HOW TO PARTITION HARD DRIVE

  juliaa 19:22 27 Oct 05
Locked

I'm getting a new laptop, and its been suggested to me that I should partition the hard disk. I'm not that computer literate - is this something I could do, or should I steer clear? If I can have a go, how should I go about it?
My laptop has 100gb hard disk. I plan to use it mainly for video/audio/photo editing (although also some general word processing and web surfing).

Many thanks

Julia A

  ade.h 19:47 27 Oct 05

Be wary of the finer points of your warranty; changing partitions might infringe it. If it's okay to proceed, then use disk management (right-click My Comp, then select Manage). If you use this to re-organise existing partitions, remember that it is destructive. If you wish to resize or merge partitions without first moving the data elsewhere, you'll need special third-party software such as Partition Magic.

  ade.h 19:49 27 Oct 05

I should add that it is pretty easy, and generally accepted to be a very good idea for better data management, disk health/performance, etc. I won't go into the details here; it would take too long! Just be aware of your warranty, though it may well be absolutely unaffected by it.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 19:56 27 Oct 05

On modern computers (unless they are running w95) there is absolutely no need whatsoever to partition and if it goes wrong you will be in deep trouble. Forget partitioning it will be of no benefit at all. Set up folders to store pics etc. and use an external HD for backups. Putting backups on the same disk as the OS is bordering on total madness.

G

  juliaa 20:36 27 Oct 05

Many thanks for the suggestions. I should explain that I wouldn't want to backup data to the partition (I'm planning to get an external HDD for that). Its more a case of avoiding possible conflicts between various software (the new PC has Roxio, which I would like to try; however, I also use Ulead products and in the past have found they conflict with Roxio). Should I bother??

Many thanks

Julia Armstrong

  ade.h 20:49 27 Oct 05

You won't avoid software conflicts that way; most software installs to the system partition anyway, though a lot of apps can be placed seperately if they give you a choice.

Three reasons to use partitions: 1) the page file is best placed seperate from the system partition. Less fragmentation, especially if it's Windows managed. 2) Likewise the CD-R temp folder location. I used to get disk full errors until I moved it off C. 3) Not everyone gets this one, but I certainly do; if you have a lot of folders of a particular type (pictures, music, etc.) you can find a lot of system folders, ones that can't be changed back, behaving like those other folders! The temporary fix for this bug is a registry hack, but to stop it happening, the folders that are to blame have to be isolated from the C partition by placing them elsewhere.

  juliaa 21:41 27 Oct 05

Ade, thankyou so much for your note detailing the reasons to partition (previously I'd just been given generalities). Can I just clarify a couple of your points:
(1) What is the page file?
(2) In what way do system folders start to behave like picture/music folders? How serious is this? What sort of numbers/proportions of picture/music files are likely to cause this problem?

If I do go the partition route, would you recommend 2 or 3 partitions (I've read that it can be an idea to have one for XP, one for other applications, and one for my own folders). What sort of proportions should I go for?

Will it be ok to partition with the manufacturers' software and XP already installed? If I use Partition Magic, is the partition process fairly straightforward for a beginner? Could I do the partition at a later date if I start getting the problems you describe?

Thanks again

Julia A

  GANDALF <|:-)> 21:55 27 Oct 05

'the page file is best placed seperate from the system partition. Less fragmentation, especially if it's Windows managed'...not in modern computers and not in XP. The page file is recreated at each boot in any case but on a modernish computer this should never be a problem.

'Likewise the CD-R temp folder location. I used to get disk full errors until I moved it off C'...in the hundreds of computers that I have seen this is the first time I have ever heard of this. This is very, very rare and hens' teeth are more common.

'you can find a lot of system folders, ones that can't be changed back, behaving like those other folders!'...very, very rare. I have never encountered this and anything similar Regseeker fixes. Use Ccleaner and you will never have problems with temp files.

I really think that you are wastimg your time with partitioning unless you are well up on computers. You will see no benefit and could cause damage.

G

  ade.h 22:25 27 Oct 05

FYI - I used to get regular errors when trying to burn CDs until the the temp folder was moved. It only takes a few CDs worth of temporary data to accumulate and suddenyl the C partition is too full to take any more. Not all of us have large hard-disks you know. Neither do we all have "modern-ish" computers.

The folder type problem that I have suffered with since XP was introduced is documented on the Kelly's Korner XP site. That's where I found the registry hack to cure it as and when it happens (which was on an almost daily basis until I moved all my picture folders to a mounted volume, which for whatever reason cured the problem).

It is very frustrating to experience system folders like My Comp and My Docs - and even the Windows folders themselves - change into picture folders with thumbnail view locked in place and folder tasks replaced with picture tasks so that you can't use the right folder tasks.

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