Hard Drive Partitioning

sunshinesam Nov 26, 2004

  1. sunshinesam

    sunshinesam .............

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    What exactly does it mean to partition the hard drive when you have two, and how does it effect performance??
     
  2. onestone

    onestone Member

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    Partitioning is just a way of dividing a physical drive into two or more logical drives. e.g. you have a 40GB C: drive you can divide it into one 10GB and two 15GB drives. You will then have a a C:, a D: and an E: drive. If you ask why do it? There are several reasons.

    If you are using what's called FAT32 system, it's more space efficient to have smaller drives.

    Another reason and one that I use is that I put my operating system in one, my programs in the other and my data in the third.

    If you want to use more than one operating system, on the same machine, you can put each O.S. in a separate partition.

    You say you have two, I suppose meaning physical drives. That has no effect, you can partition just the one drive or both as you wish.
     
  3. sunshinesam

    sunshinesam .............

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    i suppose that improves the efficiency and performance but thats why ive two drives one for sound files and one for programs, if your using windows XP as ur os how large a partition would did you allocate
     
  4. duff beer dragon

    duff beer dragon Junior Members

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    Unless you're on a really tight budget, I'd say just get another drive if you are running out of space to save to, cause they don't cost much anymore - even older machines b4 XP would be able to detect it as 'new hardware' and probably have a wizard-program that'll guide you thru configuring it.

    I'd definitely get another drive if I was going to add another OS to my existing machine set-up, my only experience with partitioned drives was on a Win95 OS, not my own, seems too schizoid a technique for overall safety - one device that thinks it's more than one device - that to me smells like trouble.

    The win98 I'm using here runs MS-DOS in a window off it's own menu system, and it works fine. DOS is an OS. It used to be you'd load windows from DOS on IBMs! had to type something like win or /win at the c prompt.
     
  5. JPsychodelicacy

    JPsychodelicacy Studio Elf

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    re:

    Not just IBMs - all DOS/Windows machines in the '80s and early '90s. Windows was just a graphical shell back in the day. Even Win95/98/Me were all essentially kludged to a DOS back end!

    You're misinformed. Partitioning used to be the *only* way to use big drives back in the day - it's a very basic part of hard disk use, and it won't cause any problems, I promise.

    My machine :
    C: - System and Apps
    D: - Apps and Data
    E: - Data
    F: - Audio
    G: - Audio

    J.
     
  6. sunshinesam

    sunshinesam .............

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    already got two hard drives so space is not a prob main question regarded whether partitioning each drive increased performance
     
  7. JPsychodelicacy

    JPsychodelicacy Studio Elf

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    Only if you're using Windows 95 or 98 with FAT16 (which is pretty unlikely in this day and age).

    I recommend at the very least having separate partitions for Windows, apps and audio - just so you don't risk losing data if you have to reformat and reinstall Windows.

    J.
     
  8. duff beer dragon

    duff beer dragon Junior Members

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    I meant thesedays.......the win95 I used was only a coupla years ago.

    Whoever partioned it botched it, that's what I was meaning - people always think 'all you do is eh eh eh' but it never is that, it's always that if you change something it affects loads of other things......whenever someone says all you do is.......then they go away and the whole thing falls apart and you'll not see them again.

    recently I had someone saying to me or someone else that all you need to do to switch to linux is install it over or alongside whatever windows is running...nevermind telling the computer and all the devices linked to it that it now has to run them off a different OS.......you can't run it from windows either so you'd need to tell DOS to be able to launch it......or know how to install it clean on a blank hard-drive without an OS..!!!

    It depends if you have a factory-built machine or one that's been put together already........those tend not to like having those basic settings altered.

    Put it this way right - see if you have a hard drive and you partition it into two - so one part has an OS and the other has apps and files, so your drive knows to look in 'another' drive for running apps and files (even tho' it's actually looking at itself), and the apps and files know that they are being run from 'another' drive - but it's not really it's the same drive ; wouldn't that - at the least - inhibit performance, even if just beacuse there's only one arm on the hard-drive that reads the information on each drive? I think it sounds like a recipie for disaster.
     
  9. JPsychodelicacy

    JPsychodelicacy Studio Elf

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    re:

    Not really - the seek times are amazing these days.

    The only thing you might want to make sure of is that your audio file partition is relatively contiguous.

    As for apps, it has to do a seek to find things even if it's on the same partition, so it makes bog-all difference really.

