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Partition Questions

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by chrisa107, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. macrumors member

    Still adjusting to my new Powerbook, and I've got another question for all of you. On my windows system I had my 60g hard drive partitioned into three partitions, 7g for windows and system files, about 25g for documents, music, pictures, etc, and another 25g for programs.

    Now, I'd like to do sort of the same thing for my new install, but have no clue as to the Mac drive format so am really at a loss as to where to go from here. Would making two partitions be sufficient, one for docs, the other for system files and programs, or do I need to even partiton at all? And once that's decided, what programs do I need to partition in the first place? Thanks all for the help.
  2. macrumors 6502

    Well, during the installation, there is an option to partion which works quite easy and if you can partion in windows, than, as all things, at a mac it's easy. But i do want to add. It is my personal opinion that i don't really see the need for partitioning, the OS manages the difference between it's own files (and programs) and your data. Even when doing a new install it asks if you want to save your personal data. As long as you store your data in your home dir <and why shouldn't you> it's really easy to backup, or store at a different place.
  3. macrumors 65816


    You can make partitions using the program Disk Utility in Applications/Utilities. However, like on Windows, changing partitions will erase all data.
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Yeah for a 60G drive I don't really see the need to partition. A possible exception is to have a scratch drive (e.g. for Photoshop). Also, you might want two bootable partitions, so that if one is corrupted, you can recover from the other one, but that's sort of a waste of space with such a small drive. Also, you might want a dual OS boot, so one OS X and the other some Linux flavor. RAIDing might be another reason, but that's moot in a laptop. Otherwise I think your habits from Win machines don't quite translate as far as needing to partition-- I would almost certainly recommend not partitioning.
  5. macrumors member

    I remember seeing something in these forums about partitioning which said that your system folder should be on the same partition as your applications. Apparently putting the OS and apps on different partitions can cause all sorts of problems. Having a scratch drive is an OK idea though. Unless you've got a really good reason, why would you bother partitioning anyway? It ultimately will reduce the flexibility of the storage you have available.
  6. macrumors 68020


    As krollster said, having multiple partitions just reduces your storage flexibilty, What happens when your "photos, music, movies" partition fills up, but your "documents" partition still has a bunch of free space? You're screwed, and you end up starting to store things willie nillie to get around it. Before you know it, you've got stuff scattered all over the place. One partition is all you need. If you have a valid reason for a second partition, you most likely have a valid reason for a second disk drive, in your case a firewire drive.
  7. macrumors 6502

    In my iBook, I have 2 partitions. 1 is the standard system partition and one is my backup partition. I keep all of my music on my backup partition and i can copy over any documents or applications easily. It makes reloading very convenient (I get bored and want to try linux for a while or a new version of OS X comes out). That way I dont have to back up the files over the network or onto cd when I want to reload.
  8. macrumors member

    If I do partition (which I probably will because I have an 80g drive, and want to keep my music and documents as safe as possible) what's the best way to do this? I'm really new to the OSX file system, so would I then, just not keep music and documents in my home directory, and just put them on the new partititon? Or could I just move my home directory itself to the new partition? Any help is very appreciated.
  9. macrumors 68020


    You've gotten help, you just don't seem to want to listen. Why is having your music and documents in a separate partition on the same drive "safe". The OS X file systems are journaled. Unless you have a disk crash, you're not going to lose anything, and you should have a backup regardless.


    I think you should have 10 partitions: root, usr, etc, var, tmp, home/Music, home/Documents, home/Pictures, home/Movies, ...
  10. macrumors newbie


    On my Unix servers at work (HP-UX, Solaris, Linux) I like to have several partitions even on a single drive. But these are not desktop computers :)

    I wouldn't put multiple partitions on my desktop, no real need. Well, maybe a 1 gig one or so for /var wouldn't be a bad idea. Then if these crazy log filling up problems keep it up I wouldn't run into (as many) problems.
  11. macrumors 6502

    Why can't people just give advice on what people wan't to do rather than tell them why they shouldn't 50 times? Windows users are just used to doing things differently from Mac users. On Windows you partition because of ease of reloading and protection from viruses. On a Mac this isnt really an issue, but if you just like to mess around with your OS it can be a lifesaver. As to answer the latest quetion, you could just put the files there. Im not sure about moving home directories but im sure some googleing might turn up something. I don't see why it wouldnt be possible.
  12. macrumors 6502

    To clarify a few things. There are times when you have to format your drive. If you keep your music, docs, apps on a sep partition, you won't lose them on a format. Of course, there is always the possibility you may have to format those partitions as well...as I have in the past.

    There are utilities for OS X that do allow you to resize, create, and delete partitions on the fly, just as PartitionMagic on windows. iPartition and VolumeWorks are two apps that do this.
  13. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Using a partition as a "backup" is a terrible idea. If the drive flakes, there goes your "backup".

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