• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.




I see a lot of people will partion there hard drive with a small amount for the OS. For example say a 20GB HD and will partion C drive 5GB for windows and 15GB for other.

My question is why partion at all?
Most users do not know enough about there systems and programs to load them and saving files to there D drive and most programs defualt load to C drive and they end going crazy trying to figure out way they are out of space and getting error messages about low memory.

P.S. since I am new to this forum I am not sure if this is in the right topic area, if not let me know and sorry about it.


OSNN Senior Addict
Well, I use a small partition for the OS incase I have to reformat. That way all my programs and files can stay on the disk while I reinstall windows, and then there's only a couple of other programs that insist on being reinstalled. I only format my entire disk when I have a major problem, which I haven't since XP.


But when some programs load they make entries in the registry even if you load them to another drive so if you format just the OS partion wont you loose that and cause problems with those programs?


OSNN Senior Addict
Some programs I do have to reinstall, but alot of my programs seem to edit the registry the first time they are used, so it doesn't really affect them.


Thanks DJWhite.
I am just wondering on this subject. what are the pro and cons with just having a small partion for the OS


Well my Opinion is one partion if the drive is 20GB for example then C is 20GB :eek:


two out of three of my machines have 80GB and the last one is a 20GB all only have one partion.
I do it slightly differently,

Main C:\ 20GB
Data D:\ 80GB

That way my data is intact, my programs dont take too long to reinstall.



I've wondered that myself...

I'm always good enough to choose install paths when software is installing itself. But I always did wonder about what would happen if I did reformat my C:, what would happen after I reinstalled my OS to the C:, would I have to re-make all the shortcuts in the start menu to the programs I have sitting on D:?

Cuz even though the data on D: is protected from anything bad happening on C:, there is still a good amount of "stuff" related to my programs (D) which reside on the C: drive, for the OS to point to them etc etc

And the registry, I know it was mentioned right above, but I didn't get it. I assume the Registry resides on C:?? What happens to my programs registry settings if the registry gets wiped out/re-installed?


Partitions are cool!

Here's my less-than-intelligent setup....

At the time I did this, there must have been a good reason, but now I kick myself for it all the time b/c I can't think of one good reason why I partitioned the way I did. I have 2 drives, a 20gig and a 40gig. My partitions are as follows:

C: Windows XP 5gig (not big enough)

D: Installs 2.5gig (previously had Madndrake 8.1, now used for Hitman 2 and a couple other smaller games)

E: Incoming Drive 12.5gig (also has all videos)

F: Mp3s 10gig

G: Mp3s 10gig

H: IRC 7.5gig (all three IRC clients are on this drive plus about 3 gig of Mp3s that won't fit on the other 2 Mp3 drives)

I: Fserve/Backup 10gig (All backup apps, rar Mp3 albums)

J: Unused 2.5gig (currently has about 2 meg of images).

Here's the problems I have with this retarded setup I chose. When running Win98 and Win2K, a 5 gig C: drive was plenty. Under XP, I am constantly in search of more space. D: Unknown to me at the time as a seriously novice Linux user (Still am, never got into it), it would have been better to make it 5 gig. The rest, I should have just left as two large partitions.

So, now that I have provided all this useless info, in answer to the original question at hand, why partition at all?

1) Windows is not and never has been the most reliable OS and formatting is often easier than tracking down the problem(s). Since I do not want to lose all of my saved data, a secondary partition can be used for backup.

2) Multiple OS. You can't run 2 OS on the same partition.

3) For people like me who are anal about organizing files, it's nice to have one partition for video, one for audio and one for everything else.

4) Its just plain fun using FDisk and I can't wait until I finally get around to moving the contents of all my partitions to CDs so I can play with FDisk again and make more practical partitions.



The Analog Kid
Just wondering if anyone knows what would happen if you were to back up your registry before reinstalling and then restore that registry backup?
I things would eff up if you did that, not 100% sure though. I think enough things would be different to produce issues though.

I should have also mentioned I have a old 13GB drive that I have
Linux partition
FAT32 (Windows/Linux) file transfer space

the transfer space is good as Linux has bad NTFS support and it is safer to not screwup the NTFS hard drives this way.


