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Another partitioning thread

I'll probably be getting a new harddrive in the very near future. I was wondering if anyone had any tips as to how I should go about partitioning it. The harddrive I'm looking at is the Western Digital 80 GB 7200 RPM ATA100 8MB Cache.
I'm thinking about partitioning it like this:

Primary: C- Windows XP 5 GB?

Secondary: D- Program files, MP3s, documents, etc. 70 GB

Third: E- Pagefile 3 GB?

How does that sound?

There are two reasons for me wanting to do it this way. First, it should give me a performance increase. Second, (and mainly) it will make it easier to reinstall windows.

But, if I did have windows installed in C and all my stuff in D, along with programs installed there, what would happen when I reinstalled Windows? Would windows automatically see all my installed programs and would I be able to use them? Or would I have to just delete the programs in D and reintall them?

That's my only concern with doing it this way.
You would need to reinstall most of your apps.

I recommend creating one partition for Windows and all your software, and another partition for all your documents, mp3s, downloads, backups etc (that you don't want to lose when u format)

Leave the pagefile on the Windows partition ... it makes no difference moving the pagefile to a separate partition on the same physical hard drive, since the access time would be the same.

As for fragmentation, the pagefile doesn't get fragmented very easily if you defrag it once using PageDefrag (freeware) from here:



Ok first on XP more then 2GB for a Swapdrive is insane unless you have 2GB of RAM normally a Swapfile/drive is just a little bigger then your system RAM hense the term SWAP.

With 512Mb XP recomends 755Mb Swap file.
I disagree on leaving the swap on same partiton because if you format your swap in FAT16 it will increase the access speed(not by much but every little bit helps).

I agree that your apps should be on with your system files.
I also believe that you should make all your Doc's, MP3, Savefiles/Games, Backups, etc. on a diffrent drive/partiton then your System-O/S, Apps.

I think everyone should get Hardware RAID with RAID 0 enabled. The speeds are awesome.

I agree with WD very nice wanting the special ed. 8Mb Cache. STND is 2Mb cache. I always agree with 7200+ drives.

Drive C: 15-20Gb NTFS (2% Recycle Bin)
Drive D: 54-59Gb NTFS (Compression Enabled) (1% Recycle Bin)
Drive E: 1Gb FAT 16 (No Recycle Bin, No System Restore)

Onto your questions:
What would happen when I re-installed windows, would windows automaticly see them and would I be able to use them?

Answer: No you will need to re-install most of your Apps because they make REGISTRY KEYS and put DLL's, INF's, VxD's, etc. in your Windows, System, and System32 folders(Directories)

Would I have to delete the programs in D and re-install?
Answer: No just re-installing or repairing will fix most apps and many of these will remember your old settings.

On another note if you were to Restore or Repair your windows without a format and re-install then you would be able to use all of your programs. This would work even if everything was on the same partition/drive.

Luck to you:cool:


hardware monkey
instead of 80 true gigabytes, expect around 74.5gb. when it comes to harddrives, a gb is 1,000,000,000 bytes. but to windows a gb is 1,073,741,824 bytes (1024^3).

also, having your swap file on the last little partition means the hd will have to seek all the back and forth between the first and last partition when it uses the swap file. for simplicity, i'd say leave it on c:.

bu if you're going to use your current hd with the new one, hook the one you have now up and put the swap file on it.

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
I always recomend leaving the swap on c for one drive...this is where the heads are the majority of time, and this accounts for less seek time, not more seek time.

as far as the recomendation for 512mbs of ram, it is not 755 as everybody missreads the ms documentation for xp.

the ms recomendation is at least 755 with expansion enabled just in case you do use all of your ram, (which will happen soon, as programs will be written to take advantage of all this extra ram everyone is installing), you'll need more swap.

now, if you do create a partition for the swap, which I think will for most ntfs users hurt performance, but for some it might help, you will also need to keep headroom for expansion and for defragmentation.

in addition, you will need to leave a small swap on c regardless for memory dump and kernal stability, so keep that in mind.

also, you will not be using the pf much, so I don't think any benefit will be realized anyhoo

the room for expansion counts towards room for defragmentation, so you don't need to acomodate both .

I like tauruses suggestions and recomendations.

I like Indomidables answers to your other hardrive questions

and of course I always liked netryder no matter what
No Taurus, I won't be using my 20 Gig. It'll go back in my Dell.

As far as what I'll do, I guess I'll go with Taurus and Dealer.

I guess I'll split it right down the middle then?

38-ish GB for windows and apps and 38-ish for documents and mp3s, keeping the pagefile on C: with windows.


I agree with Indomidable on his Swap analysis etc, its nice to hear someone with a realistic mode of thought.
I would take the "beginner" tag off your profile though !

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