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Windows 7: 2 TB hdd want to split into boot and data partitions

18 Jan 2011   #1

WIndows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 
2 TB hdd want to split into boot and data partitions

I hate to admit this but its been way to long since I have had to do this for a client much less for my wife's PC.


I have a New computer that my son just built for my wife. It has a tripple core processor etc. 8 gig of Memory and a 2 TB hard disk. He configured it as one drive vs a 100-120 Gig Boot drive and the balance as a Data Drive.

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit is installed on the computer from my Partner kit.

To make it easier for upgrades as well as backing up data I was going to change the partitions of the drive so that everything else would be stored on the 2nd partition.

so could somone please give me some advice to save me from having to remember how to do all of this..

#1 Is this still a valid idea under windows 7? My employees typically do this and with the storms we have had recently they aren't here.

#2 So if its a bad idea to do this then I guess I"m ok to start loading information on the hard drive from my wifes old computer

#3 If its a good idea then Please give me some suggestions on how I need to do this correctly so that I'm not going to cause problems.

#4 I'm open for any other ideas or suggestions that the others on the board may suggest.


Thanks again,
Tommy...

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Jan 2011   #2

Windows 7 Enterprise (x64); Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64)
 
 

There are many schools of thought on this, no one is absolutely right or wrong it is just a matter of opinion.

Here is my suggestion.

#1 Add another 1TB drive and store your data there. If the OS drive crashes you still have your data. I would also buy and external hard drive and make regular backups and images of your OS drive.

#2 If you cannot afford or don't have the room for a second drive. Then yes reduce the OS partition and then make a new partition for you data. Again buy an external drive and make regular backups and images of your OS drive.

You can shrink and make a new partition from Windows 7 Disk Manager. -WS
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)
 
 

I agree, there is no absolute final answer to this. Here's what I think about this.

If everything were ideal, if hardware would never fail and the OS would never crush, this would be simply a matter of preference, nothing of real importance.

However, if you will have to re-install you OS down the line, then you'll find it to be to your advantage to keep the data and the OS on different partitions. In this case you will not lose your data even if you re-format the OS (or boot) partition for the clean install. If I had to go with the single hard drive, then I would certainly choose to create two separate partitions on it.

Now, if the physical drive fails, then you'll lose both of your partitions. While you might be backing up your data on a regular basis to protect yourself against such unwelcome situation. Having two hard drives helps, since it is less likely for two of them to fail at the same time. You'll still need to back up, but at least you'll need to restore either the OS or the data, not both.

Based on the above, I usually have two hard drives on my PC. I don't build my own, I usually buy something that's configured to my liking, but made at the factory (I actually buy Dell, but don't consider this to be an advice). One hard drive contains the OS, installed programs, the manufacturer recovery partition and so on. Another hard drive is for my files and data. I usually further partition that drive to separate work files from photos and movies, but that's just for my own convenience, other people might not see it that way, and it certainly does not add any more functionality or security.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours. Please do ask again, if this was not helpful to you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Jan 2011   #4

WIndows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 
so my next step...

Ok, I agree 2 drives would be nice but at the moment that is NOT what I have in place.

so if I shrink the partition thru windows how would I do that and will I risk any loss of data? (actually OS items since I haven't loaded any data on line yet.)

The HDD I have is a Model ST32000641AS 2 TB

what would be a good drive to to use as a boot drive, since the system will mimic the primary drive's abilities on others I don't' want to step down. in performance

Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2011   #5

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by tommylouis View Post
Ok, I agree 2 drives would be nice but at the moment that is NOT what I have in place.

so if I shrink the partition thru windows how would I do that and will I risk any loss of data? (actually OS items since I haven't loaded any data on line yet.)

The HDD I have is a Model ST32000641AS 2 TB

what would be a good drive to to use as a boot drive, since the system will mimic the primary drive's abilities on others I don't' want to step down. in performance

Thanks

You wouldn't risk losing your data as in Windows 7 you can alter the size of your drives and create new partitions etc. in the device manager. Just go into the control panel and then select administrative tools and then choose disk managment.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2011   #6

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7600
 
 

Have a look at this tutorial and see if it is any help to you
and welcome to seven forums!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2011   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Be careful but i think using disk mgmt it will only let you shink it in half, but since nothing has been added yet i would probably do a clean install right now and set it up the way you want during the install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2011   #8

 
 

I'm of the multi-partition camp. I find that multiple partitions allow me to organize my systems and maintain the safety of my data in way not possible with single partition systems, so I'm in complete agreement with your goal. Keeping your data on a separate partition (including User files [User Folders - Changing Default Location] is wisdom.

That said, most partition softwares now can partition drives without data loss, but it's not foolproof, and there is always the risk of data loss. To prepare for the possibility of such an event, you should backup the system partition before attempting to partition the drive. Imaging software (can be had for free...many recommend Macrium Reflect , I use Acronis True Image ) and a different drive will be required. Here is a listing of external drives: Newegg - External Drives .

You don't have to get a 2 TB ext. drive, only big enough to acommodate the amount of data on your drive now. I.E., if you have 600 GB on your 2 TB drive, a 750GB ext. drive will easily suffice, though if you can afford more, get more.

This may seem like a lot of effort to some, but if something goes south, you will be able to quickly restore your system data. Having an external drive will also enable you to keep backups safe. Separate partitions are good for backups also.

James
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