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Windows 7: New Install Setup - Drive Segregation Help


26 Dec 2011   #1

Win 7 Professional (64-bit)
 
 
New Install Setup - Drive Segregation Help

Hi All,

I am going to be performing a clean install of Windows 7 64bit. I've been reading that it is generally a better idea to segregate the OS from applications from documents. I have always used the C: drive for everything and thought about giving this a try. I'd like to get some advice from others who have done this and get some "best practices" if I could.

I have the following drives available: 320GB, 300GB, 750GB. I was planning to install the OS on either the 320 or 300, install my applications and game clients on the other 300, and use the 750 for all of my docs, pics, music, videos, downloads, etc.

Is there anything else I should consider? Does this plan make the most sense? I figured a clean install would be necessary becasue it will be next to impossible to relocate applications from one drive to another.

Is there anything I should look out for? Is it relatively easy in Win 7 to adjust default "Save To" locations and moving my Libraries (Docs, Music, Pics, etc.)?

Thanks for all the input!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Dec 2011   #2

Win 7 Professional (64-bit)
 
 

Also, will setting up my drives in this fashion provide increased stability and increase performance? Or is it not worth the headache and should I just dump everything onto C:?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2011   #3
Microsoft MVP

 

The reason some choose to move User folders to another partition is to keep the image smaller so that if Windows 7 becomes irreparable you can reimage to C and the current data set will be ready and waiting in it's partition. User Folders - Change Default Location

I would not install Programs anywhere but C as they write Reg keys which integrate them into the OS and should stay together with it for imaging purposes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Dec 2011   #4

Win 7 Professional (64-bit)
 
 

Thanks GregRocker. I was under the impression that there would be NO issues in choosing a new install path for applications. I was planning to simple create a new "Program Files" on say D: and install all application there. This would keep Windows completely seperate on C:. Are you suggesting that there is no inherent benefit to this type of setup? If not, should I simple make my 750GB C: and install Windows and ALL application on C:? Use the other hard drives for document backup? I'm basically looking for the best hard drive setup to maximize performance. Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2011   #5
Microsoft MVP

 

I would instead think of the Programs as part of Windows OS since they write themselves into it. You certainly don't want them stranded separately from the backup image.

For best performance I would install Windows 7 with all programs on C, then move User folders off to another HD as it fills up which gives you a performance benchmark to compare to - unless you want your User folders separated out to begin with.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2011   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

You have 3 hard drives, any of which is likely large enough to hold your OS and all applications in a single partition.

I would find out which is the fastest of those 3 drives and put the OS and apps on it. You might therefore notice a slight speed advantage compared to the other drives.

Use all other space for data and data backups.

I doubt if you would notice any performance advantages by segregating OS from applications.

Partition arrangement is usually done for reasons of convenience, simplicity, and backup, rather than performance.

Adherents of one view or another often have quasi-religious reasons (faith, habit, tradition) for their preference. When you combine that with the placebo affect, you have a tough time changing any minds.

If you want a clear-cut performance boost, buy a 60 or 80 gig SSD and put your OS and apps on it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2011   #7

Win 7 Professional (64-bit)
 
 

Thanks. The SSD is next on the list - but until then...

So it sounds like there is no real benefit to seperating applications and game clients from the OS. I just completed running HD Tune so find out the status of my drives. Results are as follows:

Western Digital 320GB: Min 34.4 MB/s - Max 79.9 MB/s - Avg 63.6 MB/s - 13.2ms
Western Digital 750GB: Min 38.0 MB/s - Max 84.7 MB/s - Avg 67.0 MB/s - 14.6ms
Seagate Digital 300GB: Min 38.7 MB/s - Max 78.1 MB/s - Avg 64.4 MB/s - 13.5ms

It looks like the 750GB is giving me the best performance, but I was thinking it would make more sense to use the 750GB for Windows backup images. What are everyone's thoughts on the best way to setup my new install? Thank You!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2011   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

There is very little difference among those 3 drives.

I would make my decision based on other factors, since the speeds are very close.

I certainly wouldn't make a decision based only on Windows backup images. Those files aren't likely to be used very often, so who really cares where they are.

I'd consider my data: how much and what type.

You may end up with something very simple: C on the 320, data on the 300, all backups on the 750; with a single partition on each drive. It just depends on your data and your personal sense of organization.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2011   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
You may end up with something very simple: C on the 320, data on the 300, all backups on the 750; with a single partition on each drive. It just depends on your data and your personal sense of organization.
The above would be my suggestion.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Dec 2011   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

I'm facing a somewhat similar question. I've got a new computer arriving. It will have a 120g SSD and a 1.5 T HDD. I intend to do a fresh install of Windows 7 on the SSD (with the HDD detached). I had been planning on moving the Users and ProgramData folders to a different partition (on the HDD) following Kari's tutorial - specifically, the modified tutorial at post #22: User Profiles - Create and Move During Windows 7 Installation

However, after noting some issues and reading what WHS and Ignatz wrote, I'm trying to decide if I really gain anything by moving those folders to a different partition and drive. Would I be better off keeping the Users and ProgramData folders on the C partition and simply creating folders on a "Data" partition on the HDD and directing defaults to there?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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