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Windows 7: Partition types ?

08 Mar 2016   #1

XP Pro (x86) | 7 HP (x86) & (x64) | 7 Pro (x64)
Partition types ?

I have just shrunk the C: partition (with bootable MiniTools) on my new Lenovo from 400+ GB to 100 GB ...

Partition types ?-disk_management.png

My experience and knowledge of partition types is minimal other than ... max 4 primary partions on any HDD

I would like to create these new partitions . . .
  1. a virtual drive Win-7 for testing
    Using imaging to simplify a "clean-up" as neccessary
  2. downloads partition, accessible from C:
    there is no point in defragging downloads, I defrag my systems monthly on all my 2 and 3 drive rigs and laptops (latter are original factory setups)
    Defragging has been optimized for System at the expense of apps and some data files (majority of data is saved on an external HDD)
  3. portable apps accessible from C:
    If C: is corrupted and replaced with an image, atleast portable-apps (including scripts) are not affected
  4. Linux for browsing and email ... not dual boot
    I would appreciate experienced advice especially on this one too
I am vascilating between an imaged virtual-drive or Sand Boxxie for . . .
  1. testing in Windows
  2. Linux for browsing and email
I do not want to be logging off and on between Win-7 and Linux, so maybe Sand Boxxie is a solution ?
- I think(?) dual booting limits one OS to be running at any time ?
All this attempted "organisation" is the result of my ignorance and neglect, over 25 years.
Previously when a PC became unstable the only fix was a clean install and the painful process of setting up ... AGAIN!
For about 18 months I have followed several imaging "posts" in this forum (whs and others).
. . . my 800+ posts count represents 99% questions

Q1: What format/type should each partition be ?
As a partions/virtual drives/Sand Boxxie noob I would appreciate any help, thank you :)

Intel i5 | 500GB HDD | 4GB RAM | 2x USB3 | 1x USB2
Win-7 PRO 64-bit
Sent from my ancient 2012 ailing Toshiba, with broken email and moody browser

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Mar 2016   #2
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

On any disk you need only 1 primary partition and that is the active partition (provided you want to boot from this disk). All other partitions can be logical partitions. A maximum of 4 primary partitions is for MBR disks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Mar 2016   #3

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM

I use VMware to run Virtual Machines (VM) using Win 7 x64 as the Host OS.
I've run various Linux distros, Win 8.1, and Win 10 as a VM without problems.
For me a VM performs much better if it is stored on a SSD rather than a spinner HD.
With VMware a virtual machine is just a folder on the Host OS.
It can be backed up using a simple copy, no need for imaging it.

I use a lot of Portable Apps and have them in a separate partition (not C), so they are not affected when i restore a C (Windows) backup image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Mar 2016   #4
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Same here. And my VMs are also on an SSD - but external attached via USB3. That is really fast. I made the test with a VM on the internal SSD. There was barely any performance difference.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2016   #5

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit Build 7600 / Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP3

For the partitions question, modern OSes, like Windows Vista+ or Linux don't need primary partitions to be installed, if you have only one, that is active (bootable), the rest can be extended/logical partitions.
So, for that question in particular, you don't need any more primary partitions, just one extended partition that can hold as many logical partitions as you may need (theorical limit for those are... 128 partitions or am I confused with GPT disks?)

Funny data about this, as slow as I am, I just discovered that the System Reserved partition Windows creates has this effect, as long as it exists, is active and holds boot files, Windows can be installed on a logical partition with no issues, so you can live with only one primary partition and have more than 4 copies of windows multi-booting...

Yes, I'm slow.

For VM's, unless you want to store them on another partition in case you need to clean install without backing up (aka, FerchogtX the lazy), you don't really need another partition, those can be stored anywere, even external drives, as @whs says.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Partition types ?

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