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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10th May, 2003, 07:43 PM
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Question A Particularly Perplexing Partitioning Problem

I am just about to install Win XP for the first time on a new machine I have finished building.

What would you recommend is the most effective organisation of partitions on a brand new 80 Gig hard drive (Maxtor 9 plus 2mb buffer - I saved money on the 8mb buffer option, around 20 pound sterling say 33 dollars) which is to have Win XP Home installed.

I understand that the primary partition is the fastest due to the effect of greater angular velocity on the outter area of the hard drive platters. I'm thinking of making this Partition as small as possible for example 1 and a half to 2 Gigs. This then allows me to place a comparably fast data partition after it. Followed by an applications partition. Then finally a tiny one for small files (i.e. smallest cluster size possible for this) partition.

I will also add a second HD (somewhat slower HD 13Gig 7200) on which to keep the Swap file.

I will perhaps wish to place a Linux partition on the second HD to dual boot.

I may also v. likely replace the 13Gig second HD for an IBM 80Gig 160GXP (is it 160 or 120? the series of drives before the 180GXP).

Any comments or links to good resources on the topic more than welcome people.

Thanks.
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Old 11th May, 2003, 06:04 AM
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Welcome to AOA Forums, DimViesel!

I created a 7 Gb partition for WinXP, with three more 11 Gb partitions(for games, mostly and storage space for progs so they'll be easy to install if the Win installation goes pfft), on a 40 Gb HDD.

A 10 or 11 Gb partition for WinXP would have been better.
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Old 11th May, 2003, 12:27 PM
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Oh wow...

There are a few problems with what you're going to do. Think about what files will be accessed, and where they'll live.

Although you'll have a higher data transfer rate when you're operating linear reads, when you come to load an application, you'll find that seek time will kill performance.

When an application is loaded, usually there's a whole bunch of loading activity, including app specific DLLs (usually stored with the app), and system DLLs (usually stored in the system partition).

The seek time is also dependant on how far the disk heads have to go - the next track may only be 0.5ms away, but the other side of the disk may well be 7 or more ms away!

Áedán
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Old 11th May, 2003, 08:41 PM
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Contrary to a popular belief, it's my understanding that a Swap partition works the best when it's on the same partition as the Win OS. In other words, let WinXP handle its own Swap setup. You can fiddle with how large this dedicated Swap space is if you like--inside the OS, of course.

To avoid any worries when you install Linux, simply install MS's OS's first. Modern Linux's grab a pre-existing partition of your HDD, then partition it to their liking. I suggest giving Linux a large... 10 Gb or larger empty partition to be comfy in. This works just fine most of the time. Linux will respect your Win partitions, as well as the all-important Master Boot Record.

If Win is installed after Linux, it has no respect at all for "gods" other than Big Brother Billy Bully Boy. MAYBE WinXP and Win2K do not rip Linux out of the MBR. I don't know. Personally, I assume that they do. Win first, Linux second.
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Old 23rd May, 2003, 05:02 AM
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I have to add this, I'm new to multi-booting and this program has to be tried and seen to be believed. Partition Commander. ver 8. trust me.
bob
Great multi-boot program


http://www.v-com.com/product/pc_ind.html
best $50.00 I ever spent.
ps. You can buy it online and download it . Can't get any more convienient than that.
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Old 24th May, 2003, 06:57 PM
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Perosnally, I do not partition hard drives due to seek times. The only thing I would do is to throw the swap file on to a spare drive.

If you saved £20 from not buying the 8MB Cache version that that drive must be seriously overpriced! The difference between the 2MB verison and 8MB should be little over £10.

Craig
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Old 24th May, 2003, 08:23 PM
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[Thread Hijack]
hey ccw- do me a favor and pull the image from your sig- not allowed here~
Thx man

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Old 25th May, 2003, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by The Spyder
[Thread Hijack]
hey ccw- do me a favor and pull the image from your sig- not allowed here~
Thx man

[/thread hijack]
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Old 25th May, 2003, 06:42 PM
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BTW CCW I see what you are getting at although I think perhaps it was the converse case - the 2mb was just v. aggressively priced at £54 ex VAT.
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Old 26th May, 2003, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by CCW
Perosnally, I do not partition hard drives due to seek times. The only thing I would do is to throw the swap file on to a spare drive.

If you saved £20 from not buying the 8MB Cache version that that drive must be seriously overpriced! The difference between the 2MB verison and 8MB should be little over £10.

Craig
No partitions? How large of a drive are we talking about? AFAIK, the C:\ partition, or dev/hda1 in *nix has the fastest access.
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Old 27th May, 2003, 01:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by cloasters
Contrary to a popular belief, it's my understanding that a Swap partition works the best when it's on the same partition as the Win OS. In other words, let WinXP handle its own Swap setup. You can fiddle with how large this dedicated Swap space is if you like--inside the OS, of course.

