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HDD Partitions - What's Best?



Confused - Help me

I have XP Home on 80GB hard disk. Friend says that primary partition should be as small as possible and should contain only the operating system with all other programs and applications on other partitions to have the best performance. Keeping aside the fact that in case I need to format the primary partition, I don't have to reinstall all the applications if I have them on other partition, is his statement true? I am a Doctor and my computer knowledge is limited.
no his statement is not true, when software is installed on other partitons it still adds stuff to the registry, and needs to do this, if you format that primary partition, u will need to reinstall most of if not all those programs. it is best to save important stuff on another partition, personally i would on a reformat and reinstall, format both the partitions (the one with the OS, the other with the programs, and have a 3rd partition for that important stuff and not have to reformat it).

Putting Windows on its own space causes more headaches than it's worth, especially when you want to add new Windows components and programs, you're constantly juggling disk space.

If you formatted Windows, you would have to reinstall a lot of the programs. A registry backup would fix some of the installations, but not all.

You seem like the kind of person that might want to look into an unattended setup which will install all your programs and drivers. Check out http://msfn.org/unattended


Sorry Handy Buddy, I saw your reply after I posted mine.
So I can have OS and programs on the same partition. I don't use too many programs, so reinstalling them does not take more than one hour. I copy important files and images to other partition, reinstall windows, drivers and applications.
Originally posted by skamaraju
Thanks for the reply. But should I have the OS alone in the small Primary partition?
Personally I would, yes there is little or no gain in performance, but you don't want the OS being on a large partition, with important data.

I would have XP on a 5 gig partition.

then split up the rest of the drive in equal partitons, however many u want.



under worked, over paid
no. Make sure the primary partition has plenty of space. For Windows xp I would have at least 10gig. All your Documents and Settings go in the primary partition as well if you use the default destinations. If you plan on letting most programs load themself they always want to load to C:\Program Files so if you don't want to watch where they are going leave them on c:. Some programs don't give you a choice and load there anyway. I have regretted having too small of space more often than not.


why not leave the 80 gig as is and do not partition it if u don't know that much about computers..
I have XP on a 5 gig partition and that's just too small. I keep filling it up. I have to constantly delete temp files and stuff. I'll take 10 next time and I suggest you don't make it any smaller than that.


Tomorrow Tweaking Today
Having too many partitions will slow down disk access as the spindle has to constantly jump to separate areas of the disk surface. I recommend a 10GB Windows partition with programs. Games can be on separate partition. Check out
I want games to be FAT32 to be accessed by Win ME as well as XP (XP slower for games) but other prgrams are on same partition as the OS to avoid conflict (Win ME can't access NTFS XP programs). Documents can be on separate partition for encryption for privacy in XP. Only reason for having Programs on separate partition is if they're on separate Hard disks. But with striped RAID this doesn't matter. Fastest config is a single striped RAID but harder to maintain and restore if something goes wrong. Partitions are for manageability NOT speed.

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