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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Why would Woody "hate" partitioning?

    Woody made for me a provocative statement in his most recent newsletter article, that he "hates" partitioning. I believe I understand the reasons for partitioning. In my case, I have 2 drives, with data separated from my OS; and a swap file being the first file on the non-OS drive.

    Can someone tell me why one would not use partitions? There must be some technical reasons that would lead someone like Woody to make his pronouncement.
    I could use some enlightenment as far as reasons not to partition.
    Thanks,
    Dick

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Just to give those that did not read the other thread in the Windows Secrets Newsletter forum, part of this thread revolved around partitioning. No need to relist that thread here. The discussion was very good and worth the read. Hoping that Woody will put his 2 cents in to explain his position on partitioning in a little more detail.
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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I can't think of a single downside to the use of a partition.

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    Ted:
    I put the question to the rest of the forum here because Woody seems busy and not responding to the question over there; and curiousity is killing this cat. I thought some other folks might be able to chime in here with technical reasons for not partitioning.
    Dick

    Edit:
    You can see that I read the forums of interest to me from the top down. Having responded to Ted, and after reading other postings in the W7 forum, I got to the bottom of the categories and see that Woody addressed the issue. One of these days I'll learn patience. But it will probably be in Heaven.
    Last edited by Dick-Y; 2011-05-23 at 06:40. Reason: After reading down to the bottom of the forum, I see that Woody addressed the question.

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    I do not use partitioning as the original need for it has gone away.

    Even if you put your data and programs each in a separate partition, then when the drive goes they all go. Now if one is to use separate hard drives then this is not a issue.

    If I want to save a file in some location other than the default "My Documents" it is just a few clicks away and the file is where I want it. I do save most of my data files across the network to my file server, but I do have a lot locally.

    I can rebuild my system just as fast as I use a imaging program and can do it all in one shot. I do not use incremental images just full each time.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    I have two 1TB drives in this Dell Inspiron 580, with 15 partitions spread across them. I have a third external 1TB drive connected through eSATA, which has only a single primary partition, but it is primarily for drive images which are sorted using folders. 1TB is overkill, I admit, but it was on sale!

    But then all my other partitions are also dedicated partitions which greatly simplifies my backup regimen. I use only drive images for backup, and there are lots of things that don't change much, and don't need frequent backup. Windows is isolated in its own partition, the Users folder and ProgramData folder share a partition, the Program Files folder is isolated in its own partition, Music is a dedicated partition, etc. etc.

    This is my work/play machine all in one. I also do my personal finances on it. I backup my checking account every couple of days on CD, as well as including it in my Users/ProgramData partition backup. I have other partitions that have only a couple of drive images, and also a couple that never get a drive image.

    For video editing, I copy my raw video to a Video partition, where it stays until I get through editing, and then I burn the results on DVD. Once I have it on DVD and a backup DVD, I can erase the video tape for re-use, and delete the working files on the Video partition. I've never seen a need to back that one up.

    I view partitions as my major 'folders', and I further sort and categorize using subfolders, with the primary focus on what needs to be backed up frequently, and then in descending order to those things that hardly ever (or never) need backup.

    Sure, setting up partitions takes a bit of forethought and consumes some time, and in my case some registry editing, but it's not like I have to do it every time I turn on the machine. Once it's done, it's done. If somewhere down the road I need to adjust sizes a little, it's really not that big a deal.

    Do "we" need partitions? Maybe not, but "I" find them extremely convenient and useful. And with two hard drives, I've split each Windows installation (I dual-boot) across them in such a way that there is a noticable increase in performance.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

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  7. #7
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    I have 4 drives - 500GB, 1TB, 1.5TB and 2TB. Only one of the drives (the 1TB) is partitioned, and that one is partitioned only because I am using it to boot a minimal XP system (20MB) and Ubuntu (I gave it 50MB) - the rest of that drive is a single partition. My 500GB dive is my Win7 system drive, the 1.5TB drive is my data drive, and the 2TB drive stores movies, music and virtual machine images. I prefer using folder to organize things. I found that when I used partitions that I was always running out of space on one partition or other; now I no longer run out of space (only the 2TB drive more than half full).

    Also, partitions take up drive letters. Between the USB drives that I use, the various SD card ports (in my monitor and printer), my BluRay and two DVD-RW drives, and the mounted ISOs (using MagicDisc), all of which take up drive letters, I have very few drive letters left.

    But that is me. If you find partitions useful, go for it.

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Good morning cafed009.

    Because you have several HD's, you in escense are using partitions, just on separate HD's. You have a HD for your OS, a separate HD for your data, a separate HD for your movies, music and Images and a separate HD for different OSes. If you were to substiture the word partition for HD in your senario you would see how those of us with only 1 HD (i.e. laptops) handle the various system structure that you use separate HD's to accomplish.

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  9. #9
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    Woody said:"I personally hate disk partitioning." DaveA says the need for partitioning has gone away.

    I decided to see what would happen by running the following experiment on my system - an older Dell 4600 desktop, with it's original 80 gig drive, and a 500 gig drive I added last year:
    First, I put everything back on one C:\ drive (user data, swap file, etc.)
    It took 67 sec to boot. Taking an image of C:\ and verifying it (using Macrium Reflect) took 14 minutes and 22 sec.
    Using Macrium to back up and verify my data files took 8 minutes and 11 sec. ( I still wanted to have backups of my data, which I take much more frequently than images of C:\)

    That seemed much slower than I remembered my partitioned system in all aspects, so I went back to my original, partitioned set-up. What the heck, I have the time and I like to "play around" with my system.

    So, I put my system back to a separate partition for W7; one for all my data (including moving stuff out of the "user" folder);
    on the 2nd drive I have my swap file as the first partition; and a second partition for images. I also take images periodically on an external HD.

    Results? My partitioned system boots in 47 seconds. A verified image of C:\ takes 6 minutes and 59 seconds. A verified image of my data partition takes 3 minutes and 43 seconds. Math majors can work out the percentage improvements in these 3 areas.

    Let's see: my partitioned system is faster in all these categories. So, I love partitioning; and the need to do so on my system has not gone away. YMMV.

    Dick

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  11. #10
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick-Y View Post
    Let's see: my partitioned system is faster in all these categories. So, I love partitioning; and the need to do so on my system has not gone away. YMMV.
    Dick
    There will probably be replies to this post to the effect that newer systems are faster. I have a newer system, and it is fairly quick I'll admit; but it is even quicker the way I have it partitioned.

    I did a series of timings similiar to Dick-Y's, a before-and-after look at my Dell Inspiron 580 (after getting rid of everything I didn't want or need that had been pre-installed) with results much the same as Dick-Y's; measurably faster.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

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  12. #11
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    I do a full backup of my systems at home every day using Windows Home Server. I can have them run overnight if I wish. Normally, the backups just run in the background. I so seldom have to restore a system that I do not care about how long it takes. The last time I restored a system was more than 5 years ago when I had to replace a hard drive. I guess I'm fortunate that in spite of installing & uninstalling much software plus general tinkering around I've always been able to recover from a software problem without a bare metal restore. That in turn helps with other systems as I am the support person for friends and family.

    Since I know I have a complete backup of the system that is less than 24 hours old I never partition anything anymore. It is not worth my time to keep track of that stuff and set it up for each system.

    All that said, whatever works for me may not work for someone else. Whatever works for you is fine.

    Joe

  13. #12
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    Dick, I think you may be confusing logical drives (or volumes) with physical drives. While two disks can be each be a single partition (C: & D: drives), each of those disks can be further divided up into several logical disks. Such that you may choose to split the first disk into 2 logical partitions, and the second disk into 3 partitions. This might give you C: D: E: F: & G: drives, C: & D: being on the first physical disk, the others on the second physical disk. At a minimum if you partition all the space on each physical disk to be one logical drive for each disk, Windows will see two logical drives, C: & D:.

    In your configuration, there is a definite benefit to using the second disk for data and the swap file. In the case of those of us who have a single disk, there may not be any benefit to having more than one logical drive (partition) on the same physical disk. This later scenario is what Woody is referring to. There certainly is no benefit to it for performance, that is moving the swap file to the D: partition because its still on the same physical disk. For those who have to re-image frequently there is a benefit to multiple partitions in that they can restore just the OS partition faster than they could a larger partition with all the data included. But as Joe said, there are those of us who have other needs where additional partitions offer no benefits. I have a 500 GB drive in my laptop and is a single partition. I back up my data regularly to separate external drives, and make occasional images of the system in the even of complete disaster. For my needs, its a simple and elegant solution. But as others have said, their partitioning preferences offer them benefits that they consider invaluable. The point is that there no right or wrong way to configure your system. Its what works best for you.
    Last edited by Doc Brown; 2011-05-26 at 12:42.
    Chuck

  14. #13
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    Doc:
    Thanks, but I'm not confusing anything. Woody said he hated partitioning. Other posters have said there's no longer a need for partitioning. I agree with you when you say there's no right or wrong way, and what works best for each of us is what we should be doing with our systems. You give various scenarios. Others are just dogmatically saying there's no need for partitioning.
    Me, I'm quibbling over the dogmatisim. I think it was Ted Meyers who first said something like: "That's why they're called 'personal computers'."
    Best,
    Dick

  15. #14
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    Dick, what I'm saying is that when you have two physical drives such as what you have, and each has a single partition that's using the entire available space, then your system will have two partitions. Because the logical partitions match the physical disks 1 for 1, there's no way around having 2 partitions (except if you span a single volume (partition) across both disks, but that is NOT a good way to configure your disk space). Your configuration is an entirely different scenario than what Woody is referring to. He's saying he hates the idea of splitting a single physical disk into multiple partitions.
    Chuck

  16. #15
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Brown View Post
    Dick, I think you may be confusing logical drives (or volumes) with physical drives.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dick-Y View Post
    So, I put my system back to a separate partition for W7; one for all my data (including moving stuff out of the "user" folder);
    on the 2nd drive I have my swap file as the first partition; and a second partition for images. I also take images periodically on an external HD.
    I read two drives with two partitions each.

    In my case, each of my partitioned drives only have two actual partitions; a primary partition and a larger extended partition, with a number of logical drives within each extended partition.

    My laptop has a primary partition and a larger extended partition with logical drives, and it is also partitioned to facilitate drive (and logical drive) imaging.
    Last edited by bbearren; 2011-05-26 at 16:22. Reason: clarity
    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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