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Partitioning


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#1
george01

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Following on from my other problem.

1. Would it be best to have one hard drive with just the op system and other software on it (No 1) and a totally separate drive to store any saved files you create (No 2).
2. If so, how do I 'link' the two so that when I update a file it is automatically updated and saved in the No2 h/d. Or would I have to do a drag and drop from one drive to another?
3. Would I still have to go into the realms of having a back up of my saved data and a back of the op system files?

Thanks - George
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#2
rshaffer61

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Please copy and paste your response in the original topic HERE
This way the assisting Tech's can continue with you.
I will close this topic as it is a duplicated topic.
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#3
rshaffer61

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Reopened by OP's request.

I myself prefer to have any saved data on a separate drive.
This way if your OS drive fails then you reinstall a new hd, OS and programs.
Then just Change the default saved directory to your second drive or partition.
It is always advisable to do a backup of your entire system.
If you chose to do a separate drive for data then yes it would be suggested to backup both the OS and the data drives.
This will ensure that everything is safe.
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#4
george01

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Thanks for your reply. After posting I started reading on the web about partioning. Many of the topics seem to play on partioning one h/d into separate parts, for example - op system files, paging files etc and allocating different letters to each of them. Keeping a separate h/d for your data and back ups. However, if a disk fails isn't it the whole disk that goes and not the separate partitions within the disk?
George
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#5
rshaffer61

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This is true. If you have say 4 partitions on a drive and the drive fails. Those 4 partitions are lost and no way to retrieve the data short of a very expensive professional service. Even then no guarantee they will be able to get everything.
Separate hd for data is the most logical setup.
That way OS drive fails you only lose OS and programs.
Backup Backup Backup
The most important step any user can do to safe guard their contents.
Personally I say once a week but this will depend on the amount of new data you have.
You may do it every night if needed.

What I would suggest you do is to Backup your Data Files.
For this I would suggest using a External Hard Drive Enclosure. This will allow you to keep your Important Data safe and Separated from the main system in case of problems. The cost for this kind of Backup System has come down a lot. I would suggest a 500 Gig capacity for your needs. Since you will only be Backing Up Data Files Only this should be sufficient to do that for you. Follow the next two links to see examples of the price you will be looking at.
HERE
HERE

I suggest going to Microsofts Backup Tutorial and follow the steps to do a Backup to a External Drive and also it will guide you on how to do a Scheduled Backup even at night.

Another way you can do a Backup is by using DVD’s. This method is just as effective and can be done using the same steps as above.
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#6
george01

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Thanks for the pointers. - George
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#7
makai

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The two most important reasons for partitioning your main drive is speed of OS operation and backup capability. You want to keep this in mind.

Setting up your main drive into partitions and keeping C drive clean of user data will help to accomplish this. At the same time, any disc can fail and so any data you keep, even if on a separate hard drive can be lost. This is a given. Hence, the ideal back up is redundancy, meaning several backup copies. Even so, if all your discs fail (unlikely to happen all at once), your data is gone, so there are no guarantees anywhere. However, redundancy can help make this less painful if you remain lucky and maintain your backups.

I don't recommend a program to automatically do backups. These programs can be good, but then they have been known to also corrupt data. What I do recommend is you simply drag the files you wish to backup into your backup folders thereby maintaining copies. More work, but more certain... especially for a home user.
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#8
rshaffer61

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Good points Makai
Personally doing your backups and doing several of them at a time will guarantee a good copy of them.
CDRW disks become a great asset at this point.
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#9
george01

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Thanks for the prompt replies.

This is going to be a "Where do they get these people from" question. Understand your advice on backup and storing data in a separate drive. However, if I store my op systems and software on my main drive ('C') why do I need to partition the drive is it only to separate the files themselves into more accesible areas within the disk? Since in principle this disk will not be very big judging by the present size of my systems/software files already being used.

George.
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#10
rshaffer61

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You don't have to partition.
It is just a added way to secure your DATA files.
If you are comfortable with everything being on one drive then that is fine.
Just make sure you have current backups all the time.
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#11
george01

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Sorry, not sure if I explained it well. Am going to store my data and backups on separate h/d. All I will have on my main drive is my op system and any operating software (acronis, adobe etc) there. Would you partition this disk, if so why and how and to what end.

A big thanks - George
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#12
123Runner

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Whether you partition the main C drive will also depend on the size of that C drive.
If you have a very small drive in comparison to todays drive size, then you probably wouldn't partition it.

Do you know the size of your C drive?
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#13
rshaffer61

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Since the main purpose of the drive is OS and programs...I wouldn't partition it. I see no reason in doing that as I stated before.
Leave it as one main partition and as you said save data to the second hd
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#14
makai

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The idea is to keep the C drive small. The reason to keep it small is so the computer runs faster, unencumbered, and less fragged up.

You have to imagine that every file you create and delete, every program you install and remove, every photo you import, edit and resave, etc will need a place on the hard drive. Hard drives become fragmented because Windows can’t manage storing these files in a “contiguous” manner all the time. This simply means that for every file, fragments of that file may be located in different areas on the hard drive. The hard drive then needs to seek out all these fragments before displaying the file you’re opening. This equates to “slower” speed. When you command a file to open, you’re also commanding the application to open it, and the video to display it, so what you see on your screen takes a lot more than you take for granted is happening as the file opens. The hard drive, if fragmented, must work extra hard to seek out everything you see on the display.

Hence, it becomes obvious that the best way to minimize fragmentation is to store data on a separate partition other than the partition the OS is on. Because partitions are separated, fragmentation happening on a separate partition doesn’t affect any other partition. Thus, over a year of time, your OS will keep running almost as quickly as the day you first installed it… providing it doesn’t get fragged up due to updates, continuous installations/removals. Of course, fragmentation will happen, but this is why you should defrag the C drive every so often. Defragging a drive (or partition) that only contains the OS and Program files is very fast compared to defragging files spanned across the whole disk. Along the lines of “maintenance” in tune with keeping your OS partition clean are utilities that clean out Temp files and temp internet files. You should also dump old System Restore files every once in a while by disabling and re-enabling System restore. The System Restore folder can grow to gigabytes unattended. Of course don’t do this unless you’re certain your system is running fine and you won’t need the old restore points.

The other advantage of keeping the C drive small is for imaging. This is a very important factor to consider. A typical full-up XP installation, with programs installed, runs approximately 4GB. Imaging the C drive then becomes a breeze. If you had to image user data, then the image can be humungous depending on if you have mp3s, videos, photos, etc, mixed in amongst all the rest of your documents.

The choice is really yours to make. My way of setting up a computer may be different than other folks and I've actually been accused of being anal about it. But then, I never have problems with my computers like I've seen here on GTG.
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#15
george01

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Thanks for the prompt replies and my apologies for not responding earlier. It would appear therefore that sitting with a 160g h/d with just your op system and programme running files on is a waste of time. I can fully understand about keeping these files separate. Final question. If I installed the o/s and others on a small drive would it make sense to have two and set them as raid mirror, or just run with one and back up the o/s and other files (which would be a cheaper option)?

Many thanks - George
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