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Working with a partitioned drive

My ASUS ZENBOOK UX32VD has a partitioned SSD; that "must remain partitioned".  

Where do I install programs, so data access with be seamless?  I tried installing programs on C: and putting data on D: but that created a mess so I'm starting over; from the computer's OOB state.

Where do I start in order to avoid the issues I created the first time?  What should I be doing when I install programs etc.?  I will be upgrading to Win10, which I expect I should do first; after setting up Chrome, so I can dl it.
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What sizes are the partitions and what software are you installing?
Programs/Operating System on C and Data on D sounds great, i've done this for many years.

What kind of mess did you run into?
Also, if this is a PC that came with the OS factory-pre-installed, first make sure you have created your factory recovery media before starting. What OS is currently installed?

After that, just start upgrading to Windows 10, before installing anything. use themedia creation tool to get the correct iso of Windows 10 that matches the OS you are upgrading from. then extract the conetnes of the iso file to your PC and run setup.exe to start the upgrade.
if your OS partition is big enough - just install everything to it
you can use the D: partition for backups also (have a2nd backup on external drive

i suppose some data went to C: with the previous setup, right?
Installing programs to C and holding data on D is a correct approach. How did you manage to mess it up?
i agree, but if the disk size is big enough - you can put all on the C: partition
I wouldn't. It is always better to at least separate the data from the OS. Preferably also the software, particularly if the disk is large enough. I only use one partition when the disk is too small, then partitioning doesn't make much sense (40GB or smaller for example).
well -  that's your opinion - mine is different
i prefer all on one partition now

i see no real advantages for partitioning -out of business environments
Mine seems to be just the opposite. Partitioning makes backing up of the data easier, as it is separate to the OS. Besides that, a private user is more likely to dual boot a PC to another OS, and having the data on separate partitions allows you to easily access the same data from both OS's. In a business environment the data is located on the servers and those get backed up. So the data on the PC's is already just a copy and doesn't need to be backed up separately. There partitioning doesn't bring much. It's only the servers that need the data on different partitions or disks than the OS.
Ok Rindi - i know all that stuff -  but how many users do you know that follow the rules you put up there?
i know of a couple - out of several hundreds  - in normal user environment

partitioning makes life more complicated for most - if you doubt my word -read the question again
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I have just reviewed these responses and will closely consider each later today, but let me address the questions first and add my initial response.  

I messed up the first time by asking the IT service; iYogi, to remove the partition.  They tried but failed to realize that it should not have been done.  I believe this created serious problems in the end, because when I tried to revert the system to OOB it failed and I had to send the machine back to Asus, who charged me $250. to reset it. Now it's been reset and I don't want to mess it up again.

 After iYogi finished with it I installed all my software on C: mostly routine stuff like Office, but also more demanding software like graphic editors Photoshop, Lightroom, Photomatix and Premiere Elements.  

I tried to force the  data files to D: using post install tricks to fool the software into putting it there; but it just wasn't seamless enough and, I think what IYogi did caused a lot of the problems I was having with uneven operation; sluggish response and generally poor performance.

I want to avoid all that from occurring again, if possible, so when I install these graphics programs again I want to be sure and do it right this time.

The idea of putting everything on C; is appealing, if Asus will allow me to reduce the size of D: enough; to where I can just use D: as a backup volume.  The SSD is 500 GB, divided in half; at this this point.

On the other hand I'm guessing there is an advantage to having just the OS on C: or installing the software there and opting for D: during the install.  something about the OS needing access to the software program but forcing the program to put the data on D:, without having to create clues for it to do that later.
It shouldn't make anything more complicated. The only problem here is that we have no idea what problems the asker ran into, as he hasn't replied to any of our Questions.
Most software installers allow you to change the default location where you want to install it. For example if the default is "C:\Program Files\Program Name", you can just change it to "D:\Program Files\Program Name". That is pretty straight forward. You just need to look at the stup screens and change settings where needed, rather than using the defaults and just clicking on "Next" or "OK" all the time.
i don't be lieve he wants to install the software on D:
anyhow mikecox, what i do in your case is :
1-make an image of the complete drive - so, if anything is not to your liking, you can return to this state
2- then use bootit-bm to reduce D: size, or even delete it ( iknow you said "it must remain partitioned  - but why ?  tell us plse)

for imaging, i use the free paragon software

bootit-bm (free for this task ) is found here :
download it - and make the bootable cd
boot from it - do NOT install it on your disk - hit cancel
select partition work -  then your disk drive -  and partititon D:
click resize

that's it
Nobus; for some reason Asus does not allow the partition to be removed on this Win8 machine with a 500GB SSD drive.  iYogi tried to removed it and created a mess that made it necessary for me to sent the machine back to Asus to have it reset.  I have not asked them why that is how they set it up, except that it may have something to do with protecting the OS????  

rindi, the problem was very sluggish response times, and what appeared to be buffering of keystrokes; mostly with graphic editing, which may have been due to the slower i7 processor in this machine, I'm not sure, but I believe the partition issue may have been the source of this problem, which is why I sent the machine back to have it reset and why I'm trying to figure out how to set up programs to run as fast and efficiently as possible on a partitioned drive.

I have reviewed all these responses and it seems to me that I have 2 options; simply put everything on C: (is the only down side to doing that the dual boot issue?) or, when installing programs, reset the data path to D:/.

I like the second option but it seems like it wouldn't be as seamless or as trouble free as putting everything on C:.

So, putting everything on C:/ seems like the simplest, and best, choice, but that would mean reducing the size of D: to maximize the volume of C:, right?
due to the slower i7 processor

An i7 is everything but slow! Partitioning also doesn't slow anything down. Your issue must have been caused by something else. Maybe an app that makes the system seem sluggish, or your system is setup to conserve power (look at the power settings), which would often make sense on a portable device.

But it certainly has nothing to do with the disk being partitioned, or on which partition the software or data has been installed.

Anyway, once you have the PC backup, before installing anything else I would directly upgrade to Windows 10. You can then install your software when that is done. Also, when you install Windows 10, I suggest to look at all the setup displays carefully. At the closing stages of the setup you can disable any crapps that phone home or do similar stuff. I always disable all of those. First of all, all the crapps are of no use anyway, and they also use up extra resources.

After that in the Windows 10 menu, I'd also disable and remove most of them.
Can you please take a screenshot of Windows Disk Management and post it here? We could give you then advice. Maybe you need simply to shrink C and create additional drive.
what OS have you mikeCox? windows 7 does not have the shrinking ability for C:
Here is the screenshot of my disk.
User generated image
The details image show a base score of 4.8; pulled down by the graphics card, which Asus says can't be upgraded.  It also shows a 197GB HD.  I think it's listed as 250GB.  As for the "slow" processor, I understand that an i7 is fast but that there is a range of fastness, depending on the model, but that's way above my paygrade, I only remember seeing a reference to i7 speeds somewhere that seemed to suggest that some models are faster than others.
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Bottom line: I have not even started setting this machine up, I wanted to install Chrome first, upgrade to 10, then deal with partition sizes, and where to install my programs.

I think what the IT service did, vis-a-vis the partition issue, may have messed things up and might have been the source of some of the troubles I've experienced with running resource intensive programs; but I don't know that for sure.  I had the machine reset so I could start over, without the effects of what they did nagging me.

I wanted that cleared up with fresh installs, where I have a straightforward, seamless, data connection, either on C: or with a path to D:; whichever is best for a system I don't intend to dual boot.  Only then can I determine if this machine up to the demands my software places on it.

Right now I worried about how I'm going to, fairly, divide a measly 500 points between all of you!
As I mentioned earlier, partitioning has nothing to do with speeds and it can't be the reasone for sluggishness. That has to be caused by something different.

I would also just upgrade to Windows 10 before installing anything else first. You don't need chrome to upgrade. You could even tell Windows 10 not to keep anything, which would give you a clean windows 10 installation from which you can move on.

The "U" line of CPU's are for low power usage, which is good for battery life, and should also keep the system cooler. It probably laos has further power saving functions which turns things off when not needed, and that may cause some sluggishness. But those things should be adjustable from within the OS, or also via a utility from Asus.
I understand about the speed issue not being relevant to partitions.  My partition issue is with what the IT people did when they tried to remove the partition.  They ended up creating some weird, inert, "drive" that created confusion and ended up prevently the ability to "revert" the system.  That my not have caused a problem but no one seemed to be able to figure out what it was doing.

Let's see what happens after I upgrade to 10.  I will take the option to not keep anything and start over.

At this point I think the best thing for me to do is opt for resetting the data path to D:, rather than putting everything up C:, unless someone can give me a good reason not to.

I will now review all the suggestions here and try to figure how how best to assign points.
Yes, move the data to D and perform the upgrade. I don't know what those IT people could do with partitions. But if they knew what they do then this should not have happen.
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Ok, thanks. I'll study that info.  But I understand I can to an install that wipes everything, "clean install"???? I have contacted Asus about this and they sent me this file, which I just got and haven't read yet.

At this point I'm trying to figure out how to award points; I'm thinking just splitting it between you and rindi, since you've offered to most definitive help.
Two recovery partitions? I see only one. The first one is from Windows and it contains winpe image which is used by Windows 8.1 and newer OSes for Windows maintenance such as system restore etc. The second one is a third party recovery partition made by ASUS.
I donlt think that in this very case there are too many recovery partitions. Finally this is a GPT drive and it has always that small recovery partition.
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a contradiction here : Two recovery partitions? I see only one. The first one is from Windows and it contains winpe image which is used by Windows 8.1 and newer OSes for Windows maintenance such as system restore etc. The second one is a third party recovery partition made by ASUS.

i meant the 900Mb and the 20 Gb partitions, which are labeled as RECOVERY partition
Man!  Asus has clearly not addressed the question I posed; re clean install, minus their 3rd party recovery partition.  The question I wanted an answer to was can I do a clean install and what is the down side pf doing that?  If I do a "wipe everything" is that a "clean install" and what if there is a system crash at some point in the future; will I be able to recover directly to Win10, instead of starting with Win8 again forcing me to go through another upgrading again; after the 2 year fee option? Is all the proprietary stuff really worth the space it occupies on this relatively small SSD, and what about their "required" partition configuration, is that just so they proprietary partition will not be compromised?

I'm sorry to be dragging this question out so long but I want to get this upgrade right so I don't have to deal with it later, in the event of a crash, and I don't want to waste space on this drive if I can help it.
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keep in mind if you use the factory restore partition -  that it will install it as you bought it
so if it came with windows 7 - it will be windows 7 again
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Excellent!  That's exactly the answer I wanted!  THANKS for hanging in with me on this question.  I wish I could award everyone 500 points!!!
You guys are awesome!