1
   

Should I partition my new Hard Drive (slave)?

 
 
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 11:49 pm
Should I partition my new Hard Drive?

I just installed a second hard drive in my PC. It's a Western Digital 80 gig. I have the option of partitioning it before I start putting stuff on it.

I remember in the old days, partitioning provided some specific benefit which I do not remember.

However, some people tell me that I don't need to partition anymore while others say it should be done.

Please give me your expert opinion.

Thanks,

General Tsao
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,438 • Replies: 11
No top replies

 
wshamroukh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Dec, 2004 03:02 am
why you are going to partition it?? u r going to save ur stuff in there.. so in my openion u don't have to partition it and leave it as it is....
0 Replies
 
Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Dec, 2004 08:23 am
Listening.
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Dec, 2004 08:52 am
I prefer partitioning, whether on the root drive or otherwise; the rational being

A) if somethin' goes seriously wrong, hopefully it affects only one partition on the drive

B) It speeds up data access if only a particular segment of the drive holds that data

C) Individual partitions can be locked down with separate security measures/protocols than other partitions on the same drive

D) Partitions the contents of which you can be absolutely certain can be excluded from regular virus and yuckware scans, speeding those up too

E) Defragging goes quicker if relatively rarely modified partitions are excluded (but that doesn't mean those partitions don't need housekeeping - just not as much of it)

and finally - its what I'm used to - I've got myself convinced its a good idea.
0 Replies
 
husker
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Dec, 2004 08:56 am
agree with timber I'm up to letter I
0 Replies
 
Monger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Dec, 2004 02:24 pm
Timber's points are good, but most people (including myself) put more emphasis on them than there necessarily needs to be. I'll give my personal take on some of the points, but it's mostly subjective.

In the past, however, there certainly were very good reasons to carve up a big drive into partitions (e.g. keeping sector size relatively small in FAT16/FAT32 partitions to prevent excessive wasting of disk space ... and Win95a with its FAT16 only supported 2GB partitions I believe).

timberlandko wrote:
I prefer partitioning, whether on the root drive or otherwise; the rational being

A) if somethin' goes seriously wrong, hopefully it affects only one partition on the drive

I used to partition for this reason, but I've never seen one instance where this prevented or lessened any problem.

Quote:
B) It speeds up data access if only a particular segment of the drive holds that data
Almost immeasureable on new high-speed drives using NTFS partitions.

Some programs that are constantly swapping memory & writing to the hard drive (such as Adobe Photoshop for instance) prefer to work with their own swap files on a different partition than where the Windows swap file is located.

Quote:
C) Individual partitions can be locked down with separate security measures/protocols than other partitions on the same drive
A good point if you do mass encryption & so forth with your data....but most people (including myself) do not need more than what NTFS access control lists & other built-in Windows security methods already afford.

Quote:
D) Partitions the contents of which you can be absolutely certain can be excluded from regular virus and yuckware scans, speeding those up too
It's hard for most people to be certain of that.

Quote:
E) Defragging goes quicker if relatively rarely modified partitions are excluded (but that doesn't mean those partitions don't need housekeeping - just not as much of it)

Good point, but for me that's not a big enough issue to make me slice up my storage space.

Quote:
and finally - its what I'm used to - I've got myself convinced its a good idea.

I'm used to it too, so I do it every time...I always create at least 2 partitions....but the real reason I do so is because I want one partition using the FAT32 file system for better access in DOS. However, now that recent versions of Ghost & SpinRite support NTFS much better, there's less reason for me to do so....& there are times when the fact that I've split up my drive pisses me off (e.g. when I'm moving big files around & my HD is almost full).

These days, if you aren't running multiple OSes on the same system or have special needs, in the end the way you partition your drive mostly comes down to personal preference & the way you're used to organizing your files.
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Dec, 2004 03:00 pm
Though the discussion here has more to do with addiditional drives than the root, or main drive, I really do like keepin' operatin' systems in their own partitions. While Monger observes correctly that in most instances multiple partitions aren't much help in recovery-after-screwup situations, if you're the type that is good at breakin' operatin' systems, havin' your data and applications separate from and essentially independent of your operatin' system can be real convenient Embarrassed Rolling Eyes Embarrassed Laughing

I fully agree with and endorse his observation that with today's stuff, it pretty much does come down to personal preferences. What works best for you prolly really is what's best for you, no matter how anyone else does it or thinks you oughtta do it. Its your machine.
0 Replies
 
GeneralTsao
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Dec, 2004 09:26 pm
Thanks for the thorough explanations and opinions!

