Partitioning hard drive?

Discussion in 'Hardware & Software' started by bam23, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. bam23

    bam23 Newbie

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    I'm looking to upgrade to Windows 7 soon and I figured I'd make the most of it by reformatting and starting fresh. I heard people make separate drive partitions for their OS, music, games, and all that jazz. Any information you guys can give me to supplement my googlerizing? Benefits? Experiences? How to?
     
  2. No Limit

    No Limit Party Escort Bot

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    I wouldn't. Partitions are a pain in the ass when you start running out of room. A lot of times you will find that you didn't give your OS partition enough room for updates and other things and at that point you are shit out of luck.

    The theory is that if you put your page file on it's own partition it will be faster because data fragmentation won't occur. Although this is technically true the perfomance increase this causes isn't very significant in my opinion.
     
  3. Raziaar

    Raziaar I Hate Custom Titles

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    I have two seperate partitions on my 1TB hard drive. 250 gigs for my C drive, and all the rest on my D drive, where I put all my games and most of my other shit. The stuff on C is stuff that typically goes into program files and stuff by default. I don't install my programs onto my D drive, just games and everything else.
     
  4. Tee Kyoo Em

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    After various tries, I've come up with a layout that seems to work really well for me:

    - A (small) boot partition
    - A partition for a primary (Windows-based) OS
    - Partitions for a secondary (*nix-based) OS
    - A partition for messing around with different versions of an OS
    - A partition acting as a storage area
    - A partition for my work as a developer

    Anything that needs installation will go into an OS partition and will be wiped along with the OS that it is dependent upon during a reinstallation.

    Backups, downloads, pictures, videos, music and basically anything that I want to retain during reinstallations will go into the storage area.

    My work-related data gets its own partition, as I like to keep it separate from the general data in the storage area.

    If you're a performance nut, you might want to think about the placement and the sizes of the partitions in order to limit the read/write heads to certain areas of the drive.

    There's also the possibility of moving the swap file of your OS to a partition on a different drive in order to improve performance.
     
  5. Viperidae

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    I use the most basic: C: OS; D,E,F: everything else. It's just so I don't have to transfer everything over every time I want to reinstall the OS.

    This is true. Generally, 30-35 gigs should be enough for C on W7. For me I strangle my C size on purpose, so I'm forced to keep as much stuff out of there as I possibly can. But, as you say, it's resulted in frustration, as stupid apps (Adobe CS, Sprocket, Google Earth) force-dump huge amounts of data on C.
     
  6. Druckles

    Druckles Party Escort Bot

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    Mine's pretty straight forward. I have two harddrives, two partitions.

    C: - Programs, including games (250GB)
    D: - Data, music, documents, pictures, downloads, etc. (250GB)

    I ran out of room a month ago on C. The majority of that was Steam. Over 180GB or something. I uninstalled a couple of games I wasn't going to play again, or that was taking up a lot of room, such as Arkham Asylum.

    So yeah, don't underestimate games space. I've now got a 750GB for C:, and I'll be placing Linux on my old 250.

    It's incredibly convenient, having a separate place for documents.
     
  7. VirusType2

    VirusType2 Newbie

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    I do something similar to Tee Kyoo Em.

    FYI, you must make partitions for each OS (at least for Windows). (there is a limit of 4 per physical drive, I believe.)

    If you only have one OS, and are putting it on a large HDD, then at most, you might restrict the OS to a partition, so that if you reinstall the OS, you don't have to move all the stuff to format. That way, 800 GB of stuff on the partition can stay, and you can reinstall on the 120GB partition, for example.



    Music folder/Games/Video/Storage... you don't need (and probably won't want) partitions for that stuff, just put them in folders.

    Like No Limit says, and also from my experience, (having had to start over after feeling too cramped) if you find you ran out of room, it can be a real pain. Especially give your OS's plenty of room. Because if you have too much room, you can always still use the space for something.

    I've got partitions for 3 OS's, and the 4th partition, I use for storage. I used a terabyte drive, and I have a lot of other drives.

    Never heard about the boot partition and page file partitions, so I can't make any suggestion there; I may have to look into that.


    I think Asus will do some trick to limit the size of the drive so its faster. The edges of a mechanical HDD are slower.

    BTW, I personally found that ... in XP, for example, that after all the updates and general programs like Adobe Reader, and crap, that my Windows XP installation was approaching 80GB. You can use less if you force everything to install elsewhere, but some applications, believe it or not, won't give you that choice. EDIT, granted, I had so many programs installed that Windows couldn't even fit them all on my screen from the All Programs menu.

    Anyhow, I went all out and reserved 120GB-160GB per OS after that debacle. **** it. I had a spare 1TB drive that was pretty fast, so that's what I used.
     
  8. Viperidae

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    A fresh W7 is somewhere on the side of 22 gigs.

    [​IMG]

    This is after 8 months. Still looking good.
     
  9. VirusType2

    VirusType2 Newbie

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    I just found it a pain to install everything to a different drive. I do have a separate HDD for my games though.

    How much do service packs run after decompressed and installed? Wow, you weren't kidding about restricting it. I think that's what I did my first time, BTW. About 20 or 30GB for XP (can't remember)
     
  10. bam23

    bam23 Newbie

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    Hmm. Well I was never thinking about making so many partitions. 2 at most. Mostly for the fact that my whole drive won't be fubar if something happens.
     
  11. No Limit

    No Limit Party Escort Bot

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    If any partition on your drive goes fubar your entire drive will stop working.
     
  12. Viperidae

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    Actually, I misspoke. IIRC it's closer to 18 gigs on fresh install. Yes, that's before updates and anything added. XP is even smaller.

    However, that's because of drivers:

    Also, No Limit: I'm not sure what kind of point you're trying to make. Physical corruption? Sure. It's all the same data on the same four platters. I don't think anyone was implying that partitioning somehow immunises sections from that kind of damage. It's more to do with how the OS treats the partitions, e.g. with sharing and booting.
     
  13. No Limit

    No Limit Party Escort Bot

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    I just can't think of a scenario where one of the partitions would fail and the other one wouldn't. Doesn't make much sense to me.
     
  14. Viperidae

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    Well, you can have C get corrupted by virii/what have you, while your data on the other partitions is untouched.
     
  15. No Limit

    No Limit Party Escort Bot

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    Why would a virus that corrupts your C partition not corrupt your other paritions? Mercy?
     
  16. Ennui

    Ennui The Freeman

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    I think he's saying a virus could wipe out / corrupt your OS beyond repair, requiring a reformat, so you could reformat your OS partition without deleting your pure data on your storage partition (which wouldn't be corrupted by the virus because it would target Windows files, not random movies or music or whatever).
     
  17. No Limit

    No Limit Party Escort Bot

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    That's a good point. But either way your data is either lost or it isn't. A partition doesnt change that.
     
  18. Tee Kyoo Em

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    I guess it depends on what is meant by something "going fubar" or "failing".

    One of the beneficial properties of having a partitioned drive is that potential file system corruptions may be isolated to specific partitions, leaving other partitions still operational.

    Besides being necessities, in the case of booting multiple operating systems off the same drive, there are also advantages to having multiple partitions and some of them have already been mentioned. As with most things, there are also disadvantages if you partition your drive without giving it much thought. That's why you should have an idea of how the computer's going to be used and come up with a custom solution that fits the purpose.
     
  19. bam23

    bam23 Newbie

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    Yea, I'm not talking about a hardware failure. Everytime I reformat for one reason or another, I lose all my data. I was thinking a partition would make it so that I would only lose just the OS or just the other stuff. I get tired of doing the Windows Update extravaganza for every fresh OS install :rolling:
     
  20. VirusType2

    VirusType2 Newbie

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    That's pretty interesting. So you can opt out of all the drivers you don't need. Does Windows perform any better because of it?

    Also can you use this software after installation to remove shit, or no?

    EDIT: Guess not.

    http://www.vlite.net/about.html


    I like the fact that it integrates patches and updates.
     
  21. arch5

    arch5 Spy

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    There is an option in Windows Disk Management to resize partitions on-the-fly.
     
  22. No Limit

    No Limit Party Escort Bot

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    Unless I'm wrong windows will only let you extend a partition to unallocated space. That means if you have a 100GB hard drive and 20GB is the OS partition and 79GB is the data partition you would only be able to expend any one of these partitions by 1GB.
     
  23. kazsymonds

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    You are better off having 2 disks imo. I know that isn't what the OP posted, but the only benefits to having multiple partitions are organisation IMO. (or the virus one).

    If i built my machine over again, i would get a small very fast drive to have my OS on, and have all programs / files on a larger, slower drive.
     
  24. Druckles

    Druckles Party Escort Bot

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    Two hard drives also have the (minor) benefit of speed.
     
  25. arch5

    arch5 Spy

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    You could shorten one partition and extend the other.
     
  26. No Limit

    No Limit Party Escort Bot

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    Interesting, I did not know that. Have you ever actually tried this? I'm wondering how reliable it is.
     
  27. bam23

    bam23 Newbie

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    This thread just took a crazy turn. So I could extend and shrink a partition as needed?
     
  28. VirusType2

    VirusType2 Newbie

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    With Windows 7, you can do it natively (it's built-in). With other OS, you need 3rd party software.

    However, in order to adjust the size of a partition, the partition that is to be encroached upon will need to be deleted. This means it can still be a pain if the partition to be deleted is full of your data (since you will have to move it first!). Particularly if the partition to be deleted has software installed on it. This means, after resizing the other partition, you will need to name it the same thing [it used to be named, e.g. F: Games] and be sure it has the same drive letter. Otherwise, installed programs in the registry will fail to start in most cases. It is also possible to edit the registry to change the drive manually for each software instead, though it would obviously be more annoying this way.
     
  29. Viperidae

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    Absolutely. As Virus said, it's generally easier/more encouraged in Linux/etc.

    If this is true for the W7 partitioner, then it's stupid. Don't use it. Use something like gParted. It won't force you to delete the partition when resizing or moving it.

    [​IMG]
    Drag and move, baby.

    The real issue with NTFS partition moving/sizing is fragmentation. Say you have a D and an E, and you want to shrink D. Since partitions are defined by the physical sectors on the platter, even if D isn't full, if there's any fragmented data at the very edge of its partitioned space, right before E starts, you won't be able to shrink it without corrupting some data. So you'll have to defragment the whole thing before you can shrink.

    I find this is untrue in most cases. 90% of games work fine without registry entries, and most just remake the entries if they don't find any on startup. There is very little software I've found that refuses to run without a registry setting. Obviously, any software that messes with hardware (Daemontools, for instance) will need it. But you're exaggerating.
     
  30. VirusType2

    VirusType2 Newbie

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    Ok, I thought I just got lucky when some of them worked (programs that aren't picky). :LOL:

    Some of them say something like, "reinstalling the application may fix the problem." I managed by going into the registry one day, searching for the application, then changing the registry entry from the old drive letter to the new one. Anyway, this is experience from XP, keep in mind, so I'm not sure if it will be relevant.

    I would still rename the new volume the same as it used to be, personally. Just in case!

    EDIT: actually this happened so long ago, that it's possible that it was XP Home SP1 when I went through this. So maybe it was improved in an update or something (I remember recently not having any trouble; though it was different software, so I can't compare).
     
  31. Viperidae

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    I might just be lucky in my program choices. Generally I despise bloat programs that use registry when they don't need to.

    And yeah, I find the registry a lot less taboo than people seem to make it. It's perfectly happy if you manually enter in keys. It's especially useful for me when I'm too lazy to reinstall games I no longer have the discs for (like Warcraft 3). I just drag the folder to another drive and add in the .exe entries and it works. The only game that has absolutely refused to run, even though I tried entering in dozens of GFWL/Rockstar Games keys, was GTA4. That 15 gig ****er just HAD to get a full reinstall.
     
  32. No Limit

    No Limit Party Escort Bot

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    But that sounds to me like you are taking a risk that some of your data might be corrupted when you do this. Can be kind of scary if you have important data on the drive.
     
  33. Viperidae

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    Um, well the program I use will say something like 'cannot shrink drive: data present,' and then query me if I want to defragment first.
     
  34. kazsymonds

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    I don't understand this, I used the native tool the other month to move to a bigger HD.

    It let me shrink my main partition, then it wouldn't let me go further. I defragged and it gave me more, then I created another partition in the empty space. It didn't destroy anything. Mind you, i didn't rename any partitions.

    I know that that's probably a weird thing to be doing when moving drives, but i had to do it to image the drive so i didn't need to reinstall anything.

    I've used the W7 native tool about 5-6 times to mess with partitions, and never had anything go wrong.
     
  35. arch5

    arch5 Spy

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    It's reliable, I've done it quite a few times.


    Don't ****ing use gParted to resize NTFS partitions. I asked it to shorten my NTFS partition by 1GB and it took 5 hours, and there is possible corruption.

    EDIT: And if you decide to cancel the long operation of it resizing your hard drive any time during the process, enjoy your partially RAW-formatted hard disk.
     
  36. Viperidae

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    I hope you weren't using the bugged version. Because that would be tragic.

    It took 5 hours because it was defragmenting. Once the defrag is finished the actual shrinking is nigh instant.

    Looks like someone needs to read their forums!
     
  37. kazsymonds

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    Or use the correct tool.

    I used Gparted from a live CD once, it was ****ing shit.

    Every time i made a change i had to restart the machine.

    Delete Partition > Restart
    Create New Partition > Restart
    Format Partition > Restart
    Scratch my ass > Restart

    etc.
     
  38. Asus

    Asus Newbie

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    I used to partition my 2nd drive to keep fragmentation less of an issue. But of course a dedicated drive is best for reliability and speed.
    best - multiple drives each with 1 partition
    OK - 1 drive, 2 partitions
    not good - 1 drive, 1 partition all with OS and storage files

    I do have one of my desktop OS drives formatted to only 30gb (10gb free on partition) but it's a 250gb drive. So all the data is within 30gb of the outside edge of the disk, nothing can get saved in the middle or close to the center (slow spin speed).
    Opposite direction of burning a CD but the speed relations are the same. Burning a CD, the speed ramps up from the inside to the outside edge.
     

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