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Thread: Why partition a PC Hard Disk?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Sion's Avatar
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    Default Why partition a PC Hard Disk?

    Sorry I've been using Mac for years and years at work and home.

    Recently I bought a Dell PC with 156 gig hard disk and it came with Pro Window XP installed. They haven't partitioned the computer. All I have is a C Drive.

    Now the stupid question is: Do I need to partition the hard disk? What are the advantages for doing so? I've found that when I launch my Photoshop it is telling me that my scratch disk should be in another partition. I ignore it and so far it works okay. Probably it might affect performance later.

    In all the Macs I've used they are not partitioned. Photoshop works fine with that.

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
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    Sion,

    In the past when I find that Windows is running very slow or has something wrong with it, I usually reformat the C: drive and re-install Windows again. Now if I format the C: drive I will loose all the data on that drive including install programs and drivers. So I usually keep a D: drive which contains programs and drivers and applications require to setup my windows environment again.

    With the advent of cheap hardrives nowdays you could keep two seperate hardrives in your pc and do exactly the same, so the above reason has been negated. I still partition my laptop but not my desktop.

  3. #3

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    Yes, Huynhie is right. You should have one partition just for the OS/applications. The data should be kept separately so that when you need to re-format, you are not forced to re-format the entire harddisk.

    The other consideration is this - if you have a house, would you rather the house have no partitions and just one big area inside? If you have a cupboard, would you want the cupboard to have partitions or just one huge space in it? Harddisk space is the same. Having some partitions makes it much easier to manage and control your files. As to how big in each partition, it depends on how you intend to use your computer.

  4. #4

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    I have seen so many instances where windows flakes out and dies, and you need a fresh install after a format. All data on C: is lost. These days I have 2-3 partitions and nothing important on C:

    However when using a real operating system like Unix or its variants, the recommended install procedure is to partition the disk in a very clean fashion, one for the boot loader and kernel, one for the system files, one for swap, one for temp space and one for user files (in the least). This way the system can remain clean and easy to maintain / upgrade. I follow a similar procedure for windoze, and it has saved my butt many times.

  5. #5

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    Old pal Sion,

    What happen to ur mac? Thot mac would be nicer to use. hehe.
    Like wat the others said...probably good idea to set a small corner for the o.s, so you wouldnt have to format the whole damn thing when something goes wrong...hehehe. Now about tat porn stash of yours....


    p.s for ur photoshop...after u freshly installed...the default setting for it
    is using ur "startup" as the scratch disk, maybe for the moment, go to
    preference set it to C:. (i think if u wanna partition, u gotta format again?)
    One-North Explorers
    | Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but photos |

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sion
    Sorry I've been using Mac for years and years at work and home.

    Recently I bought a Dell PC with 156 gig hard disk and it came with Pro Window XP installed. They haven't partitioned the computer. All I have is a C Drive.

    Now the stupid question is: Do I need to partition the hard disk? What are the advantages for doing so? I've found that when I launch my Photoshop it is telling me that my scratch disk should be in another partition. I ignore it and so far it works okay. Probably it might affect performance later.

    In all the Macs I've used they are not partitioned. Photoshop works fine with that.

    Thanks for the help.
    Aiyoh, use ur Mac lah, why use a PC? ehehehe....

  7. #7
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    It is wise to seperate the OS from the data files. This way when you have to reformat your data will be there. I never ever trust my pc to have one partition.

  8. #8

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    i dont think there's going to be much diff between setting ps scratch disk to c: vs another partition on the same disk. performance will be better if you set scratch disk to a different disk.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Sion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsbn
    Aiyoh, use ur Mac lah, why use a PC? ehehehe....
    Why use a PC?

    Because it's less elitist.

    Besides my Macs at home are more than 4 years old.

  10. #10
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    if u use a different volume for ur stratch disc, ur PS does perform faster. reason behind: i'm not sure. my data D: has got much more free space thn my C:

    but my PS does start up faster and perform faster on a diff disc volume for stratch. abt 50% faster.

  11. #11

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    My opinion

    a) there is no need to partition harddisks, today with ntfs you aren't limited by 2gb partitions (haha..)

    b) scratchdisks on seperate partitions offer no advantage to speed, (only to defragmentation, which isn't a huge issue if you run a scheduler to do it on your pc, heck I don't even bother with defrag except maybe every 6 mths now).

    * reason, it uses the same io channel for writing to a different partition on the same physical disk. so in essence, its sharing bandwidth on that physical cable. on your motherboard, you probably have ide-0 ,ide-1 and sata cables. so if you have multiple harddisks/devices, its better to spread out so that only one device on ide-0 and ide-1.
    I believe newer SATA harddisks with NCQ or similar are much faster than your standard ide harddisks, so if you're buying new harddisks, don't skimp on that $30 price difference.



    d) scratchdisks should be on a seperate harddisk if you really want. (same with the windows swapfile).

    e) BACKUP - I'm almost certain you have a dvd writer. even if all your downloads and program files are on a seperate harddisk, it is not protection against total catastrophic failure on your computer or harddisks. eg: harddisk crash (past 3 years old, you better be EXTRA careful with the harddisk, assume it can crash at any moment.), total failure from fire or water damage or power surge..

    ---
    if you really really want to do things right, you should have

    a) format pc, reinstall base applications and windows patches (esp xp sp2) and firewall, then connect to net and windowsupdate

    b) using acronis trueimage or symantec livestate or veritas intelligentdisasterrecovery etc, to backup your base installation onto DVD. (I'm lazy, never did this in the beginning, now pc is too bloated to backup to anything less than 40 dvd's)

    c) install all other apps.

    --
    I keep a backup copy of all my apps in dvd+rw/-rw and all my raw pictures in dvd-r (cos its cheaper). so even if my pc should crash/die , I can recover everything of importance.

    ===
    having said that, I'm hoping blu-ray on more than dual layer arrives soon...grr, I want my 50GB blu ray discs.
    Last edited by loupgarou; 10th January 2005 at 11:07 AM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Pablo's Avatar
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    Hi,
    I run 2 hard drives C: and D:

    I also use a great program (Ghost) for backing up a good system setup.

    I install Windows on C: install drivers and small programs, then check everything runs OK and stable.

    I then run Ghost and make an image snapshot of C: and put it on D:

    The process of setting up the system from scratch can take quite some time.
    But if I ever need to re-install the system, I use Ghost to put it back from the image on D: drive.

    This takes 5min ! to have everything back as it was (no format etc needed).

    Having this first image made (named "basic") I then install all the major programs.
    Such as PhotoShop, Office etc.

    I then make folders on D: for storage of created files ......

    I set up the Major programs to save to those folders on D:

    Then I make a second image (Ghost) and put that on D: (named "Fullsetup")

    If I have a problem that mucks up windows (virus, bad new program etc)
    I can either Ghost back to a basic windows set up, or to a full setup, within 10min.

    Once this has been done it saves HOURS if you get a bad problem !!

    P.S. running the PS scratch disk on a seperate drive does speed up large file work.
    The scratch disk file and windows virtual RAM file are not fighting
    Time, is an effortless construction :)

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