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Windows 7: Partitioning: Knowledge and Insights

15 Jun 2011   #11

windows 7 pro


- BIOS loads MBR from first physical hard drive.
- MBR reads partition table on the same hard drive as the MBR.
- MBR looks for a primary partition marked as active. If no primary
partition is marked active, boot stops with error.
- MBR loads the boot sector from the active primary partition.
- Boot sector (program) loads the rest of the OS starter files (the
program in the boot sector may itself be an OS starter file). This is
when the OS starts to load.
so whre does grub (gnu grand unifid bootloader) fit into that? Is grub Boot sector that loads the OS?

What's the windows and macos version of grub? (GUID or something?)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jun 2011   #12

windows 7 pro

BIOS is rom built into mobo, correct?

So is bios the only thing that cant' be changed (MBR, boot sector, and active partition) can technically all be cahnged andor customized?

Are those three thigns (mbr, boot sector, active partition) all located/identified on HD (whereas BIOS is located on actual mobo)?? thanks!!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jun 2011   #13

windows 7 pro
External Hard Drive Partitioning

Okay, Here's what I'm planning to do. If anyone has any insights pros/cons incompatibilities or unforeseen consequences (hehe hl), please share.

300 - NTFS, primary, truecrypted partition
200 - NTFS, misc files, mainly read-only
100 - ext4, primary, for optional linux install
300 - NTFS, misc files, unplanned usage (just open space)

have thought/tweaked/researched about it A LOT. Seems pretty good to me. the main thing used will be the 300 first partition, so it doesn't make to put any other partition first other than that one. The linux install is unplanned (just so I have the option). I've partitioned a lot of drives but have never been so planned in doing so (and have learned as much about partitionign with as much insights from forums) so I really look forward to doing this right! (only reason making big deal of it is speed of transfer, takes like 6 hours to transfer data and half or similar amount of time to encrypt etc. this is definitely taking shap!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Jun 2011   #14

windows 7 pro

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
You seem eager to ambiguously recommend a lot of things without good reasons or information (like what? I'm supposed to heed your recommendation when you have no signs of expertise other than many many posts in this forum?) in such a way that my only reaction is to flippantly disregard your recommendations (no offense).

Other than a few postings on this forum I have been working with computers since 1958 and participated in the development of many operating systems. I do not think I need to explain each recommendation in great detail. But if you think you know better, do it your way - why do you ask us for advice if all you do is end up is being rude.

OKay, I'm pretty clear of you agenda, now, whs, thanks for clarifying that.

Mentioning the amount of time you've been working with computers implies that you'r eeager to prove your expertise. When what we're discussing (partitioning or not is a preference). Your agenda, proven by your 10,000+ posts and how your so eager to come across as a 50-year-computer expert, is simply to feed your ego. There's two types of people who post extensively on forums. Those who like helping others and those who like feedign his/her ego. You're obviously the latter. DW though, there's tons of people like that and I've just learned identifying them saves me a headache later on!

As for partitioning...I in absolutely no way consider your advice fitting to mysituation. It may be moderately sound, but havign 50 years of computer expertise will not modify my preference (and additionally, what's basically happened is you're committing argumentum ad hominem - appealing to authority with 50 years experience).

i've presented valid and logical reasons why multiple partitions is much superior to "folders" (backups are easier, instaling OS takes 30 minutes instead of many years because just the OS partition can be reinstalled and other reasons) and YOUR response is "Oh well...umm...i'm right because I have 50 years experience). What a pathetic argument/response.

I just talked with someone on another forum who has 16 partitions, while that's a bit extensive I plan to have (and am designing 4 external and 4-7 internal)

Wait, jsj633,

You have 16 partitions?!!

haha That's AWESOME.

however, a part of me thinks you may have done that "just to have multiple partitons" (a great thing) instead of efficient usage of paritions. like some of your partitions seem unnecesary.

I think my partitioning scheme will invovle 4-7 internal partitiosn and 4-5 external partions (which is 8-12) still a lot, but if I really plan out their usage, should be awesome and saves headache on backups and reinstalling oses!

