Author Topic: During xp installation is partition necessary?  (Read 1123 times)

Offline LugwidVanB

  • Poaster
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Red Shouldered Hawk
During xp installation is partition necessary?
« on: Jul 15, 2009, 10:29 AM »
"You should be able to partition and format as part of the clean install using the windows disk."

I'm reading over previous threads regarding installing xp on a formatted drive. There is discussion about partitining the hard drive before installation of xp. I'm a novice :-[ so what is partition, what benefits does it bestow, and is it necessary, ie can I skip that step  if I want to. Thanks. Tom

Offline Bill

  • Global Moderator
  • xTreme Poaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 2508
Re: During xp installation is partition necessary?
« Reply #1 on: Jul 15, 2009, 10:48 AM »
Tom,
A partition is a separation on the hard drive.  The biggest benefit, IMO, is that partitions allow the user to store data and/or pictures in an area that is not effected by the operating system.  The primary partition (which is 'C') is where you install the O.S. and applications like Word.  The secondary partition (typically called the 'D' drive) is where you would store documents, and pictures.  For instance, I have Word set up to save all files to a folder on the 'D' drive.

This arrangement allows you to restore or reinstall the O/S, including reformatting without disturbing any of the data on the D drive.  An external HD then becomes a backup for the 'D' drive.  And, with a program like Acronis, you can make an image file of the entire system and store that on the external HD as well as burning the image on a CD or DVD.

I would recommend at least 2 partitions, many have several, each dedicated to a particular purpose.

Bill

edit:  Before you install XP, you should find out what kind of HD you have, SATA or Pata.  XP does not have native drivers for SATA drives.

B-
« Last Edit: Jul 15, 2009, 11:05 AM by Bill »
Antec 3700 | Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R | Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz | 4 GB (4x1GB) DDR2 PC 5300 Kingston RAM | Antec NeoPower 550W | eVGA GeForce 9500GT 1GB 128 bit PCI Express 2.0 | Intel SSD X25-M 80GB | VelociRaptor 150GB | WD 80GB 7200rpm |Samsung 22x SATA Burner |Windows 7 32-bit

Offline LugwidVanB

  • Poaster
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Red Shouldered Hawk
Re: During xp installation is partition necessary?
« Reply #2 on: Jul 15, 2009, 12:35 PM »
Thanks Bill. The info is very helpful. It's a great idea to have a D drive for files and photos.  I have a 500 mb Maxtor hd. In device manager it is listed as IDE/Diskmaxtor 6L160P0. Is there a place where I can print out a copy of the partition process as I'm installing xp?

Other than a D drive for documents/photos what are other uses for a 3rd partition?

I have the Seagate 500 mb external backup drive. Is this adequate? I don't understand why I would need to have additional software like Arconis. Why doesn't the Seagate do the same thing?

The official name: Seagate FreeAgent Go 500 GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive-Silver ST905003FGA2E1-RK

Thanks, Tom

Offline scuzzy

  • Forum Cop
  • Administrator
  • xTreme Poaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4584
  • Caveat Empty: Beware of jesters
Re: During xp installation is partition necessary?
« Reply #3 on: Jul 15, 2009, 01:39 PM »
Don't get too hung up on the partition letters. D Drive vs. E Drive, etc, doesn't matter. The drive letters are simply whatever Windows assigns to them, but you can reassign just about any letter to any partition as you see fit. However, C Drive is traditionally reserved for the operating system and it should not be renamed. The more important thing is how you partition the hard drive(s), and how you use those partitions. Think of your hard drive as a filing cabinet, and think of partitions as the drawers that keep the files.

Partitioning gives you greater flexibility to manage your data. I'll give you a quick example of a setup:

Let's say that I have a total of 2 hard drives. The first is internal, and the 2nd is external.

My main hard drive is partitioned into 3 partitions: C drive; D drive; E drive.

