drive partition

Posted on 2004-10-12
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
What are the main benefits for partitioning a drive?

If a SCSI drive was partitioned with 3 logical drives.  

55mb fat :      

What is the 55mb fat used for?

I had a drive failure but had a image backup made.  I am thinking about imaging just the C: drive onto the new physical drive allowing me more root drive space.   I am wanting some feedback on this before i proceed.
Question by:lmbass
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

ID: 12288149
Partitioning helps to segregate your system files, program files, and data.  For example, imaging software like Ghost operates on disks and partitions, so if your system partition is smaller, it is easier to make backups and to restore, especially when experimenting.  Partitioning is also useful for organizing and putting structure on your data.

That 55MB FAT partition may have been used for a swap file, but it's kind of strange that it has no drive letter associated with it, but it could have been left over from a different configuration.

Author Comment

ID: 12288883
Can i live without the swap file?
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 12289266
Hi lmbass,

What kind of computer did this disk come from?
A tiny first partition without a drive letter assigned is most of the time a BIOS (like the old Compaq's had), a recovery partition to store critical data about the system (also not used anymore in most recent systems) or made by some virusscanner so it can scan prior to loading the OS (some virusscanners still have the option to make one like this)

So, in fact, this disk was only partitioned into two usable drives to store data on. There is no reason to keep the primary partition, but make sure to edit boot.ini if you intend to boot from it after cloning as it's set to boot from the second partiton and not from the first.

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Expert Comment

ID: 12289285
No, except in very unusual circumstances you should never disable the swap file (paging file), although if you have a lot of memory (1Gb or more) you might want to make it smaller than the default, but in most cases you should leave it as a system-managed size which will generally be about 1.5 times the amount of physical memory (for WinXP; not sure what OS you have).  Systems can hang if there is insufficient pagefile space, and also in the event of a crash it is used to create the memory dump.

As for the 55Mb partition, it's hard to know what it was but it may well have been for diagnostic tools -- Dell and I think Compaq and others have been known to do that.

Author Comment

ID: 12289642
It is an IBM E Server.  I do believe it is probably a recovery partition.  
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 12289707
Yeah, most likely it was. And you don't need it, so as you want to clone it to another disk, make the image to the other disk, then edit the boot.ini file (in the root of C: on the cloned disk) and edit the partition to 1 instead of 2.

As an example this is my boot.ini file on my computer, make sure it looks like it if you use any version of winNT/2k/XP:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional"


Author Comment

ID: 12290082

Do i make the edit before or after i clone?
LVL 32

Accepted Solution

LucF earned 125 total points
ID: 12290119
Both can be done, afterwards, as you can't do this from within the OS, you'll have to use the recovery console for this or any other NTFS read/write way of accessing the disk.
Or, you can do it before, but then you won't be able to boot from the original disk anymore, so it's up to you. (you can change it back after cloning)

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Expert Comment

ID: 12339740
Glad to help :)


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