Does partitions really matter?

January 13, 2009 at 00:47:40
Specs: Windows XP, ???
I am setting up partitions for my Dell laptop for Windows
XP. I've been reading a lot about them and I was just
going to do one partition (C) and put all of the memory on
that partition and install XP on just one. Is that smart to
do or should I be making more then one partition?

I only use this laptop for leisure. (Music, surfing the net,
watching videos, uploading pics) I don't know if that
matters when choosing what to do with the partitions.

Any advice is appreciated!

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January 13, 2009 at 01:10:04
Memory is not stored on hard drives, DATA is ie Binary Code.

Yes it is a good idea to keep the O/S on a seperate partition from anything you wish to save.

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January 13, 2009 at 01:14:43
lpbsugar, think of a partition as a drive. When you access one for data retrieval, it has to read the partition to be sure nothing was missed. If the partition is huge, it takes longer to read. That only becomes a problem when you're dealing with a large HD. Sorta depends on size whether you need partitions. Maybe you need 'C' to be pretty big for general use and smaller partitions for music storage, etc. So long as your playback proggie knows where to look for data, doesn't matter.
Think of partitions as separate files within a file cabinet. So long as your machine knows where to look, it doesn't care.
You only need the OS on 1 partition and then you can 'read' data from others as needed.
Ed in Texas.

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January 13, 2009 at 01:20:27
So I should put OS on partition 1 (i.e. C) and then other data
on a separate partition or partitions (i.e. D,E...etc.)?

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Related Solutions

January 13, 2009 at 01:34:01

Echoing the above post:

RAM (Random Access Memory) or memory as often referred to is actually little the little sticks of black chips on plug-in boards.

The hard-drive is a much larger and obviously heavier device - and very clearly so...

When you boot up a PC RAM is used as a temporary storage area - as/when required. And when you power down a PC any infomation (whatever it is) in RAM is lost.

And any data (information - be it the operating system, applications etc, or actual personal etc. data) stored on a hard-drive is still there (unless something has gone seriously amiss with it).

RAM is a bit like a temporary workspace within the PC; and when you finish using the PC anything there gets cleaned out/flushed away as it were...

Generally wiser/safer to have at least two partitions on a hard-drive; regardless of intended use of the PC...

Primary (the first partition) on the drive is where you would put operating system, applications/utilities etc.; and the Extended partition is where you would put data (personal files/information etc...).

If you're not sure about how to set up (configure) the drive to have two partitions - Primary and Extended) post back and folks here will advise etc. There are also some excellent guides on how to do it - out there (Scully)...

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January 13, 2009 at 03:59:55
There are many reasons to use multiple partitions.

IMHO the best reason is that separating different classes of files can make it much easier to maintain a current backup set of all files on your computer.

You don't want to know how many folks come here every week wanting to know how to recover their important files.

You should keep at least TWO copies of ANY files that are of any importance to you.

Now, to the partitions. If you have a separate partition for the operating system and you create a backup image of that partition you can restore that partition without having to restore or re-install any of the other data, prgrams, etc., on the computer.

That in itself should be reason enough to have at least TWO partitions.

To carry the same thought forward you probably don't add programs very often so that partition won't have constant changes. Imaging that partition would make it easier to restore in the event it should be necessary.

Now, the stuff that does change alot are your personal files. You pay cash to download a song and your computer crashes. There goes your song. If you have at least three partitions then you can image them at different intervals and still keep up to date backups.

This is in addition to the other advantages mentioned above.

Now to the practical side of things. Laptops come with the OS and usually a set of programs pre-installed. This can make it more difficult to setup the drive as I described above.

I don't use OEM computers so I don't have much experience with the different methods employed to load and restore the data on the drive. I am pretty sure you can still do what I described above with your system.

Look at the link below for some partitioning strategies.

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January 13, 2009 at 06:59:13
OtH covered it pretty well.

I have one comment to add concerning this though: "You should keep at least TWO copies of ANY files that are of any importance to you."

It's all well & good to have backups on a different partition, but if the HDD dies, you're out of luck. Make sure one of those backup copies is on a 2nd HDD (internal or external), or a thumbdrive, or burned to disc.

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January 13, 2009 at 07:13:56
jam is correct. I normally push optical media. For some reason I neglected to mention it this time. There are many different things that can happen to your computer. Best to have copies totally separate from the computer.

The more important the data the more hoops you jump through. Off site storage of a third or fourth copy covers pretty much any contingency. Theft, fire, etc. That is where optical media shines. It is relatively cheap and easy to make 2 or 3 copies of a disk, once you have the first built.

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January 13, 2009 at 08:33:45
That really helps! Thanks so much for everyone's posts. I am going to set up two separate partitions for sure. I also read when typing in the size of partition 1 (for OS and applications) it should be 11000. Then I'll put the rest on a separate partition?

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January 13, 2009 at 10:01:01
Echo the optical storage advice; but trust not totally memory stick(s) yet. They have been known to fail and also are easily "lost"... They also have a limited number of (re)formats and rewrites allowed (from wot I have red) - and thus one day may let you down...; but it is a large number nonetheless.

They are really more useful for transporting data etc; and also short term - not too critical use...?

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