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Partitions increase speed?

by ksoiehawo / October 20, 2005 1:39 PM PDT

I heard that partitioning a hard drive can increase the speed on the first partition. so the first partition would be used for windows and important programs, and a second partition could be used for data, images, videos etc.
and that if i did that, the first partition would be twice as fast as the second one.

is this true?

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That was true back in the bad old days.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 20, 2005 9:41 PM PDT

The time to defrag a hard disk with 1 or 2 partitions is nearly identical.

I don't see any savings.



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k, thanks
by ksoiehawo / October 21, 2005 3:02 AM PDT

i also heard that if there are 2 partitions, if something goes wrong with the OS, the other partition will not be affected.

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My experience is ...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 21, 2005 3:41 AM PDT
In reply to: k, thanks

That happens is if you are lucky.



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(NT) (NT) k, thanks for the info
by ksoiehawo / October 21, 2005 5:47 AM PDT
In reply to: My experience is ...
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Partitions also speed up virtual memory.
by ackmondual / October 28, 2005 2:54 AM PDT

I read, possibly here on Cnet that creating your own partition for virtual memory speeds up your other partitions. Kinda pointless too this day in age, as RAM is still on the cheap side.

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That was disproved.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 28, 2005 4:43 AM PDT

If one "just makes a partition for swap", said partition could be at the end of the drive and cause extra milliseconds of seek time.

This advice is well meaning but imcomplete. The swap or paging partition has to placed carefully or you lose the advantage.

Since very few can do this properly, the advice is best dismissed.


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by pnrs7tin / October 28, 2005 11:54 PM PDT
In reply to: That was disproved.

Bob, would you say it is basically pointless to have partitions? Thank you! Win

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by figster / October 29, 2005 3:07 AM PDT
In reply to: Partitions

If you are planning to use a dedicated, good size swap file, it's best to put it on a second drive. regardless of the speed of that drive. IE.- Your main drive is 160g and you happen to have a older second drive of 30g or more around that is not in use or even limited use add a 6g partition to that 2nd drive and make that partiition or swap file. This will improve any game that you happen to play or any app that may need a swap file.
Just a thought.

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I think it's your choice.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 29, 2005 4:40 AM PDT
In reply to: Partitions

What I find is the usual advice on partitions is well meaning but imcomplete.


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by pnrs7tin / October 30, 2005 1:28 AM PDT

Thanks for the advice! Win

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Well, my experience is....
by rampg / October 28, 2005 10:09 PM PDT
In reply to: My experience is ...

It is absolutely possible and it does work, not the least by luck. I have a partitioned 160 gb external disk and booting from the system enabled half I was able to fix my laptop's HD and the other ext disk corrupted half. A definite life saver.

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Partitions are for organization
by slappie / October 28, 2005 12:15 AM PDT

With todays technology in harddrives, partitions no longer provide a speed increase. They only serve as a means to organize your files better and if setup correctly, make backups simpler.

For example, if you setup a partition for windows, another for programs, and another for data (documents and pictures), when doing a daily backup, you only need to worry about the drive with your data. This is nothing that you can't do anyway all on one drive, it's just more organized.

Also, if your data starts to take up too much space, it's far easier to move it to a REAL seperate harddrive if it is already on its own partition.

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Excellent Comment Slappie!
by floresr / October 28, 2005 1:04 AM PDT

That is entirely true and a very didactic way to know how anybody can organize and manage the information.


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Fresh Windows
by Retheesh / October 29, 2005 3:45 AM PDT

To further add to slappie's reply, the benefit of having Windows on a partition while keeping all your important data on another partition is that you can format the windows partition if you ever feel that it has become sluggish or full of spyware or just because you want a fresh copy of windows.

The following is a personal opinion:-

If you are going to partition your drive, keep your installed applications on the windows partition because when you install something, it needs to be registered in Windows registry, or it might fail to work properly. When you reinstall windows, you will have to reinstall the programs again, but it's the surefire way that the program will work.

For gamers, I'd recommend 40GB partition for windows, programs, and games. Use the remainder of space as a second partition for your data, drivers, program installers, working data, and so on.

If your just gonna use your computer for internet, documents, email, and other little things that don't require lots of hard disk space, then a 20GB partition for windows should be sufficient. Again, use the remainder of space as a second partition for your data, drivers, program installers, working data, and so on.

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Recommended to move My Documents to another partition?
by fedtho / October 31, 2005 4:12 AM PST

I recently did this in my Win 98 SE installation. Essentially to free up space on my Windows partition (I basically made three partitions of 12 GB each on my 40 Gb HD a long time ago; I wanted a double-boot system with XP and one empty, "storage" partition).
Actually, this worked rather well.

But when I moved everything that was in the original "My documents" to a new "My documents" on the data partition, it seemed rather to slow Win98 down a bit...
I want to free space on my Win98 partition, but that doesn't seem to be such a good idea.

Any suggestions?

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Here's why.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 31, 2005 4:20 AM PST

Each partition takes time to get to. If your documents are on their own PARTITION and the OS elsewhere then you lose a little time as the OS gets what it needs to launch your document. Having 512M of RAM helps here.

Putting my docs on it's own drive sidesteps this entirely.



