What partitions should I have?

By lopdog
Dec 6, 2008
  1. Hi!

    I know there are about 4.522.912.423 different personal opinions on this subject, but I'd like to hear some opinions.
    I'm installing a new 320Gb hdd on my Laptop, and I'd like to have some ideas of how many/how big partitions I should create.

  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    It depends are you going to:
    Dual Boot to OS, or possible want the option to one day? Then 2 Partitions
    Have many users documents (gigs) including movies\pics or whatever? Then another 1 for this

    Now I'm quite sure most will reply with all these multiple partitions required for OS and Programs and Data and Backup (including image) and even extra one, just in case!
    But personally I say just one! even on 320Gig. Partitions just allow data to be on another part of the disk, that's all. Isn't that what folders are for? Except if data is placed in folders it can be contiguous across the disk (without having these possible big gaps, that the hard drive's head has to move back and forward to)

    My opinion: 1
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    On a laptop, if you can clean install windows (ie - not from a restore cd/dvd) I would say 2 partitions. 1 about 20 gigs for the OS, you can go much smaller of course, but its always nice to have some spare room on your C because it tends to get filled up over the years.. Then a second partition for everything else.

    If it was a desktop and you had 2 physical hard drives I'd suggest something completely different. But I can't think of a good reason to have more than 2 on a laptop that is only going to run 1 OS.
  4. lopdog

    lopdog TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 295

    I´m thinking about dualbooting Vista and Ubuntu, but I think you have a point, kimsland: there´s no need to split up the drive in too many partitions.
    I'll use about 20Gb for Ubuntu and the rest for Vista (Vista can't read the Ubuntu partition, right?)
  5. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Windows (Fat32 or NTFS) cannot read Linux file systems by default

    Linux file systems info here

    You can access Linux partitions from windows using the file system drivers from

    Linux can fully access Fat32\NTFS partitions and read/write to them

    You can run a disk image of Linux using Wubi on NTFS file systems, presently running Windows. Which is incorporated into the new Linux distros, to help Windows users.

    If all this is getting a bit too technical, you may want to ask your Linux questions here: The Alternative OS
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