I'm glad to know that partitioning is no longer a "recommended" procedure. I might just let this one be one drive.

General Tsao
0 Replies
 
Monger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Dec, 2004 10:50 pm
By the way, it's possible that Timber is more correct than I in saying that partitioning can help speed up data access.

Timber wrote:
Though the discussion here has more to do with addiditional drives than the root, or main drive, I really do like keepin' operatin' systems in their own partitions. While Monger observes correctly that in most instances multiple partitions aren't much help in recovery-after-screwup situations, if you're the type that is good at breakin' operatin' systems, havin' your data and applications separate from and essentially independent of your operatin' system can be real convenient

That's a good way to put it. Yeah, partitions can allow you to easily format one area while leaving other data on your drive....which can save a lot of time if you frequently reinstall OSes.
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Dec, 2004 11:08 pm
Believe me Monger ... that isn't just theoretical knowledge in my case Laughing
0 Replies
 
Monger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Dec, 2004 07:18 am
Laughing Not here either. Wink
0 Replies
 
Ice Czar
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Dec, 2004 02:02 am
Partitiong Strategies @ Radified

Quote:
Advantage #1: A hard drive containing multiple partitions allows you to *lower* your drive's effective access time, providing you with a more responsive system.

Advantage #2: The main reason people prefer a drive with multiple partitions over one with only a single large partition is because having a separate system partition, containing only your operating system (Windows) and programs, allows you to reformat your system partition (should something go horribly wrong with Windows) and reinstall Windows without losing all the data on the drive.

Advantage #3: A drive with multiple partitions allows you to defrag only those partitions that actually need defragging. This saves wear and tear on your drive, and may even help keep it from failing prematurely.

Advantage #4: [my favorite] Imaging: A drive with multiple partitions allows you to easily create & restore images using programs such as Norton Ghost or PowerQuest's Drive Image.

Advantage #5: Multi-boot. Like mentioned earlier, if you want to dual- or multi-boot different operating systems, you *must* create separate partitions for each O/S.

Advantage #6: Security. The vast majority of people install Windows to their C drive. Hackers know this and target the C drive. You are less likely to be hacked if Windows resides on a drive other than C. And you will need more than one partition to get a drive letter other than C.

though some malware as implied earlier can and does write itself to each drive
howeverthat isnt all that common and if you employ a dual boot, the 2nd OS is likely to be uncompromised and they can cross scan each other, I keep a secondary install either on the same drive or another for security and repair\rescue


and my Optimizing Tutorial Cut and Paste 101

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To realize the full potential of your data storage, you need to understand not only the strengths and weakness of your own components, but also how your applications employ them,
where one application requires a certain access to the HDD for best performance, another may do better with the opposite

"The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth
may well be another profound truth." -- Niels Bohr

there are few "single" attributes that dont have tradeoffs elsewhere, there are a few however spindle speed for one (rpm)


Optimizing through Partitioning

1st Click Here

That is a representation of Zoned Bit Recording, your Partition order starts at the outer edge and works inward, for the purposes of this tutorial will will say each color represents a partition (unless specifically described differently)
the concentric circles represent tracks, and the sections within a track would be sectors

Since the drive spins at the same speed constantly there are some basic access attributes that would occur if the head\arm doesnt jump partitions to access a different part of the disk

Dark Blue, this area will have the highest density of data passing under the head for the given speed, and thus will have the best sustained transfer rate (STR), so the largest files benefit from this placement

Whereas the Innner zone (Red Section) has the fewest sectors and since the rotation is fixed, less data will be passing under the head, so it has the lowest STR
So smaller files, will do relatively well here. or files that the reduced transfer rate doesnt impact the application, like music or media that is just being read, not written in realtime.

