Partitioning Your Hard Drive - Comments Page 1

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Posted by:

15 Aug 2008

I know your right but if you only have one harddrive and want to clone your HD you need a partition as most cloning software won't clone to same partition. I know most people add a second HD however most computers out of store only have one HD.

Posted by:

17 Aug 2008

What can I do with my Acer Aspire laptop which comes from factory with a "second hard drive" D: that actualy is another partition, in order to run the Acer ERecovery utility?

EDITOR'S NOTE: I don't understand your question... do you want to get rid of the recovery partition?

Posted by:

18 Aug 2008

I'm inclined to agree with a lot of what you say. These days, if you want performance, just buy a Raptor or some other blistering hard drive. I still however find it very convenient to have two partitions on a single hard drive system (e.g. my laptop) with windows and programs on one partition (typically C) and my data on another (typically D).

Once I have a system configured to how I want it as a baseline including programs I know I want such as Office (and including having the special folders pointing to folders on the data partition), I take an image of the O/S partition. (Along the way I may take images - particularly with Media Center Edition as it's somewhat flaky). I take periodic backups of my D drive - usually have at least 2 back ups on a couple of USB drives (no compression, just a straight copy).

If the OS or progams go belly-up or the system has just become bloated and sluggish over time and system restore doesn't fix the issue, I just restore the image. Because the O/S restored from the image already knows where my data sits, everything is back up to a reasonable level in 30-60mins. I'd be interested in your thoughts on this.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I'm surprised that you don't run into registry problems. I guess if you don't install any new software after making the OS image, it should be fine. I've never had to re-install Windows XP on any of my own machines, though.

Posted by:

18 Aug 2008

What about a partition for back ups? I had a hard disk crash (single partition) and it was a very expensive data recovery geek (drove a Porsche to my front door) that got it all back on several dozen CD's - Yuk. Now I have a D-drive for backups. Suits me.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I think you have a separate hard drive as your D: drive, instead of C: and D: partitions on a single drive. At least I hope you do. As I said in the article, if you have a head crash on a drive, ALL of the partitions on that drive will be affected. Always backup to a different physical drive, whether internal or external.

Posted by:

Les Hodgsonl
19 Aug 2008

Bob , I TOTALLY agree with your comments, computers running on Windows can be so negative , That one can get in enough trouble without looking for more.

Posted by:

frank bridgland
19 Aug 2008

Personally I find it simpler to keep assorted backup files, XP installation folder, assorted drivers in a separate partition so I can reinstall OS on C without having to fish out assorted CDs etc. I also keep my data on a different partition. If I want to reformat my OS partition I can. Everything is also backed up elsewhere but is is so much simpler and quicker to run installation from the hard drive.

Partitioning software is fast and efficient enough for my needs.

Having my Acronis 11 backup on an external drive reminds me that the days when you could back up to a single DVD or two are gone and even Blue Ray may not be enough as systems evolve. But this is another subject, the need for an external hard drive, that is.

Posted by:

19 Aug 2008

Hey Bob... good articles, every time! But this one about partitions ... I have my doubts ...I do like my partitions. C; for windows, D for programs, E for pics, F for music etc ... You write that you'll get confused where your stuff is. But ... In my closet, I have a separate drawer for socks, a separate place for shirts, a seperate place for undies etc ... and I never went out with my undies on my feet ... Another advantage of having more (smaller) partitions, is that e.g. defragging goes much faster. You only need to defrag the partition where you have been messing. I guess that the partition with programs, doesn't have to be defragged often because you usually don't mess with program files. Even so the music partition. And if you're not "playing" with pictures all the time, the pic partition doesn't have to be defragged that much either. Defragging the partition where your operating system is on, really makes a difference in speed. So if you have AND your OS, AND your programs AND your pics, AND your music etc on one laaaaarge partition, a defrag (actually just in favor of your OS) is gonna take a loooong time... every time ... But ... this is just MY opinion .. *VBS* Friendly greetings!

EDITOR'S NOTE: Paul, having multiple partitions if you're a power user like yourself really can't hurt, unless you run out of space in a partition, then you're in for some hurting. As long as you're the only one using that computer, you'll do fine. But asking someone else to remember which "drawer" your "undies" are in could cause confusion. I run my defrags automatically during the wee hours of the morning, so they can crunch for hours if needed...

Posted by:

19 Aug 2008

I disagree. I have my operating system on the C: drive, Programs on my D: drive. Pix and presentations on G:, Misc downloads on E: and other designations on other partitions. I regularly Image the C: and D: drives C: and D: are defragmented. I can defragment the system and programs without defragmenting the entire drive which I would have to do if I had one partition. I am hardly a novice, having worked with all aspects of computers since 1952.

Not long ago I worked on a friend's system that had a 1TB C: drive. It took ages to defrag and scan for viruses. It was super slow to use.

Posted by:

19 Aug 2008

I agree with you 100%. Most of my geek friends love to partition, but I like to keep my computing as simple as possible. I auto backup my important files to an external WD hard drive every night. I also defrag nightly during the wee hours as you do. If it ain't broke, why "fix" it?

Posted by:

Dave J
20 Aug 2008

Hi Bob, What about those of us who need to work in plain old DOS once in a while? Many of the radio programming applications are still in DOS. Especially for some of the older (10 years or more) two-way radios. What is your feeling about a second partition to operate the 'puter in DOS ?

