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Dumb Question About Partitions


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#1 mommabear

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 08:34 AM

For some reason, I can't get my head around this so I'll just ask.

I've had dual boot partitions when I ran Windows and some Linux to test the waters. I pretty much have a handle on that. But right now, I'm just using XP Home Sp2 on a 30GB partition. On the rest of my hdd I've got approx 85GB as an extended logical partition that I've named Storage. Both are NTFS. I use the F (Storage) drive for data, downloads, etc. Files on that drive will come and go, as I no longer need them. Important files on that drive will also go on a disk if I need to save them for any reason. That keeps my OS down to one DVD Image when I Ghost it.

Now here's where I get stupid.

It's never happened, but let's say I get a really bad virus infection of some kind from a program I've downloaded and saved in my storage drive, but installed it to my Programs on C. Or, and more likely for me, Windows just gets messed up so bad that it's better to reinstall or use a Ghost Image than repair it. Is my F drive still okay or will it be hosed too and I will lose some data on it that I didn't get backed up on a cd/dvd?

I should stop here, but I'll also tell you that I'd also like to resize some of that 85GB and set aside some space to put my some of my Ghost Images there too. Let's say once a month I'd put an Image on a DVD, but once a week just keep a more current copy on my hdd. That way I could cut down on the pile of disks I have laying around.

So before I do that, I guess what I'm trying to find out is this:

Short of a complete hdd failure, is an extended, logical partition protected (as in, completely separate) from whatever bad things might happen in C drive? Or do I need to set it up differently...create primary but inactive partition(s) and then within it make an extended logical partition(s) to keep my data and Ghost Images there?

But if I have to change them to Primary then will I have a boot menu coming up? Will I still be able to see and use those drives in Windows? I'm so confused. :thumbsup:

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#2 jgweed

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 08:40 AM

I think it would help if you considered the logical partitions of your hard drive as if they were different physical drives; the rules for the latter apply to the former.

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#3 Jombee

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 08:43 AM

For some reason, I can't get my head around this so I'll just ask.

I've had dual boot partitions when I ran Windows and some Linux to test the waters. I pretty much have a handle on that. But right now, I'm just using XP Home Sp2 on a 30GB partition. On the rest of my hdd I've got approx 85GB as an extended logical partition that I've named Storage. Both are NTFS. I use the F (Storage) drive for data, downloads, etc. Files on that drive will come and go, as I no longer need them. Important files on that drive will also go on a disk if I need to save them for any reason. That keeps my OS down to one DVD Image when I Ghost it.

Now here's where I get stupid.

It's never happened, but let's say I get a really bad virus infection of some kind from a program I've downloaded and saved in my storage drive, but installed it to my Programs on C. Or, and more likely for me, Windows just gets messed up so bad that it's better to reinstall or use a Ghost Image than repair it. Is my F drive still okay or will it be hosed too and I will lose some data on it that I didn't get backed up on a cd/dvd?

Generally your storage drive will be fine. you will however still have that virus on there. Get rid of it before you do anything with that drive

I should stop here, but I'll also tell you that I'd also like to resize some of that 85GB and set aside some space to put my some of my Ghost Images there too. Let's say once a month I'd put an Image on a DVD, but once a week just keep a more current copy on my hdd. That way I could cut down on the pile of disks I have laying around.

So before I do that, I guess what I'm trying to find out is this:

Short of a complete hdd failure, is an extended, logical partition protected (as in, completely separate) from whatever bad things might happen in C drive? Or do I need to set it up differently...create primary but inactive partition(s) and then within it make an extended logical partition(s) to keep my data and Ghost Images there?

yes, as far as the OS is concerned it is a separate drive. well not really... but you get the idea

But if I have to change them to Primary then will I have a boot menu coming up? Will I still be able to see and use those drives in Windows? I'm so confused. :thumbsup:

no,
a boot menu only shows up when you have configured boot.ini to do so (or grub/lilo.conf etc...)
you can have up to 4 primary partitions on a drive and as long as you only have 1 operating system you will never see a boot menu.
one cool thing I like to do for my wife is this.
she loves the sims2, just plain loves it. I however enjoy formating my computer on a regular basis.
I have partitioned a 20GB drive into 2 primary partitions, with Win2k/XP I can mount those partitions to C:\program files\EA games and C:docs adn setting\username\Mydocs\EA games

so that when I decided to terrorize my OS, she doesn't lose a thing. and windows is none the wiser. When I do this, I do have to remount them where I want them but that's a whole lot easier than reinstalling the darn programs and redownloading all of her custom content

#4 usasma

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 08:53 AM

That's the general setup that I use (I use separate drives rather than separate partitions). Just be sure to run scans on it, just like you do on the OS partition.

This is sorta like the old System Restore issue. Your storage drive may not be showing signs of an infection - but it may have the infectious bugger stored there anyway (just waiting to be activated).
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#5 mommabear

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 04:53 PM

Thanks all, for the comments. Ok, let me see if I've got this.

Basically, I'm okay the way it is....extended, logical. (Except of course to watch for viruses there too.) So the easiest way to get that Image storage partition would be to just resize that 85GB, create another extended, logical partition for my Ghost Images.

It's kind of a six of one, half a dozen of the other situation. Just depends on user preferences, apparently.

Have I got it? :thumbsup:

#6 Jombee

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 09:47 PM

yeah pretty much.
you've got the gist of it anyway

here is a quick rundown of the technobabble behind it.
a disk can have up to 4 partitions.
there are 2 types of partitions. Primary and Extended

a disk will recognize only 1 extended partition, but has no problem with 1, 2, 3 or 4 primary.
If you choose to use an extended partition then you are limited to 3 primary. remember there is a total limit of 4.

an extended partition is only a placeholder for logical drives. you can create as many logical drives as you want out of your extended partition.

of course partition magic renders most of this information completely useless




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