partitions on hard drive - explain please!

  Carafaraday 17:23 16 Aug 04
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My new pc has two partitions on the hard drive - both with 120gb. Could somebody please explain how I should use this sensibly? For instance, should I copy everything from the c: to the d: so that I have a back up (and how would I do that?!) - or should I leave all the applications on the c: drive and store photos and documents on the d: - I realise that I have masses of space whatever I do, just wondered what the sensible course of action is.

  dth 17:38 16 Aug 04

easiest way is to use C for your o/s & programs and D for your data. So if your o/s gets knackered you can simply re-install windows without it causing problems for your data.

If you have two separate drives (rather than one hard drive split into two partitions) then also make a folder called 'Back-Up' on your C drive and make a copy of all your data stuff. This would be an added
precaution - so if your D drive died a death.

  Carafaraday 17:45 16 Aug 04

Thank you, dth. It isn't two separate drives, just one partioned one.

  woodchip 17:46 16 Aug 04

Get Drive Image and make a Image file of C:\ and save the file to D:\ while C:\ is working OK you can then restore easy if you have problems.With DI you can split the Image to fit CDR or DVD

  Carafaraday 17:51 16 Aug 04

Thanks for your reply. I don't really understand what you mean, I'm afraid I'm pretty untechnically minded - could you elaborate a bit?

  woodchip 18:00 16 Aug 04

With Drive Image you create a Image file of C:\ this as to be loaded onto another Drive or Partition or CDR etc. The Image can the be used like a Restore Disc, "as that is what it is" To put the computer back in working order if you have any problems. but it put's the Image back to the Point that you made it, any Programs or work not save as a incremental backup would be lost. but the computer would be back working that is why a Image is created and the small backups are created for work like docs photos or what have you.

  Dorsai 18:04 16 Aug 04

I don't think there is much point of using the second partition as a back-up, as if the HDD dies, it will take both partitions with it, as they are both on the same piece of hardware. and also any virus etc that trashes one partition is unlikely to leave the other alone.

If you have a lagre collection of photo's, MP3 files, of other files that do not change much, or at all, once they have been created, like archived letters, i would store them on the second partition. That way when you de-frag the main drive it will be quicker, as they won't need moving. The advantage may be minimal though, as more modern OS's don't fragment the file structure as badly, and modern drives are getting so fast that a fragmented file does not slow things down as badly as it once did in the days of ata33.

Apart from this, just use the main one till it's full, as it is so big it will take ages to fill.

  dth 22:39 16 Aug 04

Sorry I had guessed that it was 2 separate hard discs - not one hd partitioned into 2. Advice to use drive D for data still stands though.

  Carafaraday 22:45 16 Aug 04

Thanks to dth and dorsai and woodchip.

Why bother to partition? I can't see that there is any advantage to me in having the hard drive split in two - comments welcome.............

  joethebow 23:18 16 Aug 04

There is a very real reason for having the drive partitioned.

1. Drive C should contain Windows and all your Installed Programmes, nothing else.

2. Drive D should contain all your data and all the .exe files you used to install the programmes on C if these were downloaded from the net.

That way if windows dies, which it has done on me several times, you can reformat C, Reinstall windows, install the programmes from your .exe files and your data will have been safe & sound all the time.

Me, I have over 100Gb of movies on my HDD, If I lost them I'd commit suicide, it took me so long to download them. So they are backed up on my XBox. Neat, or what?

  woodchip 23:21 16 Aug 04

That's a load of rubbish a Image on a different partition is better than none at all. And can save many hours of reloading and looking for drivers and a Virus would have a job finding it's way inside a Image file. But I did also say, if possible to backup to CDR or DVD. Partitioning can also reduces the file size

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