  • C drive contains Windows XP Pro, and all the programs that I have installed
  • D drive is reserved for all my photos and videos
  • E drive is where I store all my data (documents, music, spreadsheets, etc)

My external hard drive is only a single partition that contains a backup of my data from the main hard drive. The external hard drive has folders that are named, "D Drive Backup" and "E Drive Backup", which is where I keep my backups for the appropriate partition.
« Last Edit: Jul 15, 2009, 02:28 PM by scuzzy »
Antec Performance TX640B Case | WinXP Pro SP3 & Win7 64-bit | Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R | Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale LGA 775 3.16GHz Dual-Core | 8GB (4x2GB) PC6400 G-Skill RAM | eVGA 7600GT 256MB PCI-E | 74GB WD Raptor SATA 16MB Cache | 74GB WD Raptor SATA 8MB Cache | 320GB Seagate Barracuda SATA 16MB Cache | External 640GB WD Caviar SATA 32MB Cache | Sony DRU-V200S DVD/RW | PC Power & Cooling Silencer 500W | Samsung SyncMaster 2494 (24") LCD Monitor | LG Flatron W2361V (23") LCD Monitor

Offline scuzzy

  • Forum Cop
  • Administrator
  • xTreme Poaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4584
  • Caveat Empty: Beware of jesters
Re: During xp installation is partition necessary?
« Reply #4 on: Jul 15, 2009, 01:50 PM »
By the way, you certainly don't have to create multiple partitions on your hard drive. You can chose to leave it a single large partition, and then simply install any and everything to that partition. There's no harm in that.

But since you are starting from scratch, I recommend that you create at least two partitions. The first for Windows and the programs that you install, and then use the second partition to save and manage your data.

Just make sure that you have a sufficiently large partition for Windows. Although a Windows XP installation may only require 4GB (give or take) of space, you'll need plenty of breathing room for the programs that you install, as well as for virtual memory, temp files, etc. Currently, my C drive partition is set to 70GB. Of that, 10GB is being used up by Windows and programs.

EDIT: Be aware that CD/DVD burning software can create massive temp files to burn the data to the disc. If the burning software does not have sufficient room on the hard drive (normally C Drive) to create the temp files, then you'll probably be burning lots of coasters.
« Last Edit: Jul 15, 2009, 03:20 PM by scuzzy »
Antec Performance TX640B Case | WinXP Pro SP3 & Win7 64-bit | Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R | Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale LGA 775 3.16GHz Dual-Core | 8GB (4x2GB) PC6400 G-Skill RAM | eVGA 7600GT 256MB PCI-E | 74GB WD Raptor SATA 16MB Cache | 74GB WD Raptor SATA 8MB Cache | 320GB Seagate Barracuda SATA 16MB Cache | External 640GB WD Caviar SATA 32MB Cache | Sony DRU-V200S DVD/RW | PC Power & Cooling Silencer 500W | Samsung SyncMaster 2494 (24") LCD Monitor | LG Flatron W2361V (23") LCD Monitor

Offline Bill

  • Global Moderator
  • xTreme Poaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 2508
Re: During xp installation is partition necessary?
« Reply #5 on: Jul 15, 2009, 02:07 PM »
And to my edit, Windows has IDE drivers, so you needn't worry about that issue.

In addition to naming the second partition, the optical drives also get a letter names assigned by Windows normally but Scuzzy is right, with the exception of the C drive, you can name them any thing you like.  I only mentioned 'D' because it is the next letter in sequence.

Bill
Antec 3700 | Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R | Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz | 4 GB (4x1GB) DDR2 PC 5300 Kingston RAM | Antec NeoPower 550W | eVGA GeForce 9500GT 1GB 128 bit PCI Express 2.0 | Intel SSD X25-M 80GB | VelociRaptor 150GB | WD 80GB 7200rpm |Samsung 22x SATA Burner |Windows 7 32-bit

Offline scuzzy

  • Forum Cop
  • Administrator
  • xTreme Poaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4584
  • Caveat Empty: Beware of jesters
Re: During xp installation is partition necessary?
« Reply #6 on: Jul 15, 2009, 02:22 PM »
For what it's worth, this is my actual setup:

My main system has three internal hard drives, and one external hard drive. See my signature block for a complete listing.

I have Windows XP and all of my programs on one hard drive (74GB WD Raptor) that has a single partition.

I have Windows 7 Beta and all of my programs on the 2nd hard drive (74GB WD Raptor) that is also a single partition.

