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  1. #1
    Bronze Lounger
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    This is an old question in a new world.

    With an O/S and programs and any assorted data it made sense to have multiple partitions, Along came the registry with its admixture of O/S and programs and it made a mess of things for those who liked compartments. Some swore by a single partition for everything, and others just swore.

    What are we to do with Win 7 and a clean install? (I expect a hundred opinionated answers, but that is exactly what I want.) Now we have Virtual Drives (and even a relief from that for XP Mode, Cloud Computing, and all the rest of it. What's a guy to do? This is not academic, as \i may reconfigure a computer quite soon.

  2. #2
    2 Star Lounger zigzag3143's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterg View Post
    This is an old question in a new world.

    With an O/S and programs and any assorted data it made sense to have multiple partitions, Along came the registry with its admixture of O/S and programs and it made a mess of things for those who liked compartments. Some swore by a single partition for everything, and others just swore.

    What are we to do with Win 7 and a clean install? (I expect a hundred opinionated answers, but that is exactly what I want.) Now we have Virtual Drives (and even a relief from that for XP Mode, Cloud Computing, and all the rest of it. What's a guy to do? This is not academic, as \i may reconfigure a computer quite soon.
    My preferred method is for 3 partitions. OS, data, recovery. Keep in mind that I aslo backup that HD to another just in case.

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  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I have just one partition on my PC's. I understand the reasoning behind have seperate partitions, and I used to do this, but that was during the days of annual clean install of the OS. I believe Win 7 has made the need for annual reloads a thing of the past and as such the reasons for multiple partitions become much more gray and less black and white. I also image my PC to an ext. hd regularly so recovery should be easier if disaster does strike. I believe that spending the little time it actually takes to update your OS and apps, and keep nasties out by regular scans and up to date AV and AM goes much farther toward creating and keeping a stable and secure system that an annual reload to get back to a stable system ever did. Hence the work necessary to maintain a seperate partition is unneccessary. Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  4. #4
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I've been getting away from partitions as of late in favor of completely separate internal drives.
    And why not, It's not like they're too expensive or too difficult to add another drive to an existing system.
    One has a load of SATA ports on their board and may as well put them to good use.

    Solid State Drives are starting to look better, but they too it seems, has some way to go yet before
    the technology is worked out more fully with regards to reliability and maintaining consistency and speeds.

    Cloud computing would be something to look out for, but right now it just isn't up to snuff as far
    as security and reliability go. With Cable and DSL speeds improving I can really see the potential of the
    internet becoming a great storage medium with only one caveat, security/reliability. Long way to go yet.

    I'm still of the opinion that you get and put your os on the fastest drive you can get your hands on
    and move off as much non essential stuff as posible, like Documents, favorites, email contacts and storage,
    to another drive. But don't go too far like moving installed programs. The page file, or at least one component of it
    should always remain on the main drive with the os.

    I'm getting bye nicely without XP and never plan to look back, so no need for me to dual boot anymore.
    I would not recommend using "XP Mode" on Windows 7 unless you have some really decent system specs.
    A well tuned dual boot environment between XP and Windows 7 would be far better.

    Windows 7 is by far the greatest operating system MS has put out to date and 64 bit computing is on the verge
    of becoming big time, totally mainstream.
    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.
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    5 Star Lounger
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    Its come to the point where there are so many valid options now that I say its to each their own strategy...whatever method one thinks best or most advantageous for thier own habits or conceptualization for compartmentalism or data handling convenience. Most non-technical minded people don't understand partitioning so many are the Acer systems that come in for service with a full C drive and nothing on the D drive. On the other hand if a system is dual-booting two Windows OSs, then a shared data partition is ideal and two seperate partitions for each OS is mandatory. I disagree with some of the things mentioned above by CLiNT, but I'm sure they're fine by him (or they wouldn't be mentioned) so to each thier own strategy.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Byron Tarbox View Post
    Its come to the point where there are so many valid options now that I say its to each their own strategy...whatever method one thinks best or most advantageous for thier own habits or conceptualization for compartmentalism or data handling convenience. Most non-technical minded people don't understand partitioning so many are the Acer systems that come in for service with a full C drive and nothing on the D drive. On the other hand if a system is dual-booting two Windows OSs, then a shared data partition is ideal and two seperate partitions for each OS is mandatory. I disagree with some of the things mentioned above by CLiNT, but I'm sure they're fine by him (or they wouldn't be mentioned) so to each thier own strategy.
    That is certainly true, I have a friend with whom I have been trying to get to use a partition for backing up of his data.
    He crashes his system and looses data everytime and I just can't get him to grasp the need for partitions or even image backups.
    For some, computer failure is inevitable and no amount of help will ever be enough.
    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,
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  7. #7
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    My two cents...

