To partition - or not?

  cocteau48 09:47 10 Jan 2007

I have an 80GB hard drive of which my usage has never exceeded 15GB. Would there be any benefits or efficiencies to be gained by partitioning the drive (never done it before)say 20/60GB? Also how would this affect the percentage of the drive allocated to system restore?
I am considering using the Paragon Partition Manager(unless otherwise dissuaded) and the online blurb states that you can defragment the NFTS Master File Table. Is this an advisable course of action?
Any advice would be much appreciated.

  rawprawn 10:05 10 Jan 2007

In my opinion there is nothing to be gained by partioning the drive, unless you want a seperate drive on which to store Photos or such like although with youur current usage there would seem to be no point at all.The percentage of the drive used by System Restore would not be affected but this can be changed in system restore settings (It is usually set at 12% default)
My advice leave it alone, if it aint broke !!!!

  Ptolemy 10:05 10 Jan 2007

Some will tell you there is no advantage to partitioning - this may be true regarding access times etc. but there are advantages.

If you separate your OS and program files from the docs, mp3, jpgs etc you can reinstall the OS without losing any of your music or other files.

Another advantage is for things like defragging and scanning - no need to move or search through several GB of video if all you want to do clean up the OS a bit - the argument applies to making and restoring backup images. Copy what you want each time instead of everything.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 11:03 10 Jan 2007

There is absolutely no need to partition and in some cases it utterly stupid....certainly not with todays' computers.

The best way to prevent data loss is to buy an external HD. Keep all your system files/photo/music on your C drive but copy, as a backup, your important files to the external drive. You can even image the whole drive to an external HD and restoring this to C would be even quicker than any reinstall. This external drive needs to be stored away if you go out or on holiday etc. If you need to reinstall just install the OS onto C and then copy the backed up files onto C. If you have imaged the drive the whole process is much easier. You can run programmes off an external drive with no noticeable difference from running off C.

If you need a drive image programme you can get Acronis 7 for free and this will do the job admirably. A huge external HD (250Gb) should be around £80

I have seen to many knackered HDs where the person has partitioned as a backup...when the HD goes AWOL they are really stuck. Forget partitioning, there is no sensible reason unless your manufacturer has put a recovery partition on the C drive.


  cocteau48 11:52 10 Jan 2007

Many thanks for all the input. I think I will just leave well alone. As rawprawn says "if it aint broke".
Gandalf: you must be psychic! Yesterday I bought an external HD (Freecom 160GB-reduced at PC World from £99.99 to £64.99) dowloaded Acronis 7 for free and successfully imaged my entire C drive onto the new external HD in 20 mins. (My XP recovery prog is both on a CD and on a separate 2.4GB D drive.)
I assume that if I do have to reinstall the mirror image at some time I just use the Acronis bootable CD which I created at prog installation?

  Z1100 12:00 10 Jan 2007

Are you looking for the best performance? Best reliability? or Best usability?" click here

A partition Helps Your Computer Run Faster, that is a fact.

Hard drive partitioning lets your computer find data faster. The Computer finds files and directories quicker as it needs to search only one partition, not the whole disk. When you consider a 300+gb drive that is half full (half empty) ;) there is a noticeable difference.

Some even suggest that you turn of file indexing on the drive to speed it up!

My best reason to partition is to Organize Information a Hard drive partition that makes it easier(ok me at least) to logically organize your data. OS/Games/Customers/Photos/ and the biggesst partition, Music. Though I will move that to an EXT HDD soon.

So, the choice is never should I partiton but How?


  VoG II 12:02 10 Jan 2007

Partitioning is so last century.

  Z1100 12:37 10 Jan 2007

I would suggest that it is not, I believe that today the HDD is the bottleneck in the home PC. With 7200rpm drives in boxes with dual core or 333mhz+ on the FSB and not forgetting Graphics Cards that throw data around at god knows what speed...

Anything that can increase the speed of the humble IDE/ATA/SATA HDD to that of a SCSI Drive is worth trying.

Partitions for me!


  GANDALF <|:-)> 13:10 10 Jan 2007

With nearly all computers produced in the last 3 years there will be no noticeable difference if you is a total waste of space. An external HD is a much better idea and anyone who has information that they believe is important and uses their partitioned HD as a backup is criminally insane.


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