Hi tomos, thanks for your interest.
Yes, most of my primary partitions are actually for testing/toying and occupy one cylinder only. On my two laptops that is about 4 MB (HDD capacity 2059 MB), on the desktop about 7.8 MB. That way I can fit lots of them in front of the 1024 cylinder boundary. I don't claim that this is useful, but it tickles my fancy. I also have a large C: primary partition, which is active most of the time when I boot into Windows (any flavour). That is a compromise I had to make when I realized that there are programs, that insist on putting files in C:\Temp, or C:\WARCRAFT, or C:\Programme, or C:\Program Files, or ... . All of these are primary and that "primary block" is physically located at the start of the hard disk.
Next comes a single extended partition, that contains all the remaining HDD drive letters: D, E (several to choose from), F, G. On my Dell Inspiron 7500 laptop there follows a SaveToDisk primary partition, because it likes to have one there. Well, it likes to have one and I just put it there so it's out of the way.
TotalCMD on D: is Total Commander, without which I could not work the way I like to work. Actually work is the wrong term, maybe play or mess is more appropriate. But anyway.
E: (all of them) are logical drives inside the extended partition. When I install programs they usually go to E:\Program Files\ alongside with E:\Windows. There have been naughty installers that created their own folders in E:\Programme or even E:\XXX where XXX is the default name for %ProgramFiles% in french, spanish, ... . Those installers have always created that particular folder in the root of E drive automatically, without my help or consent. After testing and uninstalling I remove the foreign E:\XXX manually. No cause for upset on my behalf.
So to answer your question directly: I have no trouble with the different path. Just when I try to figure things out for foreign friends, or when I try out software that does not support english, these folders get ceated on eighther C: or E:. All of the programs that I use on a regular base install automatically in %ProgramFiles% as expected. BTW when I want to use/test a particular program under a different Windows version, I boot into the different version first and install it again. I keep installers in F:\Setup, my downloads go to F:\Download and are accessible from several different Windows versions without even a change of drive letters.
As to your remark about Ghost images, no problems here. I stick to the rule that what comes from C: goes back to C: (primary partition), what comes from E: goes back to E: (logical drive inside extended partition). I can just guess that restoring an image of a bootable primary partition to a logical drive might no be bootable any more, but did not know about problems with restoring ghost images to non-C drives. Maybe I was just lucky to not run into problems. If you can remember where that info comes from, would you mind telling me where, or what to google for, please?
I just want to add that I have no experience with imaging software other than ghost, but my feeling is that restoring a bootable primary partition with Windows as OS to a logical drive will never work, because Windows does not support booting from a logical drive. I further feel that if it is done anyways, and I reboot (lets say from a CD), the restored partition will contain all the files from the image, will not be corrupted in any way, but will not boot because of OS just can't. IMHO this might be the case with all imaging software. So if I expect to boot from it, I won't get what I want. But If I expect to restore the files, I will get what I want. It's a question of "Does my problem suit the solution?"
I have tried out several different locations for pagefile.sys: C:\, E:\, external HDD (I don't have a 2nd internal HDD). I have settled for E:\pagefile.sys for the following reasons: 1. Windows puts it there (least important), 2. the heads on the HDD don't have to travel far to access it if they are lurking somewhere on E: (which might not even be the case most of the time), 3. hassle free (most important, that is something that I don't enjoy messing with). But I will definately try out 2nd internal HDD as soon as I have one. I want to find out if I could have a single pagefile for different Windows, because I could save disk space on all my Windows installations. Not really necessary, but I'm curious about it.
I just noticed you wrote paging file(s). The only other file I have is E:\hiberfile.sys on my WindowsXP desktop. It appeared after the first use of hibernating. Is that what you meant? And as mentioned above my Dell laptop supports hibernating (or something) to different locations, (C:\filename.ext and dedicated primary partition) when I use the utility that comes on the driver disk. IIRC, because right now I can't seem to find the lead to plug it into the mains. An even older TI Extensa of mine (I found the lead) has E:\Windows\win386.swp in an Windows 98 SE installation.
I will now go and search the forum for discussions on paging file or swapfiles or virtual memory, because I am eager to find out what others have done.
Sorry to be so long, I will stop here now. If you have more questions, I will gladly answer, but I don't want to abuse other peoples threads. I will start a new thread for that, and post a link here. I don't want to leave a bad impression on my second day of membership.
Greetings to all