Partitioning Questions

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Chughes, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. Chughes macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2009

    Let me first explain that I am a photographer, and I work with massive amounts of images. One issue with my current machine, is that I have run out of HDD space(1TB) for images.

    I have a new iMac on the way, with a 2TB internal HDD, double what my current internal storage space is.

    I prefer to keep my images on the internal hard drive for speed purposes. Another reason I prefer this is because of Time Machine. I like how Time Machine does backups, it is convenient for my work-flow, and I would like to keep it that way.

    I have been pondering the idea of partitioning my new iMac, something like:

    OSX - 150GB
    Photos - 1500GB
    Everything Else - 350GB

    Now, I am no stranger to partitioning drives, from my PC days. But this will only be my second Mac, and it didn't even dawn on me to install OSX on a separate partition to the rest of my data. I love the idea; it should make for a snappier machine in the long-run.

    150GB should be sufficient for OSX and all future professional programs, I think.

    Is it a bad idea to create and entire partition JUST for photographs? My logic for doing this is: I can use Time Machine to backup JUST this partition to a specific hard drive, so I have an efficient backup of my pictures. I could use another external HDD to backup the other partition of 350GB. Would I run into any problems doing this? Or would it make more sense to just make 2 partitions, one for OSX and one for all of my data?

    I look forward to hearing your opinions.


  2. logana macrumors 65816


    Feb 4, 2006
    In a word - why ?

    Partitioning the disc is not going to speed up anything....

    Secondly you cannot use Time Machine to backup one partition and then another 10 minutes later backup another partition or whatever.

    It is simple enough to select what you want Time Machine to backup - your photos and your data.....
  3. Chughes thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2009
    Thanks for the reply.

    This is exactly why I'm asking, because I don't know if this is a silly decision, and more work than is necessary. I'm not set on doing this, because I'm not sure if it's the right solution.

    Is it true that if I had a separate partition for OS X than the rest of my data, that OS X would be "cleaner" over a longer period of time?

    I ask because my current iMac is very capable, but at 4 years, is starting to slow. I think a clean install would speed things up a bit...

  4. i4k20c macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2005
    I could be completely wrong, but I think the reasoning of installing OSX to a another partition comes from the Windows User line of reasoning.

    That is, it is (maybe was) easy enough to go into File Explorer and delete key .dll files and thus corrupt or cause problems for Windows. Likewise, as a way to deter viruses from entering the might instal the OS on a partition and than since one key way for viruses to be installed is through downloading attachments/videos/mp3s.. your core OS would never be corrupted.

    I'm not sure if either of those are really issues in OSX. But i'll let others who have pondered the idea more or have done it give specific pro's and con's.

    Best of luck.
  5. Sc00tr macrumors regular

    May 28, 2011
    On the MAC there is only one reason to keep your data separate from the install. It is easier to do a OS install. If something happens and you need to do a reinstall or you want to do a clean install of a new OS version, the data is already separate.

    Another reason is if you have a SSD drive. SSD's are expensive so you buy the smallest that you can for your OS + apps, then all your data would go on a separate HD. This is the reason that most people separate their data.

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