To partition or not to partition, that is the question

By cigarman ยท 4 replies
Dec 5, 2008
  1. I just bought my first terabyte drive which I would like to archive all of my current dvd's. I seem to remember reading one of the reviews for this drive--someone saying that he chose not to partition the drive after formatting. His use for the drive is the same as mine--storing movies.

    I know that formatting to the larger kilobyte cluster size is optimal for larger files such as movies, music, etc, but what about choosing not to partition it? Is this a good thing for a drive that will only be used for storage purposes or is it better to partition anyway?
  2. Mycologist

    Mycologist TS Rookie Posts: 20

    Depends what you want to do with it really. If the sole purpose of the drive is archiving DVDs you may as well keep it in one big tasty terabyte partition. The only real point in partitioning is so separate different file systems on a single drive, and if you're only archiving DVDs you only need one filesystem; therefore one partition.
    One thing to bear in mind though, if you ever decide you do want to partition it for some obscure reason you will have the possibility of data loss if you try and repartition it.
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,166   +986

    partition size has an effect on the cluster size used for allocation;
    big partitions use bigger clusters
    small partitions create smallish clusters​
    the effect is to waste less space using smaller cluster sizes.
    Large files benefit from large clusters and many small files are conversely.

    large partitions are harder to backup; needing massive secondary media.

    using divide-n-conquer, partitioning leads to easier management and if there's
    an i/o error (not physical device head crash or electro/mechanical faults),
    the other partition is immune.

    just $0.02 :)
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I would just leave it 1 big partition. I've got a TB eSATA drive that I use for storing large things, it is just 1 partition.
  5. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    partition makes sense if you are connecting to the internet and want temporary files not in your main section in order to avoid fragmentation. If you're just storing large files, partitioning does not make sense.
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