|I disagree with the above. |
IMO, partitioning makes backing up your files much more manageable.
You do know that when using hard drives it isn't "if your hard drive fails but rather When your hard drive fails. If you run it long enough it will fail. Before that happens you may get a virus or have some other issue with your OS that could prevent you from accessing your boot partition.
By partitioning and them imaging your partitions you can always maintain current backups in minimal time.
I will explain. If you create a relitively small partition for your OS and a few key programs it will only be maybe 10GB of data. You can image that in a short time.
Then you install your programs on a different partition.
Data files like pictures and music go on yet another partition.
Each of these partitions require imaging at different intervals. Your OS partition will be the most frequent and the programs will require much less frequent imaging because they don't change much.
Data doesn't need to be imaged at all. Just needs a straight backup somewhere. Those are permanent files that are not keyed to the OS.
Now, lets say you have 10GB of data on your boot C drive partition and you have 25GB of program files. Now, your OS has gotten a virus that you can't clean. You restore a 10GB image to the c partition and all your programs on the D partition will work without restoring or re-installing.
Without the TWO partitions you would need to restore a 25GB image of all those files. That means 2 1/2 times as long each time you make substantial changes to your OS.
IMO, the best media to image/backup to is optical media. Once you burn the disk and store it safely away it should be good for many years. You can also make duplicates or even more fast and cheap.
I could go on further but you should get the idea. Go to Radified.com and look at partitioning strategies.