To avoid any worries when you install Linux, simply install MS's OS's first. Modern Linux's grab a pre-existing partition of your HDD, then partition it to their liking. I suggest giving Linux a large... 10 Gb or larger empty partition to be comfy in. This works just fine most of the time. Linux will respect your Win partitions, as well as the all-important Master Boot Record.

If Win is installed after Linux, it has no respect at all for "gods" other than Big Brother Billy Bully Boy. MAYBE WinXP and Win2K do not rip Linux out of the MBR. I don't know. Personally, I assume that they do. Win first, Linux second.

I did much research on this one.... actually cloasters you should put the swap file on a second drive and make it static... i believe if you have 1gig or more of ram then make it equal to the amount of ram....if less than one gig make it doulbe...i have 512 so i run a static swap file of 1 gig.... system runs great....

the purpose of a dynamic swap was for back when computer did not have that much ram..... but having them dynamic now does nothing more than cause windows to be spending that much more effort to constantly resize it... if you leave it static it takes out the whole equation...

i used to have bad head thrashing problems and this solved them completely

postal
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Old 28th May, 2003, 05:40 PM
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I don't dispute that making a Swap space static has benefits. But I'd think that if the OS has to take time to address a different HDD for the pesky Swap file... how can this speed up operation?
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Old 28th May, 2003, 05:45 PM
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im sorry i also meant to say to have it on a seperate ide channel

with the current mothboards most have 2 regular ide channels and 2 raid channels..... you don't have to run raid with ide.... you can just connect drives to them (i know you prolly knowthis already but its for people who don't)

i run my system kind of like serial ata systems

i connect one hdd to each of my raid channels and run them without raid enabled... so it is just plain ata controller

and i connect one cddrive to the regular primary and one to the regular secondary


it works great.... i have had a major performance boost in load times (when mixed with the last posts suggestions)

postal
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Old 1st June, 2003, 07:53 PM
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Dave is correct,

You will see the greatest benefit from a swap file if it is on another disk on another IDE channel. Having the swap on the same as the OS defeats the purpose. How can the OS look at itself for info while trying to write to the swap file.

Also, the days of a swap file being twice the size of your Ram amount are gone. Especially if your running 2KPro or XP due to there advanced memory management abilities. Anything over 512 Megs should run a swap file equal to the amount of ram. Anything under should be about 1.5 to 2 times the Ram amount but lets be honest, how many people run less than 512 megs nowadays. Anything over 700Megs plus and you must ask yourself, especially at the 1 gig level, do you really need it?.

One last thing. The optimum setup for installing XP is to place it on a single hardrive w one partition. Due to the way XP lays out the file structure on the disk you actually reduce performance by installing it on a multi partition drive.

Just some hopefully helpful info.

Bobby
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Old 2nd June, 2003, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by fpsfreak
...The optimum setup for installing XP is to place it on a single hardrive w one partition. Due to the way XP lays out the file structure on the disk you actually reduce performance by installing it on a multi partition drive...
Bobby
Jeez ...Isn't that going to make installing XP onto a modern sized HD (200GB+) a very awkward affair?!

How the heck is that meant to work? Won't the performance gain from giving XP a single partition cofigured HD to occupy going to be lost once the filesystem on said HD is bogged down with millions of files and dirs. Also your cluster size will mean a real inefficient use of the drives storage density isn't it?

I can't be bothered to think about this ...which is why I throw it out to the forum ...see what sticks...
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Old 2nd June, 2003, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by DimViesel


Jeez ...Isn't that going to make installing XP onto a modern sized HD (200GB+) a very awkward affair?!

Why would it be awkward ?? If you mean not being able to partition it, yes. For the generic user go ahead and create as many partitons as you want. But lets be honest, in todays day who runs just one HD. Especially most of the people here. You asked what would give the best performance, not easiest convenience.

How the heck is that meant to work? Won't the performance gain from giving XP a single partition cofigured HD to occupy going to be lost once the filesystem on said HD is bogged down with millions of files and dirs. Also your cluster size will mean a real inefficient use of the drives storage density isn't it?

Why is that? If you run a good defrag utility such as Diskeeper your files should never become that fragmented. The main reason a drive is partitioned is for Backup and file security. Not convenience. Don't forget that when formatting with XP you really shouldn't format w anything other than NTFS which will allow you to dictate cluster size.

I can't be bothered to think about this ...which is why I throw it out to the forum ...see what sticks...

See that..It Stuck LoL

Good Luck which ever way you go !!

Bobby

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Old 3rd June, 2003, 02:18 AM
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Cheers! Though it threw me for a bit the way you replied inside the quote lines there!

I am not convinced you can really get a workable system with 2 x 200GB drives can you imagine 2 200GB~ partitions! " ARGH!!! Where did I leave/save/store everything!?" Or something . . .
But then again I am thinking of what it would be like having formatted those drives as a single FAT32 partition which I am prepared to be told is not even possible with FAT32 or something or does it not provide sufficient clusters for up to 2TB of contiguous drive space -again can't be bothered to look it up or work it out too tired .
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Old 3rd June, 2003, 05:04 PM
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