Partition Your Hard Drive? (my advice...) - Comments Page 1

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Posted by:

Art
03 Jun 2019

I use a SSD for the operating system and application files (speed). I have my documents, data, etc on a HDD which is comfortable to me and something I can backup using Synctoy as well as the Win 10 file saver to yet a 3rd hDD. I have no issues with finding my way around this 3 disk system.

Posted by:

Dave Youngman
03 Jun 2019

Wrong! Two partitions is optimum. One of moderate size 200G perhaps as C: for everything, another for data only. Now when you need to restore from an image (you do back up with images, don't you) it won't take HOURS!

Posted by:

Gary Bergman
03 Jun 2019

Totally agree with your assessment when only 1 HD is available. There's a significant advantage to having an additional physical drive. Performance is improved when the swapfile is kept on the fastest/lease-used HD (along with all temp and application caching files) that don't need to be backed-upped. A small inexpensive SSD is ideal for this purpose. (I'm not so sure if this is true if the primary drive is also an SSD.)

Posted by:

Louise Smith
03 Jun 2019

I have partitioned every HD since early 1990's
I put my DATA files on a separate partition which allows me to "reload" my operating system and programs at will without needing to restore data from a backup. Will never stop doing this!!!

Posted by:

john
03 Jun 2019

I agree with @art. I have a 256GB SSD for my OS and a 1 TB HDD for all my data. I use FreeFileSync to keep my HDD backed up and ReDo for the SSD. My OS is backed up in 4 minutes. Restoration if needed is even quicker. On my laptop I have only one HDD which has two partitions, one for Windows and one one for Linux. The HDD is backed up by Clonezilla.

Posted by:

Andrew Tse
03 Jun 2019

Bob, I agree with some of your comments but not all. It is a better idea to put the swap files and the other installed programs in C. However, I like to keep a D which contains all my documents and statements and the like and a G which I call media and contains pictures, music and video. That way, in the case of a system restore, I will be restoring 100GB+ versus the entire hard disk which is about 700GB. Also, I will be sure that all personal files are intact. Since I am the only user of the PC, I hate using the C:\user scheme to store my stuff... perhaps with the exception when I am using google sync to sync certain files.

Posted by:

fbgcai
03 Jun 2019

Mildly disagree with one big partition - personally I use 3 partitions C: o/s and installed pgms D: data (the most important stuff imo as it is irreplaceable) and E: work area (I mess with a lot of video that requires a big workspace. If I didn't need the workspace I'd go with C: and D: as above. Backing up both C and D in one go is no big deal with Macrium Reflect but I generally image C: and D: separately - my data changes much more frequently that my o/s and pgms

Posted by:

Keith Flaming
03 Jun 2019

I agree with Bob wholeheartedly here. I tried a C: software / D: data scheme. Seemed some programs (my wife's professional accounting software is the worst) like to have their data on C:. Some don't offer the option to change in the first place. If they do, some recreate the directory structures on C: every time they update. Now data is split between C: & D:. What a mess! I recently upgraded from a 2TB drive to a 4TB drive. Had an awful time migrating with OS & data in place. Needed to convert from MBR to GPT disk. Windows MBT2GPT was a complete fail. MBT2GPT couldn't find the OS even though windows could boot fine from it! Finally used AOMEI Partition Assistant. It worked even though it threw an error at the end. Windows 10 boots quickly from the 7200 rpm drive and now I have a 3.9TB C: partition. I do differential system image (OS, registry, programs, and data) backups at night with AOMEI Backupper. Who cares how long they take.

Posted by:

BaliRob
03 Jun 2019

Well done Bob - this feature should be known as 'The Bible of the Hard Drive'. You really excelled yourself - so succinct with emphasis on KISS - keep it simple stupid. Thank you - another article of yours for the Library.

Posted by:

Bob Dennett
03 Jun 2019

Never ever even thought of duel partitions and never have had any problems and now I know why.
Thanks for some great tips and info Bob and from all who add remarks such as this.
Bob

Posted by:

mike
03 Jun 2019

I must disagree with this assessment. I keep nothing on C except what MUST be on C. ON D I have all downloaded software (if C goes bust, I don't lose all those downloads). On D I keep all my data. And on F

Posted by:

Kenneth Heikkila
03 Jun 2019

Excellent article. Back in the old days of my computer infancy (early 90's) I used to partition my hard drives out of the same necessity you explain so well and because of all the "great advice" of "computer experts". It always caused problems somewhere down the road. The default placement of applications was one and when I moved them anyway when I eventually wanted to upgrade or delete a program there was always junk left over that was difficult to find and purge, or one partition always managed to get so filled up it was sometimes nearly impossible to use it further.
I love the new better way of just allowing the programs to install themselves where they want to be. It's been years since my Windows (now 10) computer crashed. If I got a "blue screen of death" I would probably have to post it on Facebook after I got over the shock.

