Survey: Separating Programs and Data into Separate Partitions

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by PastTense, Jun 27, 2013.

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  1. PastTense

    PastTense Registered Member

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    I am interested to what extent posters here separate programs and data into separate partitions and exactly how they do it. If you Google the subject most posts simply talk about how to redirect My Documents to a separate partition, but many of us have the situation where user data is scattered among My Documents, elsewhere in Documents and Settings, a little in Programs, and a few programs having separate high level folders containing both programs and data. Probably the most common examples deal with where browser bookmarks and email are stored (and both of these usually change daily--unlike program configuration settings).

    Thanks.
     
  2. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    I keep all data in a separate partition, created by reducing the size of the original Windows partition. I don´t keep any data in My Documents, and configure the programs to save data in the data partition, as long as this is possible. Obviously, this requires some organization and discipline.
     
  3. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    In WinXP I moved My Documents to a separate partition.

    In Win7 and Win8 I moved most of the User folders to a separate partition. (Downloads, Documents, Music, Video, Pictures, Desktop).

    The idea being to keep the OS partition lean and mean for backup imaging purposes. Small images, created quickly.
     
  4. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I am just the opposite. All in one partition.

    Couple of reasons. First the images also serve as a backup for the data. Also with one partition all the files are out at the edge of the disk where access is fastest.
     
  5. taotoo

    taotoo Registered Member

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    On Win7 I don't use Documents, and just manually save my data to the D partition.

    I've considered moving the Users folder to the D partition, but fear it might cause problems when restoring either the C or D partition where one partition contains a different version of installed software to the other (though I will occasionally manually redirect something to the D partition e.g. Picasa's database).
     
  6. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    I can see the benefits of keeping them separate, but for now I have 500GB in a single partition on my laptop.
     
  7. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Same Here.
    First I create a partition named what else?... "Data":p
    Then I create a "Users" folder in that partition.
    And at the end I move the personal folders of each user to that partition by changing the C letter to the letter of the data partition. eg:
    C:\Users\User name\Documents
    to
    D:\Users\User name\Documents
    https://www.techsupportalert.com/co...rsonal-folders-my-documents-another-drive.htm
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/Redirect-a-folder-to-a-new-location
    I also move the temp folder to another partition
    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/...-another/19f13330-dde1-404c-aa27-a76c0b450818

    Panagiotis
     
  8. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Roger,

    With a little work you could change to an OS/data partition. I can restore an image of my Win8 partition in 3 minutes and as I do this a few times a month I like a lean and mean OS.
     
  9. MisterB

    MisterB Registered Member

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    My typical system has two primary OS partitions on either end of the disk and a logical data partition in the middle. The laptop I'm using to write this has bootable primary Windows Xp and Windows Vista partitions. XP is 18gb and Vista 32gb. The data partition is 232gb. The OS partitions just have the OS and installed software and I set the file permissions to read and execute in user mode and only administrators get to write new software into them. The data partition has the Documents and all user data folders as well as the temp folder and page files. Both OSes share the data partition and have the same software installed. The file permissions on the data partition are strictly read/write and even if something bad gets downloaded onto it, it won't have permission to execute. If something bad does manage to get by this--like on a fat32 usb drive with no file permissions--it still won't be able to write anything to the system partitions. Due to the way Windows works, I have to make a few read/write areas on the system disk to actually get things working. This was tedious in Xp but with Vista and newer versions of Windows with UAC, I don't have to get so deep into it. The default permissions are adequate which wasn't the case with Xp.

    If I start to have problems with one system, I can set the other system partition active and restore the first system from an image. I've had to do this a few times over the last few years and it has never been due to malware. Mostly, it has been from installing an incompatible driver or program. My system images are around 10gb each. I backup my data on the data partition by a direct file copy to an external drive. If it is important data, I make several copies.
     
  10. nozzle

    nozzle Registered Member

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    I have 2 hard drives. One is small and the other is large. I have the small one in two partitions: WIN7-64 and GAMES. The large one only has one partition: STORAGE.

    On the small disk:

    I use WIN7-64 for the operating system, programs, and personal files.

    GAMES for games.

