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  • HDD Partitions

    I am hoping to be educated on this one. I saw that someone suggested putting OS/games/other media all on separate partitions i.e. division on a single HDD. I'm guessing there is a way to create/edit partitions without reformatting a HDD or would I be incorrect? and of course what windows program does this.
    Reapator, overlord of ponies


  • #2
    Re: HDD Partitions

    There's a good amount of options out there, only have used Partition Magic, and its worked great.

    I keep my OS/games on mostly the same partition, music/video on another, and another large partition for large files that I work with (FRAPs raw footage), and another drive for backups.

    There are ways of reinstalling Windows and keeping your game installations intact I think, just have to make sure you find a way to make sure your fresh registry gets the key entries it needs.

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    • #3
      Re: HDD Partitions

      IMO, Partitions are complex to maintain, hard to re-format, and their size is not changeable w/o a reformat (unless you BUY partition magic or some such software).

      Personally, I like to use physically separate drives. I keep my OS and all the installed programs on one drive (C:\). My personal data I keep on a separate drive.

      Why? It makes it easy to backup and revert, offers better performance, and is more cost effective (for what you get). I use http://www.xxclone.com/ to back up my C:\ to a different physical disc. Once backed up, I physically disconnect the backup drive from my PC. When new sound drivers (or whatever) kill my Windows, I swap in the backup drive. I generally backup this disc only after installing the OS, BF2142 and whatever apps are necessary.

      The personal data disc I backup on a regular schedule and can remove and replace with an increased capacity disc as the need arises. I use syncback http://www.2brightsparks.com/downloads.html to backup my personal data.

      I am generally paranoid about my backups and like them physically disconnected to prevent any kind of tomfollery; this method lets me do so. To top it off, I lets me leave my backup drives to work in case of a catastrophe.

      The above described method that has worked best for both my home and work PCs. It works best if a drive fails, and lets you use a high-performance setup (RAID, raptor, SSD) for the drive that matters most (the OS and programs drive). Additionally, it lets you buy appropriate sized drives: a smaller (faster) one for the OS and sky's the limit size for personal data.

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      • #4
        Re: HDD Partitions

        I've also used Partition Magic and it worked really well, except I kept running out of space on my partitions. No need to reformat with it and I believe you can undo the partitions without losing data, never tried it though.
        Big-eye101: "A true catman post a day keeps the bad mood away"

        Please do not take any posts made by Catman seriously. If you begin to take his posts seriously, please seek psychiatric attention.

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        • #5
          Re: HDD Partitions

          Vista's partition manager supports resizing. It's probably not fully featured as a 3rd party application but it works well. I used it on my laptop when I needed disk space for Ubuntu.

          - It's who you game with.

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          • #6
            Re: HDD Partitions

            I can say that having a partition for stored data might be a good idea but having a partition for your games is not really going to improve how they play to much with a single HDD. I have 3 separate physical drives set up for OS, games, and storage now but i used to have only 2 HDD's for my OS and games/storage. The second HDD I had partitioned out for games and storage. Reason why I say there will be no performance gain is I read a few articles claiming that partitioning a single HDD claim they will actually become slower. I will try to explain why, your first partition would most likely be the OS which also would be located at the outside of the HDD platter which is claimed to be the fastest location for the HDD to read data from, as you go further in the platter the slower it becomes, so you create another partition that is at a set location even further in and put games on it, the HDD will take longer to access the data to run games. Plus with a single HDD that means the head that does the reading has to travel between the OS partition and the game partition.
            If you have physical drives then the read heads don't have to travel so far for getting the data cause the data is on the different HDD's. A single HDD will do better for games and OS if they are left on the same partition cause if you use a decent defrag program you can set it up to have the OS and then games organized on the HDD as close to the beginning of the platter as possible. I like using DiskTrix UltimateDefrag for organizing my data, good program but may takes some getting use to. I will say it will improve your performance and load times for gaming when properly set up.

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            • #7
              Re: HDD Partitions

              I don't think drive access is a limiting factor in gaming performance. It may increase load times but I don't know how much of a difference it would really be. A defragged harddrive wouldn't have much problem in loading game data when it's laid out sequentially. Laying it out at the outer or inner track wouldn't be a big difference.