EDITOR'S NOTE: That would qualify as a distinct operating system, so a bootable partition seems appropriate.

Posted by:

20 Aug 2008

I agree that having only one partition is a good idea for casual or beginner users, unless it is a laptop and the need to use Bitlocker Drive Encryption. (No need to use Bitlocker on a desktop, unless it is serve need of security). I see many who disagree here are not beginners or casual users. I answer a lot of questions at another forum, and some here may be deeply surprised at the level of inexperience many people have. Working with just one partition is far better for them. I don't think many, if any, Terabyte hard disks are sold on prebuilt systems today. Anyone who likes multiple partitions should use them, but this article is about regular folks, not experts and Power Users.

Posted by:

22 Aug 2008

I admit, I am a 2 partition fan when running windows. one for the operating system and one for data/source files. I have found that systems require less service and provide a better user experience this way. Placing a full copy of every program installation fileset in a "source" directory on the "data" partition allows for faster system configuration times and establishes an external pointer for programs so that new features can be found and loaded on an as needed basis. Having only OS and programs loaded onto the primary partition minimizes head travel during operation. Sure, the head has to travel to the data partition to read or write files, but the impact is low as most files are small enough to be loaded into RAM.

One partition is ok, but fragmentation is definately more of an issue when user and system generated files are sharing the same partition.

Power users seem to appreciate the difference, general surf and mail users seem to be fine with one partition.

Posted by:

28 Aug 2008

I have a question with my new Hard Disk. I bought it yesterday and I tried it yesterday. It was a SATA HDD. So I connected it to the appropriate HDD slots and booted my PC. But the computer doesnt show up my new HDD in the Computer Management dialog box. It just displays a device named VIA Seriel ATA RAID Controller ( and a uestion mark) in the Device Manager Dialog Box. What should I do to make my HDD work normal? HELP ME PLEASE.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Does it show up in the BIOS messages during boot up? I'd go into the BIOS Setup and see if the device is listed. There may be an option to enable SATA.

Posted by:

05 Sep 2008

Partition according to your needs!

Me: photo enthusiast (65 years), music lover (converting dozens of LP's to CD).

HD: Seagate 350GB. Partitions: C=100GB, Windows,ALL programs, swap, My Documents.

D=100GB, pictures only. E=150GB, music, video editing.

Backup=External HD (Trekstor 650GB, USB). Backing up: C-weekly, D+E every 2-3 weeks.

My conclusion: define your aims and needs first.

Happy partitioning.

Posted by:

10 Sep 2008

I disagree only a little bit. Suppose I have C: for Windows, and D: for Data. When I want to do a clean install for Windows I just delete C: and re-install Windows or ghost the partition there. D is untouched so I don't need to backup my music/data, then copy them back again later. Well, I tend to re-install once a year for speed.

Posted by:

Keith B.
29 Sep 2008

I'm a DJ with (approx) 475k(+) song-files on 6 diff twrs each with 3-250gb & 1-500gb drvs. Two or 3 times per year I need to re-format & re-load MicWins' curse on several of my p.c.'s & now, I want to partition to save massive amounts of copying time. I am bldg another twr with 2-750gb Seagate SATA drvs (32mb cache). I have partitioned & installed OS's on literally hundreds of IDE drvs, yet, not one SATA drv (I need to keep moving forward). Any advise??

EDITOR'S NOTE: Partitioning a SATA drive should be no different than on an IDE drive.

Posted by:

Gerold Manders
04 Nov 2008

Also disagreeing here, Bob. My system is running as good as when it was installed 3,5 years ago. No reformat necessary, just a decent partitioning schema together with decent defrag software and a tool 'eRunNT' (makes a backup of your registry).

Regular registry backups saved my bacon once or twice, I have to admit but putting such a backup back and all problems were gone. My harddisk is divided up into 4 partitions (C=Windows, D=Programs, E=MyData, F=Temporary files and Swap).

It never takes more than 15 minutes to defrag C and D partition (with the most extensive defrag options enabled), because not a lot of files are moved/created/deleted there. I am a software junkie and (de-)install a lot, but as I said system runs already for 3,5 years.

When I'm reading my mail in the morning my C and D partitions are defragged in the background and once a month I do a defrag from E and F (after a cleanup ofcourse) at night. This way I don't have to keep my machine running all day and all night, which saves in the power bill, I might add!).

Posted by:

04 Nov 2008

Great article as usual Bob. I used to be into partitions. But these days prefer to use separate HDD. All the advantages, with better crash protection. Can even have an OS for each one if you like, as long as they can read each others file systems, no worries. Just about bullet proof! (: Keep up the good work m8.

Posted by:

04 Nov 2008

Disagree w Bob. I create ~20 GB partition for the system.

Then a separate d: partition for data and documents, as well as an E: and possibly others for random crap.

The C drive is reserved for what I deem my normal and "essential" programs and utilities. All my data is on D:; all documents, Outlook psts, downloads, etc. I install non-essential stuff, like iTunes, VMware, test stuff, etc, on the E: partition.

This works great for me. I admit, however, that for my family I usually just install them into one partition.

Posted by:

04 Nov 2008

I partitioned one of my hard disks into C and D drives respectively. C drive (30GB) holds Windows and installed programs whereas D (470GB) has all my data. Thus it's a piece of cake to do fast automated nightly backups of C drive to a different physical disk.

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