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Old Mar 31, 2013, 12:28 PM   #1
doubledee
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Partitioning my MacBook HDD

Back in the day when I was on the "Dark Side" with Windows and PC's, I used to always partition my HDD's and create "Logical Drives".

So instead of having the proverbial C: drive, I'd have something like this...
Code:
C:
M: (Music)
N: (Photos)
O: (Development)
P: (Finances)

To me this was a good idea for the following reasons...

1.) WHEN - not "if" - Windows puked, I didn't have to worry about my Business Data getting messed up with the crash

2.) Formatting and re-installing Windows was a piece-of-cake, since my Business Data was segmented away from the Op Sys.

3.) Logical Drives decreased the chance that I'd accidentally delete my Business Data. (Silly as it may sound, it is *easy* to accidentally delete a directory called "Music" with 100GB of music in it!!!! By contrast, you can't "delete" a Logical Drive by accident because it requires you take several steps to erase the data.)

4.) It just made it easier to organize my data, because I have these Logical Drive which served as "anchors". They were clearly marked, couldn't get accidentally deleted or moved or hidden, and were slightly more protected from things like Op Sys crashes.

5.) Logical Drives made it easier for me to Backup my Business Data, because everything was keep in logical areas on my HDD, and didn't fall victim to some of the issues mentioned above.


So on to my question...

Would it be a "good" or "bad" thing to create Logical Drives on my new 750GB MacBook HDD??


When I first switched to Mac in 2008, people told me that I didn't have to do that. (Then again, a lot of people used to tell me the same thing with my PC?!)

I see more *benefits* of creating Logical Drives on a HDD - especially large ones that are over 500GB - than detractors, but maybe my logic doesn't necessarily follow in the Mac world?!

What do you think??

Sincerely,


Debbie
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Old Mar 31, 2013, 12:40 PM   #2
justperry
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First of all, you NEED to backup, so if something happens to the internal you still have all your data, that aside, you can install OS X over an existing install so there is another point not to have multiple partitions, I never did but always kept a backup just in case.
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Old Apr 1, 2013, 10:12 AM   #3
Fishrrman
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"Would it be a "good" or "bad" thing to create Logical Drives on my new 750GB MacBook HDD??"

Of course it would be good -- if this is the paradigm that works for you.

It works for me. On my home office Mac, I have about 7 mounted partitions visible on my desktop at all times (ssd boot, ssd files, hdd backup boot, hdd backup files, hdd music, hdd media, hdd scratch storage).

I prefer separate logical directories for all these things. I realize most people simply aren't interested.
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Old Apr 1, 2013, 10:43 AM   #4
doubledee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishrrman View Post
"Would it be a "good" or "bad" thing to create Logical Drives on my new 750GB MacBook HDD??"

Of course it would be good -- if this is the paradigm that works for you.

It works for me. On my home office Mac, I have about 7 mounted partitions visible on my desktop at all times (ssd boot, ssd files, hdd backup boot, hdd backup files, hdd music, hdd media, hdd scratch storage).

I prefer separate logical directories for all these things. I realize most people simply aren't interested.
Let me re-phrase my original question...

Is there any reason why I would NOT want to partition my new 750GB HDD into several Logical Drives on my MacBook??


Still being a newbie with Macs, I still feel timid when it comes to doing things like this.

And with my laptop being my life, I don't want to do something that worked great in Windows, and find out down the road that I just screwed up my MacBook and LOTS of data along the way...

The poster above made it sound like if I created several Logical Drives that OS-X might not play nicely?!

Also, when I get a new MacBook, maybe newer operating systems like "Mountain Lion" would object or not work properly??

I just want to be 110% certain that this will work before I "take the plunge"!!

Sincerely,


Debbie
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Old Apr 1, 2013, 10:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doubledee View Post
Let me re-phrase my original question...

Is there any reason why I would NOT want to partition my new 750GB HDD into several Logical Drives on my MacBook??


Still being a newbie with Macs, I still feel timid when it comes to doing things like this.

And with my laptop being my life, I don't want to do something that worked great in Windows, and find out down the road that I just screwed up my MacBook and LOTS of data along the way...

The poster above made it sound like if I created several Logical Drives that OS-X might not play nicely?!

Also, when I get a new MacBook, maybe newer operating systems like "Mountain Lion" would object or not work properly??

