Partition design can improve speed, and reliability of both OS datas.
Let's see a few designs
1. A simple install
This design is simple and straightforward. Its drawbacks are that :
. The OS stretches and spreads through the entire drive, mixing with datas,
thus loosing performance. Furthermore, the HDD drive head kepps moving
by big strokes, which lessens its lifetime and reliability
2. OS / Datas Partitionning
By installing the operating system ( OS ) on a first, short partition, and placing
the ' My Documents ' folder on the second one, this design have the OS stay on
the fastest zone of the HDD, with exclusive access. The ' My Documents ' folder
being on a separate partition, it's very easy to reinstall the OS without having to
think about datas and documents.
so we can now enjoy :
. faster responding OS
. easier OS réinstallation
3. Pagefile partition
Using a second HDD, you can create a small partition ( 5 to 10 GB are enough ) and move
the pagefile ( also named SWAP file ) there. A second partition is created for datas
backup / storage.
The pagefile now has its own exclusive partition, and will stay fragmentation free.
The OS HDD will be free of paging oiperations
the advantages :
. very good OS paging performance
. second physical HDD, for better datas safety
Think throughfully about the space you want for your pagefile partition.
The second HDD must have same or better performance than the first HDD, so to really
enjoy Pagefile partition benefits
Even with plenty of free RAM, Windows XP will still use the pagefile, for memory allocation,
recents datas paging, .... No pagefile at all may fill up RAM way faster
I prefer to move the pagefile to the second HDD, leaving no pagefile at all on the system drive.
But very cautious people may prefer leaving a mini-fixed size pagefile on system drive to, so to
being able to boot if HDD#2 is off
4. The best of both worlds
Of course, you can add OS / Datas Partitionning with Pagefile partition. This brings all le benefits above,
althrough seeing 4 HDD icons may confuse unexperienced users.
Partition design can greatly imrove performance and reliability of any computer. Althrough it has to be done
with thoughts and care to ensure its benefits.