Need help with hard disk partition strategy

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by mysterytramp, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. mysterytramp macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #1
    I have a Mac mini with a 55 G internal hard drive with a 750 G One Touch Maxtor drive (actually just 698 G) attached via firewire.

    Later this month I'll be upgrading from Tiger to Leopard, and I'm assuming a clean install makes most sense.

    I'd like to partition the Maxtor drive to provide general storage as well as Time Machine backups. Although it's not vitally important, I could envision having a partition to handle Windows.

    Should I create three partitions: one for approx 55 G to handle the current contents of my internal drive for the upgrade; one for approx ?? G to handle potential Windows; and the remaining space to handle Time Machine.

    -- How large should a Windows partition be? There are some apps that would be useful to have, but highly unlikely it will be an important part of my routine. Should I be stingy? Can I get a Windows install in about 10 G? 20 G?

    -- Can I partition the Maxtor while it has data? Currently there is about 25 G of files. Many are expendable.

    -- Disk Utility seems to default to PPC settings, though the mini has an Intel processor. I'll want a GUID Partition Table for at least one partition, correct?

    -- Does it make sense to install Leopard on an external partition in case the internal drive ever fails? Or is that a waste of space for now? (One assumes I'd be able to rescue the machine via the install disks.)

    -- I suppose everyone's experience with Time Machine is different based on how they use their computers, but is there a rough guideline on how much space to devote to Time Machine?

    TIA

    mt
     
  2. i.shaun macrumors 6502a

    i.shaun

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    Windows should run fine on about 50GB, I think it only uses 10-15GB itself, but you'd want programs, updates, anti-virus, and files. Depends on how you want to use it. I know I have XP on a 50GB partition and it's fine, but if you run Vista Ultimate, you may want at least 100GB.


    Time Machine (from what I understand) requires an external or network drive. It cannot backup your system if the system is on the same drive -- so installing leopard on the external is probably not the best ideer. [not to mention if the drive fails, so too does the backup]


    GUID partitions are necessary for startup disks for intel-based macs.


    umm what else. . Time machine should have the capacity to hold more than the entire source it is backing up, that way it can copy everything, then keep records of it spanning back in time for a while. I think the less space it has, the less distance you can travel back in time, so to speak.


    Edit, Partitioning while data is on it will be like formatting it. Make sure you backup those files before proceeding.
     
  3. mysterytramp thread starter macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #3
    Thanks, much

    Leopard would definitely be on the internal drive. Leopard on the external would just be for backup, in case the internal drive failed. (Come to think of it, a single site license might not even allow this arrangement.)

    mt
     
  4. i.shaun macrumors 6502a

    i.shaun

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    you might be able to clone the system for backup

    I think carbon copy cloner is what people here use, there is another but I can't recall the name off hand.
     
  5. gavin83209 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Yuuzhan'tar
    #5
    Were you thinking of SuperDuper? CCC is free, and SuperDuper is $27.95.

    If you have a blank 750 GB hard drive, I would recommend that you partition that to allow about 200 GBs for Time Machine (four times the size of the internal drive for future backups) and the rest for anything else. If you only need one or two Windows apps, you will probably be able to get away with 50 or 60 GBs. If you use more than that, 120 GB should handle most things with 380 GB left for whatever else you need on the external and 55 GB for use on the internal.

    Before you partition the external, backup all data to a different disk. The internal should do if you have enough space.

    I've gotten a MacBook to boot off of my PowerBook's HD with target disk mode, but unless you plan to use a PowerPC to boot from your Mini, GUID will probably be the most future-proof.
     
  6. mysterytramp thread starter macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #6
    Thanks, everyone.

    One last question: What does it mean for a hard disk to be "journaled" and do I need to worry about it?

    mt
     
  7. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    Up the irons
    #7
    XP only needs four to five gigabytes of space with the service packs.
     
  8. i.shaun macrumors 6502a

    i.shaun

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Canada
    #8
    check apple support page explaining journaling Here

    I got that link from spinnerlys who posted some info on filesystems
     
  9. mysterytramp thread starter macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #9
    Apple sez:

    I'm guessing journaling would be overkill for my needs, plus it must have some overhead penalty, which would be more noticeable than the rare time when a critical file was being edited at the time of a power outage. Or amy I whistlin' past a graveyard on this one?

    mt
     

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