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HDD partitioning


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#1
Seltox

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My computer just crashed, so i've just gone "screw it." and reformatted my whole HDD and stuff.

In the past i've always just had one giant partition with everything on it simply because I didn't understand how it all worked. So firstly I guess I want some sort of explanation on how it all works and how the different partitions interact with eachother.

I was just talking to a friend (well, admin on a game I play) and after our conversation I've decided I want to set up a partition for Linux (Ubuntu), Windows (Windows XP Professional), Games, Music, and then just other stuff (programs and photos and junk I guess). I just have no idea how large the partitions should be. Like, will the OS partitions need to be only just large enough to fit the OS itself on it, or will it need more?

Can I run a program like iTunes (Lets just say it's in the 'other' partition) through Windows XP (which is in the Windows OS partition), while reading music from the music partition? Will this create much lag? (I'm using a PATA HDD right now, 200gb. I'm getting a 200gb SATA in a few days-weeks though).

What are the benefits of all these different partitions (Everyone seems to do it, so i'm just presuming it's a good thing).
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#2
Titan8990

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Partitions do not offer any changes to performance. It can cause issues having two operating systems on the same partition which is why it is recommended to use a different partition for Linux. People use a third partition for files for organization reasons more than anything else. When you have an OS on two different partitions it just makes things a bit easier to store your data on that third partition.

Like, will the OS partitions need to be only just large enough to fit the OS itself on it, or will it need more?


I can not speak for the Linux partition but you will want the Windows partition larger than what is just needed to install the OS. Things such as System Restore are stored in the directory of the OS.
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#3
Seltox

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Do you think 5gb would be sufficient, or 10gb?

And, will it provide some sort of safeguard against a virus getting to my system files? Like if I download a file that has a virus attached, into a partition that does not house an OS, will that virus still be able to get to the OS?
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#4
Titan8990

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I would do 10GB to be safe. I am not sure how much space Service Pack 3 will require which is why I would go a little on the high side. SP2 required 1.8GB for installation. These partitions will not offer any extra protection for malware.
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#5
happyrock

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complete guide on partitioning is located here ...very good reading..
This guide shares insights on the subject of hard drive partitioning. Here you will find strategies for the best way to partition your drive...
If you're going to install multiple operating systems (dual-boot or multi-boot) to/on the same physical disk, you must create a separate partition for each O/S....
I should mention that this guide is not a partitioning tutorial. If you're looking for a step-by-step procedure on how to use FDISK to create or delete partitions, check out Doc's FDISK guide. It's referenced by several universities & disk manufacturers such as Samsung.

Edited by happyrck, 10 January 2008 - 10:06 AM.

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#6
Seltox

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Thanks a _lot_ Happyrck, those guides were very useful (not actually finished reading them yet though. I'm getting there)!

I don't feel like it's worth starting a new topic for, so I guess i'll ask another question here...

Once I have my computer up and running again, i'll want some good free maintenance programs. Things like defraggers and that sort of think. Anyone mind running me up a list of what they think might be useful for me to have?



EDIT: Okay, reading further on that page, it seems the order the partitions are created in matters for how fast the stuff on that drive can be accessed. (First partitions created go on the outside of the physical drive, and go inwards with each consecutive partition?)

So my thoughts here are

1. OS - Windows
2. OS - Linux
3. Games (I do a lot of gaming)
4. Other (apps and stuff I guess)
5. Extra (I guess i'd put things like the install exe's and stuff in here. Just tiddly bits)
6. Music (Slowest part of the HDD, music doesn't exactly need to be accessed really quickly, and no matter where the music is on the HDD, it's not going to give me like 2 second lag between songs in iTunes.

I was just wondering, should I have a seperate partition for Linux apps? Or what?

I'm thinkin 20gb to each OS, 60-65gb to games (I don't own that many games, but i'm upgrading my computer this year, and will be getting things like Crysis, UT3, etc. They will take up a lot of room, yeah?), 30gb to the 'other', 15-20gb to the'extra' and about 35gb to music. I have a '200'gb HDD, but the real capacity is something like 187gb or something.



FURTHER EDIT: Hrm, i'm going to install Windows 98 SE as well on another partition. This one will be solely as a backup incase something goes horribly wrong with XP or Linux or something. I don't think i'd need to give this more than 2-3gb, as nothing extra would be added. What do you think of this?

EVEN FURTHER EDIT: Yeah, I keep reading more into it. Seems that if I have a 98SE partition, it has to be FAT32 (I knew it'd have to do that) But that restricts heaps of access between fAT32 and NTFS.... SO I'd need to make all my partitions FAT32 in order for it all to work and blah. screw that idea =p.


Anyways, i'm gonna take some questions about partitioning for Linux to the 'other operating systems' topic or whatever.

Edited by Seltox, 10 January 2008 - 01:21 PM.

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#7
happyrock

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throw in a second hard drive...doesn't have to be a big one...first thing you do is put the swap/paging file on the second drive...make it about 5 Gb and make the swap file on the OS drive the minimum..I think its 2 MB...that will really speed things up ..make another partition then put linux ... then another partition and 98 on that drive using FAT 32
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#8
Troy

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Once I have my computer up and running again, i'll want some good free maintenance programs. Things like defraggers and that sort of think. Anyone mind running me up a list of what they think might be useful for me to have?

Hi Seltox,

Pretty much everything in my signature!
  • Avast is an excellent free anti-virus program
  • AVG Antispyware
  • Spybot S&D
  • AdAware 2007 (but it's 2008 now :))
  • For a firewall, I recommend ZoneAlarm, Comodo, or Sunbelt. All have free programs that work well.
  • JkDefrag is the best defragmenter program I can find, just light-weight and does the job so good :)
I can't remember what else is in my signature (I'll see it as soon as I hit "Add Reply", so I may edit :)), but it's all good and free :)

EDIT: Oh yeah, Firefox, because you need it :) CCleaner keeps things running good, I've never had a problem with it yet. It removes temporary files and cleans the registry, I usually run it before running a defrag to keep things sweet. ERUNT automatically backs up your registry every time you successfully start your computer, so if ever you get errors, just restart in safe mode and reinstall the last known "good" registry. I haven't actually used it yet, but one day it just may save my bacon.

Edited by troy, 13 January 2008 - 06:29 AM.

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