Storage and organization?

By timmyfosho ยท 14 replies
Nov 8, 2010
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  1. Everyones home is organized and compiled to each individuals taste and personality.....

    I was just kind curious how everyone organizes they're files and runs their pcs/hard drives.
    i.e. do you have one hard drive, and have windows AND your files on the same partition, or do you have 2 hard drives.... windows on one, files/storage on the other??

    Whats the smartest way to go about keeping you stuff in order so maybe if you get a virus or something you don't have to wipe all your files etc..... can you just wipe the hd with windows and keep your files/games/etc.....???

    i'm sure you guys get where i'm going with this topic.....

    I like to keep a clean pc, and have had a ritual of wiping windows and installing fresh copies every few months. Is there a way copy your C drive and kinda reload it if you get a virus or get too much clutter?
  2. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    No, if you have a virus, you're likely going to have to delete/clean all files on that computer and any computer and drive that has been in contact.

    Thats called a subjective question.
    I 'have a separate partition for windows and files, but I don't like it.

    That's called a backup.
  3. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,010   +2,536

    HK is a little pessimistic about the benefits of separate drives. Malware is an active file, and as such, usually attempts to install itself on the computer's OS.

    Files on a different HDD that are passive content, present less of an opportunity for infection. So, files that are written to frequently, are more subject to infection than would be the family's Jpeg photo files.

    I very much like separating archive type files on a different drive, and I use desktop shortcuts to provide quick access to both the drive, and very large folders.

    The trick is to thoroughly scan any files, before you archive them.
  4. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    The possibility is still there, so you'll really want to scan everything. Basically what I'm saying is that putting files on a separate partition does NOT mean they will be safe from malware.
  5. timmyfosho

    timmyfosho TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yeah, gotcha.
    i was just curious. another dumb question.... what do you think are the benefits of using seperate hard drives? which one should be faster?

    whats the best way to backup?
    just use nero BackitUp? can someone give a simple noob explanation to the process?
    sorry for noob questions, but hey... whats a forum for?
    flame me if you want it's ok, i can take it ;]

    thanks for all the help thus far :D
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,166   +986

    the biggest impact you can make is to NEVER surf the net with an admin account..

    Use your Admin only for maintenance and MS Updates. For day to day activities, you
    should be using an LUA/UAC limited accoumt. In this way, any attack that gets by your
    firewall and A/V (yes it can still occur even with good products), the impact can only be the
    LUA/UAC account and not the system itself.
  7. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Well...with RAID, you can add data redundancy (ie, using two identical harddrives and writing to both, that acts as a form of backup) which can act as a backup, but it will not be safe from viruses and is mainly for servers. RAID 0 will let you basically read/write twice as fast.

    Usually, you would use a disk image as a backup, then keep it stored away in an external harddrive or something. Basically it's just an exact copy of your disk...As to what programs you should use, I've never tried using nero, but I hear Acronis is good. I never really backup, so ask someone else.
  8. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,485   +45

    Wow I've been around and I have a question. If I'm the only user on the pc does that make me the admin. Win7 just has me listed uppon start up.
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,010   +2,536

    OK, I'm going to take the bait and answer this. If one user is listed, then by default you are the administrator. This assumes you filled in the blanks when you installed windows. With Win 7, for certain functions, you still need to right click and choose "run as administrator". In this case, you must be considered the administrator in the first place.

    The trick is that you must create another account for yourself if you want to have a "limited user account".

    I differ slightly from Jobeard about entering the internet only with a limited UAC. Possibly because I'm just lazy and I live alone, so nothing is password protected. Therefore, I'm responsible for my own destiny, and I'm also the guy who would have to do the reinstall of the OS anyway.

    That said, I always use my administrators account, but, I use Firefox exclusively with the "NoScript" extension, which stops a lot of browser exploits in their tracks.

    Firefox also doesn't support Active-X controls. M$ has never really offered an apology for IE-6 and Active-X. I really think they should.

