Help me decide on a partition scheme for my new drive

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by thabridawg, Feb 9, 2004.

  1. thabridawg macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    #1
    I just bought a new 160 GB hard drive, and currenly have a 80 GB hard drive. Both are 7200 RPM. Which one should I use as master?

    How would you partition the 160 GB drive, and how much space would you allocate each partition?

    Would you partition the 80 GB as well too?

    I'm currently using 75-ish GB.

    I was thinking maybe splitting the each in half, so i'd have 80+80 and 40+40, how does that sound?
     
  2. Flynnstone macrumors 65816

    Flynnstone

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Location:
    Cold beer land
    #2
    why even partition?
    There is backup reasons to partition, but I don't of any good reasons to partition, except for RAID support.
     
  3. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #3
    I use a separate partition for Final Cut Pro work. My thinking was that Final Cut Pro works most efficiently with an empty partition, so I created a partition to use for movie capture. Other than that, having one big partition has no disadvantage that I could find.
     
  4. horhey23 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2004
    Location:
    Kent, OH
    #4
    I read up alot on partioning after (unfortunately for me) installing a new HD and setting it up.

    Some replies stated there was no good reason to partition, and I disagree.

    Note that I am still on OS9 and cannot comment as to the feasability on OSX, although I don't see why any of this shouldn't apply. I just don't know if certain files (fonts, apps) are rquired to be in a specific location under OSX.

    Anyways...

    One good reason is to isolate your system software, so as to reduce time when using a disk utility program like Norton, Disk Warrior, etc. No need to do system integrity scans on everything if you just want to examine your system.

    It also reduces time when optimizing/defragging a hard drive. Certain types of files tend not to get fragmented (fonts, applications, etc.) as they are not edited much if at all. Defrag only those partitions which see a lot of activity.

    Another reason is viruses, although I have been on the 'net for a looong time with one Mac or another and had maybe one virus. Some users recommend keeping a partition for your internet downloads/email attachments so as to keep them separate from your system files. From what I have read, a virus cannot migrate to a partition (unless you move it there) so this could be a way to isolate risky files and not worry about them getting into your system.

    Any graphics/multimedia files will, if they are edited and re-edited constantly, will get fragmented big time and having a partition for your working files will give you a place to do your work and defrag without having to do the whole hard drive each time.

    Partitions also allow you to run mutliple operating sytems on the same machine.

    As far as partition sizes, keep in mind how much you have in these categories presently (system, fonts, apps), and determine how much you think this will change in the next 3 to 5 years. Some remain similar, some may blossom depending on whether or not you are a font junkie or how much new software you purchase, etc. You don't want to partition and then run out of room later, that would be a nightmare.

    I had a difficult time finding a "recommended partition size" table on the net, but I would do some looking, I am sure someone out there can help you learn from their experience.

    Hope that helps.
     
  5. janey macrumors 603

    janey

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    Dec 20, 2002
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    sunny los angeles
  6. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    horhey23 points out reasons you might want to partition a disk. No disagreement (well, except for the virus part). However, I haven't found that those situations apply to most people most of the time. Why? Because I find that needing to run Disk Warrior or defrag my disk is very rare since I moved up to Mac OS X (which I assume you are using). Maybe I'm just lucky, but I found that disk maintenance has been much less of an issue than it was under Mac OS 8 and Mac OS 9. Under 8 and 9, yes I did use partitions.

    I don't think having a separate partition protects you from viruses, if you should be the rare person who encounters one for Mac OS X. If you run an evil program, it can find your boot disk if it wants.

    Partitioning of course makes sense to run multiple operating systems, but most people don't. And you already have two disks, so you wouldn't need to partition one to run multiple OSes. By the way, I'd make the disk with the best performance be your boot disk.

    The reason I recommend not partitioning to most "regular" users is that there are a few disadvantages. First and foremost, you have to guess the appropriate sizes, and when you are wrong you can end up with less free space than you need on one or the other partition, which you can't fix except by starting over. Also, you have to know a little bit more when you do backups, check disks, or fix problems that develop.

    Bottom line: Nothing terrible will happen if you partition or don't parition. Consider it fine tuning and take your best guess.
     
  7. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #7
    thabridawg, what is going onto these drive? What do you do with your computer? Without knowing that it's hard to give any good advice--and hard for me to see why to partition at all.
     
  8. FattyMembrane macrumors 6502a

    FattyMembrane

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2002
    Location:
    bat country
    #8
    i have my disk set up with 5 partitions (80gb maxtor diamondmax plus 9)

    System/Apps
    Users (all home folders)
    Scratch (downloads/caches/audio-video editing)
    Ports (fink and cpan)
    Backup

    this system works extremely well for me. If I had to do it all over again, i would probably make a separate partition for my /Applications as well. i can keep everything nice and clean this way and all of my downloads and personal files never have to touch the system disk (i've even symlinked my /Library/Caches and ~/Library/Caches folders to the scratch disk).
     
  9. Flynnstone macrumors 65816

    Flynnstone

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Location:
    Cold beer land
    #9
    I have come from the dark side ... :D
    I remember way back when ... Dos 3.3 where I had a big (at the time) hard drive. I partitions c: to like o: what a pain in the but ! But a little later DOS came with a tool that was similar to sym links.
    Anyway I know very little of OS 9 and less.
    As for "fixing" or integrity scan is nearly a thing of the past with filesystem journaling as in Panther.
    Fragmentation is still an issue but much less so with a Unix style OS.

    As for a second OS like Linux. I fail to see the point. Linux is a great server os, but as a desktop .. nah. I use Linux, its great as file server using an old PC box. And you don't have to worry about the Microsoft virus'. I've used Linux and OS X side by side.
    OS X hands down !
     
  10. horhey23 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2004
    Location:
    Kent, OH
    #10
    I'd have to agree with Doc Q, most casual users have no need to partition drives.

    As far as the posts regarding fragmentation (or more precisely the lack thereof) under OSX, sounds great! I'm still saving up for a new machine and thus have little experience with it so far.

    I was just pointing out reasons why one would want to partition, and wasn't necessarily recommending doing so.

    I wasn't aware that viruses could jump partition, thanks for the correction. But really how many Mac users ever have to worry about a virus?:D

    And regarding the multiple OS thing, I was referring to perhaps having multiple MacOS versions. Shoulda been more clear I guess. Again, I (and most users) have no use for this, but it is another reason one would partition.

    George
     

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