Also, the argument "I've been working on computers for 50 years therefore I have better insights" is not very indicative of expertise because computers have changed so much in the past 20 years. Do I care what work you did on ENIAC-style computers? Certainly not. I'm interested in not a history lesson, but properly planning my advanced and extremely well-thought out partitioning scheme, wiht proper

filesystems, encryption, partitioning sequence, and usage

all while admitting I'm NOT an expert on that and getting nifty tidbits from sites and forums.

And I'm accomplishing that.

you, specifically, give advice to feed your ego.

I ask for advice to get insights. Discovering someoen who planned out 16 partitiosn of 3tbs of data was the most important discovery I've made! Good thread that was!

And paritioning 4-10 partitiosn or having ONE partition is not BETTER than the other, it's entirely personal preference.

Basically is
1. I'm insulted you attempted to reason a preference by appealing to "expertise" (that's insulting becaue it implies someone would just do it your way simply because of expertise instead of understanding)
2. partitioning or folders is not better than the other, it's just a preference and one on which we strongly disagree (you haven't supported your, what I consider, folder-only usage) and I've given many reasons for the benefits of partitions.
3. this thread isn't even ABOUT arguing partitiosn or folders, I'm seeking insights on properly planning my folder usage.

I loathe most baby-boomers, fyi.

I've been working with computers for 23 years and don't recall ever having needed to tell that to people because I never appeal to expertise especially not with something as (truly dismissive) as "how long youv'e worked with something (that indicates some degree of expertise, but their are certainly better forms).

I find your advice utterly useless. Don't irrationally blur that to me not acccepting all advice. Bill2's insights on hard drive usage was something I NEVER considered before and were EXTEREMELY helpful (access time and read/write speed) and I want to learn about that. Additionally a person on another forum was incredibly helpful.

So don't generalize, it's just your advice, whs, that I found pathetically useless (no offense at all, just preference). DW either, most old people are usually offended when people don't think their advice is valuable (and considering we see totally different on the need for partitions, and that their are some very smart computer scientists, who favor partitions, why wouldn't I just interact with them for this project? I should, and that's what I 've done.) I've wated enough of my life heeding and following "advice from elders" simply because of that uttelry useless maxim "follow advice of your elders" and it led to many many a dead-end! Connect with people who are more knowledgeable and not ****ers and who have done what you're trying to do (multiple partitions) is better advice (that I have and will and do follow)

So thanks again.

I'll likely blog this but have partitioned the 1TB external into the 4 partitions, 2 file systems, one of which is encrypted, and a partridge in a pear tree (encrypting now).

Good times. I plan to read up more on access time and read/write speed and more nuances of accessing sectors on hard drives.

okay this got rambly. Thanks again, bill2 for that hd knowledge!

excerpt from another thread (that really helped solidify multiple partitions) the responder used too many, imho, but hearing about them ,validated me using 4-7 internal and 4 external. jolly good!

The purpose of sharing thi "other thread" excerpt (on the exact same project; i'm smart, I don't get insights all from same location) is merely to show that I'm not trolling and to not misconstrue my distaste for advice I consider useless and ego-driven as trolling.
HAHAHA I just envisonted how IMPOSSIBLE (and therefore ridicuous and fail) setting up the separation of program files the way I want would be on apple (their OS is locked down and fail. can't stand it) anyways. even if it were possible. not interested. only interested in win7 and linux_ubuntu

3. About Linux: I would not recommend running Linux inside a VM, that will be a pain the ass to mount the drives all the time to get at your windows files. I am currently running Linux as a dual boot. If you go into the "My Computer" equivalent, which is just Computer (sorry to point that out as I am sure you know it from already using Linux), all of your HDD partitions will be there. Some of the names may default to a generic term (I have 137GB HDD for a couple of mine) but they will all be there and be accessible to you. Obviously some of the windows files in them won't be useable in Linux but you will be able to see and find anything.
Thank you!! I thought that was absolutely absurd and ridiculous for many many reasons:
I prefer linux to win7 so emulating my preferred OS would be just, simply, dumb and stupid and inefficient. As far as I'm concerned, linux is more of a "core" os than win (And unfathomably more "core" than mac os) so emulating it is just preposterously wrong, imho.

Wow, your boot setup and partitions sounds similar in some ways to the setup I will have on my own rig (but different in some ways). Mainly, thanks for finding and responding to this thread!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Some of the windows files won't be useable.....THAT's where emulation can come in with wine haha. (which often doesn't work, but w/e).

