to partition or not to partition....

  garby 09:45 04 Feb 2005

i have a 80 gig hard drive using xp pro. i only have about 7 gig used normally. the hard drive is partitioned as ntfs and one big hard drive. i have aquired partition magic and someone advised me to partition the drive.
what are the benefits of partitioning against what i have now. would i experience any problems at all and once i have partitioned it would i be able to convert it back again if i was not satisfied

what are the plusses and minuses of partitioning

all answers appreciated. as i am unsure what to do for the best.

  Gongoozler 09:53 04 Feb 2005

Hi garby. To me the main advantage of partitioning is that if you have your operating system and programs om one partition, and all your saved files on a secon one, then if your Windows ever gets corrupted beyond repair you can reformat the primary partition without losing any of your important files. If you are using Outlook Express for your emails you can even set your Store Folder to be on the second partition. I have also set a third partition for a backup of the primary partition so I can restore the installation even more easily. Not as good as backing up to an external drive, but better than no backups at all.

Minuses. I cant think of any except installers usually assume your CD drive is D:, so you sometimes have to correct this to E: or F:. I have set my CD drives to Y: and Z: anyway.

  Jeffers22 10:54 04 Feb 2005

In addition to Gongoozler's post I would add:

1. Lots of settings, mailboxes, contacts, favorites/bookmarks temp folders, temporary internet files etc can all be moved to your Data Partition thus making for easier backup. Most programs have a setting which allows you to specify the save location.

2. Moving the above data etc plus your page file to another partition, helps prevent fragmentation of the C: drive. Thus windows is a bit quicker in operation.

3. You will find stuff quicker, thus you will work a bit quicker too.

  LGBB200 11:17 04 Feb 2005

I'm interested in this subject, too. Could I add a couple of extra questions.
(1) How much space should you allow for the operating system? (2) Forgive my ignorance here, but if there is a partition, how does the OS link with programmes and files on a different partition? Thanks

  mattyc_92 11:24 04 Feb 2005


You can also create "images" of your system and put the onto the other partition for safety...


Please start your own thread... I will answer your 2 questions, but if you have anyone, create your own thread....

1) I would leave at least 10gb for WinXP and programs... It is really up to you

2) The system create "registry" keys during setup for Windows to locate where the files are... SO it would just change the drive letter and directory.... Windows sees partitions as drives...

  Gongoozler 11:26 04 Feb 2005

Hi LGBB200. Windows XP requires 2G. Add a few programs and you will soon get to 5G. For smooth operation and easy defragging you should ideally not exceed 50% of the available space, so allowing for future expansion I would suggest at least 15G.

  JonnyTub 11:29 04 Feb 2005

have a read, some useful debate should help make your mind up, personally i don't see the point in partitioning on a recent pc. click here

  Gongoozler 11:36 04 Feb 2005

In reply to the second question from LGBB200. It depends on the application. For example, in MS Word if you click on Tools - Options - File locations. Then in the box select "Documents" and click the "Modify" button you can change the default location to anywhere you want. For some reason Excel does it differently and instead of opening an Explorer window you have to type in the location, and the setting is under Tools - Options - General. On my computer I have made folders in the D: drive called "Word Files" and "Excel Files", as well as a few others for specific functions including a "My Photos" folder with a shortcut on the desktop.

  Gongoozler 11:43 04 Feb 2005

I agree with JonnyTub that a second drive is better than a partitioned primary drive, especially considering the amazingly low price of drives these days, however I can't really see any arguments against partitioning. It is very unlikely that an 80G drive will get anywhere near even half full with operating system and programs. If the computer is to be used for storing large files such as those from a video camera, then even an 80G drive isn't big enough, and a second hard drive of 160G or more is a must.

  Jeffers22 12:48 04 Feb 2005

In my opinion, anyone who considers partitioning to be unnecessary, is ignorant of two crucial factors in Windows computing.

1. Windows itself drops all manner of temporary files and folders, and data repository files and folders on the C: drive by default. All of them are frequently added to and/or rewritten as a result of the OS running and the work you are doing. Every act of so doing potentially compromises the security of your boot environment - i.e. your C: drive. It also contributes hugely to both the "aging" of windows and to fragmentation of said drive - and don't try to tell me NTFS doesn't fragement, it does - full stop. It is crazy not to avail yourself of the opportunity to improve both performance and security by shifting as many of these frequently written to files and folders as you can to another partition. And I would include the swap/page file in this.

2. It is an unarguable fact that if your data is resident on a separate partition, you can restore your OS or even reinstall it with minimal risk to your data. Sure you can restore from backup (which you will always have anyway), but why put yourself in the position where you have to.

  LGBB200 13:14 04 Feb 2005

Sorry if I got it wrong, mattyc_92, but I thought that as my questions were directly related to the thread, all the very useful responses would be in the same place. Thanks

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