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Old 09-29-2010, 10:44 AM   #1
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Default how to partition really large drives (2TB)?

are there recommended partition sizes for best performance?
or is it ok to just leave it as one really huge ~2TB partition?

win7 x64, NTFS

MOD EDIT: Moved from General Hardware to Memory and Storage. - Zap

Last edited by Zap; 09-30-2010 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 09-29-2010, 12:22 PM   #2
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I have both my drives as 1 big partition. Works fine.
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Old 09-29-2010, 01:00 PM   #3
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You should be able to use it in one big partition. I've heard you can increase it a little by partitioning it according to platter count. 2 = 2 equal partitions, 3 = 3 equal partitions, ect. but don't quote me on that. I just leave my 3 platter 1TB drives in one partition and it works fine.
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Old 09-29-2010, 01:35 PM   #4
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I dont see a real advantage to dividing for partitions. There may be an advantage of using 2 HD and then try to store all your music and misc files that dont belong to the OS or a game on the second Hard Drive.

If you are running programs like scandisk on your individual partitions it might run faster in smaller partitions. However, I have not even been running that.
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Old 09-29-2010, 02:45 PM   #5
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Yeah, I would just make it one big partition. Statically dividing up your drive will just lead to inefficiency down the road. ("Well, damn it, I have 40GB left on partition 1, and 40GB left on partition 2, but I want to store a 50GB blu-ray rip!")
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Old 09-29-2010, 07:40 PM   #6
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It's generally more convenient to have a single large partition. It may also be slightly faster, as manually partitioning the drive forces files on different partitions to be far apart.

The disadvantage is that in the event of catastrophic system corruption, there is more data at risk. On a partitioned drive, each partition has its own sel contained file-system - so corruption on one partition should affect any others.
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:44 AM   #7
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I have a couple of 2TB drives and I just use one big partition. I already have enough drive letters. I count... 17 drive letters in use on my system right now.

7 spread over 5 HDDs (one hooked up temporarily on eSATA)
4 "Removable Disk" from my multi card reader
3 networked drives
3 optical/virtual drives

I'm actually regretting partitioning my HDDs now.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:02 PM   #8
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Default old thread re-hash

just to add a thought in there since this really led to no definitive answer. would you not want to take into account backup time. a 2tb drive with one partition can take days, even weeks, to backup depending on the file types. where if you partition it down to something like 4 partitions, backups are more easily managed. and to @mfenn comment "...I have 40GB left on partition 1, and 40GB left on partition 2, but I want to store a 50GB blu-ray rip!")" isn't a typical problematic scenario. there are easy and fast enough solutions to that and all don't involve your downtime equating to days of backup/clone time like it does when your dealing with a one partition on a 2tb full of music or pictures.

i'm still searching and deciding what to do as well with my six western digital 2tb green and four western digital 2tb red drives. so any comment/criticism is welcome. I've had the greens for a couple years now and 2 have gone bad from a 24/7 environment. that's when i learned that one big partition was a bad idea when trying to recover and backup one giant partition most recovery options worked but would estimate recover time, in a good instance, it taking 173 days...
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:00 PM   #9
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Format as one large partition.

It makes no sense to do otherwise.
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:51 PM   #10
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One large partition has too many negatives, and only one positive.
The positive is you have one large partition.
The negatives are, a huge PITA to backup, trying to find stuff can be more difficult, if you also install the OS to the 'one large partition' then it isn't as easy as it is to wipe the OS partition and reinstall. (BTW, this is also why a SSD comes into play now, a 128 or 256GB SSD is the perfect size for most people for the OS drive).
It takes a heck of a long time to do virus scans on a whole 2TB partition, instead of pointing it to the partition that stores your downloads.
I could go on, but unless you have a very good reason for one large partition (like you work with huge video files) then you should split it to OS (if you don't have a SSD), Data, Programs, downloads, and so on.
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:52 PM   #11
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Get a SSD for OS and use the 2TB only for data.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:34 PM   #12
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Google "locate32" for indexing and replacing the win-f function. Stick with the 1 partition IMO.
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:53 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by kache View Post
Get a SSD for OS and use the 2TB only for data.
Agreed w/ this. I was thinking one large partition isn't a big deal, but then I have gotten to a point where I assume everyone is set up like this. If you aren't, IMO you should be.

I like one large partition, I see the reasons for dividing it up and it makes sense, but I don't see how simply navigating to a folder is any more difficult than navigating to a drive letter. Ditto for pointing at what to back up, etc.

One letter per platter is an interesting idea, if you could actually divvy up the drive into its individual platters and assign each a letter. Not sure if that's even possible or worthwhile if you could, I'm sure it's much faster to spread your data across them all. But interesting...
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:57 AM   #14
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