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Windows 7: How shall I manage my partitions?


22 Jun 2012   #1

32-bit Windows 7 Home Premium & Windows 8 Release Preview
 
 
How shall I manage my partitions?

Firstly I would like to apologize if this is not the appropriate sub-forum for this thread.

Hey guys,
I have been using my Acer laptop for the past 2 odd years with a single partition (288GB). Now I wanna manage some stuff, mainly to classify things better and also hopefully to boost the performance of my system as everything getting cramped up in a single partition isn't the best thing to do, isn't it?

I have some typical questions, I would love to get some suggestions on them.

1. How much space shall I give to the drive in which the OS (Windows 7 Home Premium) is installed? Currently I have just a single partition and the size of the 'Windows' directory (C:\Windows) is approximately 23GB.
Note: I have System Restore Points turned on, and I guess they will be created by default in the drive in which the OS is installed. So I'll have to keep a considerable amount of free space for such restore points, won't I?

2. Shall I install apps and games (MS Office, Max Payne 3, Photoshop, etc.) in my C drive only (the drive which in which the OS is installed) or shall I create a separate partition to install such stuff? Currently the size of my 'Program Files' (C:\Program Files) directory is approx 45GB.

3. My personal data like images, music, videos, documents, spreadsheets, PDFs, etc. are of approx 60GB, so how large partition shall I create for my data?

For my case, how many partitions shall I create to improve the performance of my system and also to manage my stuff systematically?

And I would also like to know how you manage your partitions and how you sort your data. It would just give me a better idea to manage my stuff.

Thank you.

Regards,
Abhishek Sharma

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

22 Jun 2012   #2

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64bit
 
 

Well, personally, I use one partition per OS, though currently that would be one per drive.

I sort my stuff by putting it in folders.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Have an external hard drive? Besides keeping things organized in folders with sub folders even for various things an external backup drive is a good idea for any laptop. You can free up C quite a bit if you run out of room as well as have things backed up in case of ???

Resizing the OS primary is always risky business to start with where having things backed up elsewhere is the first and best smart move before trying out any new partitioning schemes in event C goes "poof" on you! For any Windows partition once you start installing programs you will soon exceed any small primary's size to start with and custom installing programs to other partitions isn't always so reliable either if a drive letter is changed for some reason.

Another option for an external drive is of course storing a full system image of the main drive in case of any mishap or malware infection where you would need to bring things back to factory. Always have a disaster recovery plan in case something goes wrong when making any changes to the partitioning on a drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


22 Jun 2012   #4

32-bit Windows 7 Home Premium & Windows 8 Release Preview
 
 

Well I'm still confused! :S
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2012   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AbhishekS View Post
Well I'm still confused! :S
Excluding your personal data, how much space is used on C now?

Without knowing that, a C drive of 60 or 80 GB is usually plenty.

But you say that C:\Program files is 45 GB. That is much larger than most people have.

So you might need a C of 100 or 120?

And D for the entire remainder of the drive. The size of D should be determined by what is left after C is sized correctly.

Put Windows and all possible applications on C. C should be large enough to hold Windows and all applications without strain.

Put all data on D. Subdivide the data on D with a folder structure.

You speak of being "cramped". If you use 4 or 5 partitions on a drive, you will be even more "cramped". Use as few partitions as possible.

Partitioning isn't likely to affect performance. It's done for other reasons.

My C:\Windows directory uses 18 GB. My entire C drive uses 28 GB of its 80 GB capacity.

Back up D to an external drive of some type.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2012   #6

32-bit Windows 7 Home Premium & Windows 8 Release Preview
 
 

Yeah that's what I've planned to do. I'll keep my C drive as 110GB and E drive (D drive is reserved for the DVD-ROM) for my data. I guess that's the best possible solution.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2012   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Gee my Programs Files is only about 2.96gb in size! The Program Files(x86) however is only... 351gb! Don't you love those Steam driven games and game mods that chew up drive space in a heart beat!

If you are unsure about how large C should be allow the extra room and don't simply shrink it down where you run out for room when going to add on new programs or start seeing "out of memory" errors when the C volume lacks enough space for virtual memory supplied by the paging file since you are running the 32bit Windows 7 there. The 64bit Windows automatically places more data in the active ram to see less swap out to the drive.

For most the recommendation for splitting up a 500gb drive if planning multiple partitions and still leaving space for new programs would 100-120gb on average. You'll find out fast once you start adding a few things on how fast even that can fill up. A second data partition for the rest of the drive would work.

Just remember most with laptops would prefer getting an external drive for storage and backup purposes rather then split up the OEM C primary since any factory restore would be expected to work on the same size C or close to it. You will also want to back up everything you want to keep from the drive before any repartitioning in case of a mishap if something goes wrong. Otherwise you could lose everything if the Partition Table ends up corrupted somehow.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2012   #8

Windows 7 Pro with SP1 32bit
 
 

My answers to your three queries would be as follows:

1. About 100 gigabytes for System Volume (C Drive) should be more than adequate.
2. Preferably everything that you install should be on C Drive and all your data on the second (D?) partition.
3. Two partitions should suffice namely C and D Drives. All your personal data including e-mail store should be kept on D Drive.

I manage my partitions with Acronis Disk Director Suite Boot CD. It is a shareware application. However the Partition Wizard Boot CD would do as well and it is free. Read at Partition Wizard : Use the Bootable CD for download link and how to use.

I sort the data by copy/cut and paste. I think it is also time for you to think about investing in an external hard drive for storing your data.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

If you go through the support sites for Western Digital and Seagate as well both offer a free version of Acronis. Seagate rebranded their free version as Disk Director suite.

Since most prefer to keep the D drive letter assigned to the optical drive a fast trip into the Disk Management tool can see the second storage partition letter changed to E, F, G, H, etc. in order to free the D letter.

As far as external drives or external hard drive enclosures that comes highly recommended especially if you have a large volume of files you don't want to lose. That's precisely what happened to a friendly lately when not using a new larger drive in the external enclosure leaving the OEM 120gb in the laptop.

The new larger drive failed probably due to not using the notepad cooling pad when the family's kids borrowed it. All personal files lost!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How shall I manage my partitions?




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