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Windows 7: How should I partition??

16 Mar 2010   #1

Windows 7 Pro 32-bit
How should I partition??

I just installed Windows 7 Pro on a brand new 320GB hard drive, and I would like to partition it for the best performance. I have never done anything like this before, but have been reading about it. I just want to get some clarification and hopefully some instruction on how to do this properly. Right now, I have one partition that says "System Reserved" that is 100MB, and a C partition for Windows 7. From what I've read, I should make a separate partition for my page file, and I would like to make a partition for Media, and a partition to dual boot windows XP.

My first question is, on my C partition that contains Windows 7, should I leave JUST the OS on there, and have a separate partition for programs and applications, or should I keep them together?

So, if I have these partitions:

System Reserved - 100MB
Windows 7
(programs for Windows 7?)
Windows XP
Page File <--Should this be FAT32??

What size should I make them, and which ones do I make Primary partitions and which ones logical? Does the order or Letter designation that I create them matter?

And lastly, for my 100th question, how do I actually do the partitioning? haha

Thanks in advance I am new to this forum and new to Windows7 so I'm looking forward to learning more!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Mar 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise

Hello Mfarzin, and welcome to Seven Forums.

A page file on a separate hard drive may be able to help increase your computer's performance some, but it may hurt performance if it is placed on just another partition on the same hard drive, and would be better left on the C: partition letting Windows 7 (system) manage it.

I've always found it to cause more issues than it's worth by trying to have programs and applications installed on a separate partition/drive. Since you would have to reinstall them anyway if you ever reinstalled Windows 7, it would best to leave them to install in the default C:\Program Files folder.

So this leaves you with shrinking the C: partition by how much you want the media and XP partitions to be total, create a new partition from the unallocated space shrunk from C: , shrink the new XP partition by how much you want for the media partition, then create a new partition from the unallocated space from the new XP partition.

After all that, you are ready to setup a dual boot with XP.

Hope this helps,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2010   #3

Windows 7 Pro 32-bit

Thanks a lot for the info it is very helpful. Just one more question. How can I transfer my XP setup from my old HD to the new partition I'm going to make? Is there a way to keep everything intact or do I need to reinstall everything?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Mar 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise

Your're welcome Mfarzin.

I haven't tried it myself since I always prefer a clean install, but you should be able to create a system image of XP to use to restore to the new partition. Macrium Reflect is a good free program for this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How should I partition??

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