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Windows 7: Windows 7 Setup Advice

17 Feb 2011   #1

Windows 7 64 Bit
Windows 7 Setup Advice

Hello! First time post here.

I have just ordered new laptop with Windows 7 64 bit, i3 processor, 4 gig ram and 500 GB hard drive. I plan to wipe the computer and reinstall everything. I am after some advice as to how best to setup windows, partition wise mostly as I am planning on having smaller primary partition and moving Documents and Settings to secondary partition as I believe this will improve performance. Has anyone done this before? Is it safe to do so? I have read somewhere it is only wise to move My Documents folder alone to another partition.

I am considering having primary partition with basic programs such as Windows,
AVG, Open Office, Spotify, Nero burn and Itunes). Then my secondary will have music, photos, most data and Docs and Settings.

So few questions I would like to ask

  1. I am thinking 100GB will be enough for primary partition, do you guys think this is enough?
  2. Will this setup improve performance of machine? Or best to just have one big partition?
  3. Is moving Doc and Settings advisable and that beneficial to the performance of the computer?
  4. Any general setup or maintenance tips for windows 7?
Thanks for any help in advance

My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Feb 2011   #2

Windows 7

To my knowledge, partitioning leads to absolutely no performance gain whatsoever. They're on the same HDD, thus they have the same seeking latency to read at anywhere on the disk. If I were you I'd only make partitions if you're doing it to make things more organised.

Sorry, as for the 100 GB, that is plenty for essential programs and Windows, by the way.
And for the My Documents, even on SSD's where you're trying to conserve the write times, is not advisable to move as many programs use C:\Users\(Computer User)\My Documents as their default path regardless of where it has moved to. You can freely move many of the other folders though by simply right clicking and clicking change location.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

You will not gain any performance advantage to having 2 partitions. The only way you gain performance is by having 2 physical hard drives.

The advantage to partitions is to have a place to put data, downloads and such. Thusly, you can reinstall your OS onto your C drive, and everything that is important remains safe and secure on the D drive.

Instead of wiping it and starting from scratch, you might want to;
1). Make an image as it comes from the factory
2). Add/Remove Programs and delete what you know you don't want or run PC Decrapifier
3). Take an image with the box in a cleaner state.

This might save you a fair amount of time and effort going to the vendor site to get drivers and such and setting it all back up and getting the OEM key reactivated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Feb 2011   #4
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello UG1878, welcome to Seven Forums!

here's some interesting info you may find useful and be sure to post back with any further questions you may have and to keep us informed.

After you have copied out or made back-ups of the data you need to save to external media; if you can find an exact Windows version that the PC shipped with you can do a clean install using the activation key on the COA sticker attached to the PC though it may require a robo-call to MS to sort the OEM batch-key.

How to Activate Windows 7 by Phone

If you can't find an exact same version, you could use the info in this tutorial to create an "all Versions" installer of any version Windows installer, to install using the same method I posted above.

Windows 7 Universal Installation Disc - Create

After you have made backups of everything you care to save, the best method is to do a complete wipe (secure erase) of the entire Hard Disk Drive first, it over-writes everything, all the old Windows code including all the old drivers/programs, giving you the best possible space to install Windows to.

SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation

Also have a look at this one, it's done during the Windows installation process.

User Profiles - Create and Move During Windows 7 Installation

Using partitions to separate Windows from user data is an excellent method and 100GB is just about perfect for a start with to install Windows to.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by UG1878 View Post

So few questions I would like to ask

  1. I am thinking 100GB will be enough for primary partition, do you guys think this is enough?
  2. Will this setup improve performance of machine? Or best to just have one big partition?
  3. Is moving Doc and Settings advisable and that beneficial to the performance of the computer?
  4. Any general setup or maintenance tips for windows 7?
Thanks for any help in advance
100 GB is likely more than enough unless you have an unusually large number of programs to install. I use 60 gb and my C drive is only half full.

As others have stated, you won't see performance gains, but that's not why dual partitions are often recommended.

You don't have to use the Windows doc and settings or "user" subfolders to store your data at all if you don't want to. You can just make a folder structure of your own design on D and use that. I have about 8 major folders on D: computer, mp3, video, downloads, etc. You should think about your data and divide everything up in a way that makes sense to you.

Use a good antivirus and keep it updated. Let Windows defrag run automatically once a week. Keep Windows updated, at least for "critical" updates.

Develop a backup strategy of some kind for your personal data (partition D). I'd say that is near-mandatory. It typically requires a second hard drive. Use a "file by file" method for this (i.e. NOT imaging).

A backup strategy for Windows itself (partition C) is optional. Some do it and some don't. Imaging is the standard method if you choose to do it. Windows built-in imaging is a bit of a headache, so you might consider other programs to do that. It saves you the time required to reinstall Windows and applications if you have a hard drive failure. Beware: imaging doesn't always work, so prepare for it to fail utterly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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