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karri

Percentage Of Hard Drive Space

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I read here, but can't find the post now, that you should keep, I think it said, 30% of your hard drive free. Does that apply to all sizes? For example 30% of a 400 GB HD would be about 2x as much space as 30% of a 200 GB HD. So, if I have a 400 GB HD, do I need to keep 120 GB free (or really around 110 GB since I think a 400 GB HD is about 365 in reality)? It seems like a lot of space to not use, but I defer to those more experienced in this area. Thanks for any advice :)

 

karri

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I read here, but can't find the post now, that you should keep, I think it said, 30% of your hard drive free. Does that apply to all sizes? For example 30% of a 400 GB HD would be about 2x as much space as 30% of a 200 GB HD. So, if I have a 400 GB HD, do I need to keep 120 GB free (or really around 110 GB since I think a 400 GB HD is about 365 in reality)? It seems like a lot of space to not use, but I defer to those more experienced in this area. Thanks for any advice :)

 

karri

 

I always read that a disk needed about 15% open space to defrag properly. I do know that from experience that if a disk gets too full that Windows defragmenter won't work. It is not a problem one just has to clean up some files or put them on another disc. I don't know about third party software.

 

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I've read recently that the OS drive should have about 25% free space. I wouldn't think you'd need that much on a drive that you simply kept data on. Much won't matter if you don't keep it defragged and virus/spyware protected.

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I think you read/mean free swap file space on a hard drive, where the OS is installed.

 

One of the big things folks like Dell want to do is sell you one big hard drive. I know someone that just did this with a Dell XPS 420 and a one terabyte harddrive. What a waste of $'s and Dell knows it!

 

Doing video work on the operating system drive, is looking for problems. Dedicated HD's for storage and encoding need little or no free space. I've filled them, here is my idea of a media pc.

 

A minimum of four or five HD's a small one for the OS, the same for program files to be installed. Large SATA raid stripe array's for Video and Audio work, then maybe a extra one for junk. If I watch for sales I'll beat the one terabyte drive price with equal or more space. I call it no more problems, but this won't fit in a micro tower! As far a defraging the OS drive it very seldom needs it and only takes four or five minutes to complete. I'm not a fan of drive partitions as someone might come along and suggest making the terabyte harddrive five partitions.

 

cd

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by cdanteek

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The day I get my Dells I reformat the drive and take away all the junk they kindly give with their systems. I have drives with and without partitions and I personally like to keep my OS on a small partition and my data and my 'junk' on a larger one. Just something I got use to.

Terabyte drives are close to the $150 mark for OEM's. It's starting to feel like Star Trek!

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The day I get my Dells I reformat the drive and take away all the junk they kindly give with their systems. I have drives with and without partitions and I personally like to keep my OS on a small partition and my data and my 'junk' on a larger one. Just something I got use to.

Terabyte drives are close to the $150 mark for OEM's. It's starting to feel like Star Trek!

 

 

Good work Mr. Scott, now beam me up, Kirk out...... :lol:

 

cd

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"I think you read/mean free swap file space on a hard drive, where the OS is installed."

 

I agree with your suggestion cd. I have 4 separate drives in my computer (one being an exterior 500GB drive). On the interior drives that are the slave drives I have filled them up to where there was only 2 or 3 % space left and they seemed to defrag O.K. But I agree that the swap file space was meant for the OS drive mainly.

Frank...

 

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Guest ml
I read here, but can't find the post now, that you should keep, I think it said, 30% of your hard drive free. Does that apply to all sizes? For example 30% of a 400 GB HD would be about 2x as much space as 30% of a 200 GB HD. So, if I have a 400 GB HD, do I need to keep 120 GB free (or really around 110 GB since I think a 400 GB HD is about 365 in reality)? It seems like a lot of space to not use, but I defer to those more experienced in this area. Thanks for any advice :)

 

karri

My new computer came with a 500 GB hard drive ( around 450 GB storage) and it was partitioned into 2 hard drives of approximately half the disk space on each one. Partitioning that hard drive into two smaller ones is a good idea. However, it depends on the version of Windows that you have.

 

Vista will allow you to partition the hard drive at a later time, but with XP, you usually need a partitioning program unless you want to start from scratch.

 

Partitioning into two separate smaller hard drives will allow you to save space needed for defragmenting and also time by only defragmenting the partition that is fragmented.

 

XP requires 15% free on your main hard drive ( On my older computer I used to get the warning about not having 15% free)

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ml, are you saying that your system (Dell???) came with the HD partitioned? I've never purchased a system with a HD larger than 160GB so I wasn't aware that was an option. I do know they usually keep a small FAT32 partition hidden for restoring the system to factory default again.

