Should I partition? (new to Vista with new 750 gig hard drive)

Discussion in 'Windows Vista General Discussion' started by JuanAdams, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. JuanAdams

    JuanAdams Guest

    I am getting a new HP today with a 750gig hard drive.
    Vista Home Premium. 64 bit SP1. I've never used Vista.

    I seem to recall hearing in the past that partitioning a drive so
    large is better than having it be just one 750 gig unit. If so, I want
    to partition it optimally from the outset.


    1) SHOULD I partition my 750 gig C drive?
    2) If so, how is it done? Do I go to Computer > Manage > Disk
    Management like in XP? (I've never used Vista.)

    If I should do it, will I need to reformat to NTFS or will it already
    be NTFS? And should I use the "Quick format" option or the slow
    version? (Never did know the difference when I reformatted external
    drives, but I used the fast version.)

    On my external drives I erased everything and then reformatted.
    Obviously I won't want to do that here, as it comes loaded with the
    operating system and MS Works, etc. So how do I partition without
    erasing files?

    Here's my use for the computer:
    I have some 300gigs of music and 200gigs of movies. So I was thinking
    I could divide the c drive into 2 or 3 partitions (which is best, for
    optimal speed, etc.?):

    One partition of 400 gigs for music, one of 250 gigs for movies, and
    100 gigs for the nuts and bolts of Windows and Programs? (will 100
    gigs be enough or will I need more for Vista?) (I'll back up
    everything to 2 external drives)

    My HP will have 8 gigs of RAM, quad AMD processor. Vista Home Premium.
    64 bit SP1.

    One thing I am concerned about - obviously! - is that I want to make
    sure I don't screw up the C drive, nor erase programs when I
    partition. I trust myself to follow directions, I just want to make
    sure I follow the CORRECT directions! If anyone can direct me to a
    good tutorial on that, that I can print out on this system before I
    switch to the new system, that would be great.

    And can I go ahead and set up the computer, get on the net for tech
    support, and THEN partition if advised? Or do I need to do it before
    setting up my internet connection and printer, etc.?

    Or maybe you will say there is no good reason to partition anyway?
    Awaiting your feedback! Thanks!
    JuanAdams, Mar 21, 2009
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  2. Go to Start | Help and Support - then search for "partition". Begin

    Yes, I would recommend partitioning such a large hard drive. Leave the C:\
    partition at about 100-150 gig and create two-three partition in the
    remainder of the freed up (unallocated) space.

    Others will have differing opinions.
    Richard Urban, Mar 22, 2009
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  3. JuanAdams

    Gary M Guest

    With Vista you can shrink a partition later then create a new partition (or
    more) in the freed up space, so you don't have to decide right now.

    I have done the opposite and combined 2 500GB drives in a matrix stripe so
    it appears to Windows as one 1TB drive ( 931GB actually).
    I do this because I keep recorded TV on that "drive", and its easier to
    manage than two separate 500GB drives. There are performance gains as well
    with this type of setup.

    In the future you might add drives, so if you have your drive partitioned
    into C: , D: , E: + a DVD drive, then when you add one or two drives later,
    you end up with a lot of drives (logical drives).

    In my experience, I have often run out of room on a partition, however I
    have never worked with such a large internal drive before as your 750GB.
    Never the less, I hope to get a 2TB drive in the near future, and I would
    keep that as one partition, and keep my TV recordings on it.
    Gary M, Mar 22, 2009
  4. JuanAdams

    SIW2 Guest

    SIW2, Mar 22, 2009
  5. JuanAdams

    JuanAdams Guest

    Thanks to you both for your differing replies. Good to know that I can
    decide later, that's a nice feature of Vista I guess.

    So it is "debatable" whether a 750 gig drive needs to be partitioned
    to run smoother? I don't care so much about having things on different
    drives for organization's sake, what I am most interested in is having
    the drive(s) be efficient and fast. So with that added bit of info,
    should I partition or not?

    Someone mentioned somewhere that I could add a partition of 100 gigs
    in order to have 2 different OS's operating. Say, Vista AND 7 ? or
    Vista AND XP. How does that work? It would enable me to access all the
    files on the entire drive using either OS? How would the computer know
    which one to start up with, and how would I switch from one to the
    other? Restart or what? I'm ignorant about this concept. Could someone
    enlighten me?

    Does Vista suck so much that I well may want to switch back to XP and
    leaving say, a 100 gig partition for loading XP on there might be a
    good idea in case I want to go back to XP or forward to 7?

