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Windows 7: What's the point of a partition?

06 Apr 2010   #1
Valor D

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 
What's the point of a partition?

I bought a new DELL laptop with Win 7, I-3 Processor, 4 GB RAM and 288 GB of memory. I soon discovered that there was some stupid "partition" separating my harddrive into 2 parts. The part where the O.S. and all the programs and everything I saved to had only about 50 GB of memory on it. The other part, which just sat there doing nothing at all, had the majority of the memory, 238 GB. My question is, what the hell were they thinking when they did this? Why would there be a partition to begin with? Ok, I know the operative answer. It's to protect and backup your data in case a virus gets in. But, isn't that what data/backup disks are for? Dell pcs come with a backup Win 7 disk in case u need to reinstall, therefore it's pointless. Also, why the hell would the O.S. and all the memory be saving to the smaller half of the harddrive, while the majority of your data space is isolated and unusable? Seems like they did that totally backwards! Within the first week after I'd bought my new laptop, the speed and performance had slowed down in the extreme, because most of the 50 GB of available memory was already full. Therefore, I took it to the Geeksquad, and had them remove that stupid partition. Thus, problem solved. My harddrive space is now 288 GB, and moving with the speed that a new computer should.


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06 Apr 2010   #2
tapuz

windows 8.1 pro
 
 

if i were you i would have taken two different approaches, 1 - asked here how two remove a partition, it is pretty simple. 2 - which is really the first option, got in touch with dell, and asked them what happened, their service is great, and right on the ball, they have a great chat service.
hard to believe they would mess up so badly. maybe there is a installed program that it's necessary to have the above partition setup.
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06 Apr 2010   #3
Bill2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

Partitioning strategy is largely a matter of personal preference but some caveats apply.

1) A hard drive ith multiple partitions lowers your drive's access time, providing you with a more responsive system. If you create a partition at the outer edge of your drive (the first one, say C: ), and install your OS and apps there, while using the inner for storing data files that don't require that frequent access, you'll restrict your drive's seeks to the fastest part of the drive. OTOH, If you install your OS on a single, large partition, over a period of time, system & program files may end up at the far end of the drive. When this happens, system and program files will take longer to access, and result in a less responsive system.

2) Multiple partitions allow you to save your data files if you need to reformat your system. Right now, you have a single large partition and you say you'll use the disks you got to reinstall. Now, when you reinstall, all your data which you may have spent hours and hours working over will be lost. UNLESS you back it all up to external media first.

3) Multiple partitions allows you to defrag only those partitions that need defragging. This saves wear and tear on your drive. Defragging a 50 gb partition would also take much less time than a 320 gb one esp. if you move around your data or delete and reinstall frequently.

By the way, memory and hard drive space are 2 different things, you need to be careful what exactly you are referring to.
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06 Apr 2010   #4
Lee

Win 7 Pro x64, VM Win XP, Win7 Pro Sandbox, Kubuntu 11
 
 

Bill2,

Very well put and written. Hopefully the OP will read and learn the importance of how to work with a HDD.
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06 Apr 2010   #5
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello Valor D, welcome to Seven Forums!




Hopefully the partition that you had the "Geeksquad" remove was not the only option you had to use the "Factory Recovery" program to recover your PC in case of failure as some manufactures only send you a disk to access the recovery partition and now you won't have that available to you.
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06 Apr 2010   #6
mitchell65

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

I have just checked my new Dell desktop which I assume is set up similar to a laptop regarding the partitions. One partition is the OEM, one is the Recovery and one is the remainder of the DD space for everything else. Seems perfectly logical to me. I have the Win 7 disc for re-installing if required but the recovery section would be tried before a new install surely. If any one of those partitions is removed then I think Valor D could be in trouble in the future. I would have checked with Dell first, especially as it is a new machine and presumably still under a service agreement.
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06 Apr 2010   #7
Valor D

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 
Re:

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mitchell65 View Post
I have just checked my new Dell desktop which I assume is set up similar to a laptop regarding the partitions. One partition is the OEM, one is the Recovery and one is the remainder of the DD space for everything else. Seems perfectly logical to me. I have the Win 7 disc for re-installing if required but the recovery section would be tried before a new install surely. If any one of those partitions is removed then I think Valor D could be in trouble in the future. I would have checked with Dell first, especially as it is a new machine and presumably still under a service agreement.
Yeah, the new concept of having 3/4 of your harddrive reserved for "recovery" is seriously stupid, in my opinion. As I said, I have the Windows 7 reinstall disk, and any other data I have saved on backup disks. I did discuss this problem with the Geeksquad prior to the final decision of removing the partition, yes, of course. They agreed that this setup was a seriously stupid one on DELL's part, and we discussed a few different options; most of them were overly complicated and not very good solutions. This seemed to be the best one.
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06 Apr 2010   #8
mitchell65

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

The only Geeksquad I know of in the UK is supported by the Carphone Warehouse who own that brilliant ISP "Talk Talk". I need say no more
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06 Apr 2010   #9
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello Mitchell.



Here in the US it is a part of a big brick and mortar store chain, but I wouldn't put much stock in their advise as most of them are, shall we say, not very knowledgeable.
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06 Apr 2010   #10
CommonTater

XP Pro SP3 X86 / Win7 Pro X86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Valor D View Post
Yeah, the new concept of having 3/4 of your harddrive reserved for "recovery" is seriously stupid, in my opinion. As I said, I have the Windows 7 reinstall disk, and any other data I have saved on backup disks. I did discuss this problem with the Geeksquad prior to the final decision of removing the partition, yes, of course. They agreed that this setup was a seriously stupid one on DELL's part, and we discussed a few different options; most of them were overly complicated and not very good solutions. This seemed to be the best one.
By way of agreeing with Bill2...

I always partition my drives... My main workstation looks like this...

What's the point of a partition?-capture.jpg


The reason for this is that should anything happen in the system drive, the chances of my Data and Archive drives being affected is quite low. But you need a way to conveniently access these drives...

The Archive drive is simple... I just made a desktop link for it and manage the files there manually.

The Data drive is a wee bit more complicated. What I did there was to make the folders I needed (Music, Video, Pictures, Electronics, Programming, etc.) and then I relocated the "My Whatever" folders from my user account to the data drive...

What's the point of a partition?-capture2.jpg

Next I Dragged my username out of the start menu and onto the desktop, which creates a shortcut to my home folder. In that folder I also created extra shortcuts to the various folders that were not "My Whatever" and I use my home folder as a launch point for the entire system....

What's the point of a partition?-capture3.jpg

The joy of this is, as Bill2 points out, that you have a very easily managed system, with tons of space available and far easier maintenance. I use an external HDD to backup my files with Robocopy, which only copies changed files. My Projects disk is changing all the time as I work on this and that... The archive disk almost never changes except to add new stuff to it. Backup and defrag are something of a non-event on a system like this.

It is entirely likely that Dell (etc) provided you with a system that supports this kind of file strategy but could not fully implement it at the factory because they didn't know what username you would add to the system...

In any event it is a darned good idea to keep your OS, changing data and static data separate...


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 What's the point of a partition?




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