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is 10GB enough partition size for XP?

by Mr Pockets151 / April 3, 2008 3:28 AM PDT

I just finished my new build. My main HDD is 250GB. I decided to partition 10 GB for windows XP SP2. The remaining I split into 2 extended partitions.

Is 10 GB enough for windows xp. I would like only to have windows XP and nothing else on partition C:/ Redirection of special folders will be a valuable tool. One of my other partitions will be for programs, the third will be for documents and such. Will this help to keep my windows XP install healty, and what do I need to be aware of as far as registry entries.

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by Jimmy Greystone / April 3, 2008 3:52 AM PDT

Probably, but due to the way Windows works, you can't avoid having certain things being installed to the same partition as Windows.

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While yes it has issues
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 3, 2008 3:54 AM PDT

Rather repeat all the issues I'll write that XP fits just fine in half that space but install the usual Microsoft software and you find that Office and other apps will not respect your wish to keep the OS untouched.

Why not just leave it as one big partition? It's not like the old days where it mattered for reasons now long gone.

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Better off with a 40GB primary
by Mr Pockets151 / April 3, 2008 5:08 AM PDT

So I'd be better of with a 40GB partition. I just want to keep my programs and data seperate. To help the defragment process. Also, incase something happens to my windows installation I can always format the primary partition as opposed to the whole drive. So their is no way to keep the XP install all alone anyway?

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We have a long discussion about this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 3, 2008 5:11 AM PDT

By partitioning you force the heads to move to and from the OS and data partitions and actually slow the system down. You can fix this by using a smaller fast hard disk for the OS and another for the data.

"So their is no way to keep the XP install all alone anyway?"
Not yet. It's been discussed at length.

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Besides what Bob said
by Jimmy Greystone / April 3, 2008 5:36 AM PDT

Besides what Bob said, defragmenting is another task/tool that has outlived its usefulness. There have been long discussions on this topic as well, but suffice to say, any gains you may receive from it are negligible at best.

You can go back and forth on the topic of whether or not it helps prolong the life of the drive... Personally, I look at it like revving the engine on a car into the red zone on the tachometer for a good hour or so once a week/month. I doubt you'll find many mechanics who will recommend you do that to your car, so why should your hard drive be any different?

There is some meager benefit to separating your data onto its own partition, but you're really better off with a good backup system.

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my old PC classes got me thinking about partitioning
by Mr Pockets151 / April 3, 2008 6:21 AM PDT
In reply to: Besides what Bob said

So from what I gather, my best bet is to rather have multiple HDD instead of a partitioned one. They are rather inexpensive now-a-days. I'll probably just get a 100GB for my windows, and use my 250GB for my data, and get another 300GB(for back-up purpose). I mean I may as well use all my motherboards resources right!?

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That works.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 3, 2008 8:22 AM PDT

Microsoft wrote about spreading the swap file around but many missed the nugget to make sure such were across drives and not partitions.

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Partitioning, defrag etc
by SerengetiValley / April 6, 2008 11:59 PM PDT
In reply to: That works.

Partitioning one physical drive into more than 2 partitions is not all that useful IMHO. As others have mentioned, there is no chance to keep the XP install totally insulated from changes, even in its own partition. Putting the swap file in a dedicated partition on a different physical drive may help a bit in performance though.

Partitioning is useful from an organization POV: different types of data reside in their own partition. I have 3 physical drives (2 partitions on each) and I find it much easier to locate/store data with this arrangement. Also, if Windows gets corrupted for any reason, there is a decent chance that the other partitions will be spared. (Regardless of this, ALWAYS BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP!)

@M.Proffit, can you elaborate on the spreading of the PF across different drives? One PF for each drive? Is that not overkill? Any real benefit? Does windows <i>need</i> more than one PF?

@Jimmy greystone, true, there have been many discussions on defrag with arguments for and against. However, the only people who claim that defrag is <i>not required </i> are (no offense meant) random internet posters. Microsoft, and the PC OEMs all recommend defragging regularly to preserve performance. Even in a technet article a few months ago, one of the MS people talked about the need to defrag. On the Vista website, the official guidelines for keeping it running smoothly include defrag. MS even went to the trouble of rewriting the defragmenter from ground up for Vista. I don't think they would have bothered if it was useless. I'd wager that MS knows more about Vista than almost anyone on these forums Wink

So, the choice is whether to believe random internet posters who claim that defrag is not required, or MS (and PC OEMS) who recommend to defrag regularly Silly

Another point: the car revving at redline analogy is totally flawed when refering to disk defragmentation. Defrag is no different from any other disk operation and does not harm otherwise healthy drives.

In certain cases where the files on a drive are static, then defrag may not provide much benefit. For those that see file modification, creation/deletion activity, defrag helps quite a bit in preventing performance loss. What is incorrect is that defrag will suddenly and magically boost performance above the baseline- that is where the confusion comes in, IMO.

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Just a link.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 7, 2008 6:22 AM PDT
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print spooler
by SerengetiValley / April 8, 2008 9:44 PM PDT
In reply to: Just a link.

Thanks for the link; looks like my pagefile setup is correct. I had set a fixed size instead of letting the system manage it, and I think it's far no problems at all.

I didn't know that you could move the print spooler too...that's news to me. I shall set it up accordingly now Happy

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Partitioning of HDD after clean install of XP Home
by jasonemmg1 / August 6, 2010 6:12 AM PDT

I have been researching the best way to do a FRESH/CLEAN install of XP Home on my PC.

I was considering doing a partition for XP only on my 80GB c:drive. I also have a 200GB drive for programs/data,etc.. and a 500GB external HDD for backup.

Maybe what i'll do is look into buying a new HDD maybe even a SATA drive and control card for my programs/data and backup and just reformat my current 80GB c:drive for XP Home only as part of my clean install...

Any suggestions on how this would work? That way I can clean up my 200GB drive also when time allows...

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This is probably not the best place to ask
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 6, 2010 6:36 AM PDT

Posting into older threads is often a mistake as they tend to get by-passed by others.

You may want to create your own discussion in this forum, but if you do, you may also want to ask about SATA drives. I'm no expert, so I am just pointing out another possible area to consider.

XP does not natively recognise SATA drives. Sometimes that doesn't matter because the BIOS in newer XP systems are able to be set to recognise SATA drives. But the BIOS in older XP systems may not do that. In that case, at least for installation or re-installation of the XP OS, a floppy disk is needed during the installation process to provide the SATA drivers. So, if your current 80GB drive is SATA you need to prepare yourself for this first.

If XP is installed onto a non-SATA drive then the next problem is installing any 2nd drive which is SATA. I don't know if XP will recognise it. I guess not, and so SATA drivers may be needed for XP to recognise the 2nd drive.

Those are some of the considerations you may need to ask about.


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by jasonemmg1 / August 10, 2010 1:35 AM PDT


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by jasonemmg1 / August 24, 2010 4:50 AM PDT


I decided to go with a new "main" HDD. I bought a new 160GB IDE HDD and will leave my 200GB as used now for programs,games,etc...

This allows me to now have twice as much capacity on my C:drive (old is 80GB).

I am using either the Western Digital version of Acronis or my retail copy to backup before pulling out and saving my old drive.


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That looks great
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 24, 2010 5:11 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks

and thanks for reporting back.


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