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Retrieval of Partitions
by / October 29, 2005 12:19 PM PDT

I had a W2k setup with a 60gb HD. 10g was win2K, 20g was Programs, the rest was 'storage'(mp3's mostly).
The problem with this as I learned, was twofold: 1)since it was all basically one drive, if w2k fried, getting to the 'other stuff' wasn't possible unless W2k could be re-established. 2) If you needed to re-format for any reason, the programs connection to W2k was lost, necessitating reloading programs(unless you ghosted the c drive before it fried).

Today the simpler route would be something like an 80gb drive for windows(whatever flavor), seperate drive for 'other stuff'. If windows hits the dumper, your other stuff is still accessible from another machine. This is my WXP setup now.

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Re: Retrieval of Partitions
by spartan7886 / October 31, 2005 2:51 PM PST

You can still get to the data even if your OS on the disk is down. There are several ways to do this. The easiest way, I think, is to locate a live CD such as Knoppix and boot from it. Live Windows CDs do exist, but they're a little harder to come by than the Linux ones. You can then move the data off the disk through the network or if you have a second CD or DVD drive. (Because Windows uses proprietary filesystems, Linux can write to the older FAT32 formatted disks, but has not successfully reverse engineered the newer NTFS ones) The other way to do it would be to locate a computer you can open up or stick the drive in an enclosure and run it as a slave drive so you access the data without needing to boot from the disk.

Neither of these methods actually requires a separate partition, but files on a separate partition are more likely to survive. If the problem is not the disk, but simply a need to reformat, the separate partiton need not be touched during the reinstall and should be there and easily accessible once the reinstall is complete. Just be sure not to overwrite it! Oh wait, I just saw your point 2) was related to programs, and yes, those will need to be reinstalled. Oh well, maybe the information will be useful to someone else.

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A Fresh Clean Start
by blbrown / November 1, 2005 2:43 AM PST

I have a 2.6ghz P4 Sony Vaio laptop w/60gig HD running XP Home that is running really sluggish (it takes 2min 45 secs to run the super pi calculation). I suspect that it has a lot of accumulated buildup from left behind files, internet hitchhikers, etc.

I have read with interest the advice about partitions and see that I should probably have two partitions, one for the win apps and the second strictly for data. So, I am considering the awesome task of completely wiping my hard disk, probably using DBAN (Darik's Boot and Nuke), and then reinstalling the OS.

Procedurally, I intend to 1) backup any necessary data, 2)wipe hard disk, 3) reinstall XP Pro (rather than Home) and partition according to notes in this thread, 4)install OS service packs/patches, then 5) reinstall applications.

Do you think this will take care of my sluggish speed issues and do you think it is worth the effort of getting a fresh, clean start. Or should I wipe it, sell it and buy a new Dell laptop which runs Super Pi at almost half the time? It seems to me that my 2.6 ghz should really be much faster.

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Danger Bill.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 1, 2005 2:46 AM PST
In reply to: A Fresh Clean Start

You have a Sony laptop. Sony is not known for placing all the drivers you will need on their website for easy retrieval when you install that other OS.

Let me share that installing what came with the laptop (XP Home) and then upgrading to Pro will work without all the driver hunting.



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Be careful with a Sony
by Retheesh / November 3, 2005 1:24 PM PST
In reply to: A Fresh Clean Start

I have to agree with Profitt when it comes to reinstalling Sonys on your own; their drivers are hard to get. Sony wants you to use their recovery disc ONLY, which installs all those unnecessary programs and slows it down; it's like their secret agenda to force themselves upon you, J/K Happy If you have a built-in TV tuner or some special device that makes the laptop stand out from others, then you may have NO choice but to use Sony Recovery Disc. For example, Sony Gigapocket is the TV software used for their TV cards. You can try 3rd party apps, but they require a lot of configuration and it may be too much work setting it up. Also, the CPU usage may be higher than Sony software. You may also lose some functionality.

Now, after saying all of that, if you are bored and still interested in formatting and reinstalling, then go for it, after all, it's your laptop. Installing Windows on a Sony is a REAL PAIN, but it will probably be painful just the first time. Still, if you have the know-how to install your own copy of Windows (and the patience Wink ), then try it, IF you have the Sony Recovery Disc. If you cannot complete installation for some reason, then the only way to restore your laptop to previous working condition is with that CD and ONLY that CD. Or you can spend $50 and buy a Sony Recovery CD.

For drivers, go to "www . Vaio . net", without spaces, and click on the Downloads, Software Updates, and Drivers link at the bottom left of the page. Then enter your model number. Then click Everything. Look for FULL or STANDALONE drivers first. If you find all the drivers, then you have a chance for success. You probably won't have to download anything else like the server upgrades and dll library updates and all those other unnecessary stuff. Save them and your important data somewhere safe, like on a removable media.

Now you can use Darik's boot and nuke to format the computer. Since you only have 60GB, stay with one partition, because Windows XP should have at least a 20GB partition to work without being sluggish. Then install windows, then install drivers, apps, etc. If you are successful, then you will be very happy with the speed because Sony installs LOTS of unnecessary software.

REMEMBER!! : If you choose to install on your own, you may LOSE some functionality on your laptop. If you come across something in device manager that hasn't been installed and you cannot download it from Sony's website, you can either find it in the Recovery Disc, or YOU CAN'T!

MY RECOMMENDATION is that if you really REALLY know what you're doing, then go for the reinstallation. It's still gonna be a PAIN! NO GUARANTEE FOR SUCCESS! IF you are looking for a speedy computer that DOESN'T need special software, then I would recommend laptops from motherboard manufacturers like ASUS. But, as ALWAYS, DO THE RESEARCH!!!

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