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  • Best way to set up partitions?

    Posted on southieguy Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 8.1 Best way to set up partitions?

    • This topic has 17 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated 4 weeks, 1 day ago by anonymous.
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      • #2212143 Reply
        southieguy
        AskWoody Plus

        Here’s a picture of the way my refurbished Dell laptop came “out of the box” with Windows 8.1 on it.

        On my older Windows 7.1 laptop I had 2 partitions ( an OS one and a Data one.)

        2 questions:

        Can I safely remove some of the non-OS partitions, given that I use Macrium Reflect religiously to take images of my system?

        Do Windows 8.1 users still split off their user data to a 2nd partition?

        Thanks for the help,

        Southieguy (aka Dick-Y)

        Dell_Partitions

         

        Attachments:
      • #2212157 Reply
        PKCano
        Da Boss

        The fourth partition contains the Factory Restore image. There should be some software on the computer that allows you to make Factory Restore disks/USB. They are the equivalent of the install disks that used to come with every computer long ago. They restore the computer to the OEM loadset.
        You should make the Restore media before considering removing that partition.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2212161 Reply
        joep517
        AskWoody MVP

        I see no advantage to partitioning a single disk system separating OS and data. The only reason that I see to do that is to backup OS and data separately. Your disk is not all that large that the backup would take a long time If the disk goes bad all the partitions will be lost anyway.

        If you are doing Macrium backups religiously, you should be able to get rid of the 8.6 GB Dell recovery partition. That is used to return the system to the out-of-box state. The others I’d leave alone.

        --Joe

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2259742 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          Southieguy’s partitions are what I would recommend. I always put a 1-8 GB unformated partition at the end because even disc drives with the same stated size are often different by a few sectors. If one’s larger, some cloning programs are unable to shrink it.

          I keep my data separate from the OS just so it’s all in one place. Usually in a multi-computer environment I create a “file server” on an old (but solid) box so all the data is readily available to every computer in the house. This also facilitates backup and use of cloud-sync’d services as some only allow a few clients.

          Bill

      • #2212170 Reply
        mn–
        AskWoody Lounger

        Can I safely remove some of the non-OS partitions, given that I use Macrium Reflect religiously to take images of my system?

        That would depend on specifics. If you’re in legacy boot mode, you don’t need an EFI system partition, and whether or not you need those recovery partitions… well usually you only need them if something has already gone wrong, but some rare firmwares check for their presence on every bootup.

        (I’m assuming the removable drive is only occasionally connected so doesn’t count.)

        Do Windows 8.1 users still split off their user data to a 2nd partition?

        It’s not a question of version number. You can find these in anything from consumer device factory installs to enterprise application-specific custom desktop images…

        With Windows XP to 10 Home editions, if you have multiple users defined you’ll typically want to have shared data in a separate partition, because Windows Home editions have the simplified permissions management – so can give other users permission to read or even write the shared partition without giving everyone access to your private files and settings.

        (One of my kids somehow learned to “adjust” all kinds of desktop behaviour settings very early and also messed around with file managers… so, everyone learned to not leave their sessions unlocked. And that’s without counting the cats… the kid stopped doing that after about age 10, but the cats didn’t.)

        So if this is a Windows %WhatEverNumber% Home, then I’d recommend making one more partition.

        On Windows Pro and Enterprise, well, depends on how you intend to use it…

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2212191 Reply
          b
          AskWoody Plus

          With Windows XP to 10 Home editions, if you have multiple users defined you’ll typically want to have shared data in a separate partition, because Windows Home editions have the simplified permissions management – so can give other users permission to read or even write the shared partition without giving everyone access to your private files and settings.

          Could you explain more about the simplified permissions management in Windows Home editions?

          (I wasn’t aware of a difference between Windows 10 Home and Pro for file or settings permissions.)

          Windows 10 Pro Version 2004: Group ASAP (Pioneer/Chump)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2212201 Reply
        mn–
        AskWoody Lounger

        Ever try to run lusrmgr.msc in Windows 10 Home? https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-security/user-groups-in-windows-10-home/d6a5799b-5f4c-41fa-9243-41bd109e0e04

        Well, I first ran into this with XP Home… but I’m quite sure it was still there in 10 Home too. In short, you don’t get the graphical group management interface at all.

        And last time I tried, it was possible to work with local groups on the command line… but then icacls refused to use those.

        (Don’t have any working Windows Home installations available right now to check.)

        So the simple case of “allow everyone to read this folder’s contents but only the adults to write” on a family PC was just impossible.

        Sort of like how you can’t run many copy-protected preschooler edugames off optical media without admin rights on Windows Home… but can on Windows Pro after you delegate certain extra privileges to those users. Yes, still there on 10, at least a few feature updates ago.

      • #2212202 Reply
        Bundaburra
        AskWoody Plus

        If you have separate partitions for the OS and your data, then you have a lesser risk of losing your recent data in the event of a restore.   if you have your emails, for example, on the data partition, and then your OS goes bad (perhaps due to a failed update or bad software) and needs to restored from backup, you would not lose any emails which had  arrived  since the time of your last backup.  Same for any recent word documents, photos, etc.

        Windows 10 Pro 64 bit 2004

        • This reply was modified 2 months ago by Bundaburra.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2212205 Reply
        southieguy
        AskWoody Plus

        Bundaburra:

        That’s how I had my W7 laptop set up; and I think I will do the same on this new W8.1 laptop.’

