Best wat to partition a new HD?

OK, after three different motherboards, two of which are different brands (one was an RMA) and two HD’s (again, one was an RMA) I FINALLY got my new Hitachi 250 GB SATA HD to be recognized by Windows and not screw up my PC (before, all sorts of problems were happening. From not booting up at all, to trying to boot from SATA but wouldn’t install on the SATA.)

So anyways, I got 250 GB to work with, and I want to know the best way to divide them up. I want at least two partitions (and I suspect that’s all I will need, really.) One for a Windows install that I plan to do in te future (because the current HD is in desperate need of a format) and then the rest jsut for files.

How big of a partition do I need for a Windows install? Will 5 GB be enough? Too much? The only thing on that partition will be the Windows install and then whatever files normally get put into Windows through the course of using a computer, such as desktop icons, etc… (and keep in mind that I might, at least temporarily, keep a large media file or two on the desktop before transferring to the other “drive.”)

Oh, and when it does get formatted, and I go to reinstall Windows on it, will the new partition show up in the install now without needing my SATA driver disk? Or will I still need that? Thanks in advance.

      • I would recommend a smaller 12-gig partition for OS and paging file, and the rest for programs and data storage. A typical XP install runs around 2-2.5 gigs, but it likes a few gigs of spare room. I install the antivirus program onto the OS disk as well, that might total another few hundred megs.
        -then (when you are able) you should buy a second hard drive, and partition that into a very-small ~5-gig partition and use that just for the paging file (set the paging file at 3-4 gigs), and partition the rest of the space and move all your data onto that, and off of the programs partition. So eventually, your OS and programs are segregated on one physical drive, and your paging file and data storage are segregated on another physical drive.

  • Having built a 4-physical drive system last time around, I have noticed that a few things make a positive difference: keeping OS, paging file, programs and data files separate greatly decreases the need to defrag, and having the paging file on a drive other than the one the OS is on makes a noticeable difference in overall system response speed. Also of course, once installed, you really can’t move your OS or programs–but then this way that isn’t necessary anyway.

You need to be aware that some applications absolutely insist in being installed in C:\Program Files. You can mess about with the registery to try and get around this, but it’s a major pain and some applications simply don’t care what the registry says, they’re going in C:\Program Files whether you like it or not. So you need to leave room for them. How much space can only ever be guess-work.

There is also nothing more frustrating in ending up with a system where the c: partition has maxed out, yet there’s heaps of space elsewhere.

My experience taught me that while multiple partitions are desirable, Windows simply isn’t the operating system to make best use of them.

Is your complaint about Windows itself, or about 3rd party programs written for Windows? If the latter, that’s hardly Windows’ fault. Folks can write inflexible, non-standard-compliant programs for Mac or Unix or mainframe just as well.

I think they’re less likely to though - the set of all Windows software development tools has a remarkably low entry-level.

Ok so you have 250Gb to play with. Well I have a 160Gb hard drive and have it partitioned into 40/120. I figure that most newer computers are coming out with 40Gb hard drives so that should be enough for the “average” user. Of course I am not an “average” user :smiley: . I figure that the 40Gb is enough for all installation files of my programs, as well as anything else that I might want to keep on the C drive. That leaves the other 120 for storage. This has worked great for me so far. As far as how many drives you should partition, I would look at why you would need the partitions. Do you want seperate ones for Music, Movies, Pictures. Well somthing like that I would have:

40Gb - OS/Programs
5Gb - Pictures
20Gb - Music
100Gb - Movies

165 Gb

That still leaves 85Gb for storage of other stuff. (Of course these numbers vary with each individuals passions)

Why would anyone want separate partitions for Music, movies and pictures? In my experience, all that happens is that the Movies partition fills up and new movies end up on the Music and OS partitions. It’s just a big hassle. I’m going to vote for just one big partition unless you plan on running multiple operating systems.

I can really only see one benefit to having a separate OS partition. If parts of the hard drive start to physicallly become corrupted, to the point where it affects OS stability, you can reformat just the OS partition by itself. This will hopefully identify the bad sectors on the drive and prevent them from being used, allowing you to continue using the (now slightly smaller) drive. This saves you the trouble of having to backup and restore your data files. However, if a drive starts going bad, you probably want to backup your data files anyway and reformat the other partition as well if your data is valuable. Personally, I just keep mine as one big partition and backup anything important.

If there is some other benefit to a separate OS partition, I’d like to hear it.

Either way, Partition Magic rocks.