MortySnerd

Partitioning For Speed?

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I Just bought a 160GB hard drive and I plan on partitioning it. I want Windows and the swap file to be on its own partition in the fastest part of the hard drive.

When I create what will become the C:\ drive, does it always place this first partition in the fastest area of the drive, or is it completely random? I saw another thread that seemed to suggest that the hard drive just randomly places partitions wherever it sees fit.

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The hard drive certainly doesn't place partitions "wherever it sees fit" ;). Partitions are created from the outside of the drive inwards --just like data is deposited.

The pagefile, like most any file will be created on the outermost, free space on the disk. Since the pagefile is created when you first boot Windows, it will be as far to the outside of the disk as possible, edged out only by the OS. There is no need to partition your disk. You will, however, want to configure the pagefile to be a constant size so it does not fragment.

You should bear in mind that partitioning will invariably increase seek distances between data on your disk, and, therefore, will reduce performance --not increase it. Of course, since there is no reason to partition in the first place, this is of little concern.

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I've always noticed that as I add more huge files like MP3's and video that my hard drive slows down. I imagine this is because the HD has more data to chug through to get to things like DLL's and game data, which is what I use most frequently.

If I have a seperate partition for all my huge media files, would this not speed up typical day to day use of my Windows/Swap file/Gaming partition?

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There is no need to partition your disk

No?

Not for his usage. (Ignore this if you were just making fun of the fact that his question appears to be the question of the week).

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I've always noticed that as I add more huge files like MP3's and video that my hard drive slows down. I imagine this is because the HD has more data to chug through to get to things like DLL's and game data, which is what I use most frequently.

Data is written from the outside of the disk towards the middle. Adding media data will not somehow split up the program data that you have already installed. Linked libraries and binary executables and game data will all remain nicely localized on your hard drive no matter how many mp3s you drop onto it.

The only way the issue that you describe could arise was if you were copying mp3s to your hard disk while simultaneously installing an application. Then you might mix things up a little, but I doubt it would be noticeable.

It is also impossible to fragment application data, because application data is not deleted, modified or moved after it has been installed.

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Not for his usage.  (Ignore this if you were just making fun of the fact that his question appears to be the question of the week).

Not partitioning isn't the same as creating one partition.

LOL. Of course. You guys are too clever for me... I hang my head in shame.

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There is no need to partition your disk

No?

Not for his usage. (Ignore this if you were just making fun of the fact that his question appears to be the question of the week).

one 160GB partition?

What would happen if he ran a copy of windows prior to XP SP1?

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You should bear in mind that partitioning will invariably increase seek distances between data on your disk, and, therefore, will reduce performance --not increase it.

What if he partitioned the 160GB drive in half (or fouth), and used the first half (or fourth) for all normally used files, such as O/S, programs, dat, and reserved the second half for infrequenly-used files, such as downloads, back-ups, drivers? Wouldn't that prevent the drive from seeking to the far end of the disk during normal system operation, thereby minimizing seek/access times and speeding things up?

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one 160GB partition?

What would happen if he ran a copy of windows prior to XP SP1?

Screwdriver, versions of XP prior to SP1 will gag on the full capacity of the drive no matter how many partitions he divides it up into.

In fact, if he did manage to set things up with multiple <137GB partitions (well, 128GB normal-human-speak, 137GB hard-drive-marketing-speak <_<), the original poster would get to experience one of the more interesting forms of data corruption to which Windows users are prone. There are several examples in the archives of situations where users have partitioned their disks using LBA-aware tools like Partition Magic, installed Windows and watched the data corruption fly. Windows will see the partitions and read the tables and look very happy. It will then merrily bounce every request >137GB right on top of the data at the beginning of the disk, making things very interesting for the data recovery tools ;).

What if he partitioned the 160GB drive in half (or fourth), and used the first half (or fourth) for all normally used files, such as O/S, programs, dat, and reserved the second half for infrequenly-used files, such as downloads, back-ups, drivers? Wouldn't that prevent the drive from seeking to the far end of the disk during normal system operation, thereby minimizing seek/access times and speeding things up?

