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Old 7th February 2010, 19:40   #1
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Default Ideal number of partitions for a 1TB External HD.

Bought a Seagate 1TB Ext HD yesterday but it doesn't have any partitions as of now. So was wondering what would be the ideal way to divide the space.

Im just gonna be using it to store data and will not be installing any applications. So how many partitions do you guys recomend?

Does the number of partitions affect the hard drive in anyway?

I would also like to connect it to my PS3 to watch video directly from the Ext HD. But i think PS3 only reads Fat32 and not NTFS. What would be a good solution to this? Maybe have just 1 partition in Fat32 and the rest in NTFS? I can always transfer the required videos to the FAT32 partition and view it.

Shan2nu

Last edited by Shan2nu : 7th February 2010 at 19:43.
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Old 7th February 2010, 21:18   #2
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Lol, I suggest as little as possible. Since you need a FAT32 for your PS, just have two partitions. The major one for NTFS and a minor one for FAT.

All my PC's and Laptops just have three partitions, one 4 GB partition for the swap file, one 20 GB partition for Windows alone (no Program Files) (and I need 20 GB as I use Win 7), and the rest for my data. I defragment the data partition about once a month and never bother with the other two. While creating them, create them in the order Swap-->Windows-->Data as the partition closest to the inner reaches of the disk will be accessible faster than the ones at the edges.

But truly, in your case, since this is an external HDD and assuming that it'll mostly be used for storing long term and transferable data, it will not matter.

BTW, which drive did you buy and for what price?
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Old 7th February 2010, 21:35   #3
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Number of partitions depends on one's requirements.

As already suggested, make the first partition FAT 32 (if PS reads only FAT 32). Make the remaining area too FAT 32 - I believe that recovering unintentionally deleted files from FAT32 is less cumbersome than recovering from a NTFS partition.

Personally, I always use ext3 (and recently, ext4). That is because I use only GNU/Linux around here. YMMV.
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Old 7th February 2010, 21:39   #4
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Better keep a 20-30GB partition for the PS3 and the rest as NTFS. Use the FAT32 partition for PS3 exclusively and the rest for general use.
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Old 7th February 2010, 21:59   #5
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With modern operating systems, partition do not given any added benefits over maintaining a folder/subfolder structure..it might actually have some drawbacks, losing out on space etc.

Having said that, since in all probability this will be either an external HDD or additional HDD, you can do the following:

1. Create a partition where you should store sutff which you think is important and requires regular backup (that way, you can use either the OS backup or 3rd party backup software to incrementally backup the entire partition without bothering to select folders/subfolders etc). This can also serve as a backup storage for your main internal laptop/desktop hdd backup.

2. Create a small partition which you can use for temporary files (like the swap files, in case this HDD is going to be used internally) as well as for those tons of garbage that may be downloaded over the net but never bothered to give a second look. This partition can be made FAT32 as well for compatibility stuff with PS3. This partition you can use for experimentation as well like installing a dual boot system, keeping Virtual PC files etc etc. And can wipe/format it over as and when required.

3. Don't forget to keep a partition for all those dvd rips/private clips which you do not want others to see and lock/protect the partition with some free utilities.

Size of the partition only you can determine based on the amount of useful/useless stuff you tend to keep
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Old 7th February 2010, 22:46   #6
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If I were to buy a 1 TB HDD, I shall partition it this way:

PS3 HDD: 150GB (FAT32) - provided it is a portable HDD; Otherwise I shall prefer an exclusive portable HDD for PS3 since my PS3 is in a different location and I do not want to carry an external HDD with a brick (AC adapter) to another location.

Backup :150 GB (NTFS) for regular system back ups either full or incrementel as one may like.

Data: 100 GB (NTFS) for all important personal data with regular backup. I prefer manual and full backups at a predetermined interval. I also believe in uploading select important files regularly to an online storage. My preference - Microsoft Sky Drive. Caution: Do not upload any User ids, Passwords , Credit Card details or any such data that can make you a pauper in no time, to an online storage. They are better kept on paper and stored safely and more importantly not carried on person.

Audio: 100 GB (NTFS)

Photo: 100 GB (NTFS)

Video :150 GB (NTFS)

Movies (BD&DVD):250GB (NTFS)

One may readjust the figures to suit one's own requirement depending upon the volume of data one has or one anticipates under various categories.
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Old 7th February 2010, 23:14   #7
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I had to change my partition after a while from FAT32 to NTFS because I needed to store files bigger than 2 GB.

in my laptop (500GB):
30 GB - Windows
20 GB - backup image etc.
400 GB - encrypted partition that stores everything from my documents, picures, videos to my data backup. Loaded at startup.

rest is system partition which will go away very soon.

