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Windows 7: How large should I make the system drive (on 500gb HDD)

26 Sep 2009   #1
jawzforlife

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
How large should I make the system drive (on 500gb HDD)

On my current computer (XP), I have a 500gb HDD, and have two partitions. 30gb for the system drive and 470gb for files. I have ran out of room on my 30gb system drive and I dont even store any files (music, pics, docs, videos, ect) on it.

I'm currently building a computer to do a fresh install of Windows 7 when it comes out. I will be using one new internal 500gb HDD.

What are your suggestions for partition size? Because 30gb is way too small.

It would be nice to actually put my music in the "my music folder", and my pictures in the "my pictures folder", instead of storing them on a separate partition.

Can I use all 500gb as the system drive? If I can, is that a bad idea?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Sep 2009   #2
Antman

 

In and of itself, it is not a bad idea. The consideration, other than drive failure, is what to do when your install of Win7 craps out. How difficult will it be to recover your Users folder.

I would create a 64 GB partition for Windows.

It is WAY to easy to point all of your User files to the second partition.

User Folders - Change Default Location[2]=User Accounts
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Sep 2009   #3
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

The advantages of having more then one drive is the ability to create images of the entire drive and storing them on something other then the OS host drive itself. When creating an images of the 500gb host drive here that run about 95-98gb in size is stored on one of the two 1tb drives used for storage and backups.

Despite everything trying small OS primaries and large second partitions 30gb is quite a bit too small as you found out there. Once you start adding new programs and creating new files as well as downloading updates along with other things that space is simply consumed too fast!

The minimum recommendation for the OS Host/Boot primary is generally good around 100gb in size upto let's say 150gb. The remaining space for light to average use can be set aside for storage and backup for a single drive system.

With the addon usb drive you can easily assign regular scheduled backups there or on a good sized second partition on the host using the external as the main storage device. The second partition on the host can also be smaller for images only running between 200-300gb leaving the other 165gb for the main OS. 500gb size = 465gb usable drive space
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Sep 2009   #4
jawzforlife

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

I do have an external USB/eSATA 500gb HDD exclusively for backups
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Sep 2009   #5
Captngizmo

Win7 Ultimate x86
 
 

I have a 320gb drive and I partitioned my OS drive at 80GB, probably bigger than necessary and I may lower it down to 60. Currently I have 50GB free with all my programs installed.

I'd suggest at least 60 to start with if you want some breathing room. I would also suggest you burn a copy of GParted. It's a great partition editor, I use it all the time to resize my partitions and so far it hasn't let me down.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2009   #6
jawzforlife

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

So you can use GParted after everything the OS is installed (and farther down the road) to adjust the partition sizes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2009   #7
Captngizmo

Win7 Ultimate x86
 
 

Yes, that's what I do. Of course I always make sure I have a backup first but thus far it hasn't let me down. I used to use Partition Magic, but installing a program I rarely use didn't make sense so I started using GParted and haven't looked back since.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2009   #8
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

When first going to see how well the Windows Easy Transfer worked in 7 I simply set up a test install on a spare drive and restored the backup made from the present host install on the external installed internal in no time.

That even saw the wallpapers assigned with the DisplayFusion program appear right after beginning the restoration process as well as the remaining files and folders. Channel 9 at MSDN goes into that in a video short labeled The Complete Guide to Windows Easy Transfer seen at The Complete Guide to Windows Easy Transfer | NicFill | Channel 9

GParted live can even copy entire partitions in order to avoid data loss but still will take a bit of time for that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2009   #9
jawzforlife

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

So I should be ok starting out @ 80gb for my system drive/partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2009   #10
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

It actually depends on how much you plan to be running. When the 7 beta builds were first available I first attemped the 40gb start off and ended up being too confined in order to load on just about anything and everything to see what would run.

Subsequenntly I ended up shrinking the XP/Vista dual boot primaries on the same pair of drives down to expand the two 7s out to 100gb there.

Once the RCs were available it was time to run full speed on 7 seeing large single primaries with XP being removed and Vista on the VPC! The 32bit RC ended up replacing Vista on the same vhd which was set to expandable.

The difference here of course is simply having 5 sata drives installed two being 1tb in size! I have quite a bit more drive space to work with. But even with a 465 single primary for the host install here I'm now down to about 65gb of free space left! It never hurts to allow some extra space.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How large should I make the system drive (on 500gb HDD)




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