Quote :

4. As you did, I thought out a partitioning scheme ahead of time for my computer. I am sure that some will say that it is a bit overkill for what is actually needed and in fact it probably does do some things that could be similarly done with folders. But when you get down to it partitioning is someone's own way of organising. So ultimately what you want to do comes down to your personal preference. That being said I think that you have put some good thought into your partitioning scheme and have come to some good conclusions.

EXCELLENT!!!! okay totally adding "as friend" if can do that (not sure if can but w/e haha) Yeah I've had data on (roughly calculating all computers and laptops...) well over one-two dozen hard drives (externals, internals etc) and I ALWAYS was like "wow that partition setup would be nice, but it was such a headache to reinstall os and everything. Well I finally took 1-2 weeks (off and on) to fully map out external hard drive partitioning (internal hrad drive partitioning will be even more useful/complex,intricate/customized!)

I'm so glad you shared your partitions because I KNOW I want at least
OS win
OS lin
int files
ext files
prog files win
possibly prog files linux
scratch disk

at least 7 partitions well at the very least the first 4 for sure. but most people don't plan and aren't as intelligent?/positively meticulous/forward-thinking/not sure most people ()like I did) just dump data on drives, when partitioning saves so much time and peace of mind (with reinstallations and keeping certain data separate and the like)

but seeing all your partitions REALLY helped validate my 4-7 internal (and 4 external) . I for example have a dropbox folder (which acn never be more than 100gb) and was storing that with other files,but realized a separate (encrypted) parition for it of exactly 100gb would be prob better. I may set that up next time I partition external (or internal)!

That being said I think that you have put some good thought into your partitioning scheme and have come to some good conclusions.

Thanks for the encouragement and acknowledgement!! I know I'll enjoy accessing reading/writing to and from my data (now categorically partitioned and appropriately partitioned) with a lot more grace and peace and efficiency, knowing that I've devised a possibly elegant, at the very least, "well-thought out " and planned partitioning scheme!

Quote :

So instead of trying to explain to you how I partitioned my system I will just show you. I put quite some time into this before hand because it is always easier to do ahead of time than try and change partitions afterwards. I have had my computer for a bit more than 6 months now so I can see some of these partitions getting resized.
-Windows may get a bit more space for updates (especially SP2)
-Programs will probably lose some space simply because I have more than I need and after 6 months there are not a lot of new programs that I am installing. I have 100 + programs that I have already installed and can't even see myself doubling that any time soon.

Total size of hard disk(s) 3304 GB

Windows (C)------------5 GB Free (40 GB Total)
Encrypted (E)-----------132 GB Free (176 GB Total)
Fast Files (F)------------28 GB Free (146 GB Total)
My Backups (G)--------129 GB Free (205 GB Total)
My Music (I)-------------115 GB Free (322 GB Total)
Programs_0 (J)---------166 GB Free (176 GB Total)
Programs_1 (K)--------230 GB Free (264 GB Total)
My Downloads (L)-----71 GB Free (117 GB Total)
My Documents (M)----141 GB Free (264 GB Total)
Backup_1 (N)-----------183 GB Free (283 GB Total)
My Pictures (O)---------93 GB Free (117 GB Total)
Paging (P)---------------7 GB Free (12 GB Total)
Backup_2 (R)-----------124 GB Free (283 GB Total)
School Files (S)--------141 GB Free (146 GB Total)
Backup_3 (T)-----------114 GB Free (283 GB Total)
My Videos (V)-----------225 GB Free (469 GB Total)

OKay first off, Your paritions are FRICKIN AWESOME!! I thought I was getting hitech with 4. AHAH!!

how many drives does that span. OMG that's frickin 'so awesome!!!!!!!!! Wow.

One thing I like doing is calculating exact numbers like
300 gigs is really 307200 mb (1024*300) for solid numbers ( a personal prefernce)

WOW you totally opened awesome doors to the type of partitioning I wnat to do!1

Do you ahve problems with all those partitions? Someone else was recommending using folders. I've USED folders and can't stand them. This way can reinstall OS or whatever without other data effected.

