XP Recomended Partitions



Can anyone point me in the direction of a guide which describes partition requirements? Or give comment on what I'd like to do.....

I will be installing XP fresh (i've been using 2000 up unitl now) and i'd like to do things like so:

1) Have a smallish partition with just the root X.P and all updates and drivers. This would be small enough to regularly back up and keep customisations. Is 2GB enough?

2) Set up a fixed dedicated memory swap file partition. Should this be at the front of the disk? What's a good size?

3) Maybe set up a dedicated apps partition and another games partition. Should these be combined due to the limit of only four partitions?

4) My Documents (profiles) again set up on a seperate partition. Is it possible to change on a global level where apps look for this? This would make backing up a doodle.

What do you think?


Tant. :D

Bytes Back

Ex Police Chief
20 Jun 2004
Hm, If i were you I would...........

1. Create a 4 or 5GB Xp partition and put my apps on here. No point in a seperate partiotn for apps beacause if XP goes down then you have to reinstall them anyway.

2. Dedicated swap partition next. The generaly held belief is 1.5 times your memory.

3. Yes keep your games on a seperate paprtion, because a lot of these wont need reinstalling should the worst happen (plus you keep the saved games !)

4. Definitely a partition for documents etc, as for the size depends on what you do.

Why is there a limit of four partions ?


You can only have four primary partitions on one drive; you can have more if some are logical partitions instead - I have 8 on one drive and 2 on the other on the computer I'm using right now. XP must be installed on a primary partition, but everything else is OK on a logical one, AFIK.

Also, re: putting apps on a separate partition from the main XP installation - according to the little manual that comes with Partition Magic, it is supposed to speed up your computer to have them on different partitions. Don't know if this is true, but it does speed up the defrag time if only one of these sections is in need of defragging...or, if you're like me, it makes it seem faster to defrag both partitions separately because I get to interact with the computer in the middle of the process...you know, let it defrag C: then I get to press some keys to make it defrag E:...then F: and G: and H: and I: ad infinitum :)

Not to mention I like keeping things in separate little spaces...I type, as I imagine everyone who has ever seen my car and/or apartment guffawing with laughter...so what if my computers are the only things that are organized in my life?:D


thanks for the tips guys :)

i always just use one big partition, FDISK ing now :D


i thought i'd jump into the discussion, even tho i don't have anything to add to the question. i just wanted to let u guys know that if u use winXP+p partition magic 7 u can wreck your HD faster than u can say "ouch". happened to me 2 days ago, while resizing a partition.


If you use volumes instead of partitions, you are only limited by the amount of letters in the alphabet, 26? Windows OS's released order, 95,98 NT,2000,XP, makes you multi-boot order. Don't forget any service packs to. Also, if you triple boot with 2000 Pro and 2000 Server and Xp, format 2000 Pro with Fat and the rest with NTFS. Otherwise, problems when booting. Good luck.

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