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Author Topic: Advice needed about splitting or re-sizing a partition ...  (Read 4429 times)

joiwind

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I have just inherited a Dell E6400 laptop with a 80gb hdd, nothing much installed on the single C:/ partition, though there is some precious data there that I've backed up elsewhere.

I would like to create a second partition to store data - what is best : to split C:/ into two partitions, or re-size (i.e. reduce) C:/ so as to free unallocated space and create a new partition ?

I would be using MiniTools Partition Wizard or similar.

The whole thing is a bit nail-biting ... advice please.

Thanks.
.: I use K-Meleon - the browser you can control - but I love Pale Moon too :.

Ath

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Re: Advice needed about splitting or re-sizing a partition ...
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2014, 12:48:27 PM »
On that small a harddrive, I'd keep the single partition, to most efficiently balance the application/data ratio.

I find that 80 GB is quite small for a system-drive, at least for Win7..., so fixed-reserving space for a data partition doesn't feel 'right'

mouser

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Re: Advice needed about splitting or re-sizing a partition ...
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2014, 12:57:58 PM »
I have to agree with Ath -- with only 80gb, I'd stick with one partition.  Otherwise you are *VERY* likely to find yourself a year down the road and out of space on one of your two partitions.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Advice needed about splitting or re-sizing a partition ...
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2014, 01:15:39 PM »
Third vote for a onesie! :D

...If you think splitting it is scary...wait till it overflows and you got to put it back together with zero free space (eek!).

One is safer.

Now if you just can't resist...(some folks enjoy danger)...shrink C: first, and then add the data part.

joiwind

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Re: Advice needed about splitting or re-sizing a partition ...
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2014, 01:25:49 PM »
OK, thanks folks, I'll take that advice and leave things as such (while attempting to keep things clean and lean ...).
.: I use K-Meleon - the browser you can control - but I love Pale Moon too :.

MilesAhead

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Re: Advice needed about splitting or re-sizing a partition ...
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2014, 06:58:54 PM »
OK, thanks folks, I'll take that advice and leave things as such (while attempting to keep things clean and lean ...).

+1 for one partition.  A nice side effect is that if you can keep the free pace percentage high(perhaps by storing some data on external or thumb drives) you would be surprised how fast "quickie" defrags run using a tool such as Auslogics defrag, with no optimizations. If it takes less than 15 minutes you can easily run it 3 or 4 times weekly.  I'm not a believer in the "defrag in the background" methodology.

Of course mentioning defrag courts danger as the various philosophies may be accompanied by religious fervor.  :)

esoito

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Re: Advice needed about splitting or re-sizing a partition ...
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2014, 08:51:28 PM »
Yep. Another one agreeing -- keep it as is.

Compulsive 'fiddlers' out there should remember:  "If it ain't broke don't fix it."
If you're going round in circles then you're cutting corners.

mouser

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Re: Advice needed about splitting or re-sizing a partition ...
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2014, 09:11:57 PM »
Seem to be unanimous.

But just an aside -- your question was "what is best : to split C:/ into two partitions, or re-size (i.e. reduce) C:/ so as to free unallocated space and create a new partition?"

Now I'm not up to date on the latest partition managers -- but I have not yet seen one that will actually do your first option (split a partition into 2); every one I have ever seen all would have required you to first shrink your existing partition and then create a new one after it.

Shades

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Re: Advice needed about splitting or re-sizing a partition ...
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2014, 10:18:28 PM »
All right, then here is the 1st (?) not one partition post   :P

If you are not familiar with tools such as nLite (XP and older) or vLite (Vista and newer), then I wouldn't make several partitions. But if you do, I always make a partition for the Windows OS itself, one partition for the software I need to install and my portable applications, another one for my data and preferably one partition for temporary files generated by the system and all users alike (including page/hybernate files).

Admittedly, this is a very involved way of installing Windows, but for me the advantages outweigh the pain of this installation method.

Temporary files and user generated files always make a mess of a one partition, requiring a lot of defragging over the life-time from the Windows installation. With one partition dedicated to just the Windows OS files, not much defragging is necessary at all and if you do it is done very fast. Keeping your installed software separated from the rest is also helpful, not much extra data changes are expected, so after a while hardly any defragging is necessary anymore and program files are positioned optimally, giving you between 3 to 10% global performance gain of the hardware.

Separate partitions for C:\ (Windows OS) and D:\ (Programs), you can install Windows fresh and with freeware such as ERUNT and have all your software re-installed within 30 minutes. That is how long it took me to revive a Oracle database server (with 2x 300+ GByte databases ready to run again).

Granted, it's not for the faint of heart, but I have never believed in the MS mantra of dumping everything on one pile and letting 3rd party software clean up the mess. The file system from the Amiga home computer worked much nicer back in the day and is/was much more akin to the Linux way of handling storage media. but you can apply these principles quite well on Windows too, although with each iteration of Windows it is more and more 'only their way or the highway'.

