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Windows 7: Should I split my 256GB SSD into 2 partitions; One for VHDs?

09 Sep 2012   #1
TanyaC

Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon | Win 7 Ult x64
 
 
Should I split my 256GB SSD into 2 partitions; One for VHDs?

I'm using an OCZ Vertex 4 that I partitioned as a single drive. I bought it because I started learning about VM's. I have a separate test machine downstairs but I thought I'd set up a VM for WIndows 8 (Since it is unlikely I will ever use it as my primary OS), and for Ubuntu and Windows XP. Mostly just for the learning experience.

I create an image of my C: drive for recovery using Macrium. Which is now huge because of the VHD files.

So; Do you think it is worthwhile splitting the 256GB into two partitions so I have a purely OS/Applications drive, and one for my VMs, or just leave it as is. What do you guys do?

Reading the support forum for Macrium, it appears you can't exclude user defined files from a disk image?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Sep 2012   #2
F5ing

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I typically do that for all machines (mine, anyway). OS/apps get imaged, other data gets backed up (as necessary) via other means.

About the only thing I've seen with imaging apps, as far as individual file exclusions are concerned, is the ability to exclude the paging and hibernation files. Beyond that, you're going to be imaging either an entire partition or an entire disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2012   #3
TanyaC

Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon | Win 7 Ult x64
 
 

Yes, my data is on a couple of spinners.

I was more wondering about partitioning the SSD. I started with a 120gb which I didn't need to partition, but with a 256GB, I don't need such a big system/app partition.

Just thought I'd check just incase there were any 4k boundary issues, or starting at the correct sector doesn't change with partitioning SSDs
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Sep 2012   #4
F5ing

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

You may have already checked these out, but I'll list them anyway:

Partition Image - Restore from a HDD to a SSD

SSD Alignment

SSD Tweaks and Optimizations in Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2012   #5
TanyaC

Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon | Win 7 Ult x64
 
 

Yes, I had read those before posting. Thanks for providing links.

I currently do not have a recovery partition. When I installed windows on this disk windows created only one partition, at offset 1024, of approximately 238gb.

I can manually do this via diskpart as the second tutorial shows. If I do this manually, and I create 100mb partition will windows automatically use it for the recovery partition?

When I was playing with my 120gb drive it didn't appear to use it, as it was 0% used after windows was installed. So I "cleaned" the disk and let Windows install do what it wanted, which was to not create the recovery partition at all. The same for the 256gb drive.

Hence my query.

Someone stated in a previous post that if the 100mb partition is aligned then the next partition will also be aligned. I am talking about 3 partitions total; 100mb, 80gb and the rest of the 256gb drive.

Since any number * 1024 will always be divisible by 4 then I guess I'm ok.

Right!?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2012   #6
F5ing

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

If the disk was completely blank when you did the install I would expect that w7 would've created the "System Reserved" partition and then use it for booting.

Is that what you're referring to when you mention "recovery partition"?

See here for info on when it decides to create that partition on an install:


Quote:
  • If you want to have the 100 MB System Reserved partition in addition to the Windows 7 C: partition on a HDD or SSD after installation, then you would need to make sure that all partitions on the drive have been deleted until it is only unallocated space. Next, select the unallocated drive to install Windows 7 on. If there are no partitions on the disk, you will get the 100 MB System Reserved.
  • If you do not want to have the 100 MB System Reserved partition and only the Windows 7 C: partition on a HDD or SSD after installation, then select a formatted partition or drive to install Windows 7 on. If there are any partitions on the disk, you won't get the 100 MB System Reserved.
The above quote is from this tutorial: Clean Install Windows 7

As far as the alignment is concerned, and your first partition is correctly aligned, I think if you create/modify new partitions with software that maintains alignment by default then you'll be okay. Just don't force it to your numbers. Keep in mind that I know almost nothing about SSDs, where alignment is apparently even more critical than with spinners.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2012   #7
smarteyeball

 
 

Stick with the the one partition. It's the same drive, so it's not going to net you any perceptible difference.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2012   #8
F5ing

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

True enough. Why not just store the stuff you don't want to include in your images somewhere else?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2012   #9
TanyaC

Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon | Win 7 Ult x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by smarteyeball View Post
Stick with the the one partition. It's the same drive, so it's not going to net you any perceptible difference.
Not sure what you mean.

I was contemplating splitting the drive because I have now got several VMs, and they are on the SSD. I image the drive about once a month and I don't want to include the VHDs in the image, so I was going to move them to a separate partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2012   #10
TanyaC

Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon | Win 7 Ult x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by F5ing View Post
True enough. Why not just store the stuff you don't want to include in your images somewhere else?
Exactly; on a second partition on an SSD.

Isn't there a performance gain to be realised with VMs on the SSD, as opposed to on the spinners?

Or is that what is meant by "no perceptible difference"?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Should I split my 256GB SSD into 2 partitions; One for VHDs?




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