In my external drive a home (1TB):
two partitions of 40 GB each - used for restoring and other experimental stuff.
600 GB - for downloaded movies, etc.
300 GB - encrypted partition for the same backup as my laptop. I sync my data backup quite often with ROBOCOPY.
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Old 7th February 2010, 23:41   #8
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I would say as many as possible/convenient. Sometimes single partition and not the whole HDD goes corrupt (especially with those cheap external enclosures). At that time, you wouldn't want all the data in that single partition right?

I would say 100 GB in FAT32 and rest in NTFS. divide the remaining 900 GB according to your needs. For me, it would be 200 GB for music, 200 GB for personal files (which also acts as backup) and 500 GB for videos.

Last edited by Comrade : 7th February 2010 at 23:43.
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Old 7th February 2010, 23:49   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponmayilal View Post
...
Audio: 100 GB (NTFS)

Photo: 100 GB (NTFS)

Video :150 GB (NTFS)

Movies (BD&DVD):250GB (NTFS)

One may readjust the figures to suit one's own requirement depending upon the volume of data one has or one anticipates under various categories.
There is no distinct advantage that I know of about having multiple partitions as above..rather there are several disadvantages like:

1. waste of space - on the photo/audio partition of 100 GB each, I guess there will be lot of unused space, since having 200GB worth of pictures/mp3 really means a lot, which can be utilized in the Video partition. If you have a single partition of 500 gb instead, and subfolders for each type of collection, space will be better managed.

2. Your startup times will increase, since OS has to read multiple partition info/mount the same etc. Automatic defragging will become a pain over a period of time.

3. Each partition will have their own indexing/recycle bin/other system related info (as in Windows OS) taking up unneccessary space

4. Suppose you need to temporarily format an external HDD of 250 GB capacity, but you want to take a backup of it first..it is likely that on a single 500 GB partition, 250 GB free may be avlbl, but if it split across multiple partitions, that will not be possible.

5. Launching Windows Explorer or other File Management utilities etc like
DOPUS will also take longer to launch

6. Excessive Clutter.

IMHO, except for the need for installing multiple-boot system, excessive number of partitions are never a good idea. In a single boot system, Max 3 partitions (OS, Temp, Data) is the best practice, on an internal HDD. For external HDD, I prefer to have one partition which is an exact replica of my laptop/destop working OS (so that in emergency, I can simply swap the HDDs and get on working). Rest of the partition on per need basis.


Just to make it clear, Vista/Windows 7 etc, can perfectly create/handle single 1 TB partitions..no issues. Not sure about if any max size limit on bootable/primary partition though..need to check.
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Old 8th February 2010, 11:19   #10
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Ok so what i can do is divide the space into 5 partitions. 100gb for the fat32 and 231gb for the other 4.

This way, the files will be more manageable, easier to defragment/run virus scans and most important of all, save the files in the other partitions if one of them gets affected.

I dont plan on carrying it around with me (have another 80GB HD for that). So the chances of something happeneing to it is reduced even further.

PS : What about waranty issues? Will partitioning the drive affect it?

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Old 8th February 2010, 11:56   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shan2nu View Post
Ok so what i can do is divide the space into 5 partitions. 100gb for the fat32 and 231gb for the other 4.

This way, the files will be more manageable, easier to defragment/run virus scans and most important of all, save the files in the other partitions if one of them gets affected.

I dont plan on carrying it around with me (have another 80GB HD for that). So the chances of something happeneing to it is reduced even further.

PS : What about waranty issues? Will partitioning the drive affect it?

Shan2nu
Partioning does NOT affect warranty!

Also, please note that it is almost unlikely that only 1 partition will get corrupted and rest will be fine..if a physical problem occurs with the HDD, all partitions will go for a toss! Particularly on external HDDs. For this type of protection, you need 2 separate physical HDDs not partitions.

The effort of managing files will be same as having a single partition and creating subfolders to manage as per contents..no advantage here. However, your other activities like virus scans/backup/defragmentation etc, after a period of time when lot of files are there and less free space is avlbl in each of the partitions, will take a hit.

It is much easier to create a single folder, say, "MultiMedia" and have subfolders like Music/Video/Photo etc under this..that way, for software like iTunes, just point to the MultiMedia folder and it will automatically read all contents, otherwise you have to go to different partitions/diff folders specifying the same. Same is the case of backups.

Defragmentation runs faster if more free space is avlbl in the partition. Your chance of having more free space on a single partition is higher than that on multiple partitions.
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Old 8th February 2010, 12:47   #12
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Quote:
Partioning does NOT affect warranty!

Also, please note that it is almost unlikely that only 1 partition will get corrupted and rest will be fine..if a physical problem occurs with the HDD, all partitions will go for a toss! Particularly on external HDDs. For this type of protection, you need 2 separate physical HDDs not partitions.

