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what is the recommended standard for partitioning an 80GB Hard Disk Drive?

Posted on 2010-11-28
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi Everyone;

          In the process of repairing and upgrading a Compaq Presario SR2011WM desktop pc, I noticed the 80GB hard disk drive as two partitions, a c drive partitioned at 66.4GB (NTFS) and a d drive partition at 8GB (FAT32) which leads a question in my mind.  I have always thought that the "smaller" partition, generally, c:, should have enough space to install the OS on it only, thus, leaving the "larger" partition, generally, d:, for installing applications and saving end user files like mp3's jpgs, mini movie clips, etc.  However, I stand to be corrected on that point.  

          At any rate,  if someone could help shed some insights to this question, it will be greatly appreciated.  

           Thank you.

           George
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Question by:GMartin
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by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 50 total points
ID: 34224422
The smaller partition in this instance is the System Restore partition that HP/Compaq put on their computers.  If you have already burned CDs from it or don't need them, then you can do what you want with it.  If I was redoing it, I would make it all C:.  I don't see any advantage to splitting it.
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OxygenITSolutions earned 200 total points
ID: 34224426
Hi again,

In this day and age, I would recommend simply partitioning the entire drive as C and creating a folder with your data on it that you should back up to an external USB drive. Alternatively, store your data on one USB drive and backup to another. (80Gb does not seem that much these days).
Nearly all applications use C:\program files and installing anywhere but that location generally causes issues down the track.

Keep it simple.

Good luck getting your Compaq up and running.
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by:mshakeb
ID: 34224459
Hi

i recommend to take C:\ drive as full (80 GB)

1. you will installed O.S, applications etc. i suggest to take full drive for C:\
2. if you want more space then you can connect other HardDrive as  SLAVE and keep you data etc.....
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 34224466
Hi

           Two followup questions come to mind here.  First, can I redo this HDD using an XP installation CD?  In the past, I have used its integrated utilities to delete and create partitions and set up NTFS and FAT32 file journaling systems.   And, secondly, once XP is fully installed, will it load its native drivers for the onboard devices like audio, video, NIC, etc. just as long as these components are enabled within the BIOS?

           Thank you.

           George

             
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by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 34224479
You can order the HP/Compaq restore disks fro that computer which will have all of the correct drivers.  They are also available for download from the HP/Compaq site.
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 34224484
Hi

         Could you give me the direct download link for the driver package of this Compaq Presario desktop?

          Thank you.

          George
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by:OxygenITSolutions
OxygenITSolutions earned 200 total points
ID: 34224494
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by:mshakeb
ID: 34224858
for the drivers backup you can download Genius pro software :

this software will take backup for all the drivers and its very simple method
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by:noxcho
ID: 34225064
If you have XP CD then you can completely erase the HDD and reinstall Windows XP from your CD. I don't think that drivers could be an issue.
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by:mshakeb
mshakeb earned 50 total points
ID: 34225081
one more thing, you can also use MAXBLAST Setup.exe.
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by:garycase
garycase earned 100 total points
ID: 34226124
Hi George,

There are a variety of suggestions above, so I'll just summarize what I'd recommend:

(a)  You can delete all current partitions with the XP Install CD, as  you asked.   When you get to the screen that shows the current partitions, simply delete them both -- then proceed to install (for an 80GB drive, I'd just use the whole thing as C:).

(b)  The link OxygenITSolutions provided above is to the direct HP download site for drivers for this system.     After you've completed the install, look at Device Manager to see which devices XP didn't "know" about .... then download the drivers you need to get a "clean" Device Manager (on another system if necessary -- if the network driver isn't yet installed you'll need to do that).
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by:Michael-Best
ID: 34226217
In the process of repairing and upgrading ?
To another OS?
Or just a repartition of the original install?
C drive: OS and software...+20- 50% extra free space over and above OS and software.
D drive: for all your data, thus if OS crashes you still can access and recover all your data.
And a hidden fat 32 partiton if you have System Restore partition. (which is factory installed to some PCs.
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by:mawni
ID: 34229152
I recommend to have C: 30.0 Gb and D: 50.0 Gb
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by:BillDL
BillDL earned 100 total points
ID: 34231072
I tend to agree with the others that your 80GB hard drive would be best served as a single C: Drive and that you should make use of external storage or a 2nd slave drive for backup or safe storage of important data.  Maybe you should buy a larger new hard drive for your C: Drive and relegate the D: Drive to some other form of storage, such as putting it into a cheap external USB Enclosure.  However, if you do decide to create 2 partitions, be aware that XP will not format a FAT32 partition larger than 32GB (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314463).

I used to always have a FAT32 2nd partition onto which a little program incrementally copied new data such as the My Documents folder, my Outlook DBX files, my Address Book, and a few other backups such as setup packages for some software.  The main idea was that being FAT32 I could always access that data even if I had to boot the system to a DOS Boot Floppy or slave it to my old Win98SE system which would not read an NTFS Drive.  That was quite a few years back now, and my method now makes no sense at all as I can always boot to a Linux Live CD if needed, and I now have no other computers running a FAT32 Operating System anyway.

Of course, the 2nd reason for what I USED TO do was in keeping with Michael Best's suggestion in Q_34226217, ie. Data on D: is safe even if the OS on C: crashes.  That's fine if you encounter a software issue, but I have had hard drives with mechanical issues and lost all my backup data, hence the need for either a 2nd internal hard drive or use of external storage. Any 80GB IDE Hard Drive these days is likely to be a few years old, and they don't last forever.

OxygenITSolutions mentioned (in Q_34224426) the drawbacks of overriding the default installation directory of software to a 2nd partition.  I agree.  There were occasions in the past where I decided on C: and D: partition sizes during Windows XP setup, and then later ran out of room on my C: Drive for larger applications while still leaving an overhead for a Virtual Memory Swap File, Temp files, for defragging, etc. For example, I installed Microsoft AutoRoute, Microsoft Encarta, a Genealogy suite, and an imaging application with loads of templates, using the "full" options (ie. all files installed rather than having to use the CD) to my D: Drive. It ran for a while without problems until I ran some patches and updates which screwed up things and left me with a whole bunch of data on the D: drive plus the C: Drive, and I didn't know which of the drives the applications were using for the resources.

Regardless what you choose to do, may I suggest that you verify that your "CD-Key" for the current OS installation matches that on the COA (Certificate of Authenticity) sticker on the case.  Article by Masqueraid (see last paragraph before the reference links):
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/XP/A_3218-XP-OEM-and-the-repair-reinstallation-a-cautionary-tale.html
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 34232729
Hi Everyone;

            Very good insights shared to this question.  As the majority recommends, I will simply partition the entire HDD as 80GB just to keep it simple.  And, I agree, I can forsee potential problems with installing applications in a different location other than Windows default of c:\program files\.  

             With respect to logistics, I will simply use the XP installation CD and delete the existing partitions and start over by creating a new partition of c only and setting it to NTFS file journaling system. Then, I will be ready to commence the actual installation of the OS.

              In closing, many thanks once again for the great feedback given to this post.  I especially appreciate the extra effort given, like the driver link given by OxygenITSolutions for the Compaq Presario.  This will certainly simplify matters in case the OS can not load drivers for all of the hardware.  Thank you so much OxygenITSolutions for this link.  I went ahead downloaded and recorded to CD just in case it is needed.

              George
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by:BillDL
ID: 34233032
Thank you George.
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