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Idea partition size on a hard disk

Last response: in Storage
September 21, 2006 6:51:23 PM

I would like to know about how to calculate the ideal partition size.

I have a 160 GB Hitachi HDD.

I want to create one partition. I would like to know.

1. What should be the ideal partition size, 2 80GB?
2. How is the performance affected based on parition size?
3. Any other tips?
4. Should it depend on the number of heads and number of platters in the HDD

Regards,
September 21, 2006 11:16:00 PM

It depends on how complicated you want to make.

Easy way, 2 80GB partitions. 1 80GB for your OS and program files, 1 80GB for data.

The hard way, do whatever you want but I'd give yourself at least an 8GB partitions for Win XP. It gets more complicated form there.
    September 22, 2006 5:08:44 AM

    Will the performance be affected?

    If my OS is on one partition and the installed programs on other partitions then will that affect the performance?
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      September 22, 2006 12:14:57 PM

      no it wont affect the performance, well not really.

      what this does meant though having a winxp installation on a seperate partition means that your data is safer, how many times has your computer crashed and you needed to reformat the HDD? if you have everything in one partition and need to format youve lost everything, have the operating system on a partition and need to format you just loose the operating system.
        September 22, 2006 12:50:42 PM

        Quote:
        Will the performance be affected?

        If my OS is on one partition and the installed programs on other partitions then will that affect the performance?


        The difference will be minimal, maybe a few milliseconds... I doubt you will notice the difference. There really is no ideal way to partition (not in my experiance) your hard drive, just allow enough for the OS and the rest is for everything else.

        now if you want to get really creative you can use the Linux methodology..
        one part. Swap file
        one part. OS
        one part. Program Files
        one part. Personall files
        It takes some getting use to, but it really helps to protect your system...
          September 22, 2006 1:14:19 PM

          If you don't do things that will corrupt your OS you will have limited value from partitioning. The last time I had to reformat and reinstall was with Win95. I've had HD's die since then, but all of the partitions would be lost in case of HW failure.

          How you split the partitions depends on how you plan on using the drive. If you are going to need very large storage areas, ie you want to put your 130 GB of DVD rips in one folder, then size accordingly. I hate hitting the partition limit on any drive, so I prefer one large partition. I keep files I need in a few directories, ie My Documents and C:\Data, and if I ever needed to format and reinstall I would just archive those directories before formatting.


          Per MS, with NTFS there is almost no performance difference with large v. small partitions. The FAT32 sector size and performance issues no longer exist:
          http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/winpreinst/ntfs-preinstall.mspx
            September 22, 2006 5:20:39 PM

            Making a seperate partition on the same drive for Windows XP doesn't help at all. It helps in Linux, but not Windows. If you're using one drive its best to just keep the swap file on the same partition where Windows XP is.

            Now, if you have two drives there is a performance gain from putting the swap file on the first partition of the second drive. My setup is as follows:

            SDA0: 8GB for Windows, 30GB for Programs, 20GB for DVD/CD burns, Remaining for storage.
            SDA1: 1GB for Windows swap file, Remaining for storage
            HDA0: 30GB for Linux, 4 GB for Linux swap, 20GB Fat32 shared XP/Linux storage, remaining for storage.

            I use TweakUI in Windows to adjust "My Documents" and such folders locations.
              September 23, 2006 1:31:50 AM

              The only strong reason for partitioning a single drive is organizational convenience. For example, I just rebuilt my wife's system. 100 GB drive partitioned as 15 GB Windows + programs, 10 GB data, 75 GB misc.

              Most of her data is actually stored on a server so she doesn't need much data space on her computer.

              This parititioning is selected to simplify backups and maintenance.

              I don't separate Windows and programs because, if I have to re-install Windows, I'm going to have to reinstall the programs. Almost all programs are tightly integrated with Windows registry, DLL directories, etc. so that they won't survive a heart transplant of replacing the Windows partition and will need to be re-installed.

              The data partition holds "important" data that will be backed up nightly. For example, Quicken data files would go here.

              The Misc partition holds data that doesn't need to be backed up at all -- image caches, scratch space, temporary files, large downloaded files, etc. We sure don't need 75 GB for that, but that's what was left over on the hard drive.

              If you have more than one drive, then you can notice the performance improvements of moving some files, like paging files, away from the drive that has Windows on it.

              Guy
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