Partition Software

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by beethoven, Nov 30, 2007.

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  1. beethoven

    beethoven Registered Member

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    I never looked into a partition manager before but since I am about to build a new workstation, I am considering this.

    I will have two harddrives and intend to split OS and programs on one and Data on the other. At this stage I do not expect to trial different OS.

    My questions are:

    1) Is there really a big advantage of partitioning the drive containing the OS?

    2) On a different thread someone recommended to partition before installing Windows. How is that possible? I expected the OS Windows (XP) to be installed already in order to install the program? Could you do a partition on a fully established system?

    3) Any recommendations on programs for this purpose (ideally free).

    4) Are these programs used once and then sleep somewhere on the drive, most likely never to be used again or do they always run in the background? In that case do they take up resources?

    5) If you do partitions, what would be the recommended sizes?
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2007
  2. Rmus

    Rmus Exploit Analyst

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    1) Is there really a big advantage of partitioning the drive containing the OS?

    You will get as many opinions on this as those who respond.

    Those who create backup images tend to want the OS separate from everything else. Using Deep Freeze, I want the OS on a separate partition to keep frozen.

    2) On a different thread someone recommended to partition before installing Windows. How is that possible?

    I don't remember the thread, but in former times, we used a boot disk and Fdisk to format and create partitions before installing the OS

    I expected the OS Windows (XP) to be installed already in order to install the program?

    This would be necessary if using a Partitioning program which runs in Windows.

    3) Any recommendations on programs for this purpose (ideally free).

    I've used only Partition Magic, and haven't kept up with other programs.

    4) Are these programs used once and then sleep somewhere on the drive, most likely never to be used again or do they always run in the background? In that case do they take up resources?

    Partition Magic is a separate executable and does not run in the background.

    5) If you do partitions, what would be the recommended sizes?

    This depends entirely on your own setup - how much space you need for data, how you want to separate data, etc

    My setup is similar to your proposal, using two internal hard drives, with the addition of an external HD for photograph storage and backups.

    HD1 is:

    C:\ = 4GB for the OS (Win2K)
    D:\ = 3GB for personal files
    E:\= 50GB for working photography files (images and data)
    F:\= 15GB for programs

    HD2 is

    G:\= 80GB single extended partition for current music and photography storage

    External HD is

    H:\= 160GB single extended partition for backup photography storage and Zip file backups of data files


    ----
    rich
     
  3. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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  4. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    @beethoven

    Since you are planning on 2 HDDs, the need for partitioning isn't quite as essential (to my way of thinking) as when you have but one HDD (as on my laptop). However, creating logical partitions greatly facilitates backing up via 'disk-imaging' and imho everyone should use a disk-imaging program (especially to backup the system drive/partition)!

    Rmus' and Brian's advice is excellent. Fwiw, I made the C-partition on my laptop's HDD 16GB because of the number of apps I had to accomodate, and I also require space for Rollback Rx's (an 'instant-restore' program) snapshots.

    Btw, while there are several partitioning software products that will do the job, here is a free one:
    http://www.cutepm.com/ ...credit to markymoo.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2007
  5. beethoven

    beethoven Registered Member

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    Thanks guys, more food for thought - more studies for me :)

    I can understand the idea of separating data and programs. When you mean space for RX snapshots, you don't actually create more space, do you? I suppose you mean that doing a snapshot of the partition only containing the OS will be smaller than of the whole drive? Sorry to be pedantic but I just started with FirstDefense_ISR and still find everything rather confusing. So I am trying to understand this properly. Obviously Firstdefense_ISR and RollbackRX are similar in concept.
     
  6. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    beethoven,

    Here are some instructions on using Parted Magic. They are general and don't specifically apply to you.

     
  7. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    the main advantage of partitioning is that if windows screws up you wont lose your data since its stored on another partition.
    you can then eiether reinstall windows to c: or restore an image to c:
    almost all linux live cd's come with a partistioning tool.
    lodore
     
  8. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    All that I meant was that in sizing my C-partition I provided a few more gigs than I would have otherwise allocated because RB stores all of its images inside the system partition (and with RB, you can make as many snapshots as you like). In this regard, you may gain additional insight by viewing: https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=192671

    Btw, FDISR and RB are similar in purpose, but not in their concept. They work entirely differently - each has it's advantages (and disadvantages).
     
