tomos:Yes, I'd like to know recommended sizes as well. I'm using a 120GB.
Any general recommendation on the sizes for partition 1 and 3?
That's one of those seemingly simple questions that's not easy to answer.Partition-1:
The basic question is how many applications you plan on installing. f0dder's
16GB partition would easily suffice for Windows, MS Office, and the usual handful of productivity apps. If you plan on adding a lot more than that, I'd suggest roughly doubling it - say 24-32GB. That should handle most people's requirements, but use your judgment based on what you're planning to load. I doubt you'd ever need to give it more than 40GB no matter what you're installing.Partition 2:
I'm still using 20GB as my standard. So far, this easily accommodates:
a) Two 'Genesis Images' - These each take up between 2.5 to 3.0GB on my machine. The first one is just the original Windows install with all the current MS updates and service packs; current hardware drivers; basic system tweaks and interface customizations, and the imaging utility. The second image is the same as the first, except it also has MS Office and all the current updates for that as well. DO NOT move My Documents
over to Partition-3 until you've created these images.
Also be sure to test them. Take your Genesis-2 disk and do an actual recovery. That's right - use it to write all over that shiny new Partition-1 you just spent two hours setting up! If your recovery image doesn't work, now
is the time to find out rather than one year down the road when you may actually need it.
b) Copies of all drivers. Create a separate folder and use a driver backup/restore utility like DoubleDriver
) to make copies of them. Also be sure to include a copy of the installer for the utility you used to create this backup. If something happens such that you can't use the Genesis images, at least you won't have to go through the hassle of hunting down all your drivers again. And if you update any drivers later on, redo the backup so it's always current (Burn this driver backup to a separate CD and put it someplace safe. You'll thank yourself a million times over if you ever need it!)
c) Post install backups of various things: e-mail, bookmarks, passwords, etc.
d) A folder I call Installs
. This is one of my most important folders.
How many times have you stumbled upon some incredibly useful application or utility by chance while you were cruising the web? If your machine crashed, would you be able to find it again? If you did, might it possibly have switched from freeware to a commercial product in the interim? Or been 'improved' to the point where you no longer liked it?
Don't take chances. Put the installers for all those neat little things you've found over the years in this folder and you'll always have them ready.
For your boxed applications, just use the original CDs or DVDs for reinstalls. Don't waste disk space on them, unless you downloaded some huge service pack
for it and want to keep a copy of that on hand.
e) A complete and current system inventory. You can create these with any one of a number of products. Belarc Advisor
) is one of the easiest to use. Advisor provides you with a complete list of what's installed along with a lot of other useful information. It's especially handy for helping you remember what you had on your machine in case you need to reinstall from scratch. Print out a hard copy of the generated report and put it with that driver backup you made earlier.
(You did do that, didn't you?
On my main machine, all of this - plus an 6GB image of my current configuration and a bunch of other backups - chews up about 16GB.
I could probably lose 3 or 4 GBs of that if I went through my Installs folder and dumped a pile of apps sitting in there that I no longer use - and also moved some other junk that really doesn't belong on that partition to begin with.
Hmm..maybe I'll do that today... Partition-3
is easiest. Just use whatever space is left over after you created the first two.
Hope this was helpful.
PS: To answer your original question - for Windows XP, I'll start with a generic [40/20/"the rest"] partition scheme and then adjust as needed for specific users. On a 120GB disk, I'll usually reduce Partition-1 to 30-32GBs unless there's good reason for making it bigger.
I try not to change Partition-2's 20GB size unless I'm really strapped for disk space. If such is the case, I'll drop it to something like 12GB, and only use it for genesis images; and backups for e-mail, bookmarks and hardware drivers.