Partition sizes on new computer

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Woffiedog_1

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Greetings,

Just got a new computer with a 160 gb hard drive. I was going to partition it to seperate OS, pictures, music, program files. Any suggestions as to sizes for OS partition and program files? Is there any guideline as to quanta for partition sizes? I am obviously a newbie at the hard drive partition thing and would appreciate any help.

Thanks for your help.

Cheers,
Marc
 

redoak

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Please tell us what your operating system is.

If it is "XP", then "C" should be at least 10-12GB, per advice I have seen posted. Actually, it would be best if it were twice the size of the combined size of everything on it. "XP" begins to function less well as the free space decreases after 50% available, according to a posting I saw here at TSG some time ago.

Also, there is debate over the benefit of having a separate partition for misc. programs, since some either require being with the OS are put part of themselves there regardless of where you point them at installation. I have them in a separate partition so that I don't have to periodically increase the the size of "C" to meet the desired 50% free space.

{redoak}
 
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Well, to be honest, it is up to you, but..........

Personally (and I think most of the experts here would agree), I keep the O/S separate from everything else. It sits on the C: drive of 15Gb. Everything else is put onto different partitions, with most programs being installed on E: in my case, storage on F:, games on G:, music on H:...etc etc. My smallest partition is the O/S one, with the rest being 50 or 100Gb (I have 2 drives with a total of 520Gb).

Doing it this way fairly well ensures that you wont lose important info if the O/S crashes on you and you have to re-install. Yes, most of the programs will need to be reinstalled, but at least you will still have any saved files that those programs generated. You can at least back them up before reinstalling them.

So, really, you have to decide exactly what you are most likely to use a partition for, and format the size accordingly. In your case you could do one at 10Gb for the O/S, then 3 x 50, or 1 x 100 and 2 x 25......lots of combinations...and that is only assuming you use primary partitions...if you use logical as well, then the number of partitions is infinite...almost..

I hope that helps somewhat....:)

[edit] After reading redoak's faster reply above, I agree that the O/S partition should be big enough to have about 50% free space...ie, mine is 15Gb as stated, and now has 7.3Gb free...and that is after quite a few C: dependent programs (those that don't give you a choice...grrr) have been installed as well.


Scorp.
 

crjdriver

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There is no "best" way to do this. IMO partitioning is done to organize your system better. There is no benefit to putting programs on a different partition since if you have to reinstall, the apps will have to be reinstalled anyway.

One thing to consider, if you have a really large drive ie something like >120gig it will take a long time to defrag something that large.

When I setup a system, I usually make the system [C] partition around 20-25gig. This is for the os and basic apps like office, photoshop, video editing software, etc. The rest of the drive I use for data storage, music, videos, etc.

Note you should keep at least copies of data files in a separate partition. I strongly recommend a second physical drive for backups. If you backup to another partition on the same drive, when the drive fails you are still out of luck.

Backups cannot be stressed enough. Data you do not backup is data you do not care about.
 

redoak

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Yes to this: I strongly recommend a second physical drive for backups. If you backup to another partition on the same drive, when the drive fails you are still out of luck.

I use both Cobian Backup and Acronis TrueImage to backup secondary program files and data files, as well as the entire system as an image, to an external hard drive that is only connected/in use during the backups. Some folks go beyond this and backup to CDs as well!

{redoak}
 

JohnWill

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As a reference, this is how my system here is formatted for the boot drive. Windows and all the applications are on C:, my working data is on D:, and E: is for work area, downloads, etc.

I have other drives, both internal and external for backup and archives.

 

Woffiedog_1

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Thanks everyone for your advice. So I am running Windows XP pro. I have a copy of Acronis true image 10 and will be installing it. Since it is a laptop I will be getting an external hard drive for backups. For now I will probably back up my data files to DVD...

I was going to use Norton partition magic for the partition and use logical partitions...

Sounds like should partition the C to 15 g, create another logical partion D, install all my programs keeping the ones on D if possible and then create partitions for E photos, F music....

Cheers,
Marc
 

JohnWill

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I'd make C: a bit larger and install the applications on the same partition. There is no good reason to separate them, since any O/S install will require matching applications. All you're doing is complicating the configuration.
 
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Yes a second drive is a must. Especially with partitioning. If the MFT gets corrupted or the famous partition improperly unmounted appears all partitions will be infected. Ckdsk /f however will correct this problem but it is much safer to backup on a second drive.
A 20 GB for XP would be recommended. Take min. 40 GB partitions. Load voluminous programs to a larger aria under Program Files folder. C must have plenty of room to be fast.
bernardus
 

redoak

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"JW": Dare I use PartitionMagic to combine my "D" (misc programs) partition with "C." I would have a TI backup on my XHDD. I understand merging partitions is very risky.

{redoak}
 

JohnWill

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You can't merge the applications with XP if you've already installed them. That would change the installed drive letter for the applications, and most would cease working.
 

redoak

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"JW": Thanks! I am glad I asked the question!! I "will live with what I have" until I need to totally redo my system. As I mentioned below, I am very used to my arrangement and it poses no problems at this time.

{redoak}
 
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JohnWill said:
I'd make C: a bit larger and install the applications on the same partition. There is no good reason to separate them, since any O/S install will require matching applications. All you're doing is complicating the configuration.
John, I disagree...but only a little, as I bow to your wisdom everywhere....:D

I stated above that I install applications to a separate drive, and in that way 'you wont lose important info if the O/S crashes on you and you have to re-install. Yes, most of the programs will need to be reinstalled, but at least you will still have any saved files that those programs generated. You can at least back them up before reinstalling them.'

Of course, any data/files made by these programs that you REALLY don't want to lose should be backed up...i.e. documents, work files etc etc..this is data you care about...but there are many many files that may be generated by programs that are NOT critical, but that would just be a pain to have to redo...like games for instance...all the save points, saved player data, etc etc...or music play-lists, or personal address books, or, or...on and on...all these may not be critical, and are probably something you may not want to have to back-up every single day....(yes, it can be done by a schedule or other app, but most people don't).

Consequently, I think it's better to install apps on a separate partition from the O/S (y)

Just a little point, but I thought it worth mentioning. It has saved me hours and hours extra work once before...and that alone is worth an extra partition. (y)

Scorp.
 

JohnWill

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Any decent application allows you to configure where it's data files are, that's what the Data drive is for. ;) Also, I recommend periodic image backups of the boot partition, and if the applications are on the same partition, then you get them backed up at the same time. Since the applications are frequently larger than the operating system installation, you're backing up gigabytes of static data for no real gain more frequently than necessary.

For the applications that are too stupid to store their data in My Documents or allow me to configure the target folder, I have a small Cobian Backup job scheduled every day to backup the individual files scattered around on my boot partition. They're all backed up to my backup drive, so I'll always have an up to date copy.

Obviously, you're free to configure your system any way you like, but we'll have to agree to disagree on this point. :p
 
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Yup :p

It's those stupid apps that are usually the ones you REALLY need the data from. But yes, backing up that whole app and its files is another way of doing it....and for that, I run a file sync program across all 4 machines here....works well for the most part.

Scorp.
 
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