Partitioning: do you trust OS X?

Partitioning: yes or no?

  • Always partition (keep my data away from the OS, just in case!)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 30, 2007
Tokyo, Japan
Hey guys,

I'm wondering how many of you keep your data separate from your OS by splitting your drive into two (or more) partitions or by using physically different HDDs altogether ... ?

I've always kept my data and my OS on separate partitions, but that was because I was using Windows - the first time I lost everything (due to my Windows install getting hosed), I vowed not to let it happen again - and I've been partitioning drives ever since. So when my new iMac came the first thing I did was to split the 750GB drive into two partitions - better safe than sorry, I thought. It turns out I am now using only 37GB of my 200GB system partition, which means there's a lot of wasted space, and since all of my data (mainly a 90GB image library, about 200GBs of videos and 100GB of music) is on my second partition and I don't want to have stuff scattered all over the place, I'm running out of space on the data partition, with 150GB still free in the system partition - seems kind of stupid to me.

So, for the first time ever, I am considering living dangerously - putting everything together in one large partition, and letting Time Machine + SuperDuper keep me backed up.

So I guess my question is: how many of you actually trust OSX with your data? How many of you split your HDDs into two or more partitions, and how many throw everything on one big partition? How many of you really trust OSX?


macrumors 601
Apr 8, 2004
i backup to external HDD's (lot's of them)

and when time machine comes it will only make things simpler for me


macrumors G5
Jun 6, 2003
Solon, OH
From what I gather, separating your data from your operating system is doable, but requires some ugly hacks that I'd rather not go through. I also hear the hacks required are even uglier on Windows, due to there being no easy way to create symbolic links (NTFS supports them but I know of no command line command to create them, like the ln command Mac OS X has).

Therefore, I've never bothered with trying, especially with something as solid as Mac OS X.


Moderator emeritus
Mar 25, 2002
London, England
If you're separating your data off to a separate drive then I can understand it. Doing so to a separate partition is pointless. Even if the OS does go belly up your data is still easily recoverable (boot from an external drive, archive & install etc). If you have your data on separate partitions on the same drive and your drive actually fails you're screwed just the same as if it were all on 1 partition on that drive.


macrumors regular
Mar 9, 2006
I used to keep my data on a separate partition when I used linux. Haven't done this since I switched to OSX.


macrumors 68030
Jul 26, 2005
You poll options don't really make sense

1. No partitioning (I trust OS X with my data!)
2. Always partition (keep my data away from the OS, just in case!)

If something goes wrong with OSX that will cause you to lose all your data then it doesn't really matter if you have one partition or two.

Also you lost all your data in windows because of a lack of knowledge of computers and not because of a windows crash. All the data is still on a harddrive when windows crashes, you just have to get it off. You could just have reinstalled windows without wiping the partition. Basically you probably deleted all your own data yourself.

So in this case, for you, i think you should use two partitions. Not because you shouldn't trust OSX (or windows), but because you shouldn't trust yourself.


macrumors 603
Feb 2, 2007
51.50024, -0.12662
i currently use two partitions on my mac, one for the system and one for my documents and media. the first partition has everything including my home folder. except that i moved my documents, movies, music, pictures and downloads folder to the second partition.

im just gonna use time machine on my second partition. because who cares if your system stuffs up or you muck it up yourself. just reinstall it. and if youve got all your apps install dvds and licenses youve got nothing to worry about! except maybe your preference files but they can be easily remade in a disaster.

but ill still practice my current backup plan when i get leopard which is to clone my system partition.
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