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Windows 7: New 1tb Drive best practice for partitions

25 Apr 2011   #1

Windows 7 Profesional 64 Bit
New 1tb Drive best practice for partitions

Hello, I am about to receive a brand new 1tb hard drive (2 now) and have binged and googled myself to nothing but frustration from peoples 4-5 year old opinions. I know what I am looking for is really just an opion, but what is the best practices so to speak, with regard to partion sizing and performance?
I have been thinking about prepartioning 200G for windows and the rest for mass storage. Then making another 200G on my old 1tb drive and make a copy of that partition and remove the drive letter in disk management of the copy and just use that as a ready to go backup. Then run windows startup recovery once and I have a dual boot with 2 working windows 7 should I need it for a backup. Is this a good idea?
Does it matter if it is a clean install as far as performance on the disk or can I just copy my currently working fine windows partion to the new one. If I use acronis or something will it still put everything starting right at the edge of the disk the same as if I did a clean install?
Does windows 7 do anything while installing that would help performance wise if I don't prepartion it -say I just unplug the old drive and put the raw drive in and install windows (what my dad thinks)?
Is it a good idea to make smaller partions or just leave it one? Gamming performance is of most crucial importance. Thank You in advance to anyone who takes the time to help me.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2011   #2

Windows 7 Pro x64

First there is no set option to partitioning and there is no real speed gain whether it is broken up into smaller partitions or left as one big drive. It really is personal preference.

No to your other question. The 200GBs for the OS.
You already have a working copy of Win 7 on your older 1TB drive, right. Depending on how much space is used on that drive you could shrink the C partition down to as low as you can get it on the old drive. Then take the new unallocated space and make another partition. If the C drive is bigger then 200GBs then move some of the data off the C drive into that new partition you just created then shrink the C drive again until you get to the 200GB size. Then create a image of the whole physical disk and load that image on the new TB drive.

It would be best to post a screen shot of disk management so we can see what the partition structure looks like now.
To do all of the above you will need to different programs. A Disk partitioning program and a drive imaging program. Easily gotten for free from links on this forum.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2011   #3

Windows 7 Profesional 64 Bit
I'm sorry I don't understand

I don't understand the part about shrinking and coping the entire physical drive. I Need the space of the new physical drive, but would like a copy of a working bootable windows on both hd's. But there isn't any difference as far as seek speed if there are alot of partitions vs only two?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Apr 2011   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64

Just trying to save you from doing a reinstall of the OS.
There is no way to COPY Windows from one drive to another. You can CLONE the drives. That makes an exact copy from one drive to the other. Or you can use a imaging program to Image one drive and then load the Image on another drive.

There are certain files that need to placed at/in specific areas of the hard drive for the OS to boot properly. Just copying OS files from one drive to another does not place those needed files in there correct areas so the OS will not boot from the drive you copied them to.
Not only that but with any imaging or cloning program you MUST image or clone the WHOLE drive. Not just the OS partition. The files I spoke about above are not contained in the OS partition.
That is why I always use a smaller size drive, right now a 120GB drive, as my OS & programs drive. Less to backup as all my data files are on other physical drive in my system and they are backed up on other PCs and removable drives.

What I was suggesting was to make your present drive the way you want the new drive to be. Then image the present drive and load that image on the new drive. That way you will have 2 drives with at least 2 partitions each and a working OS on both.
But if your present drive is nearly filled with data this might not work.

What you want to do is a good idea but not sure it will work out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


One install = one Licence.
Two installs = two licences

Disk0 Partition 1 should no less tham 100gb.
SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation

Disk1 partition 1 you could uses for a first install backup image.
System Image Recovery
Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
Restore Backup User and System Files
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2011   #6

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

These Comments Relate to a Spinning Disk

There is a definite speed advantage in creating a partition occupying the outer tracks of your HDD. I've done the tests, I've got the numbers but I'll need to dig them out. It's simple mathematics.

There is a definite advantage in making a partition of the order of 200GB for your OS plus installed programs. You can sensibly image this size partition which should be done routinely. This should also be on the fastest outer partition.

You don't need to ever clone your HDD to move to a new HDD. Imaging is a more efficient and effective way to do this. Every image can be the basis of a new HDD.
I've created 2 new HDDs this way with very little effort.

How you partition the rest of your HDD depends on how you like to manage your remaining data. Leaving it all as a second partition is fine if you want.

Here is a speed test on one of my 1TB HDDs. Transfer rate drops as you move to the inner tracks.
New 1tb Drive best practice for partitions-hdt1.jpg

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2011   #7

Windows 7 Profesional 64 Bit
Thank You

Thank You so much for a great answer mjf!!! But one question remains if I use acronis or something such to copy the partition WILL it for sure put that 1st partition at the edge of the drive as long as I copy it to the raw drive and would that be better performance wise than installing windows fresh to a raw drive and then shrinking it to around 200 gig. I'm wondering if 200G would actually be future proof enough My C:\ is 115G packed now with some games spread out on other partitions. All these games are about 7-15G nowadays.
Also I do want my swap file on a seperate partition on a seperate disk with as large a block/cluster size as possible, is that still right nowadays? Thank you all for your answers BTW.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2011   #8

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

As already mentioned I think forget about straight copying anything but data.
If you want to transfer your OS and installed programs to your new drive then you need them on a partition less than or equal to the size of the new HDD partition. Most (free) imaging programs will require you to reimage to a partition at least as big as the partition the image was made from. This does not depend on how full that partition is.

Some paid imaging allow you to reimage to a smaller partition.

The size of your OS/programs partition depends on your situation. You need to make that decision but 200GB is plenty for most. Clearly you need to be storing your data on other partitions for the new HDD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2011   #9

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86

Per EULA, you cant use the same license on two different drives.

a. Software. The software includes desktop operating system software. This software does not include Windows Live services. Windows Live is a service available from Microsoft under a separate agreement.
b. License Model. Subject to Section 2 (b) below, the software is licensed on a per copy per computer basis. A computer is a physical hardware system with an internal storage device capable of running the software. A hardware partition or blade is considered to be a separate computer.
Source: License Terms
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2011   #10

Windows10 Pro - 64Bit vs.10547

..meanwhile, back OT

- I wouldn't bother with a partition..

a 1TB drive is a beautiful thing..

*hides specs*
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 New 1tb Drive best practice for partitions

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