HD Partitioning!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by imods, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. imods macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2007

    I'm planning to buy the new iMac and that will be my first Mac ever! So please be patient! Thanks!

    I'm a little confused about HD partitioning. I will talk about PCs (running windows) and you will see what i mean, then.

    When i buy a new PC, i get my hands on a windows DVD (or CD), then i will start thinking about partitioning my HD. Let's say i have a 160 GB HDD. I will be thinking: "Umm.. 30 GBs for C: (windows) and 130 GBs for D: (Data)"

    Now, i created two separate partitions just in case i wanted to reinstall windows, i wouldn't have to erase my Data and just erase my C:. That way, i saved my data while giving enough space for my applications (on C: )

    Now for the Mac. Is it a good idea to partition my HD and have my OS separated from my Data? If i am to reinstall the OS, what options do i get? Upgrade? Install Fresh (Erase HD)? Install Over? Repair?

    I'm thinking that way because of what will happen if i had my HD partitioned with only one Volume and i wanted to reinstall OS. Will I have to erase my HD, or is there an approperiate action to do.

    Also, i'm thinking when i buy the new leopard. If it was a new version of windows, i'd prefer to format my C: and install the new OS cleanly. That's what i'd like to do with leopard. That is, i want to install it cleanly with no upgrade.

    Will I be able to do that with one partition, or will i have to create two partitions; one for System (and Applications); and other for Data? If that's so, what is the recommended size for my System Partition. On windows, i'd say 30 GB.

    Thank you so much in advance :)
    And i'm sorry if that caused you a pain in the head :rolleyes:

    Oh... one more thing, though. I'm sorry for any grammatical errors. English is not my first language!
  2. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    can i just verify first..

    are you going to be installing XP onto the new mac???
  3. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    There really is not any point to partitioning a Mac HD unless you are going to put different OS's on the other partitions. If you ever need to reinstall OSX, which is rare, you have the option to Archive & Install which preserves all of your data and settings and even saves the previous version of the System.

    When Leopard comes out you can just upgrade. I have never had any problem doing this but some people prefer to wipe the disk and reinstall. There are also people who like to make a backup partition on their HD. This protects against mistakes but not drive failure and it cuts your disk space in half.

    I suggest buying an external HD and backing up to that. It will also make it easier to Erase and Install should you ever want to do that. Best wishes.
  4. imods thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2007
    thanks for your replies.

    I won't install windows on the new iMac.

    About leopard... You said i can easily upgrade, but i'd prefer a fresh install. Does that mean i will have to erase my HD in case of one partition? If that's so, then i'm afraid i will have to create two partitions :confused: Am i right?

    PS: I'm not planning to buy a backup external HDD at the moment.

    Thanks again :)
  5. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    Yes, a fresh install means erasing the HD before installing. If you want to do that, and you don't want to buy an external HD, then you will need two partitions. I still think this is a giant waste of space. You can buy a small external drive for less than the price of Leopard and it is a superior backup solution. If you can, consider waiting a few months to buy your machine. Leopard will come free and you can use the extra money to buy an extra hard drive. Best wishes.
  6. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    No no no, I'm pretty sure you're completely wrong on that. You absolutely can do a full complete fresh install of Mac OS X without needing to erase anything first.
  7. imods thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2007
    motulist, how is that possible?

    let's just imagine the following scenario, even though it's unlikely.

    Imagine that Mac OS X got infected with a deadly virus (let's just imagine!), and i wanted to reinstall the OS to get rid of that virus. On windows, the best way is to format, then reinstall windows. What about on Macs?

    motulist, are you talking about the possibility of reinstalling Mac OS "cleanly" without having to erase my one-volume-HD and still be able to get rid of that deadly virus that has infected my kext files?

    thanks :)
  8. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    You just startup from the installer disk, and do a clean install of the OS. Everything in the previous OS install is now removed to an inactive OS folder, and you have a brand new OS system installed on your HD.

  9. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    Yes he is.

    Archive & Install moves the entire previous installation into a folder at the root of the drive and reinstalls everything to a fresh, clean state.

    Just make sure you have enough disk space.
  10. imods thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2007
    thanks a zillion, guys. Now i'm pretty confident that i will create only one partition. Thanks to you :)

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