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I loaded Windows 7 on a new computer on a 120 GB SSD. My plan was the SSD for a system and program disk, with 2 1TB HDDs on RAID 1 for data.

Would it not, however, be better to partition the SSD for a system partition, with the rest of the SSD as a partition for programs? Then I could image the system partition separately without the baggage of the programs for restoration in case of trouble?

If so, what size partion is needed for Windows 7, settings, and potential service packs in the future?

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I would not go less than 30gb. – Moab Apr 5 '11 at 4:15

i would suggest: 30 gb for 32-bit and 35 gb for 64-bit. because even if you install the programs to another partition some program write some of their data to your window partition. for example "adobe creative suite".

And their should be some room for temp folder which may increase in size and some room for windows updates. and the appdata folder also need some more space from time to time.

you can replace these folder's location but it is a real hassle for a common pc user.

and finally you need some more free space to run windows at optimum speed.

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16 GB for 32-bit and 20 GB for 64-bit. Source

I would suggest leaving yourself a buffer space of a couple gigs though.

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