There are a thousand contrivances one could develop to try and minimize the additional seeking penalties. In the end, the penalties are inherent to the design so, while you can minimize them, you can't eliminate them entirely.

The real question should be, if partitioning isn't necessary in the first place, why on earth would you bother?

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What would happen if he ran a copy of windows prior to XP SP1?

Pre-SP1 versions only see 128 gb and no amount of partitioning solves that.

And he should upgrade anyway.

That was basically my point.. ;)

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The real question should be, if partitioning isn't necessary in the first place, why on earth would you bother?

Organization. And really, there are only a few really good organizational reasons -- to install different OSes or to use different file systems are the only ones of which I can thing.

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The real question should be, if partitioning isn't necessary in the first place, why on earth would you bother?

Organization. And really, there are only a few really good organizational reasons -- to install different OSes or to use different file systems are the only ones of which I can thing.

And to keep your OS and software on one partition and data on another. Makes it easier to reinstall the OS from scratch if something goes horribly wrong.

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What would happen if he ran a copy of windows prior to XP SP1?

Pre-SP1 versions only see 128 gb and no amount of partitioning solves that.

And he should upgrade anyway.

Why not

1) set "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Atapi\Parameters\EnableBigLba" to "1"

2) Resize with Partition Magic or some other partition management tool?

(I've heard there are free ones for Windows now)

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Hi guys!

When I bought my BOAC (Box Of Assembled Components - not OEM) the harddrive was in one single 40 GB partition with Windows ME preinstalled. I wanted to use Ghost so, I split the harddrive in 8 GB System partition, 24 GB Data partition and 8 GB Ghost partition.

When everything was reinstalled on the new smaller System partition, the computer felt faster and more responsive.

You will have a hard time convincing me that the size of the System partition doesn't have an impact on speed and responsiveness!

Christer

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What if he partitioned the 160GB drive in half (or fouth), and used the first half (or fourth) for all normally used files, such as O/S, programs, dat, and reserved the second half for infrequenly-used files, such as downloads, back-ups, drivers? Wouldn't that prevent the drive from seeking to the far end of the disk during normal system operation, thereby minimizing seek/access times and speeding things up?

This sums up my question exactly.

For the record, I will be using Windows XP SP1 with all other critical and recommended updates installed.

It seems to me that if my C:\ is only 10-20 gigs, instead of the 40+ gigs it is right now with MP3, video, etc stored on it, that typical day to day seek times/etc should be faster. I'm not sure if this is true or not, and that's what I wanted to clear up.

So, here's my question in an easy to answer format:

Q: Which set up will make windows and applications load faster?

1) A C:\ with about 10-20 gigs and a D:\ of 100+ gigs for video, movies, etc

2) One single large partition of 160 gigs for Windows, Apps, and Media

3) Neither one, they will both result in equal speed for Windows and Applications.

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What would happen if he ran a copy of windows prior to XP SP1?

Pre-SP1 versions only see 128 gb and no amount of partitioning solves that.

And he should upgrade anyway.

There is no way of getting past it? :o

Time for me to test this.

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if you're using the drivers included with windows... if you have 3rd party controller/drivers that support LBA you're fine... these drivers have to be using the SCSI base IIR.

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I can't believe this is only now being addressed. I've always used a controller, on 5 and 6 yr old Macs (Beige and Blue G3) and run SCSI mostly but also SATA and some 160GB 7K250 PATA as well. All running OS X.

Before installing the OS, I tend to map out a 4-8GB chunk, then after installing, remove the file "holder" so there is lots of room on the outer tracks, as well as no trouble using partitions and even my "new" two year old MDD G4 has native support for a 250GB drive (OS 9 only supports 195GB though ;)

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And to keep your OS and software on one partition and data on another.  Makes it easier to reinstall the OS from scratch if something goes horribly wrong.

That's a good theory, but would you explain to me exactly how to keep data off of the OS partition?

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