    I posted this, "how to hose you computer" tutorial from PC World magazine, it's worth a look here also;

    Forthwith, a short course on how to break your computer, brought to you by the wonderful people at PC World magazine........

    Aw, what the heck, read it from the beginning.....
  10. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,485   +45

    I stopped using FF tonight because the addons were pissing me off. Too many problems for just surfing the web.
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,010   +2,536

    Ok well, that's just mean, ill conceived, and spiteful.
  12. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,485   +45

    I will admit that the "backspace" key shouldn't take you to the previous webpage. That's frustrating in chrome. Ironically moving from FF to Chrome I found an "addon," that stops this process.
  13. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,166   +986

    The point of using an LUA/UAC account is the privileges associated with the login.
    As every directory has NTFS perms for the Admin for Full Control, any virus or trojan that gets a foothold will be able to modify any file on the HD.

    The LUA/UAC accounts do not have such perms in the Program Files and Windows directories and thus any virus or trojan that gets a foothold will be able to modify only
    that users data.

    Windows 7 has effectively BOTH concepts in the single login system;
    It will run as UAC until it needs Admin perms and then will prompt for permission to
    elevate to that state - - Just be sure you allow it to prompt so you know when to say YEA vs NAY.
  14. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I have a cluttered mess on my main PC right now. I have 4-6 physical hard drives.

    Drive 1: C, D, E partitions (total drive space 1.5TB, recently cloned from a 320GB so after E at this moment I have a TB of unpartitioned)
    Drive 2: F (2TB drive)
    Drive 3: I forget, not at home now so I can't check
    Drive 4: forget, probably music, and a 4GB partition for Swap (of which I keep the swap fixed at 2gb)
    Drive 5: eSATA 1TB
    Drive 6: 500GB external

    If I had to do it all over again I'd have a 50-100GB C partition, and then the rest of the drive for music. Then the other drives would contain a swap partition, one large partition for program installs, and then large partitions for media.

    In fact, thats almost how it started out, but drive creep over the years (getting new, larger drives) has really made it messy..

    But the idea I was going for is keep Windows isolated to one partition, and install programs to another - that seemed to be a theme several years ago and I followed it, but now I can't seem to make much sense out why everyone was doing that. I think putting the programs on a different drive though makes a little sense. In the past it has helped, just keeping them separate (programs on D or whatever) because if you have to wipe your Windows partition you basically have a list of every program you had installed, making it easy to get back to how you had it.

    I also keep every install file I've used, or at least I mostly do. I keep the install files on 2 different drives too so I don't lose everything if one spontaneously dies.
  15. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

    I believe in as little duplication of data as possible, but still with some redundancy. I've gone for a seperate fileserver with a RAID 6 array that centrally stores all my music, video, important documents, installers, and a writable scratch space. These are all mounted by the rest of the machines in my home - the host OS for the fileserver is running linux and hands out files via smb. I do scans of data when they are first added to the fileserver in the scratch space (the only writable share) before the files are moved to their permanent home on the fileserver.

    I end up with many mount points because of differentiation of file types - here's an example:
    /Video (this is general/uncategorized or inclusive video)
    /Music (all flac)
    /Lossy_Audio (mp3 or ogg - not very much of this but does include some purchased content not available on CD)
    /Docs (includes personal docs, receipt scans, bills, scans of important docs like degrees, diplomas & certs)

    This way I can leave all my Windows/Linux/Mac machines with a single large partition (no waste of space - sort of) and should any machine need to be re-initialized the important files are already housed on the fileserver. I also have scripts that backup my savegame folders from my gaming machines to the fileserver as well - these are initiated via scheduled task and typically runs monthly during a weekday while I'm at work. This has always been a very small amount of data.

    I've also got some automated scripting set up on my fileserver that I can launch should I need to install a batch of software after a recent re-initialization. This way I can modify a single script whenever I update software versions and it will be applicable to any machine I point at it.

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