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I have taken the plunge into the world of SSD I just picked up a 240GB Vertex 3 and Windows 7 64 bit. This will be going into a my Dell Latitude e6500 which I am hoping will extend the life of my machine by 6 to 8 months.

Currently the machine has a 250GB 7200 RPM drive with 100GB system partition where Windows Vista 64 Bit and programs get installed and a data partition (150GB) where I keep all my data files, source code, mail, images, music ... etc.

My reasoning for this setup is that the OS partition is easier to image, or re-install the windows without having to do a full backup restore which can be very time consuming. My three questions are.

  1. Should I partition the SSD as described above in case I need to re-install Windows 7 or has Microsoft made windows 7 good enough that I should never have to re-install in case of a virus?

  2. If I were to partition how big should I make the system partition? Should I stick with my current 100GB system rest for data?

  3. This is my first SSD. Are there any known issues when partitioning SSD's or best practices that should be followed?

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3 Answers 3

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Personally, I believe no.

AVs have gone a long way, as has the erosion of the IE monoculture in diminishing the threat of malware - with a properly secured system viruses are uncommon - just keep patching your OS and AV software and you should be ok. Should things go wrong, that's what backups are for - not just saving you from a full disk failure

