Suggestion on Setting up Hard Drives with XP

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by thecreator, Feb 18, 2008.

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  1. thecreator

    thecreator Registered Member

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    Hi All,

    This is for owners of Large Hard Drives and owners using Windows XP operating systems and building new systems.

    For Example: Using for example a 250 GB Hard Drive, partition the first partition as a FAT32 partition with 20 to 30 GBs in size.

    Second partition for use with your operating system with a size from 30 GBs to 40 GBs in size.

    Third partition for storage about 50 GBs in size.

    A fourth partition for Partition Images about 50 GBs in size.

    A fifth partition for a second copy of Windows XP about 20 GBs in size.

    By having more than one operating system on the Hard Drive and if the first XP copy should fail to boot up, you can use the second XP to restore the first copy.

    Now, why install Windows XP first copy on the second partition, rather than the first partition, the answer is very simple. If you should lose the first copy of XP and it is installed on the first partition, you could not boot to the second copy of XP, because you lost the Boot.Ini file which Windows XP needs.

    That's why I recommend installing Windows XP on the second partition.

    Just recommendations and suggestions.
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Sounds like a lot of bother for something that rarely happens, and if it should happen, I would just boot up the recovery CD. If the drive dies you still can't run TI or access your images stored in the fourth partition.

    I don't understand the use of the second partition "for use with your operating system".

    I assume you are just installing the apps in the 5th partition Windows and running Windows with nothing much other than TI in the first partition.
     
  3. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    I would just partition everything with NTFS file system instead of FAT32. At first I was hesitant to leave the FAT32 file system, but now all I use is NTFS and have never had any problems with it. Especially with larger drives it's the way to go.
     
  4. thecreator

    thecreator Registered Member

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    Hi seekforever,

    If the Hard Drive fails, backing up off the Hard drive onto DVDs or Blu-Ray Disks is the way to go.

    Second partition, is where you can use My Documents folder at. You can also move the Store Folder of E-mails to as well.

    The purpose to have a small partition for the operating system, is to decrease the length of time for maintenance of the Hard Drive partition that the operating system is installed in.

    And with the My Folders folder, Store Folder for E-mails and possibly My Briefcase Folder where some people store downloads in off the partition in which the operating system is installed in, makes the Partition Image as small as possible and decreases the length of time it would take to restore the operating system using Acronis True Image Home versions.

    Besides having two copies of XP installed, allows one to beta-test without having to worry about messing up the only operating system.

    Make sense?
     
  5. thecreator

    thecreator Registered Member

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    Hi jonyjoe81,

    You are correct. However, some people still use Windows 98 SE or Windows ME and they can't access NTFS File System folders, especially when dual-booting.
     
  6. dantz

    dantz Registered Member

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    I agree that it's best to keep one's OS and data in separate partitions, and I also agree that if you choose to store your backup images on the same physical drive, it's good to store them in their own partition, but I think you've made things unnecessarily complex by installing a second copy of Windows XP on the same drive, as well as by installing your first copy of Windows XP into the second partition.

    There's no need to install a second OS merely for backup purposes. The whole point of using an imaging program such as Acronis True Image is to allow you to quickly and easily restore from a recent image in order to get up and running again in the event that your current OS fails to boot or becomes otherwise damaged. Furthermore, the added complexity of maintaining a dual boot system will greatly increase the chances of something going wrong.

    If I were to give users advice on how to set up their hard drives with Windows XP and Acronis True Image, it would go something like this:

    1) Set up your hard drive with two or more NTFS partitions. Install Windows XP on the first partition, which can be around 15 to 25 GB in size, based on how much software you plan to install.

    2) Store your data in the second partition, or, if desired, set up several data partitions and use them for different types of data. Size each one according to how much data you expect to store, with plenty of room for expansion. Back up this data regularly.

    3) Image your OS regularly using an imaging tool such as Acronis True Image. Store your images on an external hard drive, as well as copying some images onto standard DVDs in the event your external hard drive fails. To facilitate this, it's best to split the images at 1492 MB so they can be easily copied onto DVDs.

    4) For further redundancy, use two external hard drives and rotate between them. Also, store some of your DVD backups offsite, for example at a friend's house or in a safe-deposit box.

    5) If desired you can use a partiton on the internal drive to store some of your image and data backups, but don't count on this saving you in the event of a hard drive failure. It's always best to store your backups on external media.

    6) With forethought an external drive can be used as an emergency replacement for your internal drive. To do this:

    a) Start by choosing an external drive that can be removed from its case and installed in your system, i.e. same interface, similar or larger capacity, etc.

    b) Partition it similarly to your current internal drive, but with an additional large partition at the end.

    c) Store all your images and data in the last partition, while leaving the other partitions empty.

    In the event of hard drive failure, you will have the option of either 1) purchasing and installing a new hard drive and recovering your most recent image and data backups from the external drive, or 2) removing your external drive from its case, installing it into your system, and restoring your OS and data into the first two (or more) partitions.
     
  7. Dave49

    Dave49 Registered Member

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    I don't understand why anyone wants to partition a drive in the first place. Partitioning just muddies the waters, so to speak. I've never had any problems just having all my stuff on a single partition taking up the entire drive.

    I remember when I wanted to try out different operating systems. I installed a mobile drive rack in my computer, and just had each OS in it's own removable drive tray. When I wanted to switch my OS, I just booted with the drive I wanted. I still have that rack in case I ever want to try out another OS again. I'm likely to try some version of Linux. I hear that OS has really come a long way.

    ~Dave
     
  8. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I don't think you have to go wild with partitioning but IMO there is are some benefits to partitioning. Remember that the smallest unit of data an image can deal with is a partition.

    Setup 2 partitions. One for the OS/Apps and the other for your data. This data can include images if you wish but there are better places for safe storage of images such as an external or even a second internal HD.

    Partitioning Advantages:
    You can blow away the OS/Apps partition at anytime without any concern about wiping out your data files. Think you have a virus - restore an image and off you go and all your data files are still up-to-date and present.

    Make and restore images of your OS/Apps quickly, say, for testing new software, since it only has to deal with the OS/Apps partition. The multiple GB of data do not need to be backed up for this purpose.

    I go one step further and I install large games like Flight Simulator into their own partition. This data rarely if ever changes so there is no need to keep imaging it with the OS/Apps image.
     
  9. thecreator

    thecreator Registered Member

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    Hi dantz,

    You asked about why a second copy of Windows XP? Beta testing of programs and while I agree for not installing a second copy for Backing up purposes, you install a second copy of XP for the Restoring process for Partition Images on SATA Hard Drives, where it takes a lot of time to restore a SATA Hard Drive from the Acronis Bootable Rescue CD.

    If you have a SATA Hard Drive, I recommend a second copy of your operating system and that operating system doesn't need to be in a large partition, just about 20 GBs in size.

    Just keep the two operating systems seperate, while still being able to see each other. You can share the My Documents Folder, if it doesn't exist within an operating system's partition.
     
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