Partitioning for better management of computer

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Escalader, Dec 24, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Escalader

    Escalader Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Posts:
    3,710
    Location:
    Land of the Mooses
    Hello Herb long time no post!

    I was thinking of partitioning myself for management of my PC. I don't know if you have done it or not yourself. My plan would be roughly this:
    1. C for windows and all programs I own
    2. S for all scanned images and photos
    3. D all other user data, word, quicken, excel etc etc
    4. M for music

    The external hard drive would mirror those and be used strictly for archival images of the primary disk partitions

    What do you or anybody else think of this scheme? Is it too complex or flawed in some way?

    I happen to use Paragon for backup and partition management.
     
  2. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Posts:
    8,695
    Hello,

    Or better yet, barricade the pc with group policies and security restriction policies. For those virtued with patience, a full tutorial is on the way :).

    Mrk
     
  3. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Posts:
    1,850
    Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Do you have one hard disk or more?
    If you have one, I would just create a system partition and one data partition.
    Separate partitions for scans and music sounds good, but the disadvantage is that you get three data partitions and you could end up with too much space free on one of them, while short on space on another.
    You gain the same effect with simple separate folders in one data partition.
     
  4. Genady Prishnikov

    Genady Prishnikov Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Posts:
    350
    I agree with wilbertnl. The folders would give you exactly the same thing. The other advantage of simply two partitions also lies in the fact that you could easily image your DATA partition in minutes and have all of your scans, music, etc. without the need for multiple images.

    Speaking of drives...I saw a new OneTB (yes, terabyte) drive in the circulars today for $400. That's right .40 a GB. Who would have ever thought? Look at Flash Drives - the latest Corsair Voyager USB Flash Drive is out with 16GB! It's the same size as the 2GB. Of course, the cost per gig is still high, but they will soon fall dramatically. It's a whole new world.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Posts:
    2,295
    Location:
    Cromwell Country
    I prefer to have 3 partitions - system, data and storage. I can make images of system and data to storage more quickly than I can to external USB and network drives. Every now and then when not busy I then transfer to other storage ( DVD, USB or network). Having system images in the storage partition allows for quick system restoration. I have used this restoration 5 times today already while testing new programs.
     
  6. egghead

    egghead Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Posts:
    443
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Yes, this the way to go imo. You can add a partition on which you put an image.

    this is how I work (on the moment).

    I have 1 HD partitionned as follows:
    C: system
    D: data
    H: test partition=copy of C. I use this for trialing software.
    Image of C I have put on DVD.
     
  7. Rmus

    Rmus Exploit Analyst

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Posts:
    3,943
    Location:
    California
    I also agree with wilbertnl. Twice this year I've had to re-size when one partition became full. Early next year I'm going to combine my D:\ E:\ F:\ partitions into one, with Identifier folders for the various categories.

    (I also have a second internal HD G:\ for photo storage, and external HD for backup.)

    In the "old" days, having a number of partitions with various cluster sizes for better disk utilization was popular (my intitial reason for doing it). But that is no longer of much use.

    One nice added advantage I've enjoyed by having a separate system partition is protecting it with Deep Freeze. In addition to being a security feature, it negates the necessity for HD maintenance on that partition. On each reboot, all temp files, MRU registry entries, and other such stuff just goes away.

    -rich
     
  8. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Posts:
    2,969
    Location:
    Portland, OR (USA)
    I don't think I would ever want to go back to a single partition. Having at least one second partition makes management a lot easier, and gives a lot of piece of mind knowing that if something goes wrong you will lose a very bare minimum of information if you have to format or restore a disk image. For the times that you format intentionally, it still makes things easier just having a second partition to copy things over to. Having multiple partitions doesn't really do much for your security, but it does make organization a lot easier, and cuts out a lot of "clutter".
     
  9. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,040
    I personally have always used one partition and haven't any issues either with organization or security. Having more than one drive does help if you need to move things around.

    The first external drive I partitioned and it hasn't gained me anything. Now I don't partition them. I just use folders.

    It's a very individual thing.

    Pete
     
  10. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Posts:
    9,006
    ive only ever used single partitions since my current pc only had recovery discs and not the original windows cd so I couldn't repartition it.
    it is alot easiser to image with one partition.
    if you have two partisions do you move the whole documents and settings folder to the data partistion?
    my next pc i will make sure it has a windows cd or ask them to create a smaller c partition for me so i can create the second partition in windows later on.
    lodore
     
  11. InfinityAz

    InfinityAz Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    Posts:
    828
    Location:
    Arizona
    If you can have more than one HD it opens a lot of possibilities (e.g., keep data on a separate drive, run multiple virutal memory partitions, etc.).

    With 1 HD, I'd use at least two partitions:

    • 1 for system (I also install office on this since it ties into the system) and nothing else (makes it easy to image and restore very quickly).
    • 1 for programs and data (or create a third partition for data).
     
  12. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Posts:
    2,295
    Location:
    Cromwell Country
    Yes - I do - My documents simply gets relocated to F: ( My data partition)
    I also place the outlook *.pst file and archive on F:

    I'm constantly making and restoring old system images but can't remember the last time I restored a data partition
     
  13. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2003
    Posts:
    4,456
    I use at least 2 partitions.

    1. Windows and Programs
    Because the most accessed files of both should be on the outer tracks (fastest tracks) of the disk, and this will speed your system a lot...

    2. Data, Music, Videos, Software Images, etc.
    I prefer to have a second partition because I can have to format or replace an system image, and then I will not loose what is more important to me...
     
  14. Q Section

    Q Section Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2003
    Posts:
    771
    Location:
    Headquarters - London & Field Offices -Worldwide
    A good question for you.......We are using C drive for the OS, D drive for all other programmes and E drive for all stored data. When we add and install an additional programme some do not offer the option to specify where it shall be installed. In these cases it automatically gets installed in C:\Program Files. When we install other programmes that have an option we specify D:\Program Files\etc. If it should come to it we can reinstall the OS back to C but all the programmes that were installed to C:\Program Files will be lost if we have re-formatted the C drive. Does anyone have a solution for this situation? We probably have in excess of 500 programmes total mostly utilities and OS editing types.

    (For those not familiar with our system we are only speaking about our single test computer in our lab. This is a non-mission critical computer which has no critical data in it and is not connected to our main computer system. The main computer system is of course maintained by highly trained staff who know what they are doing and since they are busy with their work we do not presume to bother them with this little test computer here in Q Section.)
     
  15. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2003
    Posts:
    4,456
    Q Section,

    You whould not make the things that way :)

    A lot of programs install files in a lot of system directories to work properlly, so if you install a fresh windows and not install those programs again you can have a lot of problems...
     
  16. TheQuest

    TheQuest Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Posts:
    2,301
    Location:
    Kent. UK by the sea
    Hi, Q Section

    You would also lost all the registry entries to any program you have install in D:\.

    The only solution would be to do a repair install, which would keep all associations to your install drivers and programs.

    You would need to reinstall all of your Windows Updates because they are overwritten by the repair install.

    Take Care,
    TheQuest :cool:
     
  17. Genady Prishnikov

    Genady Prishnikov Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Posts:
    350
    Q Section: Do you not have the original installation files? I am with those who think it far more efficient (only partly because of the problem you brought up) to place your programs in the same partition as the OS. It makes for a quick and easy image, too!
     
  18. Rmus

    Rmus Exploit Analyst

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Posts:
    3,943
    Location:
    California
    Actually, you have a problem with any of your D:\Program Files\applications that write to the Registry. If you reformatted C:\ you would have to also re-install those programs.

    Re-installing programs is not that time consuming (but 500?? ?? - OK) - it is the re-configuring that really takes the time.

    This can be alleviated if you find where the configurations/settings are stored, and back them up.

    Example: My MSWord stores settings in

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Word\7.0\Options]

    so I have that Registry Key backed up.

    Since I have 26 MSWord Templates, I keep my Templates folder backed up.

    Example: Opera has many *.ini files that store settings for customizing menus, toolbars, as well as the principal opera.ini file, .css and .js files, etc.

    Having these backed up saves huge amounts of time, if a worst-case scenario occurs.

    If you are an "Imaging" person, you can set up a plan accordingly. You just have to keep the Image up to date, especially when you make changes to the Registry.

    EDIT: I see TheQuest posted while I was typing and I duplicated part of his answer.

    To add: since imaging has been mentioned: I used to keep an image, but stopped doing it some years ago. Nothing ever happened, and when I bought a new HD last year, instead of cloning the old one, I opted to reinstall everything fresh. Over the past two years, I had uninstalled a lot of programs, so having a fresh install started me out with a pristine Registry. Again, with configuration settings backed up, the whole procedure took just a few hours, and it was a pleasant time re-visiting the installation of older programs and changing their location, in some cases.

    regards,

    -rich
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2006
  19. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Posts:
    8,695
    Hello,
    Sorry guys, I just noticed I answered in the wrong thread (above). Hence, my post is totally out of context, sorry.
    Mrk
     
  20. AaLF

    AaLF Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Posts:
    986
    Location:
    Sydney
    I was under the impression that one had to partition into 2 , 4 or 8?

    And they should all be equal e.g. 30gb x 4 = 120gb.

    Can I safely re-partition my 120gb into 2 (1x small & 1 x big) ??
     
  21. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Posts:
    2,295
    Location:
    Cromwell Country
    You can pretty much partition as you like. No more than 4 primary partitions on a drive I believe. You could have say 15 gig for windows Xp and programs and then 50 gig for data and 55 gig for whatever.

    If you only have windows then I believe you need to do all this when you install.
    If you buy a program like Acronis Disk Director http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/diskdirector/ then you can make changes whenever you want.
     
  22. Escalader

    Escalader Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Posts:
    3,710
    Location:
    Land of the Mooses
    Hi All, Merry Christmas even if you don't celebrate it!

    Just to clarify, I do have an external drive happens to be a Maxtor.

    My original thinking was that the partitions on the external would "mirror" those on my primary drive. Now with your collective wisdom I think I can simplify things to OS and ALL Programs(avoiding issue of those forced to be on C.

    I like the idea of folders for data, music and pictures in one partition EXCEPT for the frequency of change issue when doing backup images to external.

    Since my user data (finance etc) changes daily I think I'll partition it separately from music and pictures (which don't change much) which will share a partition.

    What is best tool to move/copy files to the new primary partitions? I was just going to use windows explorer!

    So here is my revised plan 2:

    Primary HD______________External HD (archival backup Images via paragon)
    C: OS + all programs______P: Mirror of OS + all programs
    D: user financial data_____F: Mirror of user financial data
    E: music,pictures,scans___S: Mirror of music,pictures,scans

    What is good/wrong with Plan 2, fire at will!
     
  23. AaLF

    AaLF Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Posts:
    986
    Location:
    Sydney
    That data partition always confuses me.

    If you don't mind, here's my ruff config...

    P4 512RAM 120gb HDD

    I'm not a gamer, however I do a bit of photshop editing stuff and need more RAM.
    _____________

    6gb in C full of windows / programs.

    Possible may expand so let's alocate 10gb for Win / programs.

    So what do you mean by 'data'?

    I'd rather have one small efficent patition for the 'engine'. And the rest for storage.

    Does ROM come into play? Do I need to allocate extra gb space for win / programs? Or is 15-20gb all that's required for the 'engine "C"?
     
  24. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Posts:
    2,802
    Directories do not give the same thing as partions.

    I hqave a multiboot system obn 3 SCSI drives.
    I keep data files away from OS partitions, with a few exceptions.

    THis allows me to easily do image backups, change an OS drive for testing, say, a different AV softwqare, then restoring the OS drive.

    This is not feasible if directories containg actively changing files are included on the OS drive.
     
  25. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,040
    Howard

    Sure it is, with just a minor change in approach. I just use one partition, and use folders to keep stuff separate. I take a complete image if weekly and just before I do anything major.

    My secret weapon though is First Defense. I just keep a small OS bootable second snapshot on disk, and I keep a full archive on external drive. This I update frequently as it very fast(about a minute and a half) That way no matter what I do to my system/data, I can restore an image even if quite old, and then use FDISR and the archive to bring things current. Works like a champ and I keep my disk structure simple

    Also I keep all data in separate folders but all under one root backup folder, so I can also easily backup all data by just saving one folder.

    Very simple, no complex partitioning idea's, and it has been tested under fire.

    Pete

    PS Multi boot would change that, but I don't use it.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.