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Windows 7: Hard drive partitions

28 Mar 2011   #1
Jerry Hickman

Windows XP
Hard drive partitions

I'm new on this forum and this question has probably been asked before, but...

I am migrating from an old computer with Windows XP to a new computer with Windows 7. My old XP has 2 physical hard drives, each with a partition, essentially giving me 4 drives. My new computer with Windows 7 has a HUGE 1.5 Terabyte hard drive. My question is: should I partition my new hard drive to create (mostly) the old configuration?

On the old machine I used Norton Partition Magic to do the job, but my understanding is that Windows 7 has a utility to do that. Another questions is: what is the best way to go (if at all).

Jerry Hickman

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64/x86 Windows 7 Pro x64/x86 Windows 7 Home Premium x64/x86

Hello Jerry and welcome.

If you have 2 Hds in your XP machine you have "2" partitions. 1 on each drive unless you created more. That seems unclear.

And I have always used multiple drives instead of multi partitions. Its safer. If the drive dies all your partitions go with it.

Since you have 3 drives there just use them all and use a single partition on each.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2011   #3
Mike Connor

Several, including Windows 7 x64 Ultimate

Let Windows install itself automatically on your drive. Make sure you have an EXTERNAL drive for backups etc.

There is nothing to be gained from setting up various partitions on a single drive machine, indeed it is detrimental to system performance, with one exception!!! That exception is; if you want to backup your system and data to separate images, then you need two partitions. One for the system, and one for your data.

When installing, Windows automatically creates a small "reserved" area for itself.

Otherwise, with a single partition, you can simply tell Windows to backup everything.

Regards....Mike Connor
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Mar 2011   #4
Microsoft MVP


If you want to adjust your partitioning use Disk Management.

If you need to move the left side of a partition or do other things which Disk Mgmt cannot do, use free Partition Wizard bootable CD - not Partition Magic which will mess up Win7.

If you want to access your XP data, you can plug in the HD to your new machine.

If you have any more specific questions about partitioning, post back a screenshot of your full Disk Mgmt drive map with listings, maximized window, using Snipping Tool in Start Menu. Tell us what you want to do and we will give you the steps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2011   #5

Windows 7 Pro x64

Are you installing the OS yourself?

There is no reason to partition that drive into smaller partitions unless you want to. It is a personal thing. Some like one big drive others like to have smaller partitions.
I like to have at least 3 physical drives in the system with the boot drive partitioned into 2 drives. The second disk one big drive and the third partitioned into 2 drives, one small 100GB, and the other the rest of the drive, whatever size it ends up being.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

I'll agree with most of the above. Unless it is a system like a laptop with one physical drive, I see no reason to cut drives up into smaller partitions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2011   #7
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello Jerry Hickman, welcome to Seven Forums!

We are now seeing some have serious issues getting Windows 7 to install completely to such large spaces/partitions as 1 & 2TB Hard Disk Drives, you may have better success creating a single 100GB partition to do the install to; then you can always extend the Windows partition to include the remaining unallocated space on the HDD or create additional Primary partitions or create an Extended partition after the installation completes if you choose.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Hard drive partitions

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