You REALLY have all those partitons HAAH THat's awesome1!!!

For my external (my internal may have around half as many partitions as you do) I've got

300gb (exactly, 307200 mb) internals (incrypted) all my internal files, vids, photos, docs, and main core files
200gb (externals) all exteranl vids and files (like master and commander flick or MIT open courseware computer class and whatever) stuff that I could reacquire if lost
300gb (random stuff not yet determined)
100gb (proposed linu parition)

OKAY that's internal

but I AM wnating to proplery setup internal partitiongin.

That's SOOOOOO helpful knowing exact size needed for JUST windows OS. (50gb max prob) is that for win7?

Bottomline (as you said it): I put quite some time into this before hand because it is always easier to do ahead of time than try and change partitions afterwards.

that's EXACTLY what I've done.

You do realize I'm doing
external partitioning of 1tb (current project, almost complete, actually is complete thanks to variety of forums, and planning and mapping out and whiteboard lol)

internal paritition of future hard drives (for rig not yet built)

I would go with larger partitions because it's much better to have more space than too little space (not enough space results in having to redo partitioning scheme) too much space is often reassuring and relaxing and more elegant in my humble geeky opinion.

anyway, thanks for annihilating the notion of 4 or more partitions is too excessive. You may have some unnecessary partitions but I like seeing someone else who has put that much time into proper hard drive usage/partitioning. awesome!

you don't have to answer these as you've been helpful enough but just random questions thoughts.

Windows (C)------------5 GB Free (40 GB Total)
awesome, I would make this on mine 100gb (yes it's too big, but then never have to worry about running out of space)
Encrypted (E)-----------132 GB Free (176 GB Total)
encryption ftw!
Fast Files (F)------------28 GB Free (146 GB Total)
what's this? like a scratch disk? is this like SSD or something? are they acessed more frequently?
My Backups (G)--------129 GB Free (205 GB Total)
My backup is the 300gb and 200gb of the external 1tb. you don't have that much backup space for 3TB!
My Music (I)-------------115 GB Free (322 GB Total)
wow. that's a lot of tunes 200gb+. I was just looking through mine and I've got a condensed 38gb set of artists, soundtracks, (most of those two categories are rubbish) but then Voice (audio books and spoken) and Calssical which I like. I want to whittle down my "amext" (audio media external) I call it because it indicates the media type AND it's source (it's external stuff). I greatly prefer my own naming schemes like amext to "My Music" (which is atrocious naming for cross-filesystems (probs with case-sensitivity and spaces) So i've put enormous thought into proper naming of files/partitions/folders (any good computer scientst does) to ensure cross-filesystem compatibility and that the names indicate purpose and/or contents . I may get into OS design (or sort of already am in a sense lol, on abasic level in some areas)
Programs_0 (J)---------166 GB Free (176 GB Total)
definitely something I want to setup. How did you do that with registry?
Programs_1 (K)--------230 GB Free (264 GB Total)

My Downloads (L)-----71 GB Free (117 GB Total)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2011   #15

windows 7 pro

Additionally, my past, present, and most certainly future is with computers (possibly data management) so learning all that I can about the nuances of disks and partitions (usually more so in correlation with software just raw disk hardware mechanics) is valauble.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2011   #16

windows 7 pro

Just wanted to say "thanks again" to all who had helpful knowledge.

Have successfully partitioned (with some good and useful CLI labelling practice and in gnu/linux) the external hard drive into

1TB300i, ntfs, encryped (encrypting)
1TB200e, ntfs
1TB300r, ntfs
1TB100l, ext4

I like that current scheme and sequence. May likely get more knowledge/insights when I do internal partitioning and/or possibly redesign that partitioning scheme.

I access the first partition the most which makes it ideal for access time (which bill2) mentioned.

also, whs, I've found that most people who post "psuedo-advice" to feed their ego, most often misinterpret someone disliking that pseudo-advice as rudeness. Thus, you're matching up quite exactly to what I (corrently) percieved your agenda to be! cheers!

Anyways, thanks for who helped (I mainly got a lot of invaluable information from truecrypt site and a few blogs and other threads, forums, too).

I'll definitely be getting more insights and learning for efficient internal partitioning (likely 3 oses, definitely 2 minimum).
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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