Now that the new computer has arrived (and is still in the box), I need to know what is recommended in relation to partitioning the hard drive. We have a 1TB drive with Windows 7. I have read posts regarding partitioning but if we don't need to do it, I won't, since I have never done it. If, indeed, the recommendation is to partition, please direct me to a program.
Personally I partition with the system and all software on one and data on the other. Depending what you do you may make the system partition 60-100 gig.
Or spend another $120 for a 240 gig SSD, clone the OS over and you've got one heck-a-fast drive for OS and one nice easy to backup data drive with no need for on drive partitioning.
It's a personal preference. With one disk, the only advantage to partitioning with the OS on one partition and your data on a second partition is it allows for separate system and data backups. You can then back up your data more frequently than your system. You can also recover your system independent of your data in case of a malware attack or a bad system update.
There are no performance advantages with partitioning a single disk system. Since most Windows users don't know about partitioning, they run with one partition with no problems. With the new UEFI BIOS with Secure boot, partitioning has gotten more complicated as well. I have data and the system on the same disk and back it up weekly since I can stand a week's loss of data worst case. YMMV.
You will have to decide on your own whether partitioning is worth it to you but It is much more important to develop a good backup strategy.
Set up a single partition and buy a USB disk for backup. It's always worth having backup off the box.