Also the file "Density" itself can be an advantage with small files when you consider seeks and latency, in comparison to larger files on the outside zones, if they are truely smaller files, the number of files passing under the head could be comparible to the tracks further out, while in the representation the outer tracks have 16 sector (in reality many many more, varies with the capacity of the HDD) in the Red zone that is reduced to nine sectors, this optimization can offset the actual seek time for a given file, since that many more files would be passing under the head for the same rotation

Now if each color band was a partition any data on that partition would have to be contained to a much smaller area, so regardless of how fragmented it was, the arm and head only have to move through a few degrees of arc to seek it (the access latency), whereas a larger partition (say dark blue through green) might have a part of single file on the outside track (dark blue) and more of it located in towards the green, several degrees more the arm has to move to seek the track(s) and of course any miss with the latency of waiting for it to come around again.

With a good defragmentation application like O&O Defrag Pro, this can be extended further, I have the option to defrag by NAME, so by placing applications or Data in folders in an alphabetical order, I can determine their placement within the partition.

If you picture those basic factors and match the type file being accessed to it you have optimized your disk (seek, latency, sustained transfer rate) that also goes along way towards explaining why keeping a HDD defragmented helps so much
and of course partitions specialized to contain different types of data fragment differently, some barely at all, others (like P2P) alot, but if they are contained, defragmenting them goes faster
Fragmentation and Defragmentation

big contigious files that just need to be accessed once and transfered will do best on the outside edge (or as close to that as possibel) having the highest sustained transfer rate

Swapfiles truely come into their own in a workstation where typically large files are being manipulated in realtime (graphics)
and they are generally located at the outside edge of the disk
review Virtual Memory in XP

so far all my links have been to the [PCGuide HardDrive Section (its the one repeated as Storagereview's reference section)
But Id also highly recommend you read As the Disk Spins @ LostCircuits as it covers all of this much more comprehensively and additional nuances (like queing, command overhead ect)

also review these basic terms of performance metrics
http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/perf/perf/spec/pos.htm

Access Time = Command Overhead Time + Seek Time + Settle Time + Latency

and review
Multiple Pagefiles @ Storagereview FAQ
all in all, the mantra more RAM still applies


Optimizing Physical Configuration
being on the same channel there are a few considerations

IDE\ATA\ATAPI is sequential
meaning first the HDD reads a part of the file until the HDD's Cache is full then writes it to the Second HDD,
then that repeats each taking its own turn
then its unlikely its reading the file from a single location, its probably fragmented, and when it writing it, its also writing it to multiple locations, that introduces the latency and access times of both drives into it

if your going to be transfering alot of data inbetween two HDDs on a regular basis, its best if they are on their own channels, writing from a HDD to a Optical drive is alot better, the optical can only deal with a maximum of 33MB/s Burst (UDMA mode2) whereas the HDD is probably at UDMA mode5 100MB/s burst (50>30MB/s Sustained), in short the sequential issues arent enought to effect the burn speed with modern software (and reads arent really an issue either) both cant saturate the bus

of course those are just interface speeds and are not the sole consideration of HDD performance


there is a myth about putting optical drives on the same channel as HDDs, it is just that a myth, but it keeps getting reinforced by the way Windows deals with ATA\ATAPI issues
basically with Independent Device Timing two devices (master\slave) both transfer their data at their own highest speed, but, they both either have to be PIO (which is glacially slow) or UDMA, if one defaults to PIO because of some issue, Windows will default the other as well. There was a time when CDROMs where only PIO, and HDDs where DMA, for that period of history you didnt want to share a channel, but modern opticals are UDMA mode2 so there is rarely any issue

some of the reasons a device might default to PIO
DMA Mode for ATA/ATAPI Devices in Windows XP

however if possible it is ideal
(for data integrity if nothing else)
to have each device as a master on its own channel

whenever possible consider from what source to what target the large files are being transfer on a regular basis,
and try to adapt your physical configuration to accommodate that Wink
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Clone of Micosoft Office - Question by Advocate
Do You Turn Off Your Computer at Night? - Discussion by Phoenix32890
The "Death" of the Computer Mouse - Discussion by Phoenix32890
Windows 10... - Discussion by Region Philbis
Surface Pro 3: What do you think? - Question by neologist
Windows 8 tips thread - Discussion by Wilso
GOOGLE CHROME - Question by Setanta
.Net and Firefox... - Discussion by gungasnake
Hacking a computer and remote access - Discussion by trying2learn
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Should I partition my new Hard Drive (slave)?
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 10/17/2021 at 03:39:10