Reading the new thread :http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=17737.0
OS Re-install Tips?
and this one again. I think I will moderate the above some. I had not considered a couple of the possible usages and advantages of multiple partitions. The new thread jarred me a bit, helping to understand (e.g. imaging, recovery, test environments, support of frequently wiped puters).
Overall, there are variables in the system that have to be considered. Here are some.
Multiple drives or one (dual drives)
Disk Space pct - light or heavy
Is any planned OS dual booting planned (other than divvying up XP or Vista or 7)
Special Cases may strongly support multiple partitions.
"Recovery partition" creation (some mfg even put in hidden recovery partitions for the OS)
"Pen drive" mirror partitions (no registry, ergo, less concern for cross-drive mixing)
There are also the speed considerations (see discussions above on swap file, mulitple disks, etc). Minor compared to the other considerations. However if you have multiple drives it may be more natural to think about this.
So there is the issue mentioned in the new thread of quick redeployment. Types of usage that move toward frequent OS wipes, where multiple partitions by design simplify daily support. Two are:
Computer support, corporate -- laptop deployment, high personal turnover, security wipes
All these issues will have a lot to do with whether multiple partitions make sense. For some, a waste of time, for others, close to essential. Now the basic problem always exists in Windows (the lack of a clearly defined OS) -- this is why I was so dismissive before. And so many programs can be unruly in trying to make absolutely clear distinctions. You cannot easily fully differentiate partitions (OS, App Sys, Data). Apps throw program files in the System folder, data is put here, there and everywhere, and it is a chore to check every program, in some cases it is hard to find.
"It is 10:PM . Do you know where your log file is tonight"
Two areas that even the simple home enthusiast may see obvious benefit.
A) Setting up very special partitions (recovery, pen drive) that will fulfill their function 100% and can be tested. (And this overlaps the next, you want a recovery partition light.) A pen drive is by nature a bootable independent drive, separate from everything and a recovery partition similarly has to be 100% independent.
B) Offload a lot of data from the system partition (eg. gigabytes of mail) so that OS partition mirror is simple and clean. You may still have minor data and config vestiges on the OS partition, but the great bulk will be off, making it lighter. Cleaner for imaging and restoring.
Many of us have 100Gb simply free. So a 25-50 Gb partition holding data from some programs (that know how to cross-drive) may make a lot of sense. This is due to the popularity of imaging for quick backup and restore .. in the file-by-file backup you would simply exclude a folder in one backup - it was all in the design.
This is what I did not consider above, how those in quick-support realms design for imaging and restore possibilities. (I've always been skeptical of disk image backup but in some environments it is the norm.) In such a case, massive data removed from the source takes away a very cumbersome element.
On my home PC, I am considering beginning the project with a 25 Gb data partition, and then testing, one-by-one, moving program data over, and seeing how it fits my usage. This would be the simplest startup of multi-partition, and does not require being done at format time. This would go hand-in-hand with one other "recovery partition" that would then match the much-smaller main partition. That could come later, even if I set-aside the partition now. (Well, I could always use it for Linux, except Linux might want multiple partitions .. is that physical or can that be done logically within one partition - experts ?)
One thing to be aware of. If your disk space is tight, then dividing up into partitions is likely to cause more space problems. Similar to how two-way streets will move slower than one-way streets. You are creating 2 or 3 or 4 crunch points, and the lighter loads are not balancing the heavier load. A disk that is 70% full that is divided up into 3 partitions is likely to have one unacceptably too full too quickly, even if no new major data, like a recovery partition, is added. Also, you have a bit more maintenance to be concerned with, whatever you do on one drive, now you have to consider for more than one, defrag, cleaning, etc.
So I am now listening to the partition experts here. I still think it is at times grossly overdone, however I can see how in some cases it is an excellent idea. As some of our posters have shared from their own experiences, especially in PC-support.
Your thoughts ?