  9. Jomsviking

    Jomsviking Registered Member

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    1) Is there really a big advantage of partitioning the drive containing the OS?

    Like Rmus said, you will get different opinions. lodore mentioned one key advantage of partitioning. Others will prefer to keep everything in one partition and, provided proper backup measures are in order, there's nothing wrong with that either.

    2) On a different thread someone recommended to partition before installing Windows. How is that possible? I expected the OS Windows (XP) to be installed already in order to install the program? Could you do a partition on a fully established system?

    Windows does not necessarily have to be installed; one way is to use Linux LiveCDs, for example.

    3) Any recommendations on programs for this purpose (ideally free).

    I would recommend GParted: free, open source, runs through a live CD, and you have the added advantage of being able to combine it (in the same live CD) with the programs Testdisk for data recovery and CloneZilla for disk/partition imaging. The website provides good documentation:

    http://gparted.sourceforge.net/

    Acronis Disk Director, though not free, also does partitioning tasks (among other) and has good references.

    4) Are these programs used once and then sleep somewhere on the drive, most likely never to be used again or do they always run in the background? In that case do they take up resources?

    Like others have said, they do not run in the background in Windows.

    5) If you do partitions, what would be the recommended sizes?

    Rmus gave a good example.
     
  10. clambermatic

    clambermatic Registered Member

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    ...aside from the purpose of an extra partition (aka: directory) for file-repository, it also act as an additional 'onDemand working' space for apps/OS, so-called backup space.

    err.....Windows' (XP-all; w2000-all) itself has its built-in creator for building/deleting old/new partitions, & also formatting. the winOS-CD (xp & 2000) will detect if your HDD is blank/preoccupied, and will ask you how you want your new OS (create parition/format or just plain 1-partition installation) to be install.

    Same goes with Linux on partitioning/creating handholdings, except that you got to know the basic Linux terminologies (a tad more than no-brainer winOS) but not more than harder than Window's.

    Aside from the recommended ones...
    you can use freeDOS (links within) ~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FreeDOS

    freeDOS can be run via floppies, or if you prefer - burned ISO image for use as bootable CD.

    Btw, If using DOS (not freeDOS), use the late version 6.22 (there's also a latter v7 thou), for better assimilation due to additional new drivers included.

    For a newbie or occasional OS configurers... try using Window-OS' build-in directory creation wizard, though it has limited but adequate options within!
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2007
  11. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    I have tried BING from TeraBytes with execellenet results for partitioning. My results were not so good with GParted. BING is not free though.
     
  12. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,

    I like to partition for several reasons:

    1. Modularity - p2p downloads have nothing to do with my docs or my games on the same partition, each to its own. Very easy to change, migrate, resize.

    2. Size - I want my images to be small; this makes for faster imaging, faster restore, simpler storage / backup procedures. For instance, most of my Windows images are 1.5-2.2GB (about 8GB of stuff). Plus, some stuff need not be imaged at all (pron, for instance).

    3. Mitigation of damage; if a partition gets damaged, data on it could be lost. The more spread the data is, the smaller the chance of a wide damage.

    Software that I can recommend:
    GParted, running from live CD

    Mrk
     
  13. Arup

    Arup Guest

  14. Jomsviking

    Jomsviking Registered Member

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    I have stumbled upon it some time ago. When I checked the software's webpage, reading its main limitations:

    "Partition logic has the following limitations:

    * Does not work with some SATA hard disks
    * No hardware support for non-USB SCSI hard disks
    * Supports only DOS/Windows-style MBR partition tables (used on nearly all IBM PC-compatibles). No support for Sun or BSD disk labels, or EFI/GPT tables used on Itanium and Intel Mac platforms.
    * Cannot format partitions as NTFS or EXT3. Can format as FAT (12/16/32), EXT2, and Linux swap.
    * Cannot resize FAT or EXT filesystems. Can resize NTFS (Windows XP) and Linux swap.
    * No hardware support for serial mice
    * No hardware support for PCMCIA"


    It seemed to me that one could do better for free elsewhere (Gparted) and I moved on.
     
  15. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

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    i've got it somewhere, it's been reviewed in linux format a couple of times, i think it's suppose to be a clone of that windows patitioning program, partition expert, i think. it's the partitioning tool in Visopsys OS, i think he (the developer) was interviewed in linux format too :D
     
  16. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    Never understood how this is supposed to be of much an advantage.

    Sure,your data will be intact,but applications will have to be reinstalled in any case together with Windows.

    If you are going to restore an image-the data can also be restored .

    Otherwise a simple data backup,such as Karens,could be used,to a separate archive partition or CD

    Surely creating a separate data partition means constant switching between partitions.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2007
  17. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    well atm my system partition on this pc is 50gb due to having 4 users with data on it. everytime i back it up it takes around two hours. which im sure you can tell is quite time consuming for just one backup.
    if you move my documents to example :E then its no different to accessing your data than normal.

    for example say you have one partition and you backup every day at 6pm.
    you install a driver update and reboot at say 4pm and then windows wont boot.
    so you restore yesterdays backup. then you have windows back running. but say you created an important document today and with the restore of C: you will lose it since the image over writes C: from yesterday.
    so at that point if you had your data on D: you could restore c: in the knowledge that your data is safe.
    thats just one of the possibilitys.
    but that doesnt stop for example sample.exe formattting your d: partition and losing all of your data.
    hence why backing up your second partition is still needed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2007
  18. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    Iodore,

    In your case,I can see the point.

    But with me,I have two 320gb hard drives,which isn't unusual these days at all-one C.drive- one archive. E,F andG

    I schedule two ATI incremental backups daily to E which take a few minutes .

    Any time important data is added ,an incremental backup to F is done using Karens Replicator,which takes about 1 minute.-otherwise a twice daily backup schedule.

    As these backups are carried out largely in the background,they take up no real time and for me certainly are much more convenient and secure than switching between partition.

    As you mentioned,if you have a separate data partition,it must still be backed up,also in case of the very real threat of hardware failure!
     
  19. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Hairy Coo,

    I'm not sure what you mean. When I double click the My Documents icon on the desktop, D:\My Documents opens. We are just storing data in the D: drive that you are storing in the C: drive. We backup our D: drive with software like Karen's Replicator.

    So I guess the main difference is you are backing up your data in two different ways. With Karen and with ATI. Your ATI images will be larger than ours but that's a personal choice.
     
  20. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    I also separated my system from data, both have their own physical harddisk.
    I don't even feel that my data is stored on another partition. Each software on my system partition, knows autmatically, where to store its data in a specific folder on my data partition. I don't have to move data from C to D manually.
    My data partition needs backup every day, but I hardly backup my system partition, because it doesn't change that much.

    System and data are totally different and I only care about my data, that's why I separated them.
    I restore my system partition during each reboot, I can't do that with my data, because every change would be gone and that is absurd.
     
  21. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    im thinking of investing in shadow protect desktop so i can do incremental backups of my system partition (once i have the money)
    i will concider using karens replicator to backup my data partition.
    when i first get my new computer in a few weeks i can just make a daily image of C: using paragon.
    lodore
     
  22. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    I'm using both SPD for my system partition and Karen's Replicator for my data partition and KR only backups the data that has been changed, nothing else.
    I also restored my data completely with KR and it works.
    I don't use incremental backups, because my system partition doesn't change.
     
  23. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    Well I have active data other than that stored in My Documents, for example on the Desktop which is inconvenient to store anywhere else as its accessed so frequently-thirteen separate folders which take up more space than My Documents.

    They are there to remind me what is important-may need action etc -really a business type environment.

    Only static data is stored in My Documents

    As its still necessary to backup your data,even if its on a separate partition-I still cant see the point.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2007
  24. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    The main point is to keep the OS "used space" small so image creation and image restore times are low. I can restore my OS image in 3 minutes and I do this every few weeks.

    Your desktop folders could just as easily be stored in the D: drive and accessed by shortcuts on your desktop. The opening time would be the same.

    I'm not trying to change your approach but isn't in fascinating how each of us does things differently.
     
  25. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    But if you restore your OS every few weeks-you will also have to reinstall all or most of your apps -so they run properly.

    Why should I go to all the trouble of having to move data to another partition in any case for no benefit.

    The only benefit would be if the data didnt need backup,thereby saving time and resources-the theory of having a Fort Knox environment for the data.

    As mentioned its essential to still backup the data no matter where its stored,as hardware failures are a very real possibility- I had one on a 3 months old Hd.

    Also it seems that malware can spread to another partition-another reason for needing backup
     
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