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Windows 7: Computer Changes

31 Mar 2011   #1
Roderunner

Win7 H.Prem. 32bit+SP1
 
 
Computer Changes

Hi All, when you buy a new computer, it is designed to work straight out of the box, once the initial set up has been completed.
I'm not at this point concerned about what is inside except the hard drive. Say for example it is 250gb in size and not partitioned. Now, most of us would not think of reducing it, but for those of us who do, for example make a partition, C: 50gb D: 200gb.
How would this affect its performance ? as to amount of memory installed.
I apologize in advance for badly worded post.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 Mar 2011   #2
Mike Connor

Several, including Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Roderunner View Post
Hi All, when you buy a new computer, it is designed to work straight out of the box, once the initial set up has been completed.
I'm not at this point concerned about what is inside except the hard drive. Say for example it is 250gb in size and not partitioned. Now, most of us would not think of reducing it, but for those of us who do, for example make a partition, C: 50gb D: 200gb.
How would this affect its performance ? as to amount of memory installed.
I apologize in advance for badly worded post.
On a single drive system it is sensible to use two partitions, one for your system, and one for data. This does cause a performance hit, because the drive heads have to move around a lot more on the same drive in order to find sectors. This mechanical activity takes a lot of time, relative to reading RAM for instance.

Also, if you don't have enough RAM, the system starts shuttling sections out to disc ( "Paging" or "swapping"), and this slows the system down even more.

The only way around these things is to install a second drive and sufficient RAM for your purposes. There are one or two other tricks you can then use to improve performance.

An SSD, ( Solid State Drive), will also improve performance drastically.

Drives are the single greatest "bottleneck" on most machines. The general performance of the machine is governed chiefly by the processor and ram. Video performance by the bus and graphic card(s).

Regards....Mike Connor
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2011   #3
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

If you keep the OS and installed programs/apps on C: creating a second partition makes data storage much easier if you ever need to reinstall the OS as you won't have to move your data from C: before the reinstall.

A wise old indian once told me, never store anything on C: you don't want to lose.


Here's an excellent method to create data partitions, Method One in this tutorial at the link below.

Partition / Extended : Logical Drives
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 Mar 2011   #4
Roderunner

Win7 H.Prem. 32bit+SP1
 
 

The reason I asked was after reading this on another forum.
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IMO, partitioning a single drive is a waste of time for most normal users. I know this position will offend many of the regulars here but by and large they are not "normal" users. For enthusiasts & professionals there is a benefit. For most users, partitioning does nothing but make life more confusing. Back in the "dark ages" of computing (i.e. the 1990's) disk capacity was much smaller than today. It was and still is imperative that you not run out of space on the drive to which the OS is installed. Many people, myself included, added drives or if we were lucky enough to be able to afford a large drive split drives into partitions. These days the norm for OEMs is to install a huge drive of at least 500GB or more. There is little chance that the average user will outgrow the drive before getting a newer system with an even bigger drive. Indeed, if someone does need a new drive they are very cheap. You can get a 1TB drive for <$75 USD. Also, partitioning a drive can mean that you degrade performance if your normal computing load is disk intensive.

As the years have gone by I've concluded that it is not worth my time and effort to partition a single drive. With the very large drives available, I really do not have to worry about fragmenation. It is much easier to backup everything at once and not worry about it. I use Windows Home Server to backup my PCs. I get a full backup of each PC every day. I don't see the benefit to doing incremental backups, backups of system partitions and data partitions separately. I will say that the only twice in all the time I've had a PC (>25 years) have I had to restore my whole system. Once was a disk carsh and once was when I did change a small HD for a larger HD.

I fell it is better for most users to keep it as simple as possible. Do full backups as often as you feel they are needed. Set aside time to occasionally test your backup. This can be scary as you are going to completely restore your system. But it is necessary to know that your boot disk works and your backup procedure (and software) is solid.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2011   #5
Mike Connor

Several, including Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

The only sensible reason for partitioning a drive on a single drive system is to keep your system and data files separate. This also keeps your system images small and your backup and restore times less.

If your restore fails you usually still have your data on the second partition.

You don't have to do this, but it is a sensible thing to do. There is no good reason not to do it.

Regards....Mike Connor
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2011   #6
Roderunner

Win7 H.Prem. 32bit+SP1
 
 

So, from your comments, I'm not as green as I'm cabbage looking. Both my pc's have Win7 Home Prem. and C: drive's are 45gb on single hdd's. D: has what I need instant access to on both, everything is also on 2 external hdd's which never get backed up. C: drives are done using 'One Click' system images by Acronis 2010 when something gets updated or I decide to play with something new.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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