    Can someone point me to a good web page about this (having 2 OS's).
    I've never known anyone who did this nor heard much about it.

    Also, one more question from my first post:
    Will the new drive pre-loaded with Vista 64 bit Premium be already
    formatted with NTFS, not FAT?

    Thanks much for all the info!
    JuanAdams, Mar 22, 2009
  6. JuanAdams

    H Brown Guest

    There is no answer that will fit ALL or everyone's environment.
    So It really depends on how you will be primarily using your system
    Read below for info that will help you
    It will already be NTFS file system.
    Read below for more info and some good information
    Nice to know you have some back up drives
    Read below for info that will help you to partition without erasing files.
    The first partition you have is what is included with your system and any
    other partition that HP may have added. This will be the part of the hard
    drive that is the fastest and needs to be.
    If you do ripping and burning operation you should set up one partition for
    that purpose only.
    You need to keep it as small a partition that will accommodate those kinds
    jobs, I would say about 20 GB give or take.
    This will keep the rest of your hard drive from becoming as fragmented as
    ripping and editing project tend to be.
    Gives you a smaller by comparison partition that can be much quicker to
    defrag and also allowing the ripping burning and editing process go
    quicker as well.
    I would make it the first partition that I created after I was up and
    running normally with the Vista system and was satisfied that my system and
    all application etc.
    were working. I would back up/ archive the music and movies to CD or DVD
    media. So when the time comes you can reclaim that space.

    Don't know what all the nuts and bolts are that are in your system.
    Continue to read below for info that will help you.
    The information for where to get started and learn is coming up below.
    Just take it slow for awhile until your satisfied with all terms or phrases
    and really know more about your system. What setup would be best for your
    operating environment. That way you are less likely to "screw up".
    When you run across something, like a term you need more info on Google will
    be a big help.
    e.g. in Google you could type define:partition or type what is a hard drive
    partition. You will see some links below to Google searches.
    As time marches on the Internet is becoming more and more The computer.
    Partitioning will require some math.
    Continue to read below for info that will help you.
    Yes ,Yes to the above, go head and make sure all is well before you start
    changing things.
    Don't be in a rush, you need time to learn a few things plus what will be
    best for your needs.
    Based on what you have said to this point, I would think you would benefit
    from having another partition or partitions.
    Again It might turn out that for now all you will do is shrink the 750 to an
    amount that will allow your OS and Nuts and bolts to do their job with
    enough overhead to handle all the other things that one needs to take into
    No body, until they knew all your nuts and bolts could only guess as to what
    that should be.
    As an example I use one 320 GB Fast HDD for everything and at this time I
    have no need for more partitions on the drive at this time. Of that 320GBs
    I use only about 70 GBs (Archiving) keeping everything close in to the
    spindle, that leaves (and this is where the math comes in) 229 GBs Free.
    When I need more partitions on this drive they can be created. Plus there
    are three open bays for more or some other device.
    I will say that I do Use Over a TB of external HDD that are partitioned.
    The info below will get you started.
    Be sure to read carefully.

    You have a very good help file in Vista under "Disk Management" that should
    answer most of your questions.
    To get to Disk Management click "Start" then
    RIGHT click on "Computer" this will open a context menu from that menu click
    on "Manage" answer the UAC prompt. The "Computer Management" window will
    open. In the folders column that open under the heading "Storage" click on
    the "Disk Management" when the main window is showing all your Drives look
    at the top menu bar and click on "Help" then chose "Help Topics" another
    window opens and under the Contents Tab you will see a + sign next to "Disk
    Management:Welcome" click on the + sign and study all the files. If you
    should have any more questions Google will be a great friend.
    For more information continue to read below and follow the links so you can

    You can also find answers and or links to most of your questions from the
    Vista help files when you click Start> then click on "Help and Support".
    In the help and support window as in all folder windows in Vista near the
    top right is a search box, use it.
    Just type in the word partitioning then click it or hit the Enter key.

    How to proceed with a PC that has Windows Vista preinstalled.
    Should I partition a large Hard drive vista? and much more info.
    How often do I need to be concerned with formatting disks?
    What do I need to do to format a hard disk?
    What file system should I use?
    What's a quick format?'s+a+quick+format?
    What are partitions and volumes?
    How do I create more partitions?
    How do I add a new hard disk?

    When you become more familiar with the terminologies that are used for these
    type operations your wanting to know about, then it will become less
    confusing. This should keep you busy for a while giving you time to stratify
    your best results.

