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  1. #1
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    Need advice about partitioning SSD for new W10 laptop

    Just purchased an ASUS Zenbook with 256G SSD. I'm am setting it up following Lincoln Spector's advice (5/15/14) about setting up a new (W8.1) PC. He recommends separating personal data from MS system by partitioning (HDD), hence making backups a bit simpler. My question: Is this still appropriate advice given the way SS drives use the entire memory to even out the use, thereby prolonging the life of the SSD?

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    You don't need to partition your disks at all these days. A 2TB external backup drive will swallow the lot without issue - it used to be an issue with smaller backup disks.
    SSDs will manage the space regardless of what you do with partitions - all file locations are logical, not physical on an SSD.

    cheers, Paul

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    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    I strongly agree with Paul T - partitioning your 256GB SSD will only make using your laptop more complicated.

    Much better to use a large-capacity USB HDD to store regular backups of what you have on your SSD.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    You don't need to partition your disks at all these days. A 2TB external backup drive will swallow the lot without issue - it used to be an issue with smaller backup disks.


    cheers, Paul
    Does this apply to all disks, or just SSD's?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trev View Post
    Does this apply to all disks, or just SSD's?
    If I may: partitions can sometimes be difficult in managing of data, trying to locate it. Also, if a drive has multiple partitions on it and it physically dies it is possible for ALL partitions to be lost. I prefer 2 smaller drives to one large one and use external drives to store critical data but that's not always possible with Notebooks, not many made that can accept a second HDD, maybe a 17.3" model.
    Last edited by Berton; 2015-11-21 at 13:50.

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    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Hey Y'all,

    FWIW, I find storing my data in a separate partition, and on my desktop a separate drive as the OS is on a SSD, useful for the following reasons.

    1. I image my drives every two weeks (Macrium Reflect Premium). But I backup the Data Partition Daily at 18:30 while I watch the news using a scheduled task that runs RoboCopy. By having all my data in one place it makes this task much easier. I started this when Outlook used to place .pst files outside of the Documents folder and have just stayed with it even though MS has seen the light and now places Outlook data in Documents.
    2. I have a dual boot laptop which has a single physical drive w/3 partitions one of which is the Data Partition shared by both bootable partitions thus I only have to sync that one partition to my desktop.
    3. I have another laptop (Win 10 Insider) again a simple copy of my data partition and everything is up to date.
    4. When testing I'll image my C: to a secondary HD for easy recovery and I don't have to wait for it to also copy the data in either direction!


    IMHO using partitions is good but also a personal decision as it is no longer necessary as pointed out many times here. As always YMMV!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trev View Post
    Does this apply to all disks, or just SSD's?
    These days, yes. A large backup disk is relatively cheap - compared to the cost of replacing your data.

    cheers, Paul

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    I partition my ssd
    drives on win 10 laptops for the same reasons as retire geek. Having the data totally separate makes it easy to back it up, allow it to be accessed by the more than one user acts on the machine and allows me to image the OS partition with acronis without bothering to also image all that data. Restoring the OS image is easy and faster this way. I also keep a Windows OS image of each machine around just in case.

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    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Just a question....

    Would you build a house without any partitions....just one HUGE room? Probably not!
    Can you imagine a bathroom with NO Walls? Yikes!

    I think of a second partition like a closet, where I can stick things that I don't want to see every day.
    And those things in the "Closet" don't have to be scanned over and over again either.
    Having a 1TB drive for storage is great, if you have a desktop PC with the resources, (space and PSU) to support it,
    but that doesn't work well for a laptop.

    I did partition my own SSD, using EaseUS Partition Master. Worked like a charm.

    Oh well, to each his own.

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    There is no one best answer to this. Having a separate partition for system files and programs means you can image that partition on a regular basis and prior to any updates, program changes, etc. The data partition can be setup to do differential backups which consume less space than a full image.

    But with a 256G ZenBook, the separation may not make as much sense as it might for a 1TB desktop drive. It's a lot easier to manage personal files through sensible directory management - which is an area where Windows went rather off the rails.
    Graham Smith
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    3 Partitions

    One partition for OS only and swap file if necessary - preferably none.

    Second partition for your program installs.

    Third partition for data.

    Can't believe people actually suggest putting all your eggs in one basket.

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    Hi,

    For what it's worth, I took advantage when I upgraded to Windows 10 by replacing my laptop HD with a 240GB SSD and a new 1TB HDD. By following these instructions: "http://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/1964-users-folder-move-location-windows-10-a.html" I now have all my docs, pics, db's etc on a separate drive from C:\Users...

    This setup is awesome for me. Programs install on SSD, and data on the HDD that gets backed up every night. No partitioning per se.

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    You don't need to partition your disks at all these days. A 2TB external backup drive will swallow the lot without issue - it used to be an issue with smaller backup disks.
    SSDs will manage the space regardless of what you do with partitions - all file locations are logical, not physical on an SSD.

    cheers, Paul
    It is always good practice to have your OS and software on the bootable partition and your data on a separate partition preferably on a separate physical drive. That said, you need to use the Location Tab in Properties for your system folders under your user name on the system partition to move them and their pointers to the Data partition. On a laptop you use the speed of the SSD (120GB) for the OS and software, and if you need a second drive, use a drive caddy in place of the Optical drive.

    I have many clients who have lost all of their data by bad practices and while backups are good, how many clients including yourself actually keep up with their backups. Having the data on a separate partition is the first line of defense, and skipping it is asking for unnecessary trouble, while backups is the second line of defense.

    I clone the system partition after it is set up to a cheap HDD and make sure it boots before putting it in the drawer. Data backups are done with GoodSync so that the data on the backup media (SSD, HDD, External drive, NAS) is available in Windows [File] Explorer without needing the backup software to access it. What should go along with this is the additionally bad habit of putting things on the desktop.

    Another bad habit is downloading everything to Downloads instead of clicking on the drop arrow to the right of the Save button to Save As to navigate to a proper place to store it. I have an organized folder on the Data partition for all of the items that are installed on the computer.

  18. #14
    5 Star Lounger ibe98765's Avatar
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    I've used partitions since the 1990's and I continue to do so today. I like the analogy that Dr. Who used as to building a house with one big room vs. subdividing. I use partitioning for data organization.

    My Win7 laptop 1TB drive has 3 partitions. My desktop Win8.1 has 2 SSD's and 2 rotating drives, all partitioned.

    I backup everything on variable automatic schedules from every other day to a month (depending on how often data changes) mainly driven through Acronis imaging. I also have an external 1TB hard drive and an SSD for off-site backup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by omendata View Post
    Can't believe people actually suggest putting all your eggs in one basket.
    A partitioned drive is one basket with separators.

    Partitions go back to a time when the OS could not deal with a large drive, but large drives were appearing. The only way to deal with that was to create multiple partitions. Much of the strategy and wisdom related to partitioning came from making the best of a bad situation.

    The advantages that once existed may no longer be as valid. So it makes sense to re-evaluate things on a more case by case basis. That goes triple when SSD's are involved because the technology is very different than old hard drives where there were actually some physical advantages to partitioning as well.

    Your mileage may vary.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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