Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 20
  1. #1
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Cambridge, MA
    Posts
    2
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    I've just gotten a new computer with Win 7 installed. In previous versions of Windows I'd always created a separate partition for a data drive, basically so that I could do simple backups with batch files. I've decided that it's time to grow up and get a real backup program. With a real backup program, is there any reason to keep data in a separate partition? If there's no reason not to, I'll just go ahead and put things in the Documents folder. Thanks in advance for your advice.

  2. #2
    2 Star Lounger zigzag3143's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    195
    Thanks
    13
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
    Mark Hi and welcome

    there is always a good reasont to park data on a different partition. I would suggest you continue. My own strategy is to move data to D:\ and use acronis to back up to back up oth differently.


    Ken
    Microsoft Most Valuable Professional-- Windows Expert Consumer 2009---2015
    MCC 2013-2015

    Wanikiyi & Dyami--Team ZigZag3143

  3. #3
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Fishkill, New York, USA
    Posts
    435
    Thanks
    96
    Thanked 35 Times in 31 Posts
    I feel safer backing up to a separate drive, be it an internal or external one. Backup programs like Acronis (there is a trial version) and Macrium Reflect (there is a free version) will allow for full or incremental images of your drive. You can also elect to backup folders/files only. I suggest experimenting with both and then making a decision about which suits you best.

  4. #4
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    23,592
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 1,059 Times in 928 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Donohue View Post
    I've just gotten a new computer with Win 7 installed. In previous versions of Windows I'd always created a separate partition for a data drive, basically so that I could do simple backups with batch files. I've decided that it's time to grow up and get a real backup program. With a real backup program, is there any reason to keep data in a separate partition? If there's no reason not to, I'll just go ahead and put things in the Documents folder. Thanks in advance for your advice.
    Partitioning is purely a personal decision. Many people feel partitioning is worth the effort so that if you have to reload your operating system you can freely format the OS partition without fear of destroying your data. I don't feel it is worth the effort as I have a thorough backup system and I'm nervous about missing a file or folder when moving things to a data partition and losing it. If I have to reload my OS then I have to restore my data too. Since more & more of my data, particularly pictures, music, & videos, are stored on a Windows Home Server restoring my other data is no big deal.

    The other thing to remember is that if you disk drive goes out all partitions will be lost. You still need to have a complete backup plan.

    Joe
    Joe

  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    South of the North Pole
    Posts
    919
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    As mentioned, personal choice these days, sometimes it still makes sense if less capatious hard drives are in use and I like to keep data on a seperate partition or hard drive in a multi-boot system so I don't have to point one system drive into another to keep data all in one place.

    Check out www.clickfree.com and the USB drive transformer which is a smart dongle that goes between system and USB drive and searches everywhere on the system for data and backs it up to the USB drive, no hassles or uncertainty about getting data backed up no matter where it resides.

  6. #6
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Kingston, ON, Canada
    Posts
    91
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Separating your user data will allow you to make less frequent backups of your C: drive since there would be little on it that would change. You could, for example, backup the C: drive monthly while doing a backup of user files weekly or even daily.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California & Arizona
    Posts
    6,121
    Thanks
    160
    Thanked 609 Times in 557 Posts
    Two drive are better than one as far as backups go. I'd definately get another drive.
    I'm all for partitioning, it's certainly alot better than letting your os crash with all your data... at least you'll have the partition to restore from.
    If you have another drive with your backups on it, the chances of losing data go down quite a bit more than just a partition on the same drive.

    whatever works for you, even backing up folders to CD/DVDs are enough for some folks.

    If your data is simple and not painfull enough for you to lose when you crash, than your current solution is fine.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,631
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 936 Times in 856 Posts
    I used to create a seperate data partition. This was during the 95/98/me/xp era when the OS really needed reinstallation once per year. Now, with the stability and security in Win 7, plus the easy ability to back up your data or entire PC as necessary, I have realized, that from my perspective, this seems an un-necessary redundancy. I do not recommend one way or the other, this is just my preference for what it's worth
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  9. #9
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central Wisconsin - USA
    Posts
    7
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Have 2x HDD in system. All programs installed on system drive.
    All media files (Pics, Video, Music) and backups stored on 2nd drive.
    Use Acronis for Image backups creating image of system drive, stored on 2nd Drive. Create image every 2 weeks, manually.
    Using SyncBackupSE, data files for "My Doc, Thunderbird, and Firefox profiles are auto-backup to 2nd drive daily.
    Once a month I data copy ALL of 2nd drive to an external drive (via eSata link) using SyncBackSE.
    This give me redundant backup copies for system and data files.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Polk County, Florida
    Posts
    3,760
    Thanks
    26
    Thanked 424 Times in 338 Posts
    I use multiple partitions and multiple drives. I separate OS, Programs, Documents and Settings, and different types of data into multiple partitions across multiple drives and use drive images for backup. I turn off System Restore, relying on my images instead.

    Prior to installing Windows 7, I was dual-booting XP. This link (no ads) explains my setup then. I'm slowly working on getting my Windows 7/XP dual boot setup into a similar configuration.

    I have added a third hard drive which I use as a target for my drive images. From there, I burn DVD's for "safe" storage. I have a similar setup on my laptop, where I use an external USB drive as a backup target. Magnetic media will eventually fail, so a comprehensive backup system should include safe storage such as DVD's. If your really paranoid, you can store the DVD's in a fireproof/waterproof box.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  11. #11
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Kingston, ON, Canada
    Posts
    91
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    The direction of this thread has shifted somewhat from partitioning strategy to drive strategy. Several people have mentioned the use of external drives, usually implying USB external drives.

