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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Like me, you might have read some threads here about the usefulness of multiple partitions in Windows 7. Multiple partitions are useful in certain circumstances, but you could never tell that from all the blather on the subject that has been shoveled out around here.

    I started separating my user data onto a separate partition when I began multi-booting Windows XP with Windows 98. With careful registry editing, you can shift special folders around, and with careful application tweaking, you can move your user data to another location. This allows you to use the same user data on multiple instances of different versions of Windows. I still do this with multi-booting Windows 7 and Windows XP. Very useful, but not perfect. There is no effective way to get all your profile data (like Application Data) onto a separate partition, but it works well enough for multi-booting.

    Even if you aren't multi-booting, I think two partitions is still a good idea for two reasons:

    1) a small OS partition (your C: drive) makes imaging more compact and faster. Imaging is the right way to backup your OS.
    2) a large user data partition (music, documents, video, pictures, email folders) makes simple backup, using sync software, reliable because you are only copying files

    If you decide to use a separate data partition in Windows 7, you can use the Zorn Software Win7 Library Tool (http://zornsoftware.talsit.info/) to add folders from your user data partition to your various Windows 7 libraries and, very important, change the default save location in all your libraries to your user data partition. If you do this, you don't need to edit the registry and move any special folders to your user data partition. In time, more and more tools will begin to act on libraries instead of folders, making it easier to manage your data.

    Oh, if it isn't obvious, the easiest way to add another partition to your system is to add another drive. You can also use Win7 or other tools to shrink your single partition to make room for another partition, but if you are already out of space, this is the much more difficult route. Just add another drive and move your data there. Add the folders to your libraries and set the save location to your new folders. Done.

    That's it. There are no other reasons to use extra partitions. Moving your program files to another partition is stupid and so is using partitions as a replacement for file system folders. Managing a separate user data partition is practical on Windows XP and simple on Windows 7. End of story. All comments from those other guys will simply be re-arguments that you already read in that other thread. Just ignore them. They are nuts. If you want to discuss details on what I (not anyone else) said here, reply back and we'll go through it.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    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

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kent W. England View Post
    With careful registry editing, you can shift special folders around, and with careful application tweaking, you can move your user data to another location. This allows you to use the same user data on multiple instances of different versions of Windows. I still do this with multi-booting Windows 7 and Windows XP. Very useful, but not perfect.
    I do the same with Windows and Ubuntu - no matter which one I boot into my documents, pictures, music, videos are the same. The only thing I have not been able to make the same is Desktop, for some reason neither Windows nor Linux like to change that from the default location, though I have tried.

  4. #4
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    All comments from those other guys will simply be re-arguments that you already read in that other thread. Just ignore them. They are nuts.
    They're not nuts, they do have O.C.D. when it comes to computers though, where certain aspects of function take priority and everything else has to be adjusted to fit around the O.C.D.



    2) a large user data partition (music, documents, video, pictures, email folders) makes simple backup, using sync software, reliable because you are only copying files
    Easily the number one priority beyond all other considerations by many factors. Its the only thing that is really important and it needs to be dead flat simple and thoughtless to implement and that's what you get with a pure data partition. Unfortunately this can be initiated before a user creates his or her first account and its never been an option at the time of account creation, even though some systems come with appropriately partitioned (well, appropriately enough) drives.

  5. #5
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    Dear All,

    I have always partitioned, at least when the HDD became sufficiently large.
    I multi-boot on my 3 net/laptops using XP, Vista, Win 7 and :Linux (partially because I am the R&D committee member of a local computer club).
    OS, Data and Programs all have their own partitions.

    I can the share common data and back up data easily across multi-OS platforms.

    It does take a little extra work which 95% of our 450 club members are not interested in doing until, on numerous occasions, they have a critical crash and lose all their data.
    Most times I get this back for them using a CD-run OS from Linux. e.g., Puppy Linux.

    I don't use the Windows Documents' folders at all except when some apps insist on putting their stuff there.

    In short: with todays very large HDDs partitioning is ideall for separating data, making back-ups smaller and improving security.

    A little effort goes a long way and once set up is almost self-maintaining.

    Regards,
    ScottyJavea

  6. #6
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Tuckey Scott View Post
    Dear All,

    I have always partitioned, at least when the HDD became sufficiently large.
    I multi-boot on my 3 net/laptops using XP, Vista, Win 7 and :Linux (partially because I am the R&D committee member of a local computer club).
    OS, Data and Programs all have their own partitions.

    I can the share common data and back up data easily across multi-OS platforms.

    It does take a little extra work which 95% of our 450 club members are not interested in doing until, on numerous occasions, they have a critical crash and lose all their data.
    Most times I get this back for them using a CD-run OS from Linux. e.g., Puppy Linux.

    I don't use the Windows Documents' folders at all except when some apps insist on putting their stuff there.

    In short: with todays very large HDDs partitioning is ideall for separating data, making back-ups smaller and improving security.

    A little effort goes a long way and once set up is almost self-maintaining.

    Regards,
    ScottyJavea
    There's the good, and then there's the bad and the ugly.
    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

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