    On the large disk:

    STORAGE for disk images, portable apps, backups of my personal files, and miscellaneous stuff I want to keep but not on WIN7-64 because of disk image bloat.

    This partitioning arrangement works very well for me.

    nozzle
     
  11. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    This is something that I really should do, as it does make sense to keep data separate from the OS.
     
  12. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I like to see the data backup in native format. It only takes a few minutes to synchronize a 500 GB data backup.
     
  13. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    Moved Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, and Videos outside of SSD to internal HDD as soon as I could connect to my new computer via a VNC session from where I was vacationing using my phablet. Steam stays in SSD, like other programs (performance benefit, and not too many large games). Virtual Machines in HDD (simply too large).
     
  14. MisterB

    MisterB Registered Member

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    I label my data partition Storage as well. This is due to a sentimental attachment to Amiga OS which is where I started from in computers.:)
     
  15. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Somewhat similar here. I have an SSD and two HDs. The SSD contains about ten OS but no personal data files.
     
  16. PastTense

    PastTense Registered Member

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    What are the 10 OS?
     
  17. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    A couple of Win8, a couple of Win7, a couple of WinXP, a couple of Linux, a couple of WinPE, a couple of IFL and one DOS. More than ten. I use BIBM as a boot manager. It supports over 200 OS per drive.
     
  18. treehouse786

    treehouse786 Registered Member

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    windows installation on one SSD drive (C:\)
    data saved manually with shortcuts to desktop on a traditional hard drive (X:\)
    steam/origin installed on second SSD (Z:\)

    images taken of C are stored on X and NAS. data on X is stored online using skydrive and goggle drive. Z does not need backing up as purchased games can be redownloaded via steam/origin
     
  19. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    I keep system, data, photos on separate partitions.

    The system on C drive is small and quick to restore. I do restore frequently as it is the easy way to un-install a program I do not want, and as such is sacrificial should the install do some damage.
     
  20. pajenn

    pajenn Registered Member

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    I always put the OS (or main OS) on a smallish "system" partition so that it's quicker to backup (and defrag before I got SSD). I keep most programs there too, but I do install large programs and games on a separate partition. The DATA partition also contains all videos, music, most documents, email folders, virtual machine files, browser and torrent downloads, and so forth. I don't have a quick way to do it, I just configure each program to save these files to D:\... instead of C:\... from their settings. For example, most browsers let you specify a folder for downloads, so I always change from the default to D:\Downloads.
     
  21. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Some apps, iTunes is an offender, insist on putting data in the C: drive. You can create a junction point and move the data files to another partition.
     
  22. Merusal

    Merusal Registered Member

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    Same here, for the same reasons.

    Until I realized that seemingly Microsoft no longer wants you to use different partitions. The current MS Office version cannot actually be even installed on a different partition than C: - I could not believe this, until I got it confirmed by several MS support staff.

    Still, I save all important data on a NAS drive that runs RAID 5, so that one NAS hard disk can fail without damaging the data.
     
  23. Solarlynx

    Solarlynx Registered Member

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    I transfer all users profiles to D: as I use snapshot time machines (Comodo's time machine and Eaz-Fix (Rx clone) - on different PC of course) and imaging (now Paragon and Macrium).
     
  24. Snoop3

    Snoop3 Registered Member

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    eh, i probably went overboard on this but i have WinXP on C: and then i have partitions for:

    Downloads
    Documents
    Media Files
    Sync
    Portable Apps

    as well as a few others that have images of WinXP for restoring by the factory installed proprietary backup program (a rebranded WinClon on hidden partition Z). also have a few linux distros on there that i dont use much (Mint and Ubuntu) and GRUB as the boot manager (and Rescatux on a DVD in case GRUB gets messed up) . Re-installing WinXP from onboard image takes only 3-5 minutes but using Clonezilla from PartedImage live takes at least 10-15 minutes. Wish i could buy WinClon or something else that resides on a hidden partition and can re-install an image that fast.
     
  25. MarcP

    MarcP Registered Member

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    I don't separate anything into distinct partitions. Instead, I put my document, pictures, games, etc, into distinct folders. Then I image the whole thing on a regular basis with AX64.

    So everything in the same partition.
     
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