a fresh install of XP SP3.

And you actually can run many 32 bit applications on Window 7 x64, in fact most of my applications are 32 bit -- they are just not real old 32 bit applications from the XP era.
a b $ Windows 7
September 15, 2013 1:12:23 PM

Partition size is not that important anymore -- back when FAT16 and to a smaller extent FAT32 where the formats being used it made a large difference as the larger the partition the larger the default cluster size things were saved in

IE for FAT32 the default cluster size was :
Quote:
128 MB–256 MB 2 KB
256 MB–8GB 4 KB
8GB–16GB 8 KB
16GB–32GB 16 KB
32GB–2TB 32 KB
And the largest supported partition is 2TB


So for example if using FAT32 and you had 250GB HDD - if you made your data partition smaller than 32GB the small text files would use up to half as much disk space since they could be saved in 16KB pieces rather than taking up 32KB so for partitions that had a bunch of small files like text etc. you could get more files saved in the same HDD space by creating some partitions that were smaller. And if you had a HDD that was larger than 2TB you had to split it, as there was no way for a larger partition to be created so you either only used a single 2TB partition and left the rest unused or made a few partitions out of the HDD. However now that the switch to NTFS has been made the situation has changed since the cluster size is now 4KB for partitions from 1GB to 16TB so the need for smaller partitions is no longer as important.

That said I still would suggest a minimum of 2 partitions (1 of around 100 - 200GB for the OS and 1 with the remainder of the HDD) so that if you have a problem and need to reinstall the OS your second partition with the programs and your data installed are safe on another partition during the reformat and reinstall of the primary OS partition.
a b $ Windows 7
September 15, 2013 1:36:59 PM

"That said I still would suggest a minimum of 2 partitions (1 of around 100 - 200GB for the OS and 1 with the remainder of the HDD) so that if you have a problem and need to reinstall the OS your second partition with the programs and your data installed are safe on another partition during the reformat and reinstall of the primary OS partition."

+1, this is the most sensible arrangement IMO, one partition for the OS and one for all other stuff so you can reinstall without loss (although you should still back up data for the possibility of drive loss). I just don't see any need to slice up the data partition for home user setups.
September 15, 2013 3:11:01 PM

I just built a new computer to go from Windows 2000 to Windows 7. I put C: (os) on a SSD drive for speed. I try very hard to keep everything else in partitions on 4 regular hard drives, based on how often it should be backed up. Data, Applications, Downloads, Other. I use a cd to create images of the C: drive to usb drives. When Windows gets flaky or will not boot, I restore an image. I kept Windows 2000 running this way without a clean install for about ten years.
September 15, 2013 7:12:59 PM

Thanks again to RealBeast and JDFan for your explanation.
Now the things are more clearer :) 
I am leaving my partition as it is for the time being w/out disturbing them ... will try to merge the E partition with the D later with the help of a third party application (Acronis/ Paragon) as RealBeast suggested in his first post.
Thanks for providing XP Mode installation link. Yes, it's more convenient than a fresh install of XP.

//"And you actually can run many 32 bit applications on Window 7 x64, in fact most of my applications are 32 bit -- they are just not real old 32 bit applications from the XP era."//

Exactly so ... I found an interesting article on this and would like to share:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/32-bit-and-64-b...

Thanks to JDFan for detail explanation reg. old FAT16 and FAT32 partitioning and also the cluster concept of FAT32 & NTFS.
!