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Windows 7: HDD Partitioning for Clean Install Windows 7 - How many, what size?

07 Jan 2013   #1
Novice 4 Fun

Windows 7 Professional SP1, 32-bit
HDD Partitioning for Clean Install Windows 7 - How many, what size?


I am doing a clean install of Windows 7 on a Dell Latitude E6520 with a 232 GB HDD. I have already cleaned ("clean all") the HDD via DISKPART.

OPTIONS: I've studied several tutorials from this site, all excellent. Particularly relevant was Bare Foot Kid's 07/14/2010 tutorial, "How to Ready an SSD / HDD to Reinstall an Operating System". Step Two of that tutorial listed 3 options for creating a partition:
  1. Create a single partition of the entire HDD,
  2. Create a specific size partition, or
  3. Create a System Reserved partition.
QUESTIONS: The above tutorial indicated there has been problem with some HDDs or partitions being "too large". So, my questions:
  1. Which of the three options listed above would be best? (I prefer simplicity. I just want my machine to work well and efficiently.)
  2. If more than one partition, then how many should I create and what size should they be?
My need/use of the machine will be basic family computing - nothing heavy duty. I will not be running multiple operating systems, will have no need for dual boot, etc.

I appreciate your help.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2013   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64 Linux Mint 16

With that size drive you could make 2 partitions. C at least 100 GBs and D the rest.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2013   #3
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

I would make:

C: at appr. 60GB - that is more than plenty. Make that a primary partition

One partition for the data. I would assume that 80GB is enough. Make that an extended/logical simple partition.

An additional partition of the rest for images and miscellaneous. Make that a logical simple partition.

If you later need more space for the data, you can always get it from the 3d partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2013   #4
Microsoft MVP


Everything you need is here to Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7.

Clean All command is only to make data unrecoverable by most all methods. The only cleaning which might be needed to overcome an install blockage is if the boot sector needs clearing which can be done with the simple 10-second Clean command. Otherwise delete all partitions and create new one(s) as you wish during Steps 6/7 of Clean Install Windows 7 ignoring the 100mb boot partition created.

Whether you create more than one partition depends largely on if you want your data in the OS partition or have it linked from another partition so that your C partition backup image remains smaller - this way if Win7 becomes irreparable you can re-image the OS/Programs to C and the data will be current and waiting in its own partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2013   #5

Windows 7 32 bit

You just Create a single partition of the entire HDD, and clean install your windows after that if you want to more partition than you could used shrink volume option under the disk management....
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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