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In the back of my mind I thought that partitioning was a remnant of the time when windoze disks had a limit of 2Gigs.

Why do we still need to partition today?

I have a 120Gig FW external replacement. The original died after 2 weeks and an 'unplug no trash'... Would partitioning have made the slightest difference?

Given that my 120Gig only gives me 111Gigs, would partitioning lose me 9Gigs for each partition?

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You partition for a number of reasons. But cutting the size of huge drive into different volumes, you cut the amount of work (and time) that the drive has to do to find a file.

You might want to have different OS's and apps on different partitions.

Or you might want to partition to organize your data (ie, application on one partition, files in another, dirty pictures in a third)
 

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As an example, here's a simple setup that provides real backup in a tower with two hard drives.

Partition the primary drive in two, the outside one for system/apps, and the rest for data.
partition the second drive in three, the outside one for scratch/temp, the middle for bootable system/apps backup clone, and the inside for data backup.

This provides backup for hard drive crashes, and a speedier computer with its own system/apps and scratch/temp partition, on separate drives.

Just some "food for thought"
 

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Partitioning offers a safety factor - recovering a large single partition if the directory gets blown ( too common these days ) is a horrendous job.
Photoshop likes it's own empty space so putting a small scratch partition is useful that way.
Keeping system and download/fonts etc separate from work and applications can be useful for both maintenance purposes and safety in a crash or directory error.

A bad block can take your whole drive down but if you are partitioned the task of recovering around the bad block is made much easier.

BTW you don't lose any space by partitioning - your "loss" in formatting is simply the way space is calculated.



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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK, starting to get it. A couple of follow-ons:

- What happens when you realise you have miscaculated your partitions, I assume you can't 'move them around'?

- If you partition your startup drive, does this allow you to run apps that are supposed to be mounted 'elsewhere' in order to function (e.g. Diskwarrior)?

- If you partitioned your startup drive, what would you put on the 'mother drive': OS X of course, but also your user basic data files etc.? What else?

- Is there a way to 'partition and move around' OS X or would I need a clean re-install?

Thanks!
 

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Partitioning in Mac OS X is possible, however it's all command line based and it is often more trouble than it's worth.

Check this link for a better idea of what's involved.

In my opinion, I would never suggest partitioning your hard drive unless you have a need for it such as needing a user located on a seperate partition to keep the local file sharing seperate from users directory.

While Macdoc is totally correct in the big drives cause bigger problems when trying to recover from crashed disks because of the amount of data, there is no way to change this. If you hard drive is 120GB's ,no mater if you have 1 massive parition or 10 smaller ones, if the allocation and fat tracks on the drive itself get blown away, your are cooked!!

Using hardware based solutions is always the best way, however it is also more expensive. While many programs like photoshop and final cut pro use temp folders for cache while in use, you will gain a massive performance increase when using a scratch disk located on another disk.

1 Hard Drive @7600 RPM with 3 partitions will not give any speed inprovements even if the scratch disk is located on a seperate partition.

2 Hard Drives @7600 RPM with 0 partitions will yeild a massive performance increase when working different programs for scratch disks.

This is one of the reasons why many different administrators and companies looking to gain the most in performance will often move the swap file location to a seperate hard disk to ensure maximum performance.

Anyways, I think I got way off topic here...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone! I'll keep scratching my head for a while longer. I guess that learning numero uno is to perform regular HD maintenance...
 

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Need command line to partition a hard drive? Anyone hear of Disk Utility? It's been partioning hard drives since the days of SCSI!

(Some people just try and do things the hard way...)

John
 

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Need command line to partition a hard drive? Anyone hear of Disk Utility? It's been partioning hard drives since the days of SCSI!
Good call on that one, however I am not making it more difficult!!! Using the CLI there is a way to resize the partitions without wiping the data on the partitions.

If you can sit and show us all here how to do all that with Disk Utility, I am more than willing to learn!

Sometimes the hard way is the only way.
 

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Dynamic moving of partitions is a recipe for disaster. :eek:

An empty partition on the fastest portion of the drive will keep Photoshop happy and the fastest part of the drive often is prone to early failure so there is a minor safety benefit.
Indeed a second drive is preferred for a variety of reasons but a single partitioned drive is the best alternative.
Partitions can be defragged easily and there are times when you simply need to wipe a partition to fix an an error .
Having X and 9 on separate partitions is useful too if you are switching. Lots of good reasons and no negatives.
We see drives with blown partitions all the time and the other partitions remain safe as they are independent volumes.
One very straight forward tip - partitioning a drive in X with OS9 drivers gives an extra level of robustness if a directory or driver gets corrupted.
But two drives on separate buses PLUS partitioning gets all the speed and safety. :D



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What do you mean by "Fastest portion of the hard drive?" Hard drives don't have variable speed motors like the old 400K floppy disks.

If the read/write head is closest to the edge or closest to the spindle, the drive doesn't change the rotational speed. If it did, you'd get into specialized disk controllers, drive firmware, etc, (If I'm wrong, could you point me to a URL?)

And, what makes you say:

... fastest part of the drive often is prone to early failure so there is a minor safety benefit.
Have you been taking drives apart to learn what failed? Specialized software to diagnose the failure? With read/write head parking zones, drives spinning down after a time of inactivity, bad blocks that can be locked out during a low-level format, there's quite a bit of reliability technology in a hard drive.

Any really, in this day and age, hard drives have amazing 'Mean Time Between Failures' (MTBF). Except for the B&W IBM drive recall, has there ever been any sort of 'mass' recall of a hard drive?

John
 

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What do you mean by "Fastest portion of the hard drive?"

Bit densities vary as you go from the outer tracks to the inner tracks. So, on some parts, you get faster transfer rates. Though, UltraDMA 100 don't really push things much for performance... That is why you really want 10K or 15K RPM SCSI drives on U320. ;)
 
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