You might have guessed by now, I am highly/deeply/extremely opinionated about who is allowed access to the data I generate on my computer (using a quite rigid folder structure I made that suits my workflow best).  

On-topic:
Mouser is right, software like MiniTools makes you shrink the C:\ partition first before you can make the second one. And MiniTools is very decent software. I have used the freeware version of their software on several occasions and always delivered, so you won't hear me say anything negative about it.
  

mouser

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Re: Advice needed about splitting or re-sizing a partition ...
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2014, 10:29:15 PM »
Just to emphasize something: Many of us on this thread are fans of using multiple partitions for the OS and data, etc. when you have a large drive (or putting them on different physical drives).  It's just that when you have a small hard drive like this, the downsides far outweigh any upsides.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Advice needed about splitting or re-sizing a partition ...
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2014, 07:23:40 AM »
Just to emphasize something: Many of us on this thread are fans of using multiple partitions for the OS and data, etc. when you have a large drive (or putting them on different physical drives).  It's just that when you have a small hard drive like this, the downsides far outweigh any upsides.

+1 - Quite true. For an OS the size of XP on an 80GB drive I'd cut it into my usual 3 partitions for OS, current workspace, and long term storage. But for OS's the size of Vista/7/8 80GB just ain't enough room to play with once you start adding a few largish applications. Hell at the Office I had a 84GB OS partition on my workstation. It seemed like plenty of room years ago when I first set it up with a clean load of Vista. But towards the end it got really cramped trying to fit everything in that tiny space.

Shades

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Re: Advice needed about splitting or re-sizing a partition ...
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2014, 10:03:57 AM »
I understand anyone that couldn't be bothered to partition an 80GByte disk, it isn't much nowadays. And current software/games really consume storage space for one reason or another, so partition limits are quickly found.

My current personal PC setup (which runs already since 2008) has a 12GByte C:\ partition for the Windows 7 OS, 40GByte for applications on D:\, a 15GByte partition containing all temporary files and the rest is for my data. C:\ still has 2 GByte free and almost 10GByte is free on D:\ , which would be a lot more if I hadn't such a hard time parting with games Skyrim and Oblivion (including the big mod).

All zealotry (from my end) aside, with an 80GByte drive you will have to learn which software to install/keep and develop the discipline to keep the system lean and mean by removing what you don't need, even with one partition. And make backups regularly... ;)

joiwind

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Re: Advice needed about splitting or re-sizing a partition ...
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2014, 01:41:02 PM »
Thanks again for all the comments and advice.

I must put some minds to rest : this isn't my one and only PC, I have a desktop which is running fine, though reaching saturation point, but which was never partitioned. So when I got this laptop, nice and empty, running fast and smooth even though far from new (the E6400 is a real workhorse), I thought it might be a good idea to partition it before filling it up with all sorts of things.
However I don't have the installation CDs for it but if I had I wouldn't have hesitated in going ahead with the partitioning so that if things went wrong I could start again from scratch.

But I'm following your advice and will leave things well alone.

BTW MiniTools looks pretty good and it does offer to either Split or Resize-Shrink - thus my OP.

Thanks again.
.: I use K-Meleon - the browser you can control - but I love Pale Moon too :.

joiwind

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Re: Advice needed about splitting or re-sizing a partition ...
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2014, 06:16:25 AM »
For those that may be interested MiniTools Partition Wizard professional version is free for a few days - go to chez Gizmo and follow the links and instructions.
.: I use K-Meleon - the browser you can control - but I love Pale Moon too :.

mikiem

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Re: Advice needed about splitting or re-sizing a partition ...
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2014, 10:43:33 AM »
FWIW...

If you don't have the Windows install disc, joiwind, I'd suggest getting one. I'd also suggest using something like the Nirsoft utility to get the Windows key for (re)install, & storing it with the disc you'd burn from the Windows setup ISO. With older hardware the latest version of backup software rescue discs may not work. I'm a believer in making disk/partition image backups -- If you feel the same way, you might do a bit of testing to make sure you have a rescue disc that works with the laptop, or go through older versions of backup software to find one. I'm assuming you wouldn't want to take up disk space with a full backup app.

I'd think an external drive for some or most of your software would also come in very handy. You might have or want to buy a card to interface with the drive [I don't know what your laptop has]. External drive housings &/or docks can be found pretty cheap on-line -- for a drive to put in it, I've seen smaller remans pretty cheap as well.

MilesAhead

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Re: Advice needed about splitting or re-sizing a partition ...
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2014, 04:19:57 PM »
For those that may be interested MiniTools Partition Wizard professional version is free for a few days - go to chez Gizmo and follow the links and instructions.

Thanks for the heads up.  Got mine.   :Thmbsup: