partitioning yes or no?

  preston 19:52 22 Feb 2007

what is partitioning? what is it for and how much space should you use?

  filthpig 20:01 22 Feb 2007

a partition is like a divider on your hard drive you can have different OSs on your computer for example if you had a 160gb hdd then you could have 2 70odd gb partitions and you could have windows xp on one and windows 2k on the other or even unix or linux whtever you want

  GANDALF <|:-)> 20:15 22 Feb 2007

click here IMHO an absolute waste of time with any computer built in the last 3 years.


  Totally-braindead 20:19 22 Feb 2007

I too don't see the point. If you need extra space then get another hard drive. Otherwise just spend a bit of time organising what you already have on your computer.
Theres no advantage as far as I can see to splitting up the hard drive by partitioning.

  Belatucadrus 20:19 22 Feb 2007

Alternatively you could backup from the main drive to a separate partition, so the backup remains untouched if you're forced to reformat the C drive. As this tends to come unstuck if the disk itself fails, most people now backup to an external disk, depends how much budget you've got to play with.
How much space should you use ? Unfortunately a bit of a how long is a piece of string question, depends a lot what you intend to keep on the PC and why you're using a partition.

  ed-0 20:29 22 Feb 2007
  Simsy 20:40 22 Feb 2007

Firstly, what is it... Think of your hard drive like a vinyl record, an LP. If it is not partitioned it is like having a single track. If it is partitioned it is like splitting it into several tracks. Windows sees each of these tracks as a different "drive"

I am strongly in favour, for the following reason;

If you have your hard drive partitioned such that you have ONLY your Windows installation and installed programmes on the first partition, (C drive), and ALL of your DATA on your subsequent partitions, (D drive etc), you can take a "Drive Image", (or similar such as True image), and easily restore your SYSTEM in the event of a serious windows problem, WITHOUT AFFECTING ANY DATA. There is a seperate, slightly beneficial side effect that because the contents of the C drive will change little from day to day, any fragmentation is negligible. (Though in my experience fragmentation isn't much of an issue with todays hard drives anyway)

Note that what I suggest does NOT do away with the need for good backup practice, which means having a backup of your data on a SEPERATE medium to it's main location!!

Partitioning as a means of having a backup on a seperate partition on the same drive is a waste of time... as a means of keeping data and system apart it isn't.

I agree with GANDALF <|:-)> in the thread he links to when he says "anyone who has information that they believe is important and uses their partitioned HD as a backup is insane." I disagree strongly with him that partitioning is, of itself, a waste of time. As I explain above, it depends on what use you make of the partitions.

Good luck,



  VoG II 20:47 22 Feb 2007

Sorry Simsy but I have to disagree. Unless you wish to dual boot then you can simply keep one partition and create different folders for documents or whatever.

If a drive fails catastrophically - and they do - the chances are that all partitions will be affected.

On my home PC I have 2 x 120 GB HDDs, both unpartitioned plus a 40 GB USB HDD, also unpartitioned. The second internal drive is used for storing images of the first plus odds and sods and the external drive is used for further backups of 'irreplaceable' files.

I guess it is each to his own.

  skidzy 20:50 22 Feb 2007

What i would add to this topic is....before you mess about setting up partitions (if you must),be careful.
It may be possible you have a recovery/restore hidden partition on the drive and this may be your only saving grace if you do not have a windows disc for a later reinstallation of windows.

My advice,buy an external drive and backup to that and leave the partitions well alone.

  preston 22:20 22 Feb 2007

Thanks all you guys. the overiding concensus seems to be "GET" an ext hdd and leave well alone. I think i will do that.

  Simsy 10:31 23 Feb 2007

Whilst not disagreeing that a catastophic failure of a HDD is likely to destroy all partitions, what is far more likely, in my experience, is a "Windows" problem that is difficult to remedy, or find the cause of...

What I DO NOT advocate, is partitioniong in order to create somewhere to store backup data. That, I agree, is likely to be pointless.

Keeping stuff in different folders, but on the same partition does not make it easy where restoring a partition from a saved partition image; Things will have changed since the image was made.

Operationally, saving data into "My Documents", (and subfolders of it), is no more difficult if "My Documents" is on a "D" drive.

Restoring a "corrupt" Windows "partition" with an image of a good working one, (kept on seperate media), is quick, easy and doesn't affect data at all.

Indeed, "each to his own", with their views and actions.

What I am a little uncomfortable with, is the claim that often surfaces in discussions about partitioning, that partitioning is "a waste of time". Inherently, it isn't. There are both positives and negatives.



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