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atomicnewbie

What is the advantage of having more than one partition?

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It has advantages when it comes to data management and flexibility of data.

 

Take this scenario for example:

C: is partitioned to use X amount of your HDD, here you install your operating system (asuming Windows) and all applications

D: is partitioned to use the rest of your HDD, all the rest of your data is stored here... music, videos, pictures etc.

 

This makes it easier if you ever have to reinstall Windows as your data doesn't exist on the same partition as your OS, so you can blow away your C: partition without worrying about your data on D: (except PST files and other app data stored in Users).

 

That's just one simple example. There are other reasons, but it largely depends on what kind of user you are as to their benefits to you.

 

I'm sure there's quite a bit of info on Google if you're still interested.

Edited by lew~

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^^ or even keep your PST, My Docs etc. of the D drive so you don't even have to back them up

 

(until you do it properly and put it on an external HDD once a week incase the internal HDD dies.....)

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^^ or even keep your PST, My Docs etc. of the D drive so you don't even have to back them up

 

(until you do it properly and put it on an external HDD once a week incase the internal HDD dies.....)

Yeah, I guess I decided to include it because it can be a real gotcha. Not just PSTs but all the other application configuration files that reside in the Docs and Settings dir (on XP).

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you can reduce fragmentation and potentally have a minor speed imrpovement too

 

but i mainly use it for declutter, have drive letters instead of folders for everything

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Reduce fragmentation maybe, dunno about speed improvement. If I was using Windows Vista with one hard drive I would just have one partition. Vista seems to be able to install onto a drive without formatting it first. Moving data from one folder to another on the one partition is going to be a lot faster than doing it from one partition to another AFAIK, especially if those partitions are on the same hard drive.

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Reduce fragmentation maybe, dunno about speed improvement. If I was using Windows Vista with one hard drive I would just have one partition. Vista seems to be able to install onto a drive without formatting it first. Moving data from one folder to another on the one partition is going to be a lot faster than doing it from one partition to another AFAIK, especially if those partitions are on the same hard drive.

 

i say speed improvement because artitions are set allocations of space on each disk, if you had a small first partition with windows installed on it then all the windows file (and swap unless you move it) will be on the outer edges of the platter which is the fastest area of a hard disk. The things you don't need fast access to (ie music, pictures movies) you can have on the last partition forcing the files to the inner (slow) parts of the disk so the faster parts are availible to other files

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here's a dilemma

 

I have a copy of photoshop 6, which needs a scratch disk, a scratch disk can't be set to the system disk, or a disk with a page file.

 

I have two [sATA] hard drives, the first is obviously the system disk, but I can't recall changing the page file to the second disk, so i can only assume that Vista did that automatically.

 

Of course, this is the best setup for performance, but it sure upsets Photoshop, maybe I DO need a partition on the second drive, though I don't know if Photoshop would be happy with that either.

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Reduce fragmentation maybe, dunno about speed improvement. If I was using Windows Vista with one hard drive I would just have one partition. Vista seems to be able to install onto a drive without formatting it first. Moving data from one folder to another on the one partition is going to be a lot faster than doing it from one partition to another AFAIK, especially if those partitions are on the same hard drive.

 

i say speed improvement because artitions are set allocations of space on each disk, if you had a small first partition with windows installed on it then all the windows file (and swap unless you move it) will be on the outer edges of the platter which is the fastest area of a hard disk. The things you don't need fast access to (ie music, pictures movies) you can have on the last partition forcing the files to the inner (slow) parts of the disk so the faster parts are availible to other files

 

I don't see how creating partitions corresponds to the physical of data on a platter?

 

I believe certain disk defragmentation software can place certain files/data at different points on the platter for potential speed improvements, but disk partitioning usually doesn't relate to this, nor is it a requisite from my experience.

 

 

smadge1: You should be able to shrink one of your existing partitions and create another on the same disk and use that for Photoshop, I don't think it would complain about that.

Edited by lew~

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I don't see how creating partitions corresponds to the physical of data on a platter?

 

I believe certain disk defragmentation software can place certain files/data at different points on the platter for potential speed improvements, but disk partitioning usually doesn't relate to this, nor is it a requisite from my experience.

if partitions didn't physically seperate off the disk then there would be no speed differnces between moving data between folders on one partition and moving data between folders across partitions.

 

if partitions where not pysically differnt on the platter then you could get alot of confusion if you had lots of different partition types. defragging would fail completly if you had an ntfs, fat 32 and ext-3 partition all mixed up together on the one disk.

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I don't see how creating partitions corresponds to the physical of data on a platter?

 

I believe certain disk defragmentation software can place certain files/data at different points on the platter for potential speed improvements, but disk partitioning usually doesn't relate to this, nor is it a requisite from my experience.

if partitions didn't physically seperate off the disk then there would be no speed differnces between moving data between folders on one partition and moving data between folders across partitions.

 

if partitions where not pysically differnt on the platter then you could get alot of confusion if you had lots of different partition types. defragging would fail completly if you had an ntfs, fat 32 and ext-3 partition all mixed up together on the one disk.

 

Partitions are defined by which block on the disk they start and end at; therefore yes, partitions directly correspond to the physical location of data on a platter.

Defrag only works within a partition.

 

 

-A-

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well, only if the blocks are mapped that way on the platter by the controller.

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well, only if the blocks are mapped that way on the platter by the controller.

AFAIK that's the usual way its done. High-end storage systems, and I guess some high-end (server or even desktop) SCSI controllers and shit can do things differently.

Could be wrong...

 

 

-A-

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On some systems, multiple partitions are a requirement.

 

My laptop for instance could not boot if I stored my OS installation in a single 160GB partition, as the BIOS would only see the first 8GB. Thus, I need to store my OS kernel and bootloader in a small partition at the start of the drive visible to the BIOS.

 

Some firmware requires that the kernel is stored in a partition of a specific filesystem type. e.g. the Cobalt Qube2 requires the first partition of the internal HDD to be formatted EXT2 revision 0, as it expects to load and boot a file called vmlinux.gz stored in the root of this partition.

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i find it easier to reformat when having more than one partition. 1 for my OS and other partitions for my downloads etc. Just makes it easier to back things up

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There are several reasons for having more than one partition in a drive. The most obvious being that if your OS becomes corrupt on Drive C, and all your files are on Drive C, then you may end up losing everything because 3GB of critical data was corrupted. Another obvious reason is organisation of files, keeping more than one partition means you can easily store things according to how you want it.

 

On a more technical side, having smaller partitions means that you'll have a smaller file allocation unit, this can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you wish to with your HDD. To most, it doesn't make enough difference to worry about, but if you are looking specifically for a data storage house PC then you'd want your FAU to be a certain way, causing an effect of getting the most out of your HDD.

 

My advice would be to definitely have more than one Partition, such as a couple gig for your OS, and then the rest for data, at least.

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What others have been saying: multiple partitions has many advantages, especially if you don't feel like having more than one HDD in your case (I would have two but I prefer the weight and noise of only one).

 

The most important thing for me is that you can do whatever you want to your system partiiton without borking up your personal data.

 

Naturally, an external backup is also essential.

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