    On my bench machine I currently have Windows 7 divided up into 5 partitions plus a recovery partition. I have the OS by itself on a 16GB primary partition (that I plan to shrink soon), I have Program Files on a 79GB logical drive in an extended partition, I have Users on a 40GB logical drive in that extended partition, the swap file in on a 4GB logical drive all by itself (formatted in FAT32) in that extended partition, and I have a catch-all of downloaded apps and utilities, some notes and data files, web site updates, and what-not on a 45GB logical drive. I also have a 5GB partition that my installation DVD is copied to, and that partition is bootable via some BCD editing. Needless to say, MS does not support moving Program Files and Users off the OS partition. It also breaks the ability to do a repair/reinstall (in-place upgrade that preserves files and settings) from the Windows 7 DVD. It will abort as soon as it sees that Program Files is only a junction point, and not a folder. But I use drive images as backup, so if I happen to pooch something, I'll just reload and go again.

    You can visit my web site to see how I have XP carved up on my main machine; I have 10 partitions spread across two physical hard drives. I still dual boot XP and 7 on that machine, as well as my laptop. I have XP similarly carved up on my laptop. The method behind my madness is that there is no need to waste the time to restore a 500GB (or whatever) drive image when in nearly all cases you only need to restore the OS and the User settings. I have all my Programs set to store their products in Users\[Username]\Documents\[whatever]. You can read about that at my web site, as well (there are no ads, I support the site myself).

    As far as the reformat/reinstall every (name your interval), I haven't done that dance since Windows 95 OSR2. With a little common sense and some routine maintenance, my systems don't slow down over time. Benchmarking has confirmed that for the last several years. The only crashes I get are the occaisional hardware failure. In fact I'm expecting delivery of an Intel D875PBZ motherboard for my main machine this afternoon. I intend to update my web site soon with the particulars involved in carving up Windows 7. It requires some junctions, some registry editing and a few other odds and ends.
    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.
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  8. #8
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    Thank you all for the very stimulating answers to my post, which is just the sort of discussion I was hoping for. I must admit there were some angles that I hadn't considered, and I'll bet I'm not the only one who fits that description.

  9. #9
    5 Star Lounger
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    I recall this discussion from a little while ago:
    http://lounge.windowssecrets.com/ind...n&fromsearch=1

  10. #10
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    I prefer Clints method with separate Drives. I keep everything important on 2nd drive and mirror it to a huge usb backup drive occasionally.

    Only bad is my fastest drive is 650Gb and thats where Windows is, but windows will grow and grow with that backup of everything you do done to the Winsxs folder. Over time there will be a need to hose it and reinstall just to clean the mess. With SP1 on the horizon at 1.2GB(x86 and x64) combined you can bet even though we have installed well over 200mb of updates that when this SP is installed it will occupy even more space because a copy of it might also go to that winsxs folder
    I have heard of this folder reaching the very large size

    heres my winsxs folder but I recently installed again where Windows installed on the hard drive at roughly 13GB
    [attachment=88511:winsxs.png]
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by veegertx View Post
    heres my winsxs folder but I recently installed again where Windows installed on the hard drive at roughly 13GB
    [attachment=88511:winsxs.png]
    Windows Explorer does not report the correct size of Winsxs. Winsxs contains many symbolic links to the same files. When Windows Explorer is used it treats each instance of a link as though it were an instance of the linked file even though the file exists only once. I don't know of any software which will give you a true picture of the Winsxs size. It would have to count the linked file only once and then count the size of the links individually.

    Joe
    Joe

  12. #12
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    The winsxs folder can be moved off the OS drive just like moving the Program Files folder and the Users folder. On my bench machine I'll soon have my OS partition down to 10GB, and it will basically stay that way. Right now it is 16GB with 4.8GB free, with the winsxs folder still in Windows.
    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

  13. #13
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    BBearren:
    Can you point me to a procedure that outlines how to move the winsx file from the C:\ drive please?
    Thank you.
    Dick

  14. #14
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick-Y View Post
    BBearren:
    Can you point me to a procedure that outlines how to move the winsx file from the C:\ drive please?
    Thank you.
    Dick
    I'm in the process of writing up the complete procedure for my web site, but don't have it finished and published yet. There is a partial explanation here on moving the Program Files folder, but it isn't quite as detailed as it needs to be, and moving the winsxs folder is a bit different. I'll keep at it until I can get it published on my web site. As I mentioned in the thread I linked, I want to do some further testing as well. There are a few twists that aren't very obvious, and I want to get it as specific as I can.
    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

  15. #15
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    BBearren:
    Thanks. I look forward to your write-up.
    Dick

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