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partitions, yes or no?


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#1 Elise

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 07:30 AM

Hello everyone,

I have a bit of a problem with partitions, I don t like them. My own PC has one unpartitioned HDD of 80 GB (when I bought it, some dude had made and 8 GB system partition, and the rest of it unformatted drive D, never seen more stupid thing btw.). However, often when I repair/reformat other computers (from friends who are not well acquainted with computers what so ever), I see they have partitions (mostly half of the programs on the system partition and half on the other), I always ask them first what they want and most of the time I make one partition on the whole hdd.
Can anyone explain to me what are the benefits of more partitions on a hdd? I know some people who use one for windows and the other for all programs, but this works only if you know something about computers, because most programs by default install on the first partition. Theoretically its nice to have one partition solely for windows so you can reinstall it without problems, but practically for the average user (well, the average users I have seen anyhow) this has no use.
Further, I know that it is recommended when the hdd is large (how large exactly and why?) to make more partitions.
By my knowledge it does not make a difference for malwareinfections, they infect both partitions, so your data should not be safe on another partition (is this true or not?), as for backups, why not use an external storage device, for the same reason, it is kept isolated and cannot be infected as easy as a partition.

Suggestions and ideas are welcome, thanx!

regards, Elise


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#2 OldGrumpyBastard

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 07:59 AM

There are several reasons for partitioning your hard drive...Check out this link for information on understanding partitions and there use...

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/understanding-hard-disk-partitions/

I agree with you about infections...to some extent...If you have a partition with Windows XP and another partition with any Linux OS most trojans and viruses will attack the Windows Partition but not be able to attack the Linux OS as they are not set up to do so...That is why a lot of users set up a partion for Windows and a partion for Linux (as a dual boot)...

My personal feeling about partitions is that by dividing my hard drive into smaller partitions I do not lose as much wasted space. I also feel that by using seperate partition for Windows and another for applications and file storage seems to help my computer respond more quickly. Windows is stored on the first partition at the beginning of the Disc...Under normal operation, in a smaller partition it is not constantly scanning the whole drive for files that it needs to operate...If you have a HD of 250GB like mine keeping windows on a smaller partition does indeed help it respond quicker.

Again, to partition or not to partition, is a question of personal preference...Windows will work just fine either way....

Edited by OldGrumpyBastard, 07 March 2009 - 08:03 AM.

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#3 Justa

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 08:01 AM

That's a great question, one I have pondered many times but have decided not to try to keep programs, operating system, settings and user docs separate. Too often programs leave you few options during set up and make the choices about where what resides. What this means to me is time and a hassle.

The one thing that I am really happy about is getting a large external drive and doing frequent mirror image back ups of the entire internal. I don't mess with separate back up for operating system, settings, user docs, etc., just the whole dang thing. Acronis True Image will let me restore an entire mirror quickly or let me select specific files or folders this way. I do not sweat the thought of the days long process to restore everything from scratch anymore.

Simple can be good.

#4 dc3

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 08:41 AM

One of the advantages of having two partitions is that if the operating system is on one partition and the other non MS files and application are stored on another your file and application won't be effected if you need to reinstall the operating system.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#5 GTK48

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 08:57 AM

One of the advantages of having two partitions is that if the operating system is on one partition and the other non MS files and application are stored on another your file and application won't be effected if you need to reinstall the operating system.


That is correct as long as you have a backup of your registry. Every program that you install adds stuff to your OS partition. If you were to wipe your OS partition and then reinstall , none of your programs would start. This is what I like about Vista and Win 7, you can do a full PC backup. I do one once a week.

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#6 dc3

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 09:04 AM

I've never had a problem with it.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#7 Elise

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 09:25 AM

I agree with you about infections...to some extent...If you have a partition with Windows XP and another partition with any Linux OS most trojans and viruses will attack the Windows Partition but not be able to attack the Linux OS as they are not set up to do so...That is why a lot of users set up a partion for Windows and a partion for Linux (as a dual boot)...


In that case, yes by all means, use partitions, otherwise it is a mess if you want to uninstall/change one of the operating systems.

One of the advantages of having two partitions is that if the operating system is on one partition and the other non MS files and application are stored on another your file and application won't be effected if you need to reinstall the operating system.


True, but I rarely encounter a situation that requires me to reinstall the OS and not the programs. I know there are people who reinstall windows every once in a while, I guess it works fine then, but indeed you need a registry backup.


I frequently repair computers that are used by people who do not know multiple OS's, who do not know how to change their program install so it leaves the system-partition for windows only, and yet some computer-expert made two partitions, this on hdd's smaller than 100-150 Gb. I encountered partitions for windows XP with under 10 Gb (!!). That's the thing I do not understand, Is this some tech-shop policy to keep the customers coming back (I am not US, I don't know how it is in other countries)??

regards, Elise


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#8 Swordie

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 10:28 AM

One of the advantages of having two partitions is that if the operating system is on one partition and the other non MS files and application are stored on another your file and application won't be effected if you need to reinstall the operating system.


That is correct as long as you have a backup of your registry. Every program that you install adds stuff to your OS partition. If you were to wipe your OS partition and then reinstall , none of your programs would start. This is what I like about Vista and Win 7, you can do a full PC backup. I do one once a week.


This a tad bit off topic; but how do you do a PC Backup? I run Vista, but I don't recall such a setting. Perhaps someone give me a link or a overview of it?
Who said I couldn't have everything?

#9 jgweed

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 11:01 AM

Some other considerations in favour of partitioning the hard drive, preferably into Windows and applications, and then data storage is that you can defrag one or the other, which certainly saves time, just as it does when you run AV or AS drive scans. Keeping the two kinds of files on separate drives also improves performance, since the reading arm does not have to flurry about over storage files to find what it needs.
Cheers,
John
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#10 Farbar

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 11:30 AM

Without reading the whole thread I just mention some advantages of partitioning. But partitioning doesn't mean you install OS and other applications on separate partitions. It is better to have OS and applications on one partition and keep personal data (MP3, photos, movies, documents, setup files, drivers needed for reinstall, etc.) on another partitions.
  • If for any reason you have to reformat and reinstall Windows you just reformat one partiotion while other data are intact on another partition. Often when you get a non-bootable system and all the effort to boot fails it means losing all the data stored on the computer.
  • The startup and load time is shorter for two reasons. De fragmented files are not scattered all over the HD. Windows doesn't have to look for the whole, at times defragmented, HD to start up or load a program.
  • So the defragmentions time for C drive is shorter.
Those who don't like more than one partition need to back up their data to an external drive. Having an external HD is even safer than when having an extra partition. But if you don't have it, make sure you have more than one partition.

#11 Elise

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 11:46 AM

Some other considerations in favour of partitioning the hard drive, preferably into Windows and applications, and then data storage is that you can defrag one or the other, which certainly saves time, just as it does when you run AV or AS drive scans. Keeping the two kinds of files on separate drives also improves performance, since the reading arm does not have to flurry about over storage files to find what it needs.
Cheers,
John


Understand I correct that you say one partition for OS + apps and the other for personal data?
This is maybe an advantage for those with much personal data on PC, especially music and movies.
But say I have a need for this, how large would you recommend to make the OS + apps partition?

regards, Elise


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#12 hamluis

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 01:32 PM

I generally create a 20GB partition for XP, installed programs, and miscellaneous trash which I'm too lazy to move.

Total size of C: on this system is 20.8GB...free space available right now is 13.2GB, with XP fully updated through SP3 and all critical update through a couple of days ago.

I have varying hard drives totaling over 1TB of space on which I store data files, backups of programs installed, video files, graphics files, system disk images, and music files. I store none of these things (knowingly) on my C:.

I think that the biggest fallacy in the way which users handle their systems...have nothing to do with the partitions created or drives used, but the failure to implement a consistent backup strategy for those situations which don't seem to be expected by users.

Louis

Edit: Yesterday, I had a 5-year old drive just suddenly cease to work properly. The entire drive is not recognized by either of my systems. Since I only had nonessential data (which was backed up somewhere else) on the drive, it's no catastrophe, just a drive which has survived longer than its warranty or what I could realistically call its "expected useful life."

Edited by hamluis, 07 March 2009 - 01:38 PM.


#13 Justa

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 02:12 PM

If you have a large drive it is a much easier decision on how large to make a operating system/programs partition. I would make it considerably larger than what you anticipate. Through a few years of use my program space has grown dramatically. Since I only have an 80 Gb internal HD that is fairly full I find that I wouldn't have much of a margin to play with in setting up a OS/program partition.

However, seeing the other posts consistently noting an increase in speed by knowledgeable members certainly has raised my interest in the subject.

How much of a actual difference in performance do you folks actually experience that have set up a separate OS/programs partition? Is it obvious or does it take a stopwatch to tell the difference?

Thanks

#14 OldGrumpyBastard

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 02:20 PM

I've noticed quite a noticable difference in performance by keeping my OS and applications on a smaller partition and storage on the others. I defragment my partitions religiously (like once a week) during heavy usage. That really helps speed things along.
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#15 Andrew

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 02:31 PM

I have two drives broken up into several partitions.

Master drive contains:
Windows XP Partition (25GB), Windows Applications (150GB), Linux / (25GB
Slave drive contains:
Common files (Music, movies, docs, etc. plus Windows Page File) 200GB, Linux Swap (2GB), Linux /home (48GB).

For me, at least, it keeps everything organized.




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