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Old 28. Jul 2013, 03:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Unallocated space to create a partition

I want to create 2 partitions on my laptop, but am a bit unsure as to the language used in article, and need some clarification.
Am running Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, and using MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition (thanks for the recommend).

Everything I have read gives the impression that partitioning is done with a new hard drive. However, I have some 200 GB of unused space on C:OS (with more to come).

1. Using MiniTool, do I resize C:OS to create the 'unallocated space'. I see I must change the partition amount for that to happen. Please guide if I am wrong.

2. Are there limits as to size. The partition I want is about 90 GB. The second will be about 40 GB later. Can I use eg. 90 x 1024 to get the size in megabytes. Also how much unused space. I read that about 20% of your drive should be left free. Is that true OR a myth.

Thanks for any help.
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Old 28. Jul 2013, 06:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you got a complete backup image of your hard disk on other media? Unless you are prepared to lose everything, don't re partition anything without that safety net.

Having said that I've not had any problems using MiniTool.

1. Yes, your are making your C: partition smaller.

2. From Windows Vista onwards, GPT partition size is normally limited by the disk size. GPT (GUID Partition Table) allows 18 exabytes but Windows is limited to 256TB for the file systems.

Even if your disk has MBR (Master Boot Record) partitions, e.g. was done under Windows XP, you can still have a 2TB partition using standard features. If you need more, you can get another TB or two but it's better to move from MBR to GPT.
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Old 28. Jul 2013, 07:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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1. Yes. Also you can defrag the drive and move all the files to the beginning of the partition. Most defrag programs has that option under "optimize". This is only necessary if MiniTool cannot lower it to 90 GB due to files in areas which will become unused space.

2. Nothing near 90 x 1024 megabytes. You don't need unused space, it's best to use all of it for better capacity. 20% probably means free space in your system partition to keep Windows running smoothly, it can work with less.
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Old 28. Jul 2013, 12:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nymphus_A View Post
I read that about 20% of your drive should be left free. Is that true OR a myth.
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_L View Post
20% probably means free space in your system partition to keep Windows running smoothly, it can work with less.
Ha, I only answered the post because of this question and promptly forgot to answer it.

@Nymphus_A. As J_L says it is the partition or logical drive that is being talked about. It is not worth leaving part of your physical drive unused.

The rule of thumb is a blunt instrument that is designed to protect the average user. In the 1980s, 20% was the rule of thumb for DOS/Windows FAT file systems primarily because fragmentation of files degraded performance so much. Nowadays it is not so much of a concern and most recommendations would be somewhere between 10 and 15%.

Why has it changed? One reason is that, in general, the size of the average file has increased much more slowly than the size of the average drive. About twenty years ago a song was 5MB and disks were 1GB so each song took up 0.5% of space. Nowadays a song is 5MB and disks are 1TB so each song file uses 0.0005% of storage. The management of the disk changes dramatically because impact of one extra file is much less now. Of course, nowadays, if you have large HD video/movie files then you might only fit 100 on a 1TB drive and the impact of changes is greater.
Another reason is that newer file systems are also more robust.

The % of disk space you leave free will be higher for:
  • the proportion of files being updated (created or modified). At one extreme, I used to have a drive for my music with nothing else on it. I filled it to 99% and higher because I hardly ever added to it. The disk was usually on read from and not written to. If I left 20% of the disk space free then I would need have a disk or partition 25% larger.
  • the largest size of files being updated. Often you need at least enough space to temporarily create a transitional copy of the file. For example, many programs including Microsoft Office programs work on temporary files and not on the original document.
  • the creation of temporary files and working space. If Windows creates virtual memory files that are fragmented then system performance will be reduced.
  • the requirements to install software. For example, a program I wanted to install wouldn't because it wanted 15GB free space when I only had 5GB free.
  • how well the file system copes with fragmentation. The old FAT system was particularly affected by this and it is still used on many USB sticks and flash memory devices.
  • the consequences if the disk fills and operations are unable to be completed. Ie. what happens if I can't save my work, Windows can't create a temporary file, etc.
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Old 28. Jul 2013, 04:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I use the disk management tool that comes with windows to do this on my laptop. I created an OS partition where I have windows installed to, then I have a Data partition where I keep my programs (I use portable so the settings save), and anything else I save to computer.

You can use something like returnil (can't think of other freeware names) to protect just the OS partition from changes then run off the data partition. Or protect both like I do.
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