    Plus there are about 4 or 5 arms, reading data on different platters. If you want to get down to the nitty-gritty, it's just jumping to a different binary address for each seek, regardless of what partition it's on - partitioning there makes no difference.

    If you're talking about re-partitioning a store-bought PC, then for best results you use something like PartitionMagic, which is capable of reconstructing existing partitions.

    J.
     
  10. duff beer dragon

    duff beer dragon Junior Members

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    partito again

    More than one arm? You got any links for those hard-drives?

    still tho' - think about it,

    if the only advantage to partioning is that it's faster,

    then blatant the seek-times make a big diff - even if more than one arm for reading data - there is still the time it takes to send the data to that arm instead of the other arm and switch that other arm off in the meantime.

    Yeah? - one sector is the OS telling the arms on every sector what to do and when and what to look for.......so the processor is also having to switch between virtual drives every time - in terms of the time saved it sounds like it's adding loads of time-taken.

    per each virtual-drive change that data has to be sent to the processor and back to the drive again.

    It's quickest if the arms don't move or need to move as little as possible - that's how defrag works or is meant to work anyway*, it reduces the seek time by grouping file types together - cause when you are saving them they just get put onto availible sectors beside whatever the last thing you saved in that way was.

    I agree that it's a good feature if it meant that should the drive be damaged in some way you can reinstall per sector - but if they (data, apps, OS) are on the same drive, those kinds of faults tend to affect the whole drive ; as in sectors of the drive being damaged isn't necessarily going to follow the partitioned parameters anyway - you can't expect a potential fault to be nice and only stay in one partition - or you may as well expect no faults to occur ever, and therefore have no need to partition.



    *not meant in that it doesn't work, just expecting it to be more sophisticated soon enough - so you can set the drive to save in specific areas without pretending to it that it's more than one drive.

    I suppose if you look at road planning it's not very suprising that the same type of thinking has been affecting circuits and computer hardware as well, jam all the way.
     
  11. JPsychodelicacy

    JPsychodelicacy Studio Elf

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    What I meant was that there's an arm for each platter of the disk.

    Defragging is basically taking files that have been fragmented by the file system and stitching them back together as contiguously as it can (which is why you need a decent amount of space if you don't want the defrag to take 24 hours :Wink3: ).

    It's cool to know all the low-level stuff, as an understanding of the fundamentals is extremely useful. However, the whole point of recent advances in hard-disk design is that you only have to worry about the low level stuff when dealing with very large files (audio and video mainly).

    As with all things though, the rule to remember is that data does not exist unless it's been backed up in at least two places.

    Actual faults on the drive itself are quite rare, and most data is usually recoverable - it just depends how much you're prepared to pay to recover it.

    J.
     
  12. duff beer dragon

    duff beer dragon Junior Members

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    Funnily enough, last time I ran defrag it took a very long time.

    I had put that down to my not having run defrag for a good while.

    However, it couldn't have been because of that at all, as I then ran it again max. two weeks later - and all I had used the computer for in that time was surfing the web, and possibly making some digital pictures and saving some files from the web. It would have taken as long as the last defrag.

    But it shouldn't have - it should only have had to defrag the last two weeks - ie, take the tasks done since the last defrag and slot those saves in more suitable positions.........
     
  13. JPsychodelicacy

    JPsychodelicacy Studio Elf

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    How much free space have you got?

    J.
     
  14. Marc

    Marc Scratchadelica

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    yeah as jo says - multiple partitions doesnt mean ur files arent contiguous !

    I [until recently] used separate partiitons with separate o/s installs for my music stuff which helped performance just in terms of cleanliness before u even get low-level. I also found a sep stripped down 2k patition knocked the spots of xp for RT performance. I foolishly went back to one partiion for some daft reason when I reinstalled the other - mistake that was :Sad: Bust another hardware profile with all those unnecessary devices/services/shizzle disabled too :Wink3: ... err in summary worrying about seek times cos of ur partiion sizes/distribution etc is bottom of perfromance considerations imo!

    Oh I dont really see the point of putting apps and o/s in a separate partition seeing as windows is so freakin messy anyway unless I missing something ?

    peace,
    m
     
  15. JPsychodelicacy

    JPsychodelicacy Studio Elf

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    I should be clearer - by 'apps' I tend to mean music apps. I try to keep as many non-MS applications out of C:\Program Files as I can, mainly out of old habits.

    J.
     
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