The effort of managing files will be same as having a single partition and creating subfolders to manage as per contents..no advantage here. However, your other activities like virus scans/backup/defragmentation etc, after a period of time when lot of files are there and less free space is avlbl in each of the partitions, will take a hit.

It is much easier to create a single folder, say, "MultiMedia" and have subfolders like Music/Video/Photo etc under this..that way, for software like iTunes, just point to the MultiMedia folder and it will automatically read all contents, otherwise you have to go to different partitions/diff folders specifying the same. Same is the case of backups.

Defragmentation runs faster if more free space is avlbl in the partition. Your chance of having more free space on a single partition is higher than that on multiple partitions.
Thats all fine, but what do i do about the fat32 issue? If the whole drive is NTFS, my PS3 maynot be able to read it. Anyway, will check if my PS3 can open files on the HD in NTFS format, if it works. I'l just use the single drive (since you mentioned that partitions cannot protect the files in case of a physical damage).

And even for defragmentation, i thing it helps not have any applications installed on the drive?

Shan2nu
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Old 8th February 2010, 13:25   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shan2nu View Post
Thats all fine, but what do i do about the fat32 issue? If the whole drive is NTFS, my PS3 maynot be able to read it. Anyway, will check if my PS3 can open files on the HD in NTFS format, if it works. I'l just use the single drive (since you mentioned that partitions cannot protect the files in case of a physical damage).

And even for defragmentation, i thing it helps not have any applications installed on the drive?

Shan2nu
I am not saying you cannot create couple of partitions (refer my 1st post)..only thing I am saying is creating multiple partitions for storing multimedia contents does not give any advantage as such. Anyway, if you do create a FAT32 partition becos PS3 cannot read NTFS (am not sure), then also, all your multimedia contents cannot be accomodated in the FAT32 partition. You then will end up duplicating files in FAT32 partitions. Also, note that on FAT32 you cannot have a file larger than 4GB. You will be better off having a 8/16/32 GB usb pendrive devoted for PS3 use.

Quote:
And even for defragmentation, i thing it helps not have any applications installed on the drive?
Don't bother too much about defragmentation..this is a major issue only if you are modifying/adding to the same file every now and then frequently..with multimedia files, since this is rarely the case, it is not a major problem at all. In case you do need to defrag once in 2-3 months, just run in overnight..not a big deal.

Last edited by sanjayc : 8th February 2010 at 13:28.
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Old 8th February 2010, 14:21   #14
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Here is an extract from a website on single vs multiple partitions.

"Advantage #3: A drive with multiple partitions allows you to defrag only those partitions that actually need defragging. This saves wear and tear on your drive, and may even help keep it from failing prematurely.

Some users advocate creating a small partition specifically for files that fragment easily. Then they move all these easily-fragmented files and directories there. This keeps your other volumes/drives from fragmenting as much, and makes defragging easier/faster/quicker. I think this is a good idea.

It can take hours to defrag 320-GB worth of fragmented data, not to mention 500 gigs, or 750 gigs. This means you have to plan your defrags much more carefully than you do with a drive containing smaller, multiple partitions. A small partition can be defragged in the time it takes to visit the bathroom.

Single-partition advocates claim that they defrag *overnight*. This is fine, but it needn't be that way. And you shouldn't have to run your PC all night if you don't want to. You shouldn't have to wait until bedtime before defragging, cuz your drive will take hours to finish. And you shouldn't have to defrag 320 gigs worth of data when only a small percentage of it is actually fragmented."

Now think of a 1000 gigs. Take your pick.
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Old 8th February 2010, 15:16   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponmayilal View Post
Here is an extract from a website on single vs multiple partitions.

"Advantage #3: A drive with multiple partitions allows you to defrag only those partitions that actually need defragging. This saves wear and tear on your drive, and may even help keep it from failing prematurely.

Some users advocate creating a small partition specifically for files that fragment easily. Then they move all these easily-fragmented files and directories there. This keeps your other volumes/drives from fragmenting as much, and makes defragging easier/faster/quicker. I think this is a good idea.

It can take hours to defrag 320-GB worth of fragmented data, not to mention 500 gigs, or 750 gigs. This means you have to plan your defrags much more carefully than you do with a drive containing smaller, multiple partitions. A small partition can be defragged in the time it takes to visit the bathroom.

Single-partition advocates claim that they defrag *overnight*. This is fine, but it needn't be that way. And you shouldn't have to run your PC all night if you don't want to. You shouldn't have to wait until bedtime before defragging, cuz your drive will take hours to finish. And you shouldn't have to defrag 320 gigs worth of data when only a small percentage of it is actually fragmented."

Now think of a 1000 gigs. Take your pick.
NTFS does NOT need defragging. Hence I suggested a 30gig partition for PS3 in FAT32 and rest as NTFS.
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