I have my data saved on three partitions on my 3rd hard drive (320GB Seagate Barracuda), which is broken down into 3 equal partitions. They are P Drive, Q Drive, and R Drive.  P Drive is for my photos and videos, Q Drive is for all of my other data, and R Drive is for the kids. R Drive is accessible for the kids through my Linksys network.

My external hard drive is only for data backup, and it is a single partition. (640GB WD Caviar)

My optical drive is X Drive, which is the drive letter that I always assign to the optical drive on all of my systems. My primary flash drive (Sandisk Titanium 8 GB) is J Drive.

My setup (which allows me to switch between operating systems) is advanced, but it might give you ideas for what you can do.

As Bill mentioned, Windows will assign drive letters in sequence. But it is fairly easy to reassign drive letters to the partitions, optical drives, and any flash media. When you are ready to do that, let us know and we'll guide you. Once you learn to manage partitions, which is not that difficult, you'll never want to go back to a single partition.
Antec Performance TX640B Case | WinXP Pro SP3 & Win7 64-bit | Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R | Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale LGA 775 3.16GHz Dual-Core | 8GB (4x2GB) PC6400 G-Skill RAM | eVGA 7600GT 256MB PCI-E | 74GB WD Raptor SATA 16MB Cache | 74GB WD Raptor SATA 8MB Cache | 320GB Seagate Barracuda SATA 16MB Cache | External 640GB WD Caviar SATA 32MB Cache | Sony DRU-V200S DVD/RW | PC Power & Cooling Silencer 500W | Samsung SyncMaster 2494 (24") LCD Monitor | LG Flatron W2361V (23") LCD Monitor

Offline LugwidVanB

  • Poaster
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Red Shouldered Hawk
Re: During xp installation is partition necessary?
« Reply #7 on: Jul 15, 2009, 02:28 PM »
Thanks for the input. Scuzzy, I will keep your config as a reference when I get to the partition part of the install. I feel like a rich man. I'm changing over from my win98 clunker that came with an 8 mb drive and I later installed at 14 mb drive for music. This 160 mb drive (not 500 as I misspoke) is a luxury. I hope the xp install gives good directions on how to partition.

Also, this thing moves at light speed! It's got an AMD Athlon 64 proc, 3500+2.22Ghz. It was built by a kid for gaming. The box has a chrome grill just like my old 55 chevy. ::) It's a cool looking machine.

Tom

Offline Bill

  • Global Moderator
  • xTreme Poaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 2508
Re: During xp installation is partition necessary?
« Reply #8 on: Jul 15, 2009, 02:46 PM »
The only thing that might be confusing is the selecting the size of the partition.  Windows uses some obscure units of measure.  I tend to ignore them and take a percentage of the total number of units available, say 33% for the C drive and use what's left for the D.

Bill; keeps it simple.
Antec 3700 | Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R | Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz | 4 GB (4x1GB) DDR2 PC 5300 Kingston RAM | Antec NeoPower 550W | eVGA GeForce 9500GT 1GB 128 bit PCI Express 2.0 | Intel SSD X25-M 80GB | VelociRaptor 150GB | WD 80GB 7200rpm |Samsung 22x SATA Burner |Windows 7 32-bit

Offline scuzzy

  • Forum Cop
  • Administrator
  • xTreme Poaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4584
  • Caveat Empty: Beware of jesters
Re: During xp installation is partition necessary?
« Reply #9 on: Jul 15, 2009, 02:49 PM »
160MB drive? I presume that you mean a 160GB drive.

If so, two partitions is probably a good start. I would not go more than 3 partitions, and I would not go less than 50GB for Windows.

EDIT: Note that once you have Windows installed you will be very limited in resizing partitions on the main hard drive (the one that has Windows installed) unless you use software such as Partition Magic. That's an added expense that does not come without risks. It's best to give it some thought, and then create the partitions as you see fit when you install Windows. Managing partitions on secondary hard drives from within Windows is simple, but any data on those partitions will be lost unless you first back it up.

For a novice installing Windows XP for the first time, it can be a little daunting. But go for it as there will be no harm done for a clean install, assuming that you have your data backed up. If your initial setup doesn't come out quite like you expected, go back and reinstall. You'll learn as you go, and we'll do what we can to guide you. It's not unusual for me to get it right on the 2nd try, and sometimes on the 3rd. No big deal, just a little bit of time wasted. But if you learned something new in the process, then it's not a complete waste. ;)

DO NOT have the external drive connected during the install, as that has the potential for disaster. Also, leave any other peripherals (printers, scanners, USB drives, etc) disconnected.

Lastly, DO NOT activate Windows XP until you are satisfied with the results. You'll have 30 days to activate each time that you clean install the OS, so take your time.
« Last Edit: Jul 15, 2009, 03:58 PM by scuzzy »
Antec Performance TX640B Case | WinXP Pro SP3 & Win7 64-bit | Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R | Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale LGA 775 3.16GHz Dual-Core | 8GB (4x2GB) PC6400 G-Skill RAM | eVGA 7600GT 256MB PCI-E | 74GB WD Raptor SATA 16MB Cache | 74GB WD Raptor SATA 8MB Cache | 320GB Seagate Barracuda SATA 16MB Cache | External 640GB WD Caviar SATA 32MB Cache | Sony DRU-V200S DVD/RW | PC Power & Cooling Silencer 500W | Samsung SyncMaster 2494 (24") LCD Monitor | LG Flatron W2361V (23") LCD Monitor

Offline scuzzy

  • Forum Cop
  • Administrator
  • xTreme Poaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4584
  • Caveat Empty: Beware of jesters
Re: During xp installation is partition necessary?
« Reply #10 on: Jul 15, 2009, 03:10 PM »
Before you install Windows, you may need to set the boot order in your BIOS for the optical drive to have priority. Try this:

  • Place the WinXP install disc in the optical drive
  • Completely power down the system, then restart it
  • Watch your screen for "Press any key to boot from CD" (or similar words)

If the computer boots straight to your regular Windows login without the above option, then you'll have to go into the BIOS to change the boot order. If you need help, let us know.

Either way, do NOT install Windows from within Windows. A clean install requires that you start from a powered-down state.
Antec Performance TX640B Case | WinXP Pro SP3 & Win7 64-bit | Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R | Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale LGA 775 3.16GHz Dual-Core | 8GB (4x2GB) PC6400 G-Skill RAM | eVGA 7600GT 256MB PCI-E | 74GB WD Raptor SATA 16MB Cache | 74GB WD Raptor SATA 8MB Cache | 320GB Seagate Barracuda SATA 16MB Cache | External 640GB WD Caviar SATA 32MB Cache | Sony DRU-V200S DVD/RW | PC Power & Cooling Silencer 500W | Samsung SyncMaster 2494 (24") LCD Monitor | LG Flatron W2361V (23") LCD Monitor

Offline LugwidVanB

  • Poaster
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Red Shouldered Hawk
Re: During xp installation is partition necessary?
« Reply #11 on: Jul 15, 2009, 03:58 PM »
Thanks for all the great input. I'm going to print it out and keep it at hand.

Offline scuzzy

  • Forum Cop
  • Administrator
  • xTreme Poaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4584
  • Caveat Empty: Beware of jesters
Re: During xp installation is partition necessary?
« Reply #12 on: Jul 15, 2009, 04:09 PM »
BTW: Is the copy of Windows that you bought a "full" version, or is an "upgrade" version?

Also, is it SP1? SP2? SP3?
Antec Performance TX640B Case | WinXP Pro SP3 & Win7 64-bit | Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R | Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale LGA 775 3.16GHz Dual-Core | 8GB (4x2GB) PC6400 G-Skill RAM | eVGA 7600GT 256MB PCI-E | 74GB WD Raptor SATA 16MB Cache | 74GB WD Raptor SATA 8MB Cache | 320GB Seagate Barracuda SATA 16MB Cache | External 640GB WD Caviar SATA 32MB Cache | Sony DRU-V200S DVD/RW | PC Power & Cooling Silencer 500W | Samsung SyncMaster 2494 (24") LCD Monitor | LG Flatron W2361V (23") LCD Monitor