Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


Windows 7: are the days of separating OS partition and data partition over?


09 Jan 2012   #1

 
 
are the days of separating OS partition and data partition over?

I've been thinking about this. With the advent of so many backup software products as well as the built-in System Image/Backup in Windows 7, do we really need to go through all the trouble to have separate partitions for OS and data?

Sure, if you have a 100's of gigabytes of music or video or pictures, then it might make sense to move that off the OS partition otherwise your OS image will take forever (and the associated disk storage).

Look at it this way. If you have a ton of data, dragging 25G of OS stuff along with that data backup/image is no biggie.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

09 Jan 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

I don't see a reason or a point to "not" being past this. Why would you want your data mixed in with your OS...especially now when you can quickly redirect Libraries?

You don't need to go through any trouble to separate them. In fact, in the event of a reimage or reinstall, all you have to do is disconnect your data drive.

Why have that data included in your image, when it makes much more practical sense to have it backed up separate? I take a clean image when I reinstall, and then that's it for imaging. Afterwards, only my data is backed up. I can do a complete clean install from scratch in under 2 hours...it's my data that's important.

You can also look at it in terms of malware. If the C drive is infected, my data is separate. That's less chance of my data becoming infected, and much easy to reinstall/reimage/recover/ etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2012   #3

Windows 7
 
 

No. The horror of having to image 400Gb rather than 20Gb or so would mean I would be very unlikely to do it at all.

Lightweight as possible C: on a not too large a partition works for me; this also can mean that the system is automatically kept on the fastest part of the drive even if it gets a bit fragmented at times.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


09 Jan 2012   #4

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sbrads View Post
No. The horror of having to image 400Gb rather than 20Gb or so would mean I would be very unlikely to do it at all.

Lightweight as possible C: on a not too large a partition works for me; this also can mean that the system is automatically kept on the fastest part of the drive even if it gets a bit fragmented at times.
Correct. That's why I qualified my statement based on how much data one might have.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2012   #5

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
I don't see a reason or a point to "not" being past this. Why would you want your data mixed in with your OS...especially now when you can quickly redirect Libraries?

You don't need to go through any trouble to separate them. In fact, in the event of a reimage or reinstall, all you have to do is disconnect your data drive.

Why have that data included in your image, when it makes much more practical sense to have it backed up separate? I take a clean image when I reinstall, and then that's it for imaging. Afterwards, only my data is backed up. I can do a complete clean install from scratch in under 2 hours...it's my data that's important.

You can also look at it in terms of malware. If the C drive is infected, my data is separate. That's less chance of my data becoming infected, and much easy to reinstall/reimage/recover/ etc.
WHY does it make more sense to back up OS and data partitions separately when an image will do it in one fell swoop? And I was also assuming some regular images would be occurring after the initial install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

If you feel like backing up all of that data each and every time, sure. If that works for you, so be it....but there's never been a good reason to keep your data mixed in with the OS. Why do you think we see so many threads asking on how to take permission and ownership of files? Because the process isn't thought out and planned properly.

My OS drive contains only things I can quickly install, if need be. Nothing else. If my C drive dies, I can reimage from a while ago, or spend just under 2 hours with a clean install. My data is separated to keep it isolated. I use SyncToy to keep my data on D backed up to my server.

Maybe I am not making it clear, so let me try this. Yes, and image works, but why would I want to take the time to backup apps and games each time that I could just reinstall, if necessary? My data and saved games are what would be important. So I'll back them up. I don't use images as backups, and I don't consider images as backups. I consider it a snapshot that could take the place of a fresh install. As long as my data is safe, I'm fine.

I'm a big believer in simplifying. I can schedule SyncToy to run whenever I want and grab whatever I want. My server runs WHS 2011, and I don't even use the built-in imaging tools. I keep my data safe on the RAID5 array, and then I have a huge external drive that gets connected once every two weeks for a backup of the server. Very important stuff I keep encrypted and stored out in the cloud.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2012   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

"WHY does it make more sense to back up OS and data partitions separately when an image will do it in one fell swoop? And I was also assuming some regular images would be occurring after the initial install."