    When I was deciding to add external storage, I rejected USB as well as ESATA and 1394 Firewire in favour of NAS storage. The LAN based storage is likely slower but it offers several advantages as follows:
    -Storage is always available to all systems on the LAN independent of any one system.
    -The typical NAS enclosure provides an FTP server and Print server that operate independent of any one system.
    -In the case of the FTP server, the data can be made available from anywhere on the Internet, greatly simplifying travel with a laptop or netbook.
    -As a backup location, it provides an additional level of security by totally isolating the NAS drives from any system problems.

    I don't see any reason user directories could not be located on NAS drives but I don't do so, in part because I think it would be slow, and because I otherwise only infrequently access the drives allowing them to spin down and remain in a standby state most of the time.

  12. #12
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Cambridge, MA
    Posts
    2
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Thanks so much to everyone for the great input. I think I'm going to try going with one big partition/drive; if I feel that doesn't work well, I can always break it down. Ted Myers hit the nail on the head when he remarked on the need for an annual reformat of the main partition back in the XP days--keeping data on a separate drive made doing that reformat/reinstallation a lot easier. If Windows 7 has advanced to the point where one doesn't need to clean it out this way from time to time (I kind of thought of it as giving my system a high colonic), that eliminates a lot of the motive for keeping OS and data on separate partitions.

  13. #13
    Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles, California, USA)
    Posts
    35
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    I still like the idea of a separate drive for my Win 7 OS which I keep as small as reasonably possible so as to make my frequent drive images smaller and take less time to create. I don't want my data including all of my program files on my C drive. I keep it on a separate partition as well as my external drive for backup.

    Partition Wizard is free and is easy to use.
    http://www.partitionwizard.com/

  14. #14
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,631
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 936 Times in 856 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Arn View Post
    Partition Wizard is free and is easy to use.
    http://www.partitionwizard.com/

    I concur, the home edition of Partition Wizard was wonderful. The Win 7 partitioning app works reasonably well (Disk Management Console under Computer Management) as far as creating partitions, but for stronger recovery of partitions ( I was able to recover that pesky Recovery Partition all manufacturers place at the front of your hard drive instead of giving your a dvd to do this) using Partition Wizard, for FREE!!!
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  15. #15
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Polk County, Florida
    Posts
    3,760
    Thanks
    26
    Thanked 424 Times in 338 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Donohue View Post
    Ted Myers hit the nail on the head when he remarked on the need for an annual reformat of the main partition back in the XP days--keeping data on a separate drive made doing that reformat/reinstallation a lot easier.
    To me, that strategy/religious belief of an at-least-annual reformat/reinstall of Windows is pure bunk.

    Keeping a Windows installation lean and responsive is a matter of using fairly simple, routine maintenance and a bit of common sense. I have not done the reformat/reinstall dance since I first installed Windows 95 OSR2 (the PC, a Packard Bell, came with WFWG 3.11. Yeah, they used to sell Packard Bell's in the US). I have a Windows installation that began life as Windows 95 OSR2, upgraded inplace to Windows 98, upgraded inplace to Windows 2000 Professional, upgraded in place to Windows XP Professional, patched and Service Packed to SP3. The registry has never seen a "registry cleaner".

    The PC that installation lives in has been upgraded in hardware over the years to the extent that there is absolutely nothing left of the original PC, not even the case, yet the XP Pro SP3 still thrives, is still quick and responsive, without a BSOD ever. I have never used System Restore, and in fact I turn it off on all my machines. I rely on BootIt NG drive images for backup. Using multiple drives/partitions makes imaging quick and simple. There are multiple users on this machine, including my 16 year old gamer son. I am now dual-booting Windows 7 on it.

    I have a Dell D800 that I ordered with only XP Pro installed back in late 2003. I partitioned that drive, installed my software, and have never done the reformat/reinstall dance with that machine, either. Over time, I've replaced the video card and the motherboard, upgraded to a larger drive with my drive images, and it's just as quick as when it was new. I am now dual-booting Windows 7 on this laptop, also. My daughter has a D600 nearly the same age, and it had a hard drive failure a couple of years ago. Restored the drive image on the replacement drive, and it runs as well as it did when it came out of the box. She recently upgraded to Windows 7. I have a Compaq desktop from the late '90's running the original Windows 98 SE, and it hasn't lost a step, either.

    Before I was "downsized" the company I worked for had thousands of Compaq PC's running 2000 Pro and MS Office as well as other programs. All email stayed on the MS Exchange servers, with user quotas. We would get occaissional reminders to delete old email if we neared the quota. The IT department never did a reformat/reinstall. A couple of my friends worked in IT. They replaced broken hardware on occaission, upgraded and maintained the networking, and pushed software upgrades/patches through the network. Shortly before I left, they had begun upgrading to XP using drive images of an inplace upgrade over Windows 2000 Professional on a standard desktop and a standard laptop, along with phasing over from Compaq to Dell. They transitioned the Dell's in by imaging the Compaq XP installation, installing the Dell drivers and Dell OEM Enterprise license key, then making that image the default template for the rest of the Dell's as they came in. When users with special apps/needs were due for replacement laptops/desktops, IT would image their old drive and then restore the image to the new laptop/desktop. If any standard user due for a replacement PC had files they wanted to save, they were given an opportunity to do so, and then transfer to their new PC.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •