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Windows 7: C Drive vs External Hard Drive


20 Jan 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
C Drive vs External Hard Drive

I'm quite new to Windows 7 but so far I love it.
My Inspiron 15R has 900 and some GB's on the C drive.
I have an external hard drive that is 150 GB's.
On my old laptop I didn't use the My Documents or My Music on the C drive.
I used the external hard drive to access and store everything important to me because my laptop only had 40 GB's on the C drive and after losing things while storing them on the C drive I just kept everything on the external hard drive.
Now that I have about 900 GB's on the C drive would it be smart or feasible to start using the C drive to store everything important and use the external hard drive for backups?

Thank you.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Jan 2013   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1
 
 

My personal opinion? With all that space on your C drive I would definitely save your personal files there, but also keep backing them up on the external drive as well. That way if one drive fails you won't lose everything.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2013   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

A personal, very subjective opinion:

In my opinion, having the OS (system files & folders) and personal user data on the same drive adds risk to lose something important if (when) things go wrong. This laptop I am using now came with 1TB HDD, which I have divided to 3 partitions (highlighted partitions in screenshot = original 1TB drive):

C Drive vs External Hard Drive-lap03_hds.png

This gives me more freedom, I can for instance install OS completely fresh, formatting C: (OS drive) without losing my user data on E:.

My recommendation: Shrink C:, create new partition(s) for your data.

Kari


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Jan 2013   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

I think both of you are right. Regardless of whether I partition the thinking is the same- Backup, Backup, Backup.
Now, about these partitions...I need to learn about them.
Thank you both so much. I'm liking this forum really well based on the help I am receiving. My sister just bought Windows 7 and I will definitely be directing her to this forum.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2013   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1
 
 

Hi Dawter, you are very welcome. Kari has a good idea about partitioning your C drive to have separate partitions for the OS and your data. It does simplify things if you want reinstall Windows, or even to create a system image of just the OS partition. I didn't mention it in my post, as I wasn't sure how comfortable you would be about partitioning your C drive, but if you are interested post back and we can help you with that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2013   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I definitely vote for partitioning the drive - C, user data, miscellaneous. Keep about 60GB for the OS (C) and the rest as needed.

You will not be able to shrink the current C partition enough with Disk Management. You have to use the bootable CD of Partition Wizard. Download the .iso and burn it to CD - best with ImgBurn.

Here is a little tutorial on how to resize (shrink) a partition. If you get stuck, ask us.

Once you have shrunk C and have available unallocated space, you can use Disk Management to define your 2 new partitions.

Important: before you manipulate your C partition, take an image of C. Here is how: Imaging with free Macrium

Once you have a defined user partition, define new empty user folders there (Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos). Then move your current files to the approriate folders. Then right click on each folder that you previously defined and INCLUDE it into the appropriate library.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2013   #7

Windows Home Premuim 64bit SP1
 
 

whs - been thinking about adding a data partition also and understand why you may not be able to shrink C: (files not movable) to a specific size but Partition Wizard will perform that task? Is there a tutorial on the process with Partition Wizard?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2013   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

whs- this sounds good to me, "C, user data, miscellaneous."
Here's what I have. I haven't clicked "Apply" yet.
Any thoughts before I click "Apply?"
http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q...ps5c7b43b9.jpg

Well, I did click on "Apply."
After it made the partitions I realize I didn't allocate the rest of my GB's.
Do I need to go in and allocate it? Make up a name for it?
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have to go to bed now.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2013   #9
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Looks good to me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2013   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

So. leave the huge chunk alone?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 C Drive vs External Hard Drive




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