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Topic: How to structure partitions on a new laptop

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  1. #1

    How to structure partitions on a new laptop

    I'm setting up a new laptop. I will be using it for everything from midi (recorded and composed) to audio hard disk recording to mixing and mastering to CD/DVD creation. It has a single 100 Gigabyte hard disk, there is 1 gigabyte of RAM, and it is running XP Pro. As of now I don't do sample streaming (I'll move the samples to an external drive or a server if I start doing that).

    I've put together a partitioning plan based on my own experiences and various comments from this forum. Please take a look and let me know if there is anything that I've missed.

    C: -- large partition. Put all the programs on it. This enables valid disk images since putting various programs on various partitions complicates backup and restore.

    D: -- Swap file and temp file partition -- lots of disk activity and this isolates the other partitions from any bad sector errors. There is 1 gigabyte of RAM and I plan to fix the swap file at about 2.5 gigabytes. But how big should I make the space for the temp files? And is there anything to be gained by having separte partitions for the swap file and the temp files? (i'm thinking about 10 gigabytes)

    E: -- Working files -- audio and midi files that are related to current projects. (10 gigabytes?)

    F: -- Project archives and restore points/disk images -- all on one partition.

    G: -- Samples -- or should I just put the samples on C: with the programs? I think some of the programs require this. So maybe it is better to be consistent.

    W: -- Fix the drive letter for the DVD/CD drive high so that it doesn't fluctuate if I later change the number of partitions. (Don't intend to but who knows what I might do in a future moment of whimsey.)

    I'm thinking about 25 G for C:, 10 G for D:, 10 G for E:, 25 G for F: and 25 G for G:. That leaves about 5 G of slack.

    I also plan to backup my projects and disk images over my network onto my business system and (if they fit) onto DVD and/or CD.

    My palette currently consists of Sonar 3 PE, GPO, RM IV, Albino 2, and Amps and Pickups 1 & 2, Coming soon will be Swar Trax, Bizzare Guitars, and Distorted Reality 2. I'm considering Project 5 and various other tools but there seems to be a lot of headroom.

    So is this a reasonable plan?

    Thanks for your thoughts

    Chet

  2. #2
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
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    Re: How to structure partitions on a new laptop

    C: -- large partition. Put all the programs on it. This enables valid disk images since putting various programs on various partitions complicates backup and restore.

    NMB: Yes, and putting your other work files on a seperate partition is key. Unfortunately, it doesnt make life easy. For instance, MY DOCUMENTS seems to always be a default for some applications, and yo uare constantly networking through drive mappings to find files...

    D: -- Swap file and temp file partition -- lots of disk activity and this isolates the other partitions from any bad sector errors. There is 1 gigabyte of RAM and I plan to fix the swap file at about 2.5 gigabytes. But how big should I make the space for the temp files? And is there anything to be gained by having separte partitions for the swap file and the temp files? (i'm thinking about 10 gigabytes)

    NMB: I used to do this, but I found no benefit. The size of the file should be 2 gig max. 2.5 is overkill. 1.5 to 2x memory is the rule. You could probably get by with 1.5g. Maybe MUCH less. But I like to keep to this rule. There has been a lot of confusion about swap space sizes. When you get large aounts of memory, the rule breakd down. Best thing is to experiment try a smaller size and LOAD in as much as you can..Keep changing until you dont see any more benefits, then lock it down.

    E: -- Working files -- audio and midi files that are related to current projects. (10 gigabytes?)

    NMB: I would think you would need a lot more? I thought you were using an external drive for audio?

    F: -- Project archives and restore points/disk images -- all on one partition.

    NMB: Ok...but personally I would move these OFF the HD to external BACKUP drive in case your laptop gets stolen or HD is unrecoverable...

    G: -- Samples -- or should I just put the samples on C: with the programs? I think some of the programs require this. So maybe it is better to be consistent.

    NMB: Get them onto an external FW400 drive. GPO is loaded into memory, so put them on C:

    I love laptops, but I also know the limittions and the costs. My configuration is 2gigs, C:, and external 300g FW400 drive for samples - Maxtor Touch II about 300 $. Also an o2 keyboard + case. Finale. I LOVE travelling light.
    I've TUNED the hell out of it.

  3. #3

    Re: How to structure partitions on a new laptop

    NMB

    Looked over your suggestions and will be simplfying my plan accordingly.

    After I have a system for a year or two the directory structures tend to get pretty baroque and my placement policies tend to develop exceptions. Thought I would try to do better this time.

    Since every external drive I've tested has a chemcial odor that is sufficiently strong to give me headaches (it doesn't take much) I'm going with the laptops HD for everything (supplemented by backing up the backup to my 333 MHz business system over the network and to the laptop's DVD/CD.) Eventually I will either hand pick a drive and case or carefully select or construct a server.

    Thanks for running through this for me.

    Chet

  4. #4
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
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    Re: How to structure partitions on a new laptop

    Chet:

    Dunno. I just love the idea of a little keyboard, an external drive, a pair of headphones, and a M-audio back pack...heading for the hills. Feel so freeeeeeee!

  5. #5

    Re: How to structure partitions on a new laptop

    Yes indeed.

  6. #6
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    Re: How to structure partitions on a new laptop

    There's no reason to patition a single drive. There's one set of heads, controled by one interupt. Other than to have a separate partition for drive image files, you're wasting your time.

  7. #7

    Re: How to structure partitions on a new laptop

    Bill

    While there are no efficiency reasons to partition there are a few other ones:

    I am under the impression that defragmenting frequently changing files confined to one partition is much quicker than defragmenting a whole disk. And I am under the impression that creating an image of a working files partition is more space efficient than creating an image of an everything alltogether partition. And I've suffered inconvenience due to bad sector errors that weren't confined a heavily used files partition (swap and temp). And keeping working files separate from system and program files simplifies creating images of the tools and system files.

    If any of my assumptions are incorrect I would be delighted to know.

    Of course in a multiple drive system different considerations are more significant.

    Regards

    Chet

  8. #8
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
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    Re: How to structure partitions on a new laptop

    Depends on what you wish to defrag? Samples should not be defragged, as seek time between samples would be increased Same with audio files...although it might help recording situations (doubt it)?

    The swap file, once created as a min/max of the same size, will not need defragmenting. And if you have lots of memory, very little of it will be used...however, it will be there to appease the OS in thinking there is a good size of backup memory so that more true RAM will be available for applications

    Agree, keeping working files seperate from OS partition is good to do for backup reasons.

  9. #9

    Re: How to structure partitions on a new laptop

    sorry to disturb your thread but why do you want to a partiton what do you think is the benefit, i cant see any.
    the only reason to do partitions is to do faster disk images but since retrospect is working great on XP there is no reason to do partitions.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
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    Re: How to structure partitions on a new laptop

    Again, primarily the ability to perform image backups of media vs OS.

    Personally, this idea has served me well over the years, and made it easier to perform backups. Defragmentation hasn't been an issue as i dont have that much media to interfere with my OS. But, if I had a lot of media on my C; drive, and I wanted to defrag it once in a while, it would hog things down.

    Used to have a seperate partition for swap file, but that didn't produce much

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