Solved I need help determining \ choosing partition sizes

Acer / Aspire 5742
December 28, 2012 at 06:04:04
Specs: Windows 7 Home Premium, 2.399 GHz / 5814 MB
I am running Win 7 Home Premium on an Acer Aspire laptop. My main hard drive is 600 Gb (581 actual). I have backed up all my data and settings onto an external drive and am preparing to do a fresh install. The laptop is about 18 months old and I have not previously partitioned the drive. I have several considerations in choosing the partition size and would appreciate some input.

Right now I am using the laptop mostly for multimedia editing - video and audio, using mainly Sony Vegas Pro and Soundforge, plus a few other editing \ rendering programs. I have read on a couple of forums that a computer runs best if you don't crowd the hard drive and leave, if possible, about 25% of the drive free. So right now I have 145 Gb of free space. I am assuming that this advice is sound. On another external drive I have about 1.5 Tb of multimedia that I am importing and exporting onto the laptop as I work on projects. Up until now I had created a parent folder on my C drive, as in C:\Projects with about a hundred subfolders. But I started to have several registry related problems and in troubleshooting, the advice from MS community support was to not place folders directly onto the C:\ drive, especially if cutting \ copying \ pasting and deleting between my main and external drive - which I do frequently. They suggested running everything through the Libraries, which is new to me. Sony Vegas's advice is also to not have the program reaching onto the external drive to edit and render which will bog it down. So I import and export data as needed for a project, so that I am working from one folder at a time for a project. So I decided it might be better to just have one partition with my OS and one with the multimedia I am using for current projects.

So questions:
If I follow the 25% free space rule, is it better to have that 25% on the OS \ app partition or on the multimedia partition? Or roughly split between the two?
Following the MS advice, if I run the folders through the libraries and then direct Sony Vegas to the libraries, will it be OK if the library directory is on the OS \ app partition and my project parent folder is on the multimedia partition? I've never previously used the libraries so I'm still green on that.
Of the 435 Gb currently used on my C drive, 355 Gb is multimedia files. So I guess that means about 80 Gb is currently used by my OS and apps. I'm wanting just two partitions, so what size partitions would you suggest I make?

Thanks!


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#1
December 28, 2012 at 07:00:45
Many laptops have a vacant drive bay. If yours does using it is worth considering. It will provide the same data transfer rates as the primary drive rather than the imposed restrictions of usb transfer. Beyond that the math is simple. Just be sure to make allowances for service packs, security updates, etc., etc. on the os partition. And yes, put your empty space allotment on the os partition.

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#2
December 28, 2012 at 16:06:34
✔ Best Answer
"My main hard drive is 600 Gb (581 actual)"

600GB is not a common HDD size. Could it be 640GB (or larger)? Is 600GB just one partition on a multi-partitioned drive?

Read this about partitioning strategy: http://partition.radified.com/


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#3
December 29, 2012 at 07:18:48
Could you get away without partitioning it? If so, that could be your best option. Partitioning it splits the hard drive into parts. The part on the drive's outside runs fastest so if you split it, it makes data on one partition considerably slower. If portability isn't important and you have a fast USB port you can try to store the media on the external. I would recommend using just one partition (unless you want to dual boot). Also did you know, unless you're moving Windows you can repartition without a fresh install.

EDIT:
I find I get frustrated with having more free space in one partition than in another and having to repartition so I would recommend choosing your partition sizes wisely. I find having just the one is good for speed but if you want your hard drive organised maybe partitions will be useful.


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Related Solutions

#4
December 29, 2012 at 08:16:50
"I would recommend using just one partition"

Please read the link in response #2 to learn how wrong your recommendation is & why.


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#5
December 29, 2012 at 11:11:53
Thanks riider, and yes you are correct, it is a 640 Gb HDD.

I read the article and it's very good, very informative. The exact specific details are a little bit outdated but the principles still apply and seem sound. Actually I think I have read that before - "I think" because my memory is not the greatest.

Here's the rub ...

If I ask this question in a Win related forum the gist is that if Sony Vegas is one of my main considerations, then set it up in a way that will optimize Vegas, without conflicting with the Win OS. Asking this question of Vegas users has ... well, as of yet not produced much response.

The advice in the article leans me towards partioning in consideration of taking advantage of the outer/leading/fastest edge in one partiton, potential future re-formats, easier defragging and possibly needing to restore data. That all makes good sense.

So it comes down to how will Vegas - installed in the OS and app partition - react to having to reach into the multimedia storage partiton for the files needed to create and work with each proprietary .veg project file. Will it bog down? I'm already pushing the envelope with my slower machine. I'm not a pro editor, but right now I'm really loving the editing and it's been the funnest thing I do on the computer these days.

I've asked this question in Creative Cows and on blogger forums, but as of yet no response. I also simply can not find info on it in the Vegas help files. Maybe it's there, but I can't find it. And I do remember being told something about this, but I can't remember where, in order to re-check.

Once I'm clearer on this I'll let you know. In the meantime, thanks for the info and your help

One other thing. Roki says the math is simple. Maybe simple and obvious to some, but not me. I'm asking because I don't know. I'm sill wondering about a partion size of the OS \ app side that would be optimal.


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#6
December 30, 2012 at 16:10:28
For an operating system with a reasonable amount of programs, I typically create a 120GB partition for C drive. I currently have nearly half free on the computer I am not typing on, so you probably could go with 100GB and still have some free space, unless you install a lot of large programs to it.
If that leaves you too little for your media files, and your laptop does not have a second drive bay, consider getting a larger FAST hard drive of 1TB to 1.5TB and doing your fresh install to that instead. I like the Western Digital Black series drives for speed and reliability. You can later put the original drive into an external case, or save it for emergency use.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#7
December 31, 2012 at 02:22:11
My desktop computer has 640 GB Western Digital Caviar Black
drives. When I installed Windows 7 I gave it 80 GB, and it shows
up as 78.0 GB. Currently 62.0 GB of that space is free, so the
OS and installed programs are only using about 20% of the
partition. I did move both the paging file and the temporary files
(including Internet files) to their own partitions so that the files
which change frequently wouldn't get mixed in with the OS files.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#8
January 6, 2013 at 00:23:15
Just to close this out ...

I only just got around to doing this as I had other things on the go. I finally got a response on the Sony Vegas question and it was ...

"It is recommended that Vegas' temp folder remains on the C:\ drive, but the footage itself on another drive. This way the hard drive don't have to spin back and forth between locations, as the job will be shared within two drives. I can't recommend USB/Firewire external drives as on some systems the media become "offline" and never wake up (seems to be a Vegas bug). Your mileage may vary."

So I decided to just make two partitions. One 120 GB for the OS and apps and the remainder on another partition for media. I've just tested it out over the last two days, and I can say even with my slower machine, it's never run zippier!

Thx again for the help


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#9
January 6, 2013 at 00:46:54
Just a comment on your OP. The 25% recommendation (actually, I think Microsoft say 20%, but it's not a hard and fast rule) is per partition, not per drive. That way you avoid undue fragmentation and can run defragmentation tools, which require a certain amount of free space.

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#10
January 6, 2013 at 05:28:59
Glad to hear that it is running better. Just note that although the two partitions will be more efficient, the part that Sony mentions about the 'two drives' does not pertain to two partitions since the drive still needs to keep scanning between the two portions on the physical drive. In other words, if you added a second hard drive and kept the media files on its own physical drive, it would be even 'zippier' when using that program. The same pertains to Photoshop and many similar programs that work with very large files, though Photoshop recommends a third drive for their 'scratch disk' (for anyone else out there reading this in the future).

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#11
January 6, 2013 at 15:27:45
Thx Fingers. Yah I did realize that, but I decided that I could only optimize what I have to work with at the moment. My Toshiba doesn't have another drive bay. It's really pushing the limits of this computer to do what I'm doing. It's kind of like getting on a race track with a Toyota Corolla. From a Win \ MS perspective what I've done is better - if I follow their advice right; however from a Vegas perspective I even considered that it may lag Vegas even more as the drive is now seeking on another partition, rather than one partition, or optimally on a 2nd drive as recommended. I never had the media "offline " problem they mention when I attempted to render or work from one folder on a USB. The original problem was that keeping the parent project folder directly in the C:\ path was giving the registry fits (or so the MS community told me) and creating really inconsistent ownership and permission errors.So now by removing that media off the OS \ app partition I will just play with rendering from the other partition, or USB, and see which is actually better from the Vegas perspective; not optimal I know, but better than what I had. Kind of solve one problem and potentially create another, but I figure if the OS can't function properly then I'm dead in the water to begin with. It all really speaks to the need for a new machine as I've just outgrown it's use as a simple laptop. I have my eyes on some new desktops, but budget is tight right now ... xmas and all ... so ultimately that will solve the problem. For now I'm back up and running.

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#12
January 6, 2013 at 16:01:50
You can only do the best you can. Good Luck.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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