              Random data access would benefit more from being at the outer track. In that case, I think putting the OS on the outer track is more beneficial or rather the OS' paging file.

              In the end it's personal preference. I think it's nice having games on a separate partition/drive. My games are on a separate single partition drive. When I do an OS reinstall, some games don't need a reinstall to play. That saves me time in setting up configs, mods, etc.

              - It's who you game with.

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              • #8
                Re: HDD Partitions

                Putting your paging file onto a separate (physical) partition will actually benefit you, other than that, I don't believe there's really too much to worry about when putting files/folders/applications in specific places.

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                • #9
                  Re: HDD Partitions

                  I do actually have my paging file set up on a different HDD other than my OS or gaming HDD. I have it on my storage HDD which is only used for storage and my paging file. Things seem to be a lot quicker on my computer with the way I have it set up.
                  As for the gaming performance, I seen a difference in my older computer when I only had the 2 HDD as far as load times went and playing certain games. Single player games is where I seen a huge difference in how the game played, they seemed to play more smoothly than on a single HDD. I didn't have the jerkiness in game I always thought was video lag till I swapped the game to a different HDD. On a newer computer that has a fast processor, HDD, video card, and RAM this may not be noticed at all. Still because of my experience with my old computer I set up my newer faster computer this way. It would almost have to perform a lot better. I do use PerfectDisk to defrag my OS HDD and DikTrix UltimateDefrag for defragging my gaming HDD. Storage drive is also managed by PerfectDisk since it really is not to important.

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                  • #10
                    Re: HDD Partitions

                    I also used Partition Magic from the above posters comments and it works great.

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                    • #11
                      Re: HDD Partitions

                      I also don't think partitioning is worth the trouble. The disk head has to travel less when you have two disks. When I run out of space on my data drive I buy a new one and copy the old one over. Reboot and things are like before only faster and there is breathing room again. I also back up the drive image to another machine in the house.

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                      • #12
                        Re: HDD Partitions

                        I have decided against it for now. I have Vista and everything on my WD640 right now and will be putting openSUSE11 on my WD150, which is currently split 120/30. I think I might try and put vista on as well and super tweak it just for fun.
                        Reapator, overlord of ponies

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                        • #13
                          Re: HDD Partitions

                          good night marstein, we have almost identical hardware. As far as the core components go. I am running a EP35-ds3l 2GB corsair 8800GTS 640MB, but have the C2Q6600 cpu.

                          Back on topic. I have been running partitioned drives for over 10 years. And it has been very helpful, more so when you had to reinstall OS every 6 months (for those of us that kinda abuse and experiment with our OSs). I also run more then 2 drives generally speaking. I like having all of my general programs on a seperate drive from my OS, so if I have to reinstall, I dont spend for ever trying to re-DL the programs or search for disc to reinstall. Games go on yet another drive, and media goes on yet another drive.
                          There is a performance boost for having programs and OS on seperate drives. It does take some initial setup with partition magic, but its worth it in the long run.

                          |TG-IRR|

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                          • #14
                            Re: HDD Partitions

                            The worst problem I see is the way modern programs insist on getting tentacles into the OS, installing "shared" DLLs under \Windows, plus hooking plugins into every other program. Ideally, a program should be independent so you can pick it up and drop it into another machine and it Just Works. I know that WoW works that way. You can copy your WoW directory to another machine, make a new shortcut, and run. No installation needed. So you can carry it all on an external drive and play it anywhere.

                            I can see a program needing to store per-user info in profiles for systems that are used by multiple users. In that case, the profile should be something that can be lifted and dropped into another machine without special tools. But it's mostly not. (It can work if you log into another account, so that your personal registry isn't locked.)
                            Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                            snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                            Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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                            • #15
                              Re: HDD Partitions

                              Fellas..I need a bit of help.. I got a new laptop, and I need to make the "backup" partition a LOT smaller..it is running 32-bit Vista home premium, and I am a total Vista n00b..

                              can you guys tell me how to do this please? I am in the process of burning the backup image to DVD right now as I type this, and they gave that partition 70 Gigz..I need to me make it like 10 and "get back" the other 60 or so to the the "C:\"...

                              pretty please with sugar on it?


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