        Southieguy

      • #2212206 Reply
        Bundaburra
        AskWoody Plus

        I do regular, separate Macrium backups of my OS partition and my data partition.  Over the years, for one reason or another, I have had to occasionally restore the OS (which has always worked perfectly), but have never needed to restore the data partition as such.  The nice thing about Macrium (don’t know about similar products) is that you can set up a backup file as a disk drive, and extract individual files or folders from it – have also done that occasionally.

        Windows 10 Pro 64 bit 2004

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2212248 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        I don’t see any benefit in adding 8GB to your C:. If you are short on space get a new SSD.

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2258934 Reply
        Canadian Tech
        AskWoody_MVP

        The reasons for separate logical partitions pre-dates Windows 7 design. windows 7 no longer has a practical limitation on partition size
        By design, Win7 stores most all data in the User account
        Antivirus software works just as well with small, big or mixed use partionts.

        When you start the installer, when it asks where to install the OS, click advanced. Delete all partitions. Let the installer create the partitions it needs.

        One big C:, is the best configuration.

        CT

      • #2259295 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        We put an SSD or HDD in every bay available in any one chassis.  This became easier with time as drive capacities increased and retail prices dropped a lot.

        Then, we create separate OS and data partitions on every drive e.g.:

        C: / E:

        D:  =  usually an optical drive

        F: / G:

        H: / I:

        We’re still running a mix of Windows XP (as backup servers), Windows 7 and Windows 10.

        We write an image of C: to G:, then copy that image to E: and to I:

        We also restore a working OS to F: and to H:

        We found that restoring from a CD-ROM was too time-consuming.

        So, instead we simply change the boot drive in the BIOS, and run the restore task using drivers already installed in any given working OS.  This eliminates the problems that occur if/when a CD-ROM restore task chokes for lack of necessary device drivers.

        This philosophy also makes it very easy to restore a working OS to a RAID-0 array, which we routinely use to host an OS (for added speed, and also for one extra layer of wear leveling when SSDs are RAID members).

        Admittedly, we developed this scheme using Symantec’s GHOST, which is no longer supported.  But, the same or similar scheme works with the other image creation software e.g. Acronis True Image, Macrium Reflect etc.

        With Acronis, we “age” our drive images of C: by serializing folder names, like this:

        MyBackup001 is stored in acronis.images.001

        MyBackup002 is stored in acronis.images.002

        MyBackup003 is stored in acronis.images.003  etc.

      • #2259456 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        RAID-0 array, which we routinely use to host an OS (for added speed, and also for one extra layer of wear leveling when SSDs are RAID members)

        I would expect RAID0 to add lag to an SSD, not speed it up.

        cheers, Paul

        • #2259534 Reply
          mn–
          AskWoody Lounger

          I would expect RAID0 to add lag to an SSD, not speed it up.

          Well in a 0, there’s only one copy of each data block, so individual disk’s read/write speed is what you get… for two blocks in parallel if they happen to be on different physical devices. So theoretically you can get up to N times the throughput where N is the number of devices, assuming no bus or cpu bottlenecks.

      • #2259666 Reply
        doriel
        AskWoody Lounger

        In my experience, even if I wiped all partitions during clean install of Windows 10, operating system was still able to activate itself via internet – I am talking about OEMs here.

        So.. there is for me no need to preserve these recovery partitions. I mean – in 2022, will you want to install OS from 2019 and download terrabytes of data? Dont think so, but correct me if my logic is bad.

        Can I safely remove some of the non-OS partitions, given that I use Macrium Reflect religiously to take images of my system?

        You state you create your backups with 3rd party SW. I think yes, you can remove them safely.

        Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, WX 1809 Enterprise

        HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

        • This reply was modified 4 weeks, 1 day ago by doriel.
      • #2259944 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        I have set up a number of systems for friends and relatives. I always partition as C & D. I set up the C partition to contain the OS and applications. All user folders are redirected to the D partition. I install Macrium Reflect and take a C full image once setup/configuration is complete. That image is stored in an image folder on D as well as a bootable USB memory stick. I set the boot options so that if necessary the system can be booted into Macrium Reflect. I leave the user with instructions on how to back up their D files to an external drive.

        I have had to recover trashed systems more than once. I never have to worry about lost user files because they are all saved on D. I can usually have the system back up and running in 30 minutes. Usually, at that point, I will apply Windows updates and take another system image.

        As for my own system, as a software developer my C partition is somewhat larger than typical and my Macrium Reflect is set up to automatically take a full C image on the first of the month, and a differential every other day.

        I have never had a user complain about partitioning. On the contrary, I have received numerous thanks on the speed with which they are back up and running after a crash.

      • #2260342 Reply
        omendata
        AskWoody Lounger

        I have a different methodology – OS on first partition – programs on second partittion,  third is data ie documents, pictures etc

        If one of the encrypting viruses hits your machine the early ones hit the c drive if your data is all on an e drive then less likely to get borked.

        If you do a re-install also makes things easier having your data on a different partition (or drive).

        I actually have a fourth parittioon for my acronis backups of the other partitions which gets shuffled off by a powershell script to my secondary nas storage and external drive before the regular friday backup begins!

        Different strokes for different folks.

        I also find just having the OS on the C drive makes the system slightly faster!

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