 

And, yes I know I'm drifting from the original question. My apologies karri but my curiosity is too much!

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Guest ml
ml, are you saying that your system (Dell???) came with the HD partitioned? I've never purchased a system with a HD larger than 160GB so I wasn't aware that was an option. I do know they usually keep a small FAT32 partition hidden for restoring the system to factory default again.

 

And, yes I know I'm drifting from the original question. My apologies karri but my curiosity is too much!

 

It's an ACER computer and yes, it came with the 500 GB hard drive partitioned.

 

Actually, it appears to have a hidden partition too which makes a total of 3 partitions. The hidden partition is only around 9 GB and the only way you can see it is in the Windows Disk Management tool.

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And, yes I know I'm drifting from the original question. My apologies karri but my curiosity is too much!

 

Beerman ... Drift at will :D Some of this is over my head so I am reading and learning. All of these posts have really helpful info, so please, keep going! I imagine it will help a lot more readers than myself, as well :) Thanks everyone for the great info so far :)

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Guest ml
Some of this is over my head so I am reading and learning.

Now I'm wondering if the computer came partitioned or if I did it myself......... :rolleyes: ( My memory was never very good. )

 

What is over your head? Partitioning?

 

For those who don't know what a partition is.... from Microsoft Help "A partition is an area of a hard disk that can be formatted and assigned a drive letter"

 

So basically, instead of my 500 GB hard drive showing as c: in My Computer. It shows two hard drives c: and d: each with around 228 GBs of data. Defragmenting is much faster. Also, by storing my files (rather than program files) on the d: drive, it's easier to find the files I need to backup.

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It's an ACER computer and yes, it came with the 500 GB hard drive partitioned.

 

Actually, it appears to have a hidden partition too which makes a total of 3 partitions. The hidden partition is only around 9 GB and the only way you can see it is in the Windows Disk Management tool.

Isn't Acer taking over Gateway? I've seen lots of good press on Acer's lately.

I think you should be able to hit Fsomethingorother at boot up to get into the hidden partition to set your system back. I wouldn't try it unless you need it. :o

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I always recommend partitioning a hard drive, especially if you only have one. For example, my main hard drive has 4 partitions. The C: partition is 40GB and has my XP OS on it, along with a few programs. My D: partition has the bulk of my programs on it. My E: partition has my captured videos, and my F: partition has a mixture of data files and other various program setting backups. Partitions D, E, and F are near 90GB each.

 

Now, if for some reason, my OS goes bonkers, and I can't boot up, no matter what, I can either do a Format C: on that partition, or I can ghost back from a previous backup. In the case of formatting, I will have to install all of my programs again, but all of my data, on other partitions, is not affected.

Edited by grandpabruce

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I always partition to suit my needs. No point in having to pack a lunch to find a file where you can't remember its name, and smaller partitions are much easier to back up and defragment when needed. I keep my system partition quite small because I back it up, restore it, and change systems several times a day. I also keep a mixture of FAT32 and NTFS partitions because each type has different advantages.

 

As for space? "640 GB should be enough for anyone" :lol: [My, how times have changed!]

 

Brendon

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What I want to know from all those that partition one drive into several different partitions---What happensd if that particular HD itself goes bad ??? You loose everything. And probably a ghost BU on one of the partitions is gone also. I'll stick with several different HD's without separate partitions, plus other BU's as well. That way the chances of several HD's all going south at the same time are way less than a single one. HD's are way to cheap to have to partition them IMHO.

 

Original computer manufactures usually partition their main OS drives so they can add the Restore information on that separate partition rather than send you original disks with the information. Saves a bundle for them. And Acer DID take over Gateway.

 

Frank...

 

 

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What is over your head? Partitioning?

 

ok, since you asked :rolleyes:

 

~ I actually knew what partitioning is, although I have no idea how to accomplish it.

 

 

over my head:

 

~ free swap file space and what differentiates it from other free space on the hd (cd)

 

~ SATA raid stripe array's for Video and Audio work (cd)

 

~ slave drives (Frank)

 

~ how you would put OS on a small partition and data and 'junk' on a larger one (Beerman) especially since cd said that doing video work on the operating system drive, is looking for problems. So if you keep the video editing work isolated on one hard drive and install something or make a change that affects your computer you could just deal with the hard drive that you made the change on, without it affecting everything else? That makes a lot of sense. (Although I have no clue how to do it)

 

Also the same for what you, GPBruce and Brendon said about the partitioning. Sounds like great ideas, although again, no clue.

