View Full Version : Partitioning hard drive

09-05-2006, 11:01 AM
Can anyone tell me what is the "best order" when partitioning a hard drive? I want to partition my hard drive into four parts. Should I for the best efficiency, make them as follows:
C: Windows
D: Scratch disc
E: Programmes
E: Data

Or should they be in a different order for most efficiency, or does it not matter?

Peter A

Speedy Gonzales
09-05-2006, 11:12 AM
Some programs are pretty fussy if you try and install them on anything else but C.

They may install, but whether they work properly or not later, is another matter.

I had a few programs on another partition.

Prob was, when I wanted to update it, it couldnt find the original install folder lol.

Murray P
09-05-2006, 11:26 AM
By scratch disc, do you mean an allocation for such as Photoshop? If so (and for virtual memory), it's better to boost your ram and minimise hard drive activity to the bare minimum.

Other than that, the closer to the outside of the platters is faster, IIRC (?), so I guess the closer to the Primary (C:) partition the better or have the scratch disc on a sepearte drive alltogether from C and you working data, so that it can grow at will and the drive being accessed in not in use for programmes and run of the mill data movement.

09-05-2006, 12:07 PM
Thanks guys, yes the ram would be better as it is Photoshop that I use. also as you said some programs only like C: drive. I think I will up the ram and make 3 partitions and forget about scratch disc. Thanks again.

Peter A

Murray P
09-05-2006, 12:24 PM
I still use the scratch disc(s), but I have the luxury of 3 drives to choose from, though they'll be less important with more ram.

Interestingly, I just had a look at what my setup was and discovered I've set the "Startup" disc as one of them and don't remember doing that. Although there's plenty of room on C: I'll change it a see what happens.

09-05-2006, 01:59 PM
I'm not a big proponent of partitioning a single hard drive. I've "bumped my head on the ceiling" too many times, and I dislike using repartition tools. (I won't repartition a server's volume, unless it's a SAN volume.)

There won't be a performance increase, since the disk heads can only be in one spot at a time. Actually it's possible it slightly reduces performance as the heads jump farther, from one partition to another.

If it's to organize files, that's what subdirectories purpose in life.

Of course with multiple drives, the question is partitions and RAID configurations, but you only mentioned one drive.

09-05-2006, 07:23 PM
partitions are partly for organising but the biggest thingis maintance. for eg scandisk/defrag 200gig drive is a major pain. much easier to do the little bits that actually need doing.

i've found it very rare to fully fill a partition and when it has happened its very easy to move data over to the other partitions. the only thing to watch is you don't make c drive way to small as some apps require to be on c drive.

i've just done a big upgrade including installing a new OS and its been fairly simply to pick up the old data off the other partitions without needing to back up anything. i think i've done 3-4 format/installs without losing anything.

09-05-2006, 08:50 PM
The scratch disks should be on a different hard drive for max performance in PShop.

09-05-2006, 09:02 PM
To me the biggest reason to have a disk partitioned is to have a separate data drive (D: drive in MS WIndows or /home in Linux). So then you can do what you like to the OS and keep your data and in the case of Linux, all your desktop settings and mail, etc.

10-05-2006, 09:05 AM
Thanks once again for all the replies, I appreciate the help. Perhaps I will just get another drive and keep it for Windows and Programs and keep all my data on the other drive. Photoshop wants a scratch disc so I will try both to see which gets the fastest result using a hefty test graphic file.

Peter A

10-05-2006, 10:37 AM
If you're a professional graphics artist and looking for good performance, you might want to look into a pair of Western Digital's Raptor drives, the only 10,000 RPM SATA drives:

Programs & data: WD Raptor 150GB
Adobe scratch space: WD Raptor 36GB drive, or a RAID0 volume.

Avoid the temptation of using a RAID0 drive for the programs & data volume, unless you're religiously backing up.

I think in this case you'd be better served with the Windows pagefile on the big drive, so the Adobe scratch space doesn't compete when using a large files. Or even better, another dedicated volume. (I assume you've already maxed out the RAM.)

The next big step up is SCSI drives.

For comparison:
~$580 - 10000rpm Western Digital Raptor 150GB, SATA-1/150
~$730 (plus SCSI card) - 10000rpm Hitachi Ultrastar 147GB, SCSI/320
~$1,600 (plus SCSI card) - 15000rpm Seagate Cheetah 146GB, SCSI