Is it worth partitioning my hard drive

  Rockarch 18:14 25 Aug 05
Locked

In the pre XP days I was advised to partition the hard drive on a new pc so that all data could be kept separate to operating system files. This proved to be a lifesaver when I had a total failure on one pc.

I've just got a new laptop and am wondering if it is still worth doing now that XP is more stable and there is system restore etc? I actually like having the data somewhere different rather than using my documents all the time.
What's the verdict?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:22 25 Aug 05

Partioning Guide
click here

Back up your drivers and a copy of the system to different partitions

Always save your documents and photos to a partition oteher than (c:) the one the op system is on. you can then format and reinstall the op system after a crash,without losing your docs

  Rockarch 18:31 25 Aug 05

Hey Fruitbat
Thanks for the partitioning guide - its about 4 years since I last did it so was going to be a struggle to remember how...

  Rockarch 18:47 25 Aug 05

I've just read the guide and its complicated as hell! Especially as I don't have a floppy drive on the new laptop which appears to be needed to run FDISK - any suggestions how else to do it?

The laptop is a brand new Dell - I havn't loaded anything onto it yet and just removed their freebie ISP software.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 19:18 25 Aug 05

It is a waste of time partitioning new computers especially XP. You would be much better to buy an external HD (£50ish) and backup your files onto that. I have a 4Gb USB HD which is the size of a credit card and this is the way forward in the twenty-first century. This has many advantages especially when your HD goes kaput and it will be the best 50 squid you have ever spent.

G

  VoG II 19:24 25 Aug 05

I couldn't agree more. I have never grasped the 'logic' of partioning hard drives these days. In the event that a HDD failed catastrophically, all the partitions would be lost.

I have a 40 GB USB HDD (a bit bigger than a credit card) click here and Norton Ghost to image my main HDD. Two of my better investments.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:32 25 Aug 05

Agreed if main hard drive fails then all is lost.

I have 2nd HD with copy of Main partion on and all doce photos are backed up to externat HDD. £20 case and old drive use from defunct PC.

  Simsy 19:59 25 Aug 05

that a loss of a HDD means a loss of backup if it's kept on a different partition on the same HDD, I partition, and recommend doing so for the following reasons;

There is a difference between backing up "data" and backing "the system"

If you keep all data on a seperate partition to the system, it is easy, using imaging software, ( such as TrueImage, DriveImage or Ghost), to recover the system partiton without causing ANY disturbance to the data.

Having the system on a partiton of it's own means that there are less changes, on an ongoing basis, to the partiton; this means there is less fragmentation over a given period.

Disc maintainance, such as defragging or scandisc, is performed on a pertition basis, and is much quicker.


I do however, I repeat, not recommend RELIANCE on data backup being on a difference partion on the SAME HDD as the original.


I hope these thoughts help.


Regards,

Simsy

  Ancient Learner 20:09 25 Aug 05

Whilst I totally accept that XP is not likely to destroy itself as did previous versions, if it did, I would bet that I would be the first person ever to have it happen. Therefore, like Fruit Bat /\0/\, I have 2 HDs, both partitioned, so that when it happens I will survive. I also, incidentally, also have an old 40GB HD in a caddy which contains images of everything.

Now, having just had to invest in a new laptop, that will get partitioned as well with copies to the external HD. (I am also knee deep in DVD backups).

Partitioning using Partition Magic is a dream.

  keith-236785 20:11 25 Aug 05

I ditto all that Simsy says except i keep my backup on dvd's off my computer, the backup is created with norton ghost. i do have a seperate hard drive but dont backup to that in case of total system failure (and its just easier to burn dvd's and stick em in a case in the cupboard)

my main reason for partitioning my primary drive is that i dual boot winxp & Mandrake linux, anyone explain how to do that without partitioning please.

agreed nowadays you dont need to worry about the size of the partitions, winxp & SP2 takes care of any size drive as one i believe, but even then old habits die hard and i have partitioned my SATA drive into 2 as well (intending to try a different version of linux, but it wont see the SATA drive).

i think its all down to personal preference, smaller partitions = faster defrag & format times but thats about the only reason besides dual booting.

good luck

  bremner 20:11 25 Aug 05

Anyone who solely backs up to a seperate partion on a HDD is asking for trouble - it is ALWAYS essential to back up to a totally seperate medium.

For that reason alone I cannot see any point whatsoever in creating multiple partions unless you intend to dual or multi boot the machine.

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