For one very good reason.

If a restore from a system image backup fails for any reason (and yes, it has happened to me) your personal data is not harmed if it is on a separate partition that is not included in the backup.

I have a small partition for Windows (100 GB) and a large one for my data (1.2 TB).

My Windows partition is imaged on a regular basis and I use Microsoft's SyncToy to echo any personal data (pictures, music, videos, data files etc) updates to an external hard drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2012   #8

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
If you feel like backing up all of that data each and every time, sure. If that works for you, so be it....but there's never been a good reason to keep your data mixed in with the OS. Why do you think we see so many threads asking on how to take permission and ownership of files? Because the process isn't thought out and planned properly.

My OS drive contains only things I can quickly install, if need be. Nothing else. If my C drive dies, I can reimage from a while ago, or spend just under 2 hours with a clean install. My data is separated to keep it isolated. I use SyncToy to keep my data on D backed up to my server.

Maybe I am not making it clear, so let me try this. Yes, and image works, but why would I want to take the time to backup apps and games each time that I could just reinstall, if necessary? My data and saved games are what would be important. So I'll back them up. I don't use images as backups, and I don't consider images as backups. I consider it a snapshot that could take the place of a fresh install. As long as my data is safe, I'm fine.

I'm a big believer in simplifying. I can schedule SyncToy to run whenever I want and grab whatever I want. My server runs WHS 2011, and I don't even use the built-in imaging tools. I keep my data safe on the RAID5 array, and then I have a huge external drive that gets connected once every two weeks for a backup of the server. Very important stuff I keep encrypted and stored out in the cloud.
I'm taking into account all the configuration after all that software is reinstalled. A major pain.

Also, with storage being so cheap these days AND the device speeds so fast (USB 3.0 as an example), if you don't have a ton of data, I can't think of any reason to not just image the whole single drive with just one partition on it.

Also with Volume Shadow Service (VSS) you can be using your PC while the backup/image occurs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Well, all I can say is, you do your thing and I'll do mine.

After all, it's just a matter of personal choice really.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2012   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by JimLewandowski View Post
I'm taking into account all the configuration after all that software is reinstalled. A major pain.
It's only a pain if you insist on making it one. Install Windows 7 from a flash drive, and have all of your drivers handy on the same or another flash drive. The OS itself needs very little customizing or tweaking done to it, and the same goes for the software I install. Far far too often, people overtweak for no reason, and then use that as an excuse as to why a clean install is too much of a pain. Planning ahead makes it a very simple and easy process.

Who doesn't have a ton of data these days? You know anyone who still uses a film camera? Games are huge, so why would I want them included in my backup, when it's just as easy to reinstall them. Even Steam games can be burned to disc for backup purposes and put on a shelf or stored once on an external drive/server. At least e-mail is something that no longer needs to be backed up (unless someone is clinging to the past and using POP3). I backup what I need, and that's it, keeping it as simple as possible. And since very few people use one computer and only one computer, my data is backed up in a way that it is accessible from anywhere.

As mentioned, if taking a full image each and everytime works for you, then stick with it. To me, there's no valid reason for wanting to mix my data in with the "My" folders and the rest of the OS's files and my apps' files. I like to keep all of my installed material in one place, and my actual data in another.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 are the days of separating OS partition and data partition over?




Thread Tools



Similar help and support threads for2: are the days of separating OS partition and data partition over?
Thread Forum
Solved How to change active partition without removing data from partition? General Discussion
Separating OS from data files HELP Hardware & Devices
Recapture HD GB from fat 32 data partition General Discussion
Data Partition Tutorials
Moving data to second partition General Discussion
Mystery Partition - Accidentally Put Data on System Partition?? Performance & Maintenance
Data partition disappeared Installation & Setup

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:28 AM.
Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App
  

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33