Hi, I heard it's a good idea to install Windows on separate disk. What if I install programs such as firewall, antivirus, cleansweep on the same disk? Would that be a good idea as well, or I'm better off putting them on second disk?
Posted on 2005-01-11 15:52:19 by Trooper
I have everything on a single disk, but on multiple partitions. First partition is the system partition, where windows + programs reside. I've set aside 5 gigs for this. Then there's a source+data partition of 1.5 gigs, a fat32 partition (has windows install files and is available from DOS), and a couple partitions for videos, games, downloads etc.

The idea of keeping partitions separate is that in case one has a filesystem crash, the others won't. It's espially important to keep your sourcecode and documents safe :), and it's nice having windows+apps separate too, since that volumes usually doesn't have a lot of disk writes. So this basically means that if one of the "junk" partitions (games or downloads) which has a lot of write access crashes, the rest of the system isn't that affected.

Of course it's not very likely to have a NTFS partition crash unless you're doing driver development or have bad hardware, but it's still good practice.

The most advantagous thing of a separate physical disk (and not just a partition) would be putting your pagefile there....
Posted on 2005-01-11 17:55:35 by f0dder
Hey, thanks.

What profit would be from putting Windows on separate disk. Is it security or performance? I've noticed it becomes common practice to keep Windows on separate disks.

I see that crashing could affect vital programs.
The partition aprroach looks a little complicated for me :] I'm not sure what exactly to which partition go.
Thanks again.
Posted on 2005-01-11 18:53:08 by Trooper
Partition approach is really no more complicated than using multiple disks. A partition gives you a drive letter - same as with a disk. You can think of partitions as "logical disks", if that makes it easier :).

I can't really see an advantage in putting windows on a separate physical disk, putting it on a separate partition should be enough. I also can't see why one would separate windows from the application files. But keeping windows+apps, source+docs, and "often changed stuff" on three separate partitions is good.

Again, putting the swap file on a separate physical disk can be good for performance, if you are often in low-memory situations. I'd rather get a gigabyte of ram than an extra drive, though.
Posted on 2005-01-11 18:58:33 by f0dder
Thanks, I'm going to build a new system. I was wondering how to organize files.
I don't even know which HD I'm going to pick.
I have lots of thinking before I buy parts.

Posted on 2005-01-11 19:08:49 by Trooper
For what it's worth, I have partitioned my 80gig drive this way:
system (windows + apps) - 5 gigs
source (source + docs) - 1.5 gigs
dump (download, vidoes, ...) - 30 gigs
games (games and extra dump) - 37 gigs
fatdump (fat32 windows install) - 4 gigs

When I get my new system, I'll probably make a system partition of 8-10 gigs, so I can install all of MSDN instead of using it from CD, as well as some other references I currently keep in CD form. All partitions except fatdump is kept as NTFS, and the only reason I have the fatdump is that I have the "i386" folder from my windows CD there, so I can quickly install an unattended setup (this is becoming less important after I've started using nLite to create a bootable ISO with unattended setup).

As for which drive to pick... that's almost a religious decision. Stay away from IBM/hitachi. I personally have good experience with maxtors, other people like western digital og seagate. I wouldn't by a disk from any other than those three, I guess. Whether you go for a SATA drive or a regular disk, be sure to get at least 8MB of cache, aim for a low seek-time, and 7200rpm.

If you have important data, you might want to get two drives and a RAID controller, and run in RAID mirror mode - just remember that this is *not* a replacement for backing up, it's a prevention against emergency disk crashes.
Posted on 2005-01-11 19:18:29 by f0dder