Guys and Gals,
I am going to replace a 40GB hard Drive with a 160GB. I want to allocate certain amounts of space (Partitions) for different things, I:E Windows XP, Data, Pictures, Documents etc. Can anyone that has done this shed any light as what to avoid or what to add etc,

4 Years
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Last Post by katman

IMO creating separate partitions for those things is a waste of hard drive space. The only real reason to repartition is so that you can put other operating systems on the same computer.

In any event, windows xp doesn't have the software needed to partition the hard drive after the os has been installed. -- you will need to use an external partitioner, such as Partition Magic., which is free for home users.

Edited by Ancient Dragon


Why such a small drive? I'd go for 250GB at the bare minimum. But as for suggestions, when I was running XP (and I had a lot of apps installed) I allocated 30GB to C and the rest to D. I made a folder on D named Images. I relocated My Documents to D as well. Once I had the OS installed and all drivers and configuration done, and all updates I made a complete (full) image backup of C into the D:\Images folder. You can use Macrium Reflect which is free for personal use.

Following that I installed an Anti Virus program and my typical applications, configured them and applied all updates. I ran CCleaner to remove all temporary files then made another full image.

I followed the same procedure for Windows 7, however I made my C drive 60GB instead of 30 because Windows 7 has a lot more of a footprint when it comes to disk space. It's not much more than XP to start but it does tend to keep growing.

One of the shortcuts I keep on my desktop is a link to a file in the Images folder. I call that file change.log and I add a line (prefixed with the date and time) every time I

  1. make an image
  2. restore an image
  3. install an app
  4. remove an app
  5. make a major config change

Because I try out a lot of new software my system occasionally starts to dog. At that point I reload my OS+APPS image, apply any updates that were released since the image was made, then make a new OS+APPS image to replace the original image. Last week I found out that my email with my ISP had been locked out because something had gotten into my system and was using it to send spam. No problem. It took me 35 minutes to reload an image and I was back up and running. Of course, the convenience is because all of my data files (Outlook PST, pictures, videos, books, code, etc) are on my D & E drives.

I should note, the size of the image file depends only on the actual amount of disk space in use in the partition, not the allocated size. You can find Macrium Reflect here. If you invest in a small capacity memory stick you can install a bootable Macrium recovery system which will allow you to boot and reload the image from your D drive in the event C is corrupted.

Edited by Reverend Jim


Agree with Reverend Jim. Given costs, going with a 250GB or bigger drive will be a lot more cost effective than an 160GB drive. The reason is in manufacturing scale. More drives shipped == lower price per unit. Since very few people purchase drives smaller than 250GB these days, those smaller ones will be more expensive. FWIW, the cost to manufacture a 250GB or 500GB drive is just about equal to a 160GB drive. The cost to build only goes up when there are more platters (hence read/write heads).


Partition ing your drive is a good practice for many reasons. In your case, one partition for your OS and Apps, and another partition for your data (files, pictures, music, etc..) can make it easier to manage your data.

For example, you can easily backup your data in this config. Also, in the event you ever have to reinstall windows, you don't have to worry about the partition holding your data. You can easily perform a clean install and only format the OS partition and reinstall without touching your data. This saves a lot of time trying to find and off load all of your personal files in the event of a reinstall.

I would also recommend a larger drive especially with the current cost of storage.

Edited by JorgeM


The only real reason to repartition is so that you can put other operating systems on the same computer.

Thirty years of experience in IT as a maintenance programmer has taught me otherwise. On our original AGC/SCADA system, partitioning was crucial for separating the development and active systems and on our corporate PCs, recovering a tanked system where separate partitions were used for OS and data was trivial. Likewise on the many home PCs that I have supported. When I set up a PC for a friend or family member they understand that any data they keep on a partition other than C will never be destroyed if I have to repair their Windows installation. As such I have never had to worry about backing anything up before doing a repair or restore. I don't care how messy they want to keep their data. I also stress the importance of backing up their data to other media. Whether they do that or not is not my concern.

Having separate partitions means I can take an image of the C drive keep a copy on my own media without having to also provide storage for gigabytes of user data. C drives get imaged, other drives can be backed up with periodic robocopies to copy only changed files.

IMO creating separate partitions for those things is a waste of hard drive space.

I'm assuming your house or apartment has interior walls? Do you consider that a waste of space?


New Hard Drive
Thanks for all the comments. The reason I went for a 160GB rather than say..250GB is i never was able to find out if the PC would recognise more than 160gb. Dexx was not to clear on this part in fact their web site said 120gb so I found some forums that said it would handle 160 so I went with that. Found one that said it would handle whastever size you put in it but, I did not want to take the chance.
Cheers to all and again thanks.

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