I just want to be 110% certain that this will work before I "take the plunge"!!

Sincerely,


Debbie
If you have more partitions it is more complicated to backup.
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Old Apr 1, 2013, 11:08 AM   #6
Weaselboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doubledee View Post
Let me re-phrase my original question...

Is there any reason why I would NOT want to partition my new 750GB HDD into several Logical Drives on my MacBook??


Still being a newbie with Macs, I still feel timid when it comes to doing things like this.

And with my laptop being my life, I don't want to do something that worked great in Windows, and find out down the road that I just screwed up my MacBook and LOTS of data along the way...

The poster above made it sound like if I created several Logical Drives that OS-X might not play nicely?!

Also, when I get a new MacBook, maybe newer operating systems like "Mountain Lion" would object or not work properly??
Making a bunch of partitions like you described will not hurt or break anything in OS X.

That said, I would not bother doing it.

OS X segments all the user data off pretty well, so it is easy to backup or move to another system if you want. System restore and OS updates work just fine with this default setup also. To me adding partitions does not really add any functionality for you, and like Perry mentioned it makes backups more complicated. Also, by making partitions you have introduced a new, unnecessary file management issue for yourself. What if you make a 50GB volume for music, then a year later realize you need 70GB for music. Now you have to monkey around resizing all these volumes to get them resized like you want.

By using multiple volumes/partitions you are storing files in non-standard locations for OS X. So you will need to deal with telling iTunes where you moved the music to, iPhoto where you moved photos... etc. All doable, but still more work.

It seems to me you get more hassle for very very little (if any) benefit.
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Old Apr 1, 2013, 12:47 PM   #7
doubledee
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Originally Posted by Weaselboy View Post
Making a bunch of partitions like you described will not hurt or break anything in OS X.

That said, I would not bother doing it.

OS X segments all the user data off pretty well, so it is easy to backup or move to another system if you want. System restore and OS updates work just fine with this default setup also. To me adding partitions does not really add any functionality for you, and like Perry mentioned it makes backups more complicated. Also, by making partitions you have introduced a new, unnecessary file management issue for yourself. What if you make a 50GB volume for music, then a year later realize you need 70GB for music. Now you have to monkey around resizing all these volumes to get them resized like you want.

By using multiple volumes/partitions you are storing files in non-standard locations for OS X. So you will need to deal with telling iTunes where you moved the music to, iPhoto where you moved photos... etc. All doable, but still more work.

It seems to me you get more hassle for very very little (if any) benefit.
How would creating Logical Drives affect my Time Machine backups?

Would my ability to just click "Backup Now" be lost?

Would I have to do that for each Logical Drive?

Also, on a side note, on either Windows or OS-X, how would having Logical Drives affect using "Full Disk Encryption (FDE"?

Could you do FDE with Logical Drives?!

Thanks,


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Old Apr 1, 2013, 01:17 PM   #8
Dark Dragoon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doubledee View Post
How would creating Logical Drives affect my Time Machine backups?

Would my ability to just click "Backup Now" be lost?

Would I have to do that for each Logical Drive?

Also, on a side note, on either Windows or OS-X, how would having Logical Drives affect using "Full Disk Encryption (FDE"?

Could you do FDE with Logical Drives?!

Thanks,


Debbie
Time Machine will backup all the partitions automatically. Just need to make sure they aren't being excluded, though normally they shouldn't be. The problems come when you need to restore after a system problem.

Regarding full disk encryption, you would need to encrypt each partition individually (as required) preferably with separate passwords. Don't move your home directory to a separate partition and then encrypt it, as this will stop you from logging in (there are ways to work around this).

One of the main downsides is you need to be very carful and plan well for the future when splitting up your drive. Say your movies collection gets too large for the movies partition, or you never use up much space for the business data. you can end up with some partitions being full and others having lots of free space.

The other possible issue I guess is that the read/write speed of the drive is fastest close to the start of the drive so partitions near the end of the drive will have slightly slower access. Also breaking up the data to different areas on the disk can slow down access times by a small amount.

In general I wouldn't bother with separate partitions, there isn't really any benefit to it. It's just more of a hassle to plan, setup and maintain. Though if thats how you really want to work there aren't any major problems with doing so.

However as others have said, regardless of what you do, make sure you back up.
If your hard drive goes bad or something messes up the partition table, it wont matter how many partitions you have.
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Old Apr 1, 2013, 01:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doubledee View Post
How would creating Logical Drives affect my Time Machine backups?

Would my ability to just click "Backup Now" be lost?

Would I have to do that for each Logical Drive?
By default Time Machine will backup all internal drives/volumes, so you are fine there. But if you ever have a drive go bad, this is going to be a pain to restore. You will have to setup the new drive partitions just like the old one, then do a regular Time Machine restore of the OS partition, followed my a manual restore of data to each, individual secondary partition

Quote:
Originally Posted by doubledee View Post
Also, on a side note, on either Windows or OS-X, how would having Logical Drives affect using "Full Disk Encryption (FDE"?

Could you do FDE with Logical Drives?!
Can't answer for FDE on Windows, but with OS X if you turn on Filevault2 FDE, it only encrypts the boot/OS main partition. You would then have to manually encrypt the remaining partitions then manually mount them when you wanted to access them.

I guess I'm struggling to understand what benefit all these partitions might bring to the situation for you given all the potential downsides.
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Old Apr 1, 2013, 01:33 PM   #10
doubledee
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Originally Posted by Weaselboy View Post
I guess I'm struggling to understand what benefit all these partitions might bring to the situation for you given all the potential downsides.
In the past, I just like the "physical-ness" (a new Debbie word!) of Logical Drives.

I liked the fact that I could trash Windows and even format the C: drive blank, and all 450GB out of 500GB of personal data was still safe. (This, of course, excludes physical drive failures.)

If you've never owned a PC, you may not appreciate this, but back in the days of Windows 98 and ME, creating Logical Drives was a real coup to me?!

As stated above, I also liked the fact that I could not click on my "Music" drive, click "Delete", and *poof*, there goes 400GB of music!! (Um, I did once nearly delete an entire 100GB File Directory by accident once before I started using Logical Drives in Windows.

As time has went along, maybe I have evolved past this, and based on all of the negatives/hassles of partitioning things, I don't think I feel so inclined now...

On a side note, should I be concerned with storing most of my life on a 750GB Laptop Drive?!

(I try to use Time Machine a couple times a month, and if I do anything really important, I back up immediately. But God help me if an all-out Electro-Magnetic War is started here in the U.S.?!)

Sincerely,


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Old Apr 1, 2013, 01:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by doubledee View Post
If you've never owned a PC, you may not appreciate this, but back in the days of Windows 98 and ME, creating Logical Drives was a real coup to me?!
Oh I totally get that. I'm talking MS-DOS 3.3 up through Windows 3.0 and Win95 days. I feel your pain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doubledee View Post
On a side note, should I be concerned with storing most of my life on a 750GB Laptop Drive?!

(I try to use Time Machine a couple times a month, and if I do anything really important, I back up immediately. But God help me if an all-out Electro-Magnetic War is started here in the U.S.?!)
I don't really think modern laptop drives fail at a higher rate than desktop drives, but my concern is theft of the laptop. I have my whole life as you say on my Macbook Air and use Mountain Lion's built in Filevault2 encryption for this reason. It is very transparent once enabled and if someone steals your laptop there is no way they are getting past that encryption to access your data.

Given how reliant you are on the laptop, you might want to invest in a backup solution that is a little more automated like maybe a Apple Time Capsule. This way if you forget to manually plug in the backup drive for a while you are still backed up. Or maybe an online backup service like Crahsplan.
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Old Apr 1, 2013, 02:07 PM   #12
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Oh I totally get that. I'm talking MS-DOS 3.3 up through Windows 3.0 and Win95 days. I feel your pain.

I don't really think modern laptop drives fail at a higher rate than desktop drives, but my concern is theft of the laptop. I have my whole life as you say on my Macbook Air and use Mountain Lion's built in Filevault2 encryption for this reason. It is very transparent once enabled and if someone steals your laptop there is no way they are getting past that encryption to access your data.
Based on everyone's advice - that's why I'm here! - I think I'll ditch creating Logical Drives on my new HDD.

That approach has its pros and cons, but what you guys say about recovery was a little eye-opening!

Thanks!!


Quote:
Given how reliant you are on the laptop, you might want to invest in a backup solution that is a little more automated like maybe a Apple Time Capsule. This way if you forget to manually plug in the backup drive for a while you are still backed up. Or maybe an online backup service like Crahsplan.
I'll research that.

Sincerely,


Debbie
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