Too Cool for Internet Explorer

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Partition Hell

Usually, I couldn’t care less about partitions and how people choose to organize their hard drives. Dell, however, is starting to piss me off. I ordered a new 1U rack-mount server with Windows Server 2003. Very top-of-the-line with a Serial ATA RAID 0 primary hard drive array. Dell decides to give me a 12GB partition as the C:\ drive, and make the rest D:. Windows loves to place things in the C:\ drive, so limiting the system to 12GB is just plain stupid—never mind that I’m going to hook up an external RAID for storage, effectively making the D:\ drive pointless. To make things worse, Windows is notorious for not allowing you to resize partitions on the fly. Therefore, I have two choices. I can repartition using an application such as Partition Magic, or I can reformat the system and reinstall everything. Either way, I will end up spending hours fixing Dell’s short-sighted installation. The upside is that, if I reformat, I can ensure that the installation is exactly what I want and not necessarily what Dell thinks I want.

» Posted by Queue at 11:40 AM (ET)
Category: Rant


Actually, paritioning a drive does speed up access to the files. And you can move dynamic system level files to another drive if needed, like temporary files, User documents and settings and swap files. Programs can be installed on other drives also. The Windows directory is the only thing that usually has to exists on the “C” drive parition. Deframenting a large parition takes more time usually than smaller multiple paritions.

I usually make a system parition and a data parition on all my computers, desktop and servers. Just so fragmenting or drive crashes only cause problems in active paritions and not ones that just hold static read-only stuff. Also I don’t need to worry about my data when I need to reformat my system and reinstall for some reason because its on its own parition.

» Posted by Jeff Krause
June 24, 2004 12:00 PM

I’ve read these arguements before. I’m not entirely convinced and neither are many of the tech experts I work with. Managment is much more difficult in my opinion because the tree structure isn’t as compact and you have to search across multiple volumes if you’re not sure where something is. If there are any benefits from speed of access and defragmentation, we have not been able to find solid evidence of it (assuming you defragment all your partitions at some point or another). And there is still a tendacy for software, Microsoft or otherwise, to place “key pieces” on the C drive even if you install on a seperate volume, causing much grief when you eventually run out of space.

I’m not saying one should never partition, I’m just saying that 12GB is WAY too small and I would have rather been given the choice without having to reinstall or find repartition software.

» Posted by Queue
June 25, 2004 10:03 AM

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