Bootcamp - whats the best partition ratio?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by AlexMaximus, May 10, 2013.

  1. AlexMaximus macrumors 6502a


    Aug 15, 2006
    A400M Base
    Hi folks,

    I will do the Optibay swap on my MBP this weekend. I got an SSD 840 as a standard right now, the HD in the Optibay will be the new Seagate Hybrid SSHD with 1TB.
    At the moment I have about 190 gigs free on the SSD. Now the question is how to partition the HD and where to put the Win7 on it. I see two options that would make sense:

    1. Put Win7 on the SSD, using a 50 gig partition. That leaves me 140 GB on the SSD. Divide the new 1TB Optibay HD in half, to have 500 GB for OSX and 500 GB for Windows 7 for storage.


    2. Leave the SSD alone and install Windows 7 on the Optibay HD only. Maybe use 600 GB for Win and 400 for OSX. Have the full 190 left on the SSD.

    I think from an installation point of view, option 2 would be a small problem, since I would have to do the optibay swap right away to see all drives. With Option one, I can install Win7 first and then later on do the swap. I am not sure if the OSX will let me install win7 from the "then externalised CDRom".
    A friend told me it is tricky because of some windows install regulations.

    I also have heard that its not a good idea to have an SSD filled up to its brim. There should be some space left to keep it fast. If true, this fact would promote option 2 I think.

    What would you do? Whats the better option?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030


    Mar 22, 2011
    Tokyo, Japan
    I dont think you can put Bootcamp on optibay drive.
    It wont recognize it unless its in the main drive since your Mac will technically see the optibay drive as "external"

    There is a work around to it but its obviously not original and do it at your own risk.
    So far the work around has been only tested on 2010/2011 models.

    If you want to be safe and avoid possibly losing data, I would put it on the SSD.
    Much faster boot as well.
  3. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    If you enable Trim you can fill the SSD up. Also the free space needed for write leveling and so on doesn't count per partition. So if there is some free on the Mac side the SSD is fine.

    Definitely go option 1 unless you hardly ever need Windows. If you run Windows in a VM or frequently need to reboot having it on the SSD just helps tremendously. Windows with SuperCache works okay not running of an SSD but it takes forever to get to that state (of filled Caches). Not adviseable for frequent reboots.

    How much Windows needs depends on what you need to install on it.
    50GB works if you only need it for Office and small stuff.
    If you want it for gaming you will want at least 70-80GB. Games just take so much space and having at least the ones you are currently playing on the SSD is sooo nice. MW3 e.g. needs some 15-20GB alone.
    I have 75GB NTFS and 170GB HFS+.
    The data disk just set to exFAT and use it for both. I would not split that one.
    You can easily reference the Mac Media folders in Windows libraries. If you don't want to use exFAT stick with either NTFS or HFS and just install a write capable driver in the appropriate OS.
    I got a small sub 100GB partition on the HDD to clone a bootable backup on. It holds all OSX+Apps with the documents folder no media at all. In case the SSD dies to keep it operational quickly. I had one fail on me.
    Generally though if you use your data HDD wisely you won't need that much space for OSX. Better add more to Windows if you use it for gaming.

    Also open an admin cmd in Windows and kill hibernation.
    powercfg -h off
    Otherwise you have a file the size of your RAM (4/8/16GB) for nothing really.
    Also set the page file to something as little as what doesn't cause errors. Entirely shutting it down tends to cause problems at least with 4GB as I have. Automatic though often produces an unnecessarily big page file.
    There are also some ways to strip down Windows a bit but it is tedious and the results aren't all that significant next to games that want 7GB+.

    I tend to just move games I currently not play to data partition via the Steam backup function. Or just archive the game folder and move it. Usually archiving on the ssd and moving a big file is faster than moving the folder with many small files in it. It also saves space and you can add redundancy info to keep data corruption in check.

    Installing Windows. You can also do it via a VM. Worked best for me. Initially I also did it with the optica bay swap but for Win8 I just used a VM.
    Diskutility to fix the NTFS partition. Virtualbox or something else to install Windows. The VM environment has no problem booting from the Windows iso or disk loaded properly. I also did it because I worked with msdnaa iso's and I got tired of wasting disk and burning the iso. Just mounting it is so much more convenient.
  4. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Bigger SSD and no optibay but that's irrelevant. You need to do what works for you.

    It's very difficult to give you meaningful feedback since you haven't stated any of your requirements.
  5. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    You're asking how big to build your garage but omitting the size of your vehicle and what other things will be stored in it. :confused:
  6. AlexMaximus thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 15, 2006
    A400M Base
    Thank you all for the replays. In the meantime I have put the Windows 7 Pro on a 70 GB partition on the main SSD.
    On the Windows, besides the usual stuff I have an MS Project and various CAD/CAM Programs on it. Also ACT, an old Enterprise Contact Management System will be there soon. I am not sure if I have enough space for some games.
    For games I decided to resurrect my old xbox360 from the dead and put a new thermaltake gpu heatpipe in. That in it self was a great DIY project. I recommend that for every first Gen. xbox360 systems.

    Most likely the 70 Gig for Win7 even will be enough, so I will not have to split the 1 TB hard drive in the Optibay between Win and OSX. I feel I will just use it on the OSX side of it. The large data hd will be loaded with future video project footage, enterprise information, scifi movies, and tons of other collected information.

    Thanks folks, this is such a great forum.

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