Why would you partition your HDD? Well, one of the main points is file secruity. If you do happen to suffer a crash, and reformat, chances are you will have to reinstall your apps. But, since you had them previously installed on an alternate partition, all your config settings and ( in the instance of video games ) game saves will still be intact. Saves you time when you want to run that certian app again, because it's still set up the way you like it.

The main reason I partition my HDD, is fragmentation. I use a 5 Gig partition for my C: drive. The only thing that goes on that drive is WinblowsXP and the necessary drivers. I then place my swap file on an alternate partition. That way, even tho I use my computer constantly, the C: drive suffers less fragmentation and doesnt slow down so much. How much time do you spend runing your defragger on an 80 Gig HDD??

Also, a smaller Windows install is easier to make a clone of for a quick re-install. My Ghost image only takes up two 700MB CD"s. That includes a fresh install of Windows, all necessary updates ( including SP1 ), and the drivers for my system.

Yes, not a lot of people are comfortable using the f-disk utility, and major PC suppliers like Compaq go as far as creating a hidden partition for it's own backup service. Partitioning is for people who know what they are doing. Oft times, when I work on peoples computers, I explain the benifits of partitioning. You wouldn't believe how many people want me to do it, and then never, ever figger out they have extra space on the HDD.

I hope I helped you with the mystery a bit.


I use one partition for Windows and all my software.

Another partition for all my documents/homework/downloads/music/VMware OS files etc.

That was, I don't lose all the good stuff, if and when I have to format my primary partition :cool:


I also partition my drives because I reformat when I get myself into big trouble and I can keep my 10 gigs of music, and other stored stuff and never have to worry about reinstalling it or saving it for a format. Yes you do have to reinstall some programs to make that connection again between C drive and D drive. I made the mistake though of alloting 5 gigs for C drive with Win XP. 7 gigs would have been much better. Just use a partition program like Partition Magic and move some space to the C drive.

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
ya know...this is one of my favorite discussions.



there has been ablolutely no reason anyone can demonstrate to me to partion, if you are using ntfs.

if you are on XP, and using ntfs, Microsoft insists performance is enhanced if you do not partition.

so much so, they urge all manufacturers that are reinstalling XP, to do so without partitions...this is the reason by the way, manufacturers do not install with partitions anymore...all told in this white paper.

I agree.

side by side comparisons demonstrate noticeable computing speed improvements without partitions, as for copying and moving files, etc..for instance, when copying a file from one partition to another, the OS will have to hard write, when performing the same maneuver without partitions, from one file to another, the OS Simply adjusts the pointer, and the move is instantaneous...

here's an interesting tip for those of you that prefer the speed associated with a single partition, yet appreciate the organization of a partitioned drive.

when you set up your umbrella folders, with sub folders and sub files, you can name the umbrella folder something like "c drive", etc, and therefore, you will be creating "virtual partitions", which of course are not physical partitions, but will give you exactly the same functionality, convenience, and organization.

.in point of fact, with everyday computing, a single drive is a clear out-performer for most users.

also, each Volume;. will also be required to carry extra headroom for defrag, mft, metadata, mft zone and so on so, no, you loose functional harddrive space when you partition.

also, in XP, there is file optimization, whereof the OS moves your files to the most efficient place on the disc, according to use,

this cannot happen across volumes, so optimization is useless when you partition in XP.

boot time is also improved without partitions in XP for the same reason

no one should ever use their harddrive as their backup, as hardrives fail all the time...using your partition as a backup will prove counterproductive.

...partitions were concieved out of neccessity because of the inability of fat to handle large volumes...they are obsolete with ntfs and XP, and make computing slower in xp systems with ntfs .

now, of course those who are dual booting are stuck with partitioning, and of course those with more then one harddrive, well you are best off in general


Beware the G-Man
Political User
All very good points Dealer... But what about all those out there with only one HDD with GIGs and GIGs of music, MP3s, WMAs, Videos, or important Personal Files that can not be "Backed Up" onto a tape or CD. If for some unforseen reason the OS takes a serious "Crash 'n Burn" then all that is lost because of the nessessity to reformat. Another partition would not be so bad, but then again a completely seperate HDD would be better. But for the few people that only have one HDD or can only afford one HDD on their machines they're neck deep in duky.

Members online

No members online now.

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

Hello, is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me ...
What a long strange trip it's been. =)

Forum statistics

Latest member