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Old 12-14-2004, 08:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default optimizing new system w/ partitions

question from a lurker to these forums; input from the more tech-savvy posters is MUCH appreciated.

i just got my new dell system (p4 3.4 ghz, 1 gig ram, 160 gig hd, XP home) and want to set it up the best i can. i have been advised to re-format the system and create a separate partition for windows, because otherwise, in the words of my friend, "windows can get funky."

i am pretty confident i know how to boot from the CD that came with my system and order the system to re-format the hard drive... and to divide the drive into however many partitions... so here are my questions:

-- should i do this in the first place? pros or cons?

-- how large of a partition should i create for windows?

-- am i missing some bump in the road with the format / reinstall process?

-- a friend did this for my last machine (windows ME), and it ran OK, but windows would always try to install programs on the C / windows drive, always try to save documents there... changing save / install drives constantly was a pain. is there a way to tell windows to default to saving / installing on the "application / document" partition?

just for background, i mainly use my system for writing, web, heavy mp3 and video downloading / burning, and lite gaming (sims, the next civ installment when it comes out).

thanks... i just want to make the right decisions now that will keep my system running reliably for years to come. any tips you can give me, regarding this question or otherwise, are MUCH APPRECIATED.
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Old 12-14-2004, 08:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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make the 1st partition 30 gig, the second 130 gig

after you install windows, click start, right clck my documents, select properties (you can only do this here). Click move. move your documents folder to your second hard drive. when it ask you to move all of your files click yes.

now if you catch a virus on your C drive or just want to reinstall windows, your documents won't be affected
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Old 12-14-2004, 08:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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does xp home need 30 gigs to itself?

also, another question -- should i install applications to the windows partition, or to the other partition? i think probably the latter, but just want to check.
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Old 12-15-2004, 02:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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windows usually will take up 10-15 gig with applications, 30 is for extra headroom. put all of your apps on the C drive. if you are downloading free music off the internet, download it to your C drive. leave it there for a week or so, until you are sure it isn't a virus, then move it to your second drive. that also applies to your download files.

put your music, pictures, documents, pdf files etc on your second hard drive
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Old 12-15-2004, 03:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The main advantage of partitions, you can format your XP partition without losing your data on other partitions.
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