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Windows 7: SHould I partition Windows 7?


27 Feb 2010   #1

Windows 7 Release Candidate
 
 
SHould I partition Windows 7?

I'm about to install Windows 7 and I've heard it is best to put it on a partition. Is this true? If so how big of a partition? What are the benefits?

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27 Feb 2010   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Personally I don't see a big advantage to partitioning the drive, but others feel differently.

The idea is that you create a partition just big enough for the OS (maybe 25-30GB) and install all the programs on the second one.
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27 Feb 2010   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Personally, I would not create partition less than 100gb.
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27 Feb 2010   #4

 

I've found that installing windows and applications on a smaller partition will give a minor boost in performance. Whenever I replace a HDD, I use gParted to set up and format the partitions before installing windows, usually 60-100GB for the OS and applications and the rest of the HDD for media.
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27 Feb 2010   #5

Windows 7 Release Candidate
 
 

Will the OS apps automatically go under the partition I select? What I mean is if I save or download something OS related will it know which partition to use or will I have to choose? The same with non-OS stuff, will it instantly know which partition to go under?

I don't want this to become a big management project.
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27 Feb 2010   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by LobsterEar View Post
Will the OS apps automatically go under the partition I select? What I mean is if I save or download something OS related will it know which partition to use or will I have to choose? The same with non-OS stuff, will it instantly know which partition to go under?

I don't want this to become a big management project.
Of course - if you set it up right: E.g. move the user folders with the "Move" in the Properties > Location tab to the data partition. Just make sure you have defined folders in the data partition to where to move - Documents for Documents, Music for Music, etc. Else the partition becomes your destination and that will produce a minor mess. Any folder (not library) that has a location tab, you can move and the system will do all the adjustments. As far as system files go, they should stay on C.
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27 Feb 2010   #7

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

It will be a bit more work than otherwise, but not a huge deal. Most programs offer a choice of where to install. For the downloads, simply tell it to save to the other partition.
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27 Feb 2010   #8

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by LobsterEar View Post
... if I save or download something OS related will it know which partition to use or will I have to choose? The same with non-OS stuff, will it instantly know which partition to go under?...
Things like Windows Update files will automatically know where to go. Other downloads can generally be directed to a folder of your choosing. (I send all my downloads to a folder which I cleverly named "Downloads".)

Some programs like to save things to other places (typically "My Documents") but they are going to do that whether you have separate partitions or not.

The biggest advantage I see is that you can separate files which aren't modified much, such as videos, music, etc, from your Windows partition which is going to contain files which tend to get shifted around somewhat.

You can get really creative with partitions and put your swap file on a partition of its own, typically a very small partition located at the fastest part of your hard drive which is at the beginning of the drive.

EDIT: I type too slow. Jonathan said it quite well and in a lot fewer words.
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27 Feb 2010   #9

 

I would recommend using up to 1/4 of your HDD space but no more than 100GB and no less than 60GB for the OS. Install any other programs you use on the same partition as windows, but move your music, program installers, driver installers, and other idle data to the 2nd, larger partition. The biggest advantage (besides faster startup and shutdown times and overall performance), will be in the time you'll save if you ever encounter an error that can't be easily fixed without reinstalling windows.
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27 Feb 2010   #10
Legacy Code

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by madtownidiot View Post
The biggest advantage (besides faster startup and shutdown times and overall performance), will be in the time you'll save if you ever encounter an error that can't be easily fixed without reinstalling windows.
+1 Exactly the way i have my OS set up. Everything i need to set up my laptop in case of a problem is on the 2nd partition along with other important stuff such as my documents, media and essential items. All i do when i reinstall is to set up my libraries and I'm good to go. Makes life so much easier but its up to you and what your happy with.
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 SHould I partition Windows 7?




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