Why would you need to Partition a Hard Drive,

  ohhducky 16:10 26 Oct 2004

Hi, could some one explain,why i would need
to Partition a Hard Drive.
Someone has recommended i do this
as my PC, which is less than 1 year old,
is oftern crashing, or freezing, and give low memory messages.
I have 89gb free, so this shouldnt happen.

If it is the answer, can i do it my self, without having to
reinstall XP.

Come on you-lot, you normally give me good advice.

My spec
Dell Dimension4600
Pentium4CPU 3.06GHZ
512 MB RAM

  recap 16:19 26 Oct 2004

Partioning has it's benefits. Your C: drive partitioned to say 10Gb just for the programs, then partition the rest as you want.

If you have other users then give them their own partition for storage.

One partition could be for digital images if you are into photography. Another for Games, if you are a gamer leave the partition as a Fat32 partition.

Partitioning then makes defragmenting the drives easier.

  SANTOS7 16:37 26 Oct 2004

The amount of HDD and whether it is partitioned or not will not atribute to your pc crashing or freezing. the low memory messages could be down to the way it is assigned regarding actual/virtual memory settings click.start>control panel>Performance maint.> system>advanced tab>top settings>advanced>change>custom size, and set both actual/virtual to 768>click set> close> apply. Other reasons for lack of performance may be spyware if you dont run any try these
click here
click here
click here keep them up dated they will go a long way to keeping your pc running smoothly.Use the disc clean up in system tools as well to get rid of any unwanted stuff. good house keeping will work better, partitioning will not,good luck....

  keith-236785 16:43 26 Oct 2004

Partitioning the drive covers a few things

1, if you have to format/re-install windows then you dont lose everything.

2, formatting & defragmenting is quicker on smaller partitions.

3, gives you the ability to dual boot (two or more operating systems on the same drive).

4, gives you a little bit of security if you get hit by a nasty virus and have to format etc, chances are only drive C: will be hit and your important letters pictures and other stuff will stay intact on another partition.

only bad thing is if the drive dies you lose everything and as such, you should NOT use this as your only method of backing up your system.

ps, i think 10 gig for drive c using windowsXP is a little on the small side, im using XP Pro and my C dive is currently 7.9gig full (this after a bit of housekeeping,as it had got up to 10.5 gig at one stage)i now have 10 gig free, if you have a big enough drive give C: about 15 gig or 20 if you can. 10 gig would work but may mean you have to use the other drive to store programs so you dont run out of space.

good luck

  SANTOS7 16:50 26 Oct 2004

In the right context partitioning is a good idea i have 4 on one drive and 2 on another and what papperman27 is suggesting is absolutely right but in the first instance OHHDUCKY you have been slightly waylaid as to what partitioning can do for you..........

  GANDALF <|:-)> 17:42 26 Oct 2004

On modern computers there is little point and I would rather have an external drive if my info was valuable......many threads on partitioning already click here


  It's Me 17:47 26 Oct 2004

I fully agree with paperman27 about the size of 'C' Drive. My Windows partition only contains the Windows files for XP Pro and I can't get them below 8.5 GB, then they regularly increase to 10.5 GB before a clean up operation.

  Dorsai 18:00 26 Oct 2004

two reasons, how good is a matter of opinion though, is to seperate your personal date from the OS.

Why do this?


The folders containing your photos/music/letters etc probably get added to now and again, but once a file is put in, it will tend to remain unchanged (you maye well look at your holiday snaps, but once they have been taken off the camera, do they get changed every so often?). if these are on the OS partition every time you defreg, the defragger has to take into account these files, which have remained unchanged since last time it ran. The OS files are more dinamic, patches are installed, apps removed/added. the c drive fragments over time, but the folders with your stuff in are less dynamic.

By puttin them on a seperate partition, the defragger can just concentrate it's attention on the OS etc, and leave last x-mas' piccy of aunt Maude alone.


If yoiu have to reinstall your OS, as all your stuff is on a seperate partition you will not have to re-install these also.

This does not mean that you dont need to back them up. You still do. A virus or HDD failure will still take them out. But a re-installation of you OS, will not also require you to reinstall all your music/picture/letters etc.

Thats what i think. No doubt this will get holes poked in, but hay, this area seems very much a matter of personal opinion/taste, with no 'right' or 'wrong' answer.


  TomJerry 18:12 26 Oct 2004

Windows files and structure do mess up sometime.

At least two partitions, one for windows and all programs and another for personal data, doc, ipeg, mp3, movie etc etc. But you have to save them there, do not just save under My Documents which is most program use automatically.

If the file structure mess up in your program partition, all you personal data will be easier to recovery. THIS only work for soft faults, not Physical HDD faults. So practice a strict backup procesure for anything important.

If you want idiot way to do it, use the program such as Partition Magic (can be bought from for £30 from Amazon) or Acronis Disk Director Suite 9.0.

  dan 11 18:45 26 Oct 2004

You seem to have had some good advice re:-partitioning the hard drive. Just for the record mine is also split into 3 separate units. But as above don't make this your only line of defence if you have a serious malfunction. Windows and programmes are easy to put back on. Years of photos, documents and letters will be impossible without exterior backup.

SANTOS7 gives good advice about the virtual memory settings, but I am inclined to make it 3 times the actual ram size. So on a machine with your amount of ram I personally would have the min swap file set at 1.5gig and the same for the maximum, but thats just my preference.

512Mb of ram is a nice size for XP, but I have found with mine by sticking an extra 512Mb in, to make it a gig, makes the world of difference.

  Dorsai 18:54 26 Oct 2004

Agree about the 1gig ram. I had 512 under Win-me and it used to struggle on accasions. When i urgraded PC, got 1Gb. Happy as larry it is.

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