Do you have a data Partition?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by markfc, May 21, 2007.

  1. markfc macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2006
    Prestatyn, Wales, UK
    Just reinstalling OSX on my macbook after upgrading the hd to a 160gb.

    Does anyone else partition the disc so as to have a System and Data partition.

    I used to do it in Windows but is it necessary in OSX?

    If you do, how much space do you give the OS?

  2. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    I do this on windows too and I'm planning to do it when I get a macbook pro.

    Personally I'm hoping to get a 250GB hard drive so I'm going to partition it 100GB OS X, 20GB Windows, and the remaining ~110GB data
  3. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    I see no reason to partition data on an OSX system. If you have a good backup routine in place and regularly do full backups of your drive, there is no advantage to partitioning your disk. Fragmentation is not a problem under OSX since it regularly defrags in the background.
  4. nutts macrumors member

    Jan 23, 2007
    No reason at all to do this under OS X, as absolutely ALL of your data is kept inside your home directory.

    If you need to reinstall the OS at any point it allows you to do an 'archive and install' which just replaces the system and leaves the applications and your data (ie home directories) in place.

    Also if you want to really secure your data you can activate File Vault (in security preferences), which encrypts only your home directory (not applications etc), and mounts it only when you login successfully.
  5. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    Wow I didn't know about that. So if OS X ever ****s up and you have to reinstall it, you won't lose any data that is in /Users/?

    How does it work, does it just leave the data there so when you start up in the new system, it's just like it used to be, or does it archive it so you have to still move it back?
  6. PkennethV macrumors 6502a

    Aug 16, 2006
    Infact, it says on Apple's site somewhere that it's actually slower to keep your data and system in seperate partitions. Being a Mac user all my life, I never knew why Windows users do that (although I'm sure there's a good reason).
  7. janey macrumors 603


    Dec 20, 2002
    sunny los angeles
    Alternatively, you can do what I do with some OS X installs by keeping only /Users on a separate partition. I partition similarly on means I can even do a clean install and stil save my /Users. Plus it's easier to back up.
  8. nutts macrumors member

    Jan 23, 2007
    If you choose the 'archive and install' option, it keeps the /Users folder and the /Applications folder, and reinstalls the system (/System and /Library) around them.

    I've never done this myself by the way - I only ever reinstall when upgrading the OS (Leopard to Tiger), and I choose the 'erase and install' option after backing up /Users - but the information is on Apple's site if you want to read more.
  9. Luigi239 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2007
    I dont see a need for that, as in my opinion, it would only complicate things. Most applications default to the documents folder, or pictures folder to save, and changing that every time could get annoying.

    On the other hand, a 3d partition may be good for sharing data between OS X and Windows, if that maters to you. (just format it as fat-32, or in disk utility, MS DOS file system)

    Other then that, there is really no point.
  10. MartyMoe macrumors regular

    For PCs, the reason..

    There is a reason I do it on PCs; putting the user's Windows on one partition and the data on a second partition means that we can go back and wipe C: without losing the data; it makes it easier to repair massive spyware or virus damage when needed if the user's stuff is safely out of the way.

    The way we do it, reimaging C: takes out everything-- doing an install by hand from CDs possibly might leave data intact, but (1) not always, and (2) we don't have time to do full reinstalls constantly. This way, we just scrub the Windows drive with less user anguish. (And since they don't back up their stuff, believe me, there is anguish.)

    Sometimes we also use a second partition to hold a disk image for restoring a system-- the only time I have done it on Macs is for cases like this, when I use another partition for cloning the drive.

    But no, I have never done it on an individual's Mac.
  11. elithrar macrumors 6502


    May 31, 2007
    When I put in a 250GB HDD, I don't plan to. If it were a Windows machine, quite possibly, yes, but the need isn't anywhere near as pressing with OS X, if it all. Likely a 210GB OS X partition, and the rest (~22.6GB if you account for the 200MB EFI partition) set aside for WinXP.
  12. uicandrew macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2006
    no data partition since i want to run boot camp. if it were possible, i would do it
  13. heySparky macrumors regular


    Mar 8, 2007
    I can only speak for myself, no partition for me.
  14. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    That's what I do at home. On my MBP, I don't, but on my iMac it just seemed to make sense, given that I'm not the only one using it.

    It was almost more of a housekeeping issue that a performance/backup one. Although it is backed up regularly.
  15. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    Just out of curiosity, how do you do that?
  16. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    Here is one site that provides the details, though a quick Google search should show a number of other options.

    One key thing to mention here would be that partitioning your drive deletes all data, so don't do it until you've made a backup and you're ready to spend a little time getting it all set up.

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