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Drive Parition and Program Installation

Posted on 2007-07-31
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
new server has 12GB C partion with OS installed on it
same physical drive also has E partition with 55GB space.

do i need to install programs on the same partition as the OS and use the 55GB E drive as data storage only?

windows server 2003 r2 enterprise
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Question by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
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by:Phadke_hemant
ID: 19603864
yes, install all programs on c: and data on E:
if you are installing databases then my comment may differ
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The_Kirschi earned 668 total points
ID: 19604119
Hi zephyr_hex!

No, you don't need to install all programs on the C: drive but almost every program will install some files on the C: drive - e. g. in c:\windows\system or system32 - even if you install it on the E: partition.

If you like you can also resize the C: drive. There is a nice open source software that can also resize ntfs system drives. I used it several times and its really cool. You can run it from a bootable CD:

http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php

Although I didn't experience any problems with this software yet, make sure you have a proper backup of your server.

Hope this helps.
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by:Alan Henderson
Alan Henderson earned 668 total points
ID: 19604122
A big advantage in doing that is that you have the ability to create images of your C:\ drive.
Then you can perform a system recovery from an image without affecting your data files on E:\

This is a good strategy to apply to any PC. Not just a server.
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by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
ID: 19605057
ok.  i know most programs need to update the registry, which is part of the OS.   i just wasnt sure if they would be able to do that if i specify a non-OS partition as their installation point.

i like the idea of having my C drive only OS.  just wasn't sure if it would work to install the programs on an alternate drive.

will this have an impact on program updates?  for example, SQL Server 2005 program (not the database... that is going on a different array) has a service pack2.  let's say i install SQL Server program on E: .  will the service pack properly install?  

i just want to make sure i understand all of the potential problems with installing programs on non-OS partition.
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Assisted Solution

by:PUNKY
PUNKY earned 664 total points
ID: 19605427
I always use other partition to install programs and store data, leave the OS partition alone on my servers. I also do not update automatic, since it could be screw up system at no time :) . Once a while, if update needed or required, I will manual install them, but all the time I will do that on Virtual OS first.
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Henderson
ID: 19605446
It doesn't matter to Windows or to updates which drive you install your programs on. The locations are recorded in the registry.

However, you would be better advised to increase the size of your C:\ drive as suggested by The_Kirschi and to install the OS AND programs on that partition and then to move My Documents and all other moveable data, like outlook.pst, to the E:\ partition.

My Documents can be moved by right clicking on the My Docs folder icon in Windows Explorer, select Properties, click the Move button, then navigate to the new location.

Alan.
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Henderson
ID: 19605463
Two conflicting views  take your pick.  I lost track of the fact that we're talking about a server.  :o)
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Expert Comment

by:The_Kirschi
ID: 19606526
Hi zephyr_hex,

I haven't experienced any problems in almost 10 years now when I installed programs on other partitions than the OS partition. Not with SQL Server, not with Exchange. All service packs and updates should install properly. It doesn't matter to the OS where the program was installed. It just needs to find the program where it was installed. And that's regardless of the partition.

Nevertheless it may be useful to resize your C: drive. Of course it depends on how much software you will install on the server but 12 gig are not that much.

Hope that answers your question.
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Author Comment

by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
ID: 19609898
thanks.  since this server is not yet in production, i am going to give installation of programs on E partition a shot.  if i keep C to just the OS, 12G should be plenty.  55G on E drive should be plenty for programs.  if, in the future, i need more data storage, it's not a big deal to add a drive.  however, that process becomes more complicated if C partition gets full....
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Expert Comment

by:The_Kirschi
ID: 19610106
yeah, thats true. but GParted should even help you in such cases...
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