<<When I perform a clean install using the smaller drive as the boot drive, the partitions set by the recovery process seem to be less than ideal regarding space management.>>
Aaahhh...I have no systems which require recovery/restore partitions...thus, I have no experience dealing with such. When such a system comes into my possession, the first thing I do is delete all existing partitions and then do a clean install of XP Home (I have several valid licenses which are unused).
If I had a system and intended to use the system manufacturer's scheme for reinstalling...I would read up on the space requirements for doing an install.
<<First, I've never understood where the balance of the 40GB of storage that is available according to the drive's manufacturer's label. And, for that matter, it seems that any drive I've ever installed always has slightly less actual available storage space than the box says it has (not a big deal, just makes me go "Hm-m-m-m"). The point is that the recovery partition winds up having over a gig of "free" space. Is that necessary or can I allocate less space, say 5GB to D:\ drive, allowing only slightly more space than the total size of Recovery Image and allocate more space to C:\ drive?>>
As I said, read up on the space requirements when using the system manufacturer's techniques.
As for hard drive space differentials...there's a common misunderstanding among users. See Hard Drive Size Differential - http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/ph...php?p_faqid=615
. Note that WD is a primary hard drive manufacturer and what they indicate is standard.
<<The next decision is where I should install my programs. I've never checked the total storage my software/applications need (& I should) but, I can tell you that, prior to getting the second drive, my puny little 29GB C:\ drive was almost full.>>
I think you phrased this incorrectly
. The question should not be asking where programs should be installed (matter of opinion, but I choose to install them close to the O/S and registry because I see no sense in putting them anywhere else)...but why is 29GB too small for your system partition?
And the answer to that has to be...because you have unnecessary data files being stored on your C:. There is no advantage at all these days to having data files in My Documents, My Music, etc. Long ago, when systems only had one hard drive, considerably smaller than those in use today...those categories were created by Microsoft to simplify the user finding files and actually brought some order to file storage.
Today, those folders are neither necessary nor convenient. They were not designed with the idea that users would have tons of large data files in them and today they often contain files which would be better stored...on other partitions, drives, media.
So...I install my programs on the System Partition, with the O/S and the registry.
I store all video, graphics, and music files...on separate partitions I have created on other hard drives attached to one of my systems. Because I have a home network, it doesn't matter what partition on what drive, since all are accessible from any system.
<<This is the reason I'm moving the swap files to the larger drive.>>
IMO, the swap file location is a non-issue, other than in the minds of some users who probably have more experiences with older systems than you do.
Anyone who thinks moving the swap file in today's world of SATA and SSDs, multi-core processors, etc...IMO, is living a delusional life.
The swap file, on a system that has adequate RAM installed, is not a major player in system efficiency. The time when users like myself may have been concerned with such...has come and gone, IMO.
Users would serve themselves better, IMO, if they disable hibernation and indexing and let XP manage the pagefile on the same partition.
Others here have differing and different computer experiences, with many of them more varied than mine. They may have different perceptions of the things I've posted on.
The key to life is to remember that...most of the decisions one has to make in life...come down to nothing but personal preference. Right/wrong, beauty/ugliness...on and on.
Some of us have reasons for such, some of us don't have reasons...but they all remain personal preferences.