    Good luck
    H Brown
    H Brown, Mar 22, 2009
  7. JuanAdams

    SIW2 Guest

    SIW2, Mar 22, 2009
  8. JuanAdams

    RalfG Guest

    Partition yes, multiple partitions not so much unless you think you'll have
    a dedicated use for each of them, like installing a second OS. Vista/NTFS
    doesn't have the same partition size limitations or allocation unit size
    issues of the older OS's so arbitrarily splitting up a large drive doesn't
    serve much purpose. Allowing 100-150 GB is good for the Vista partition. If
    you're going to be storing or working with a lot of large files it's just as
    convenient to use folders for organising the remainder of the drive space
    and you're not going to get the situation where you eventually run out of
    room in smaller partitions.

    Aside from that the HP will probably already have 7 or 8 drives showing in
    Computer... C:, the D: recovery partition, 4 card readers and 1 or 2 optical
    drives. Add a USB pen drive or external harddrive, camera, MP3 player and
    it all gets a bit much.
    RalfG, Mar 22, 2009
  9. JuanAdams

    JuanAdams Guest

    H Brown, thanks for that long and informative reply.
    I wrote another reply with a few more questions but it seems to have
    gotten lost (or delayed)... So I'll wait before I re-write it.
    I'll definitely be reading the links.
    Thanks to others for replies and links as well!
    JuanAdams, Mar 22, 2009
  10. JuanAdams

    JuanAdams Guest

    Hey, thanks for the video links. That was painless and helpful!
    AND I figured, hmm, if there's a about seven maybe
    there's a about vista, so I tried it, and sure enough
    there is! I'm registering there for info about using vista. Thanks!
    JuanAdams, Mar 25, 2009
  11. JuanAdams

    SIW2 Guest

    Glad it helped Juan

    Do you mean this Vista Forum

    SIW2, Mar 25, 2009
  12. JuanAdams

    JuanAdams Guest

    JuanAdams, Mar 26, 2009
  13. JuanAdams

    Tepid Guest

    Just a side note,, I read through this kinda quick so not sure if thi
    was covered

    Vista Partition resizing is Limited. You can't shrink more than hal
    the drive size or something. It's kinda rediculous. Unless you ar
    keeping what is on the drive now, just run the install and partition th
    drive during the installation

    My ultimate advice is. Buy a a smaller drive,, like 250G and instal
    the OS on it and use the 750 as a pure backup/data drive

    I personally don't like these huge single root drives, and none of th
    OEM's care how they partition the drives, if they do it at all, the
    suck at it. But then, most factory installs are crap/junk installs
    infected with spyware

    I love HDD space, but I like it where it belongs, and that is not a
    the root of the system. 250G is more than enough for any home base
    system and still a lot for any buisness system, tech system, etc.
    Tepid, Mar 27, 2009
  14. JuanAdams

    JuanAdams Guest

    I think you are right about not needing such big hard drives as the C
    drive. BUT I have found that external drives die like crazy, they can
    die in 30 days or they can die in 2 years, but MANY seem to die in the
    first year or so. I have had 4 and out of those, 2 died within a year
    just barely over a year (just out of warranty on one that had a 1-year
    warranty) . So that is a 50% failure rate within one year (one within
    9 months and one within about 13 months). So unless you keep another
    drive on hand loaded with your OS, it seems to me it would be rather
    inconvenient to have your OS on an external drive.

    I could be wrong but I also think Internal drives, - especially C
    drives that came with the CPU - are much more likely to last for many
    years. I personally have never had a C drive die, and most have lasted
    4-6 years until I retired the computer for other reasons.

    The first thing I am going to do when I hook the computer up to my
    monitor is to run Spybot search and destroy and delete most of the pre-
    loaded software, maybe all of it except MS Works and IE.

    This is also why I am thinking of partitioning the C drive to a
    relatively small - but plenty big - space, maybe 100gigs, and use the
    rest of the C drive as storage, except for one other partition to rip
    and burn and download and process binaries, so that I can defrag it
    easier than having to de-frag the whole C drive; and one partition
    only for a back up of the C drive.

    Someone else suggested I make the C drive as small as possible - I
    think he may have said 45gigs or so for Vista - and then route all
    temp files and other space-eating things and archives to the BIG
    section of my drive. I could even make the rip and burn partition a
    little bigger and use it for this too, so the big section is only for
    programs and archives.

    What do you think about that idea?
    JuanAdams, Mar 28, 2009
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