 

Frank and cd bring up the point about using several hard drives instead of partitioning; do you need to buy special hard drives for that? Or can you do that with external firewire hard drives. (I'm thinking USB would be too slow?) Or is it better to partition?

 

~ how to take away all the junk that comes with systems (Beerman) I think if I reformat, it goes back to factory-installed condition, i.e. with all the junk

 

I'm consistent about defragging the hd and running anti-virus, anti-spyware, and anti-adware programs, and I have a fairly organized folder/file management system going. The computer has an internal 400 GB HD (365 after allowing for math conversion and factory-installed partition for recovery files). I have 2 external USB hard drives that I use for back up. I am at the 30% free mark and thats what prompted the question. I notice that accessing files from MyDVD and VideoWave is beginning to slow, even after defragging. I'm thinking 100 GB is plenty of room, but maybe it's the "percent of hard drive to keep free" rule kicking in. Or maybe I need to reinstall Windows to clear out the clutter?

 

I really like the idea of being able to reformat just the drive or partition that might need it, instead of the whole computer. Although having never done anything like that, I fear screwing it up :unsure:

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~ free swap file space and what differentiates it from other free space on the hd (cd)

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_memory

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paging

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

~ SATA raid stripe array's for Video and Audio work (cd)

 

RAID Level 0 offers the highest performance, with data broken down into blocks and written simultaneously on each drive in the array. Since the input and output loads are spread out over multiple drives, storage performance and throughput can greatly improve. Generally, having more drives in the array and spreading the load over multiple arrays can increase performance. On the other hand, there is no redundancy. If one drive fails, you have lost all of your data. There is no recovery process.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID

 

 

If you don't have a micro tower and have the connections IDE or SATA. I would use internal drives but like Brendon says that's my opinion! :wacko:

 

cd

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ml, are you saying that your system (Dell???) came with the HD partitioned? I've never purchased a system with a HD larger than 160GB so I wasn't aware that was an option. I do know they usually keep a small FAT32 partition hidden for restoring the system to factory default again.

 

And, yes I know I'm drifting from the original question. My apologies karri but my curiosity is too much!

 

 

I checked Beerman, the Dell XPS 420 with the one terabyte hard drive, is one partition with 916.46GB. I'm not sure of a hidden partition because they have all the disc's and she won't let me play with it much! :lol:

 

cd

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RAID level 0 as cd suggests has no redundancy. However you don't have to have several interior HD's in a RAID 0 configuration. They all can be separate drives and each partitioned (or not) in any way you want.

 

Frank...

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Guest ml

I can't tackle everything, but I'll give you my thoughts on hard drives.

 

~ Partitioning on a WinXP system is accomplished when you install Windows or with one of the many programs for sale that do partitioning. On Vista, there is a built in feature to partition the drive.

 

~ Keeping data on one partition is accomplished the same way you store information on an external or second internal drive. You simply save it to that location.

 

~ A slave drive is just a second ( or third,etc.) hard drive that doesn't contain Windows. You used to have to know how to change settings in the computer or on the drive itself, but all I've had to do is plug the internal drive in out of the box and had it work properly. It's called 'cable select' and many computer cables do it automatically.

 

~ Internal hard drives are going to be faster than any external hard drive and whether your computer can hold more than one drive depends on your computer. The operating manual for your computer should tell you how many and how to install a second internal hard drive. Although, my new computer didn't have that information and I had to open it up to see that I could install 3 more internal drives.

 

Installing an internal hard drive isn't difficult. If you can use a screwdriver and plug in a lamp, you can do it, but it's best if you follow the computer manufacturer's instructions and make certain you're 'grounded. Windows should automatically detect an internal drive just as they do your external drives.

 

~ As to 'junk', the easiest way to get rid of it is to use Windows\ Add Remove programs when you only have restore cds. Some restore cds allow you to pick and choose what to reinstall and some don't.

 

~ Reformatting takes a lot of time and you can end up in trouble if you don't know what you're doing. It's not that hard, but you've got to make certain that you have all the information you need to reinstall programs and all your data backed up somewhere other than your hard drive. It shouldn't be necessary for a partitioned drive or an external drive unless the drive is a FAT file system.

 

~ I don't know why your system is slowing down. It sounds like you're doing everything right by doing a disk cleanup and defragmenting. Sometimes things appear to slow down as we get more proficient at tasks. Are you restarting your computer occasionally to clean out the RAM memory?

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What I want to know from all those that partition one drive into several different partitions---What happensd if that particular HD itself goes bad ??? You loose everything. And probably a ghost BU on one of the partitions is gone also. I'll stick with several different HD's without separate partitions, plus other BU's as well. That way the chances of several HD's all going south at the same time are way less than a single one. HD's are way to cheap to have to partition them IMHO.

 

Original computer manufactures usually partition their main OS drives so they can add the Restore information on that separate partition rather than send you original disks with the information. Saves a bundle for them. And Acer DID take over Gateway.

 

Frank...

 

I have a backup of my entire main hard drive, in my drawer, so if my main drive goes completely, I have it backed up. Plus, I am backing up all of my important data to an external drive. (Internal drive in an external enclosure)

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I'm loving this thread! I've always believed it's a personal choice and one YOU should be comfortable with.

Frank, I've had 2 drives partitioned with the OS on one and data on the 2nd partition that went dead. I used Spinrite (thanks Brendon) to fix the drive (literally took 10 hours) and reinstalled the OS on it and it's still running on my son's computer. All the data on the second partition was untouched and safe. Yes you have to reinstall all your programs but I think time is saved. All this is really moot if you have good image backups to simply replace both partitions. I backup both partitions at the same time.

karri said:

how you would put OS on a small partition and data and 'junk' on a larger one (Beerman) especially since cd said that doing video work on the operating system drive, is looking for problems. So if you keep the video editing work isolated on one hard drive and install something or make a change that affects your computer you could just deal with the hard drive that you made the change on, without it affecting everything else? That makes a lot of sense. (Although I have no clue how to do it)

I have 1 500GB drive with Vista on 45GB and the rest into 2 other partitions (not equal). 1 has data and the last is only video. So, I feel I could loose the OS and data and still have video. OR, loose data and video and still have OS or........you get the picture. Stuff happens and drives are cheap enough to keep more than one backup around even if they're done weeks apart. Having some info saved is better than nothing.

There are free partitioning programs around karri and for the most part, it's rather simple but that in no way makes it 100% safe. Based on my reading of your posts, I have a feeling that once you watched someone do it, you'd have no trouble. A program like Acronis Disc Director allows you to work in either Auto or Manual mode. And, if you ever decide you want to try it, it's really best to do before you do a reinstall. Doing partition work after all is done is certainly what these programs do but it would be safer to do so before a reinstall.

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"I'm loving this thread! I've always believed it's a personal choice and one YOU should be comfortable with."

I think you hit the nail right on the head Paul with your statement above. All of the different situations discussed are all good reasoning and warrants some thought. For a lot of us that have done most of these ideas and suggestions at one time or another, it's pretty easy to decide which way you would like to go. For others that are a little shakey about trying any of these suggestions, I would highly suggest that the first thing one should do in any case, is to in some way back up all of the data that is on your drives.

 

Frank...

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Guest ml
"I'm loving this thread! I've always believed it's a personal choice and one YOU should be comfortable with."

 

Me too, and we haven't even touched on online backup. :D

 

I have partitioned hard drives, second internal hard drives, internal hard drives in external cases, already assembled external hard drives, and online backup. Of course, some of those drives are pretty small by today's hundreds of GBs standards. ( I'm a bit paranoid. I've watched too many people lose precious memories to flood, fire and lightning strikes so I use online backup for irreplaceable files. )

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What I want to know from all those that partition one drive into several different partitions---What happensd if that particular HD itself goes bad ??? You loose everything. And probably a ghost BU on one of the partitions is gone also. I'll stick with several different HD's without separate partitions, plus other BU's as well. That way the chances of several HD's all going south at the same time are way less than a single one. HD's are way to cheap to have to partition them IMHO.

 

Original computer manufactures usually partition their main OS drives so they can add the Restore information on that separate partition rather than send you original disks with the information. Saves a bundle for them. And Acer DID take over Gateway.

 

Frank...

I think it was already stated that you could have one partition get clobbered where the other partitions are fine afterwards... that's usually a case where something screws up the directory. If the drive goes physically bad, indeed, most likely everything on the physical drive, all the partitions are gone.

 

That's why I make my backups to a different physical drive (not logical partition) than the drive they're of. My C: drive gets an incremental backup weekly to my G: drive (check my signature). Every couple months I write those backup files to DVD and start with a fresh, full image. I also run GoBack on that first physical drive. (GoBack will only do a complete physical drive, not individual partitions.) That includes my OS and important data. The important data also gets backed up to optical media, or another physical drive. GoBack usually gives me a week or two of continuous backups, so I can recover to most any point between my image (Acronis) backups. I just looked and it currently goes back to 12 days. If I were handling more data on my C:, D:, or E: drive, GoBack would have less history "time".

 

Indeed, everyone's strategy is different, as are their needs.

Edited by d_deweywright

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