Is it worth partitioning my hard drive

  Rockarch 18:14 25 Aug 2005

In the pre XP days I was advised to partition the hard drive on a new pc so that all data could be kept separate to operating system files. This proved to be a lifesaver when I had a total failure on one pc.

I've just got a new laptop and am wondering if it is still worth doing now that XP is more stable and there is system restore etc? I actually like having the data somewhere different rather than using my documents all the time.
What's the verdict?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:22 25 Aug 2005

Partioning Guide
click here

Back up your drivers and a copy of the system to different partitions

Always save your documents and photos to a partition oteher than (c:) the one the op system is on. you can then format and reinstall the op system after a crash,without losing your docs

  Rockarch 18:31 25 Aug 2005

Hey Fruitbat
Thanks for the partitioning guide - its about 4 years since I last did it so was going to be a struggle to remember how...

  Rockarch 18:47 25 Aug 2005

I've just read the guide and its complicated as hell! Especially as I don't have a floppy drive on the new laptop which appears to be needed to run FDISK - any suggestions how else to do it?

The laptop is a brand new Dell - I havn't loaded anything onto it yet and just removed their freebie ISP software.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 19:18 25 Aug 2005

It is a waste of time partitioning new computers especially XP. You would be much better to buy an external HD (£50ish) and backup your files onto that. I have a 4Gb USB HD which is the size of a credit card and this is the way forward in the twenty-first century. This has many advantages especially when your HD goes kaput and it will be the best 50 squid you have ever spent.


  VoG II 19:24 25 Aug 2005

I couldn't agree more. I have never grasped the 'logic' of partioning hard drives these days. In the event that a HDD failed catastrophically, all the partitions would be lost.

I have a 40 GB USB HDD (a bit bigger than a credit card) click here and Norton Ghost to image my main HDD. Two of my better investments.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:32 25 Aug 2005

Agreed if main hard drive fails then all is lost.

I have 2nd HD with copy of Main partion on and all doce photos are backed up to externat HDD. £20 case and old drive use from defunct PC.

  Simsy 19:59 25 Aug 2005

that a loss of a HDD means a loss of backup if it's kept on a different partition on the same HDD, I partition, and recommend doing so for the following reasons;

There is a difference between backing up "data" and backing "the system"

If you keep all data on a seperate partition to the system, it is easy, using imaging software, ( such as TrueImage, DriveImage or Ghost), to recover the system partiton without causing ANY disturbance to the data.

Having the system on a partiton of it's own means that there are less changes, on an ongoing basis, to the partiton; this means there is less fragmentation over a given period.

Disc maintainance, such as defragging or scandisc, is performed on a pertition basis, and is much quicker.

I do however, I repeat, not recommend RELIANCE on data backup being on a difference partion on the SAME HDD as the original.

I hope these thoughts help.



  Ancient Learner 20:09 25 Aug 2005

Whilst I totally accept that XP is not likely to destroy itself as did previous versions, if it did, I would bet that I would be the first person ever to have it happen. Therefore, like Fruit Bat /\0/\, I have 2 HDs, both partitioned, so that when it happens I will survive. I also, incidentally, also have an old 40GB HD in a caddy which contains images of everything.

Now, having just had to invest in a new laptop, that will get partitioned as well with copies to the external HD. (I am also knee deep in DVD backups).

Partitioning using Partition Magic is a dream.

  keith-236785 20:11 25 Aug 2005

I ditto all that Simsy says except i keep my backup on dvd's off my computer, the backup is created with norton ghost. i do have a seperate hard drive but dont backup to that in case of total system failure (and its just easier to burn dvd's and stick em in a case in the cupboard)

my main reason for partitioning my primary drive is that i dual boot winxp & Mandrake linux, anyone explain how to do that without partitioning please.

agreed nowadays you dont need to worry about the size of the partitions, winxp & SP2 takes care of any size drive as one i believe, but even then old habits die hard and i have partitioned my SATA drive into 2 as well (intending to try a different version of linux, but it wont see the SATA drive).

i think its all down to personal preference, smaller partitions = faster defrag & format times but thats about the only reason besides dual booting.

good luck

  bremner 20:11 25 Aug 2005

Anyone who solely backs up to a seperate partion on a HDD is asking for trouble - it is ALWAYS essential to back up to a totally seperate medium.

For that reason alone I cannot see any point whatsoever in creating multiple partions unless you intend to dual or multi boot the machine.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

iMac Pro review

See iconic duo Smith and Foulkes' epic animation for the BBC's Winter Olympics coverage

iMac Pro review

Idées cadeaux pour geeks et tech addicts