Posted by:

mike
03 Jun 2019

Have to disagree. On C I keep only what has to be on C (windows, etc.). On D, all my downloaded software (if C has a problem, I don't lose the downloads). On E is my data, and on F my giant video files. I find no problems keeping track of which drive has what.

Posted by:

Mike in Colorado
03 Jun 2019

I stopped partitioning drives many years ago. It just doesn't make sense. With the cost of drives, including SSDs, being so low, I've been using two drives for several years, one for the OS and one for Data. Over the years, my hard drives have turned into SSDs. I put my OS and all programs on one SSD and all data on another SSD. This includes documents, pictures, videos, desktop, etc. When I reload the OS (which I do periodically), I tell the OS where to find everything. We've had the ability to redirect where Documents, Pictures, Desktop, etc are stored for years. I never have to worry about losing something important on my main drive by reloading the OS because all data is on the other drive.

The end result to all this is I still have a faster computer than most people. I built a first-generation Core i7 920 in 2009. Over the years, I upgraded the RAM from 6 GB to 18 GB, gone through three video cards, and the hard drives became Solid State Drives. It runs Windows 10 beautifully. I have no problems running games I like, sometimes at the same time, such as Guild Wars 2 and Eve Online. I sometimes have QuickBooks up and multiple Chrome tabs up at the same time as the games, TeamSpeak3, Discord, etc., with absolutely no slowdowns. I've been tempted to upgrade to a new i7 over the years but could never justify it. I'm may do it when the 10th gen processors come out, though.

I have had PCs of various flavors for 37 years and have owned my own IT business for about 16 years. People that advocate for various partitions on a single drive are generally older people who are rooted in the past and never bothered to educate themselves in modern IT techniques. It only makes sense if you are looking to dual-boot a system.

By the way, Bob, I participated in Patrick's listserv-based Roadmap Internet workshop in 1994 (I still have copies somewhere) and hopped on the Internet Toubus with you guys in 1995. Thanks for the memories and thanks for the newsletters!

Posted by:

BobD
03 Jun 2019

I "partition" my system files and data files by having the system on C and my data on an external USB drive. On the external drive, I have one folder and a bajillion subfolders. To backup, I tell Macrium to backup the top folder. Occasionally, I backup the C drive.
Incidentally, the C drive is a 7-year-old Hitachi 1TB drive. Let's hope Western Digital didn't screw up the works.

Posted by:

BILL DANIEL
03 Jun 2019

I agree with Louise. I have used C for OS and software, and D for Data for upteen years. It makes for smaller, faster data backups and restore if needed. Never had a problem.

Posted by:

MartinW
03 Jun 2019

Agree with Bob on most of this. I have two laptops with dual-boot Windows/Linux. Partitions are fine there. However, on Linux almost all the experts I read gave recommendations about partitions (real or virtual) INSIDE the Linux partition. For me, they were WRONG. Things (apps especially) don't seem to install where the experts indicated (the way I read it anyway). Now, although I made some partitions larger than recommended, I'm stuck with limited space in some areas. I can't even install larger new apps, although I have tons of room for pictures, documents, etc. THINK first, about whether you really want partitions AND how large to make them. Resizing is difficult and a virtual gamble on whether everything will still be there.

Posted by:

Jerry
03 Jun 2019

On my Desktop I have 2 HDs. I put data (ie My Documents) on one HD and operating system and programs on the other HD. This makes for manageable backups. I also do regular system images of my operating system and programs. Without this approach I'd have ENORMOUS system image files and LONG waits.

On my laptop I just have 1 HD so I partition and follow the same rule. Works like a treat.

Posted by:

James
04 Jun 2019

I like Mike! I am an advocate of separate drives instead of partitioning. I have an OS drive (256GB SSD), a Data drive (500GB SSD) and a Games drive (2TB HDD). I don't backup my Games drive as often as my OS drive or Data drive because I can always download games again should the drive fail.

Posted by:

miger
04 Jun 2019

Interesting that almost all the people who say here they partition are doing because it sounds like they have always done it. Few actually provide a valid reason WHY they still do it!

Seems some habits must be hard to break.

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