To Partition or Not to Partition - That is the Question...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Stephen Orr, Dec 18, 2001.

  1. Stephen Orr

    Stephen Orr Screenwriter

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    As I stated in an earlier thread, I'm getting a new eMachine with a 40 GB HD. I'm having my older Maxtor 40GB drive installed as my secondary/digital editing storage. The Maxtor is already partitioned into 5 8GB drives. I'm considering partitioning my new computer's primary drive into 4 10GB drives. A friend of mine who's pretty computer savy says it's not necessary for systems with XP, since it allows you to set up individual space for each user.

    Is there an advantage to partitioning versus not partitioning on my primary drive?
     
  2. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Personally, I like keeping my data files away from those of the operating system(s). That includes stuff like the Windows address book, Favorites, Browsing History, blah blah. If I need to wipe and reinstall Windows then I can do so without losing anything and without having to worry about making backups first. I also use Ghost a lot which can only work with partitions and whole disks.
     
  3. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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  4. Andre F

    Andre F Screenwriter

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    I also partition to keep data files away from programs. It has saved me countless hours when having to reinstall.

    -Andre F
     
  5. Steven K

    Steven K Supporting Actor

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    Having multiple partitions is the best thing to do. As a minumum, have one seperate partition for your OS and a seperate partition for your applications. I always find it to be good to split partitions up into 5-10 GB chunks. The reason: upgradability. You might now want to now, but 1 year from now if you want to add an OS to your system, all you have to do is format one of the partitions and install the OS on it. Otherwise, you'll have to completely re-partition your system all over again to make room for the new OS.
     
  6. Tom Garvey

    Tom Garvey Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a couple of questions about partitioning.. I'm a complete newbie to all this stuff so bear with me.

    I just built my pc (last week) and have a 40GB hard drive. I was having problems with some things so I reformatted. I chose to have a single partition. Reading this post has me thinking I may want to go back and set up 2-3 partitions. I run a small business and will be using Quickbooks. I will have many forms, letters, spreadsheets and a database.

    What I don't understand is.. Where will Quickbooks be? Will it be in a different partition from Win2K? Doesn't Quickbooks need an OS to run?

    What do you mean by a seperate partition for applications? I guess I don't know what an application is.. It's different from a program?

    Thanks
     
  7. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    Why would you put the apps on a different partition than the OS? The apps dump a bunch of .dlls in the Windows directory anyway, so if you reinstall Windows, you're going to have to reinstall the apps. (Mind you, I keep the downloaded install files- zips, exe's- on a separate partition, but that's different.)

    Am I missing something?

    I've never found a legitimate personal use for a dual-boot setup, either. Other than to make me have to try to keep straight the minute details of many OS's- a sort of "jack of all trades, master of none." I suppose developers and those who build PCs for a living would be the obvious exception here. As a power "user," I am neither.

    Todd
     
  8. Craig Chatterton

    Craig Chatterton Stunt Coordinator

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    I used to be a fan of the multiple partition thing, but I eventually got tired of it. There's really no benefit to storing files in a partition versus storing the same files in a directory made especially for them. Plus, with multiple drive letters (and Windows 95/98) I had a lot of problems with my CD ROM and my ZIP drive exchanging letters every time I rebooted. That made it difficult if a program was expecting the CD ROM to be on drive H: and it was on drive I: instead that day.

    Now I keep all important data backed up on my ZIP disk and a CDRW and everything goes on one partition. It works fine for me.
     
  9. Rob FM

    Rob FM Second Unit

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    I agree that dropping apps in a seperate partition doesn't make sense to me, as they drop many .dlls and registry stuff that will be lost on a OS wipe anyways....but I DO put:
    • MP3s
    • JPGs
    • Downloaded (ZIP files)
    • Winamp / TweakUI
    Basically things that can stand by themselves.
    ~Rob
     
  10. Steven K

    Steven K Supporting Actor

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    It makes perfect sense... your OS partition wont become as fragmented as it would if everything was on one partition. Since, chances are, you wont be writing to your OS partition as much as your data partition, you will notice a difference in speed.
     
  11. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    The main other benefit that hasn't been mentioned yet is that it takes the PC less time to initially format the smaller partition when setting up the OS for a clean install.

    For me, I make PCs on the side for friends and family, and I always make a 15-20GB partition for C: and leave the remaining 20GB+ for D: - it takes about 1/2 the time on initial install. And also, I used to use FAT 32 for C: and then NTFS for D:, although with XP now I'm using NTFS for both.
     
  12. Rob FM

    Rob FM Second Unit

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    Good point Carlo.....

    I am going to do that on my next HD (NTFS on the OS for security, FAT32 for compatibility on the other partition)

    That should work, right?

    ~Rob
     
  13. Bob Hill

    Bob Hill Stunt Coordinator

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    I haven't seen anyone mention in this string how much partitioning can affect seek times and read/write times when you have to scratch to the hard drive. I mostly work with very large graphics files and the slowdown due to using partitions is very apparent. What I normally do is have two hardrives, one with the OS and apps and another for files and scratch space. I don't know if the read/write speed is an issue for most but if it is really look at multiple drives not multiple partitions. A side note if you do go this way and you are using IDE make sure that your main OS/apps drive and scratch/storage drive are on different IDE channels for better performance.
     
  14. JonahWicky

    JonahWicky Stunt Coordinator

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    If you're planning to have 2 hard drives in your computer, store all of your data files and backups on the 2nd drive. This eliminates the need to partition, which slows things down and plays havoc with drive letter assignments. For a belt and suspenders approach, I make a compressed backup of my entire 2nd drive and store it on the first drive and burn it to a CD-RW. Do this weekly, and all your data is safe.

    It's also not a bad idea to reformat occassionally anyway. I'm always shocked at how fast Win98 is when it's freshly installed, versus after I load up a bunch of other apps and install/uninstall things for a few months.
     
  15. Darren Lewis

    Darren Lewis Supporting Actor

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    Bob, I'm planning on finally getting into video and graphics editing as yet another hobby. If I keep these files on a second harddrive (not paritioned into smaller drives?) and still have a partitioned first drive with OS, other data, etc, etc, is this ok?

    I have my OS and apps on a separate partition to my data - much easier for re-installing without losing all that data. Keep regular backups on CDRW and ZIP too for extra security.
     

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