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Windows 7: Drive Partition Planning for Win7 Installation


15 Sep 2009   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
Drive Partition Planning for Win7 Installation

Having obtained my new 80GB Intel X-25M SSD I will of course be using it as the Windows Partition in my new installation after I receive my release copy on 22nd October.

However, I was wondering on the best way to partition the remainder of my storage to maximise performance, and particularly where I place the swap file, applications and data.

My installed storage is as follows:

80GB Intel X-25M SSD
WD 320GB 7200RPM SATA-II
Maxtor 250GB 5400RPM SATA

The Maxtor was the original HD that came with the PC and is approaching 4 years old. I obviously don't want to use it for anything that affects performance so the obvious usage is as a backup volume. However, I'm not sure of the wisdom of this given it is the oldest drive!


So, my current plan is as follows:
  • Boot & Windows Partition, including application installation: All 74.5GB of the available SSD
  • Swap File: A seperate 10GB partition of the WD drive
  • Data: The remainder of the WD Drive (Can you get Windows 7 to move the location of the User Folders such as 'Documents', 'Downloads' etc. to a partition other than the system drive? If so how?)
  • Backup: The Maxtor Drive
Even though I am getting a full version of Win 7 by virtue of the UK Pre-Order offer, I won't be maintaining my Vista install so no need for a partition for that (good riddance!).

It is important that the swap file is not on the SSD I understand to reduce the number of write cycles and maintain its lifespan.

Does this sound like a good plan to maximise performance? Certainly using the seperate swap file seems to work very well in my RC test installation.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

15 Sep 2009   #2

Windows 8.1 (x64)
 
 

What i do is very similar ..
However i do not break it down into such detailed categories.

I do clean installs very often because i like the performance of a clean install.
I usually do one about every month or so.

So from doing so many Clean Installs .. i have figured out a system that makes it easy.

I only have 1 x 160GB Sata HD.

So what i have done is Partitioned that into:
1 x 80GB (C Parition)
1 x 30GB
1 x 50GB

I use the C Partition for installing Windows.
The other 2 Partitions are used for my Documents, Videos, Files, etc.
This way when i am ready to do a Clean Install.. i just format the C Partition.
The other 2 Partitions still have all my Programs, Software, Drivers, etc.

I also change the locations of "My documents", "My Music", "My Videos", "My Pictures", etc..

- The default location is C://Users/RudeBoySes/My Documents.

So i would change that to E://Users/RudeBoySes/My Documents.
and so on for the other folders.

This way im able to save space on C Drive.
and it is saved to a Partition that will not be affected during a Clean Install.

Hope that helps..


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

EDIT
Quote:
Can you get Windows 7 to move the location of the User Folders such as 'Documents', 'Downloads' etc. to a partition other than the system drive? If so how?
- Right click the Folder you want to change locations on.
- Select "Location" Tab
- Enter the new location.
- Press "OK" to save and Windows will ask you to confirm.
- Repeat for all folders you want this done to.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2009   #3

Windows 7/XP
 
 

Quote:
Can you get Windows 7 to move the location of the User Folders such as 'Documents', 'Downloads' etc. to a partition other than the system drive? If so how?
Just do a "Properties" on all the directories within the user directory specified above and select the "Location" tab. Change it to the alternate partition.

Here's my setup.

C: (WINDOWS) - 40GB of 1TB drive

D: (DATA) - Rest of 1TB drive
Public (for Torrents, etc.)
Users
[Username]
Files (My Documents Renamed)
Documents

Media
Audio (My Music Renamed)
Video (My Videos Renamed)
Images (My Pictures Renamed)
Software
System
Favorites
Desktop

Mail
Etc.
E: (RESTORE) 160GB drive - This is where I keep all my Acronis TrueImage images and/or Windows 7 image backups that aren't defaulted to Acronis Secure Zone (F11 option to restore at bootup).

Putting everything on D:\Users makes it really easy to A) reformat & start over with the OS drive, B) preserve storage data when restoring backup images from XP or Windows 7 images (that are configured identically to refer to D: drive for storage directories) and C) backup only the files I need which are all in the user's folder on D:. Pretty much the same setup as it would have been on the C: drive.

I'll admit I had better speeds when I used a 40GB hard drive just for the main OS, however, I at the time had FIVE hard drives in my system. I decided that 5 hard drives utilizes an unnecessary amount of power to run and raises the heat level inside the chassis so I'm settling for just 2 drives now and compromising a small drop in performance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


15 Sep 2009   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Reminds me that if I currently have a 3.62GB Dell Hidden Partition (FAT32) which can be accessed via the BIOS.

If I move the System Partition to the SSD do I also have to recreate this on the SSD instead of the HD if I want to have the ability to access the Dell diagnostics tools?

I believe I can download an ISO of this partition from the Dell website.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2009   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 x2 + x86 + Windows 8.1 x64 x2
 
 

One thing to consider is that if you wish to retain all of the system drive for the OS - make sure that you create a partition on the drive (100%) before you install otherwise the installer will create a 100MB recovery/boot partition at the front of the drive if installed to a drive only containing free space
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2009   #6

Dual Booting Windows Vista32 bit And Windows 7 Home premium (x64) (build 7600)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RudeBoySes View Post
The other 2 Partitions still have all my Programs, Software, Drivers, etc.
So, when you install your programs the default folder is usually, For instance "C\ProgramFiles\Acronis" but your default folder is "D\ProgramFiles\Acronis". Is that correct? If so does that mean EVERYTIME you install a program you have to manually CHANGE the default destination folder to the "D\ProgramFiles" folder? Or, have you configured your system to AUTOMATICALLY point your programs when being installed to go to the "D\ProgramFiles folder?

FyrmnJ in philly
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2009   #7

Windows 8.1 (x64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by FyrmnJ View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RudeBoySes View Post
The other 2 Partitions still have all my Programs, Software, Drivers, etc.
So, when you install your programs the default folder is usually, For instance "C\ProgramFiles\Acronis" but your default folder is "D\ProgramFiles\Acronis". Is that correct? If so does that mean EVERYTIME you install a program you have to manually CHANGE the default destination folder to the "D\ProgramFiles" folder? Or, have you configured your system to AUTOMATICALLY point your programs when being installed to go to the "D\ProgramFiles folder?

FyrmnJ in philly

oh no.. im sorry if i was confusing..
I would still install into C Drive..
I use C Drive for anything windows ..
which includes installation of programs..


i use D & E for storage..
so when i do a clean install..
i have all of my programs readily available for installation

P.S.
- Im from the suburbs of Philadelphia (Montgomery County)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2009   #8

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ceejay View Post
Reminds me that if I currently have a 3.62GB Dell Hidden Partition (FAT32) which can be accessed via the BIOS.

If I move the System Partition to the SSD do I also have to recreate this on the SSD instead of the HD if I want to have the ability to access the Dell diagnostics tools?

I believe I can download an ISO of this partition from the Dell website.
If you want to use all those utilities from dell you do need that fat partiton and it need to be made first. My dell came with vista and of course I deleted it. ONly way I got them back was to wipe the C: drive install the dell (fat32) partition then install OS

Good luck and let us know if you need help

Ken
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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