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Old 05-04-2004, 10:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default partitioning.

I was recently thinking of ways to safegaurd my system against crashes that would prevent me from accessing the disk that the OS is on. One of the things I would like to know is this; if you leave a large enough portion of the HD unpatitioned, would it be possible to create another partition and install an OS on it in the event of a system crash? and assuming that is possible, would you be able to then access the crashed partition of the disk using the OS on the new partition? If so, I think I may have a way to save the data off the HD should it crash again. any input on this idea would be appreciated, since I have no clue if it would work.
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Old 05-04-2004, 10:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If you have a 100 GB Hard Drive and you partition your drive into lets say, two partitions..

Partition 1 - OS, (10 GB)
Partition 2 - Data, (75GB)

You will have roughly 15 GB of free, unpartitioned space on your drive.

In the case of a software corruption and your system no longer responds, you can create a partition on the free space and install an OS there (Partition 3). Once that is done you should be able to access the data (Partition 2) from your new OS partition (Partition 3).

This will only work if the problem is software related, if you have a physical drive problem, kiss them all good bye.
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Old 05-04-2004, 10:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The best way to do it is to have your HD partitioned into 2.

1 - for the OS and applications.
2 - for data.

This way if the OS decides to take a crap, you are fine. also if there is a viurs, there is less chance (not no chance) of getting a virus.

Mind you, if your Hard Drive dies...then your hosed

EDIT - LOL...
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Old 05-04-2004, 11:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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last time it was a software problem, I have a 30GB internal HD on my laptop. would it work if I was to patition only 20GB of it to keep everything on (OS and data), and then create a new partition later to install an OS to use to recover the files to an external HD if something went wrong? I am not overly worried about physical problems with the disk, as I haven't had any such problems since my Mac ][ci got too close to a power transformer.
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Old 05-04-2004, 12:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Cunjo i think i understand what you are saying, but the way you worded it seems wrong. at first it sounds like you are talking about a physical hardware failure like corrupted sectors or a complete failure. i than realized you were talking about a operating system failure or corruption. that would be software related.

if you re-install the operating system over the old operating system without re-formatting you will not lose any files, even if you only have 1 single large partition. this is called an OS overlay installation i think.

if you really wanted to safeguard against complete system failure you would need to have another physically hard disk and backup to it on a regular basis. an example would be a removable hard disk & set a scheduled task with microsoft Backup doing a daily copy or incremental backup. it's under all programs> accessories> system tools> Backup.lnk
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Old 05-04-2004, 01:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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you could even install in a different directory and still not lose any files
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Old 05-04-2004, 01:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
if you re-install the operating system over the old operating system without re-formatting you will not lose any files, even if you only have 1 single large partition. this is called an OS overlay installation i think.
Are you sure about that? I have been told otherwise by tech support last time I had to reinstall my OS. I am running NTFS (XP home) if that makes any difference.

and yes, I probably did word it wrong, and I can see where you are coming from on that. What I was referring to is the fact that on my computer (A gateway laptop) you cannot access the internal HD unless you are booting off of it, there is no DOS, and no other boot disks that have access to it. So when my system crashed and I could non longer boot off of the HD, I could not access the files in order to rescue them. I have a 20GB USB HDD that I use for storing images, documents, and music, and I could use it to back up all of the important files in an emergency, but only if I can still boot the computer off the internal HD, (and I would rather not have to keep spending hours at a time backing up the HD every week.)

What I am trying to do is to make sure there is a way of accessing the HD if the OS fails to boot, and for that the idea of using a second (unused) partition seems appealing if it is possible to install an OS onto it, and use it to access it and move everything off the HD onto another drive. I would only need enought space in that partition to install a full OS, because I would plan on reformatting the HD and starting over anyways, I just want sure way of saving the data first.

This also brings up the question of the copy of windows I am using, I only have one OS installation disk (XP home) and I don't know if the computer would allow me to run two copies of that OS on the same network. I would expect that there could be problems with that.

So the final question is this; would leaving 5GB of unpartitioned space on the disk allow me to later partition it and install an OS on it to allow me access to the files on the crashed portion of the disk? Giving up 5GB of space on my HD for that seems a small price to pay for the ability to save my files if anything should go wrong.
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Old 05-04-2004, 02:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Cunjo, what you are asking is if dual-booting is possible. The answer is yes. However, since you are an XP user, I doubt that the XP activation scheme would allow you to run two concurrent installations on the same HDD. i.e. dual-boot with XP & XP.

The others here have told you the best option is to create a separate partition to keep all your personal data files.

In the event of a HDD failure, no partitioning scheme will give you 100% protection against losing your data. The best way to make sure you dont' lose your data is to make regular backups either on a 2nd HDD or burn them on CDs.
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Old 05-05-2004, 08:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Cunjo this is probably because you are using a restore CD not a real operating system CD. a restore CD works very differently.

Quote:
Originally posted by Cunjo
Are you sure about that? I have been told otherwise by tech support last time I had to reinstall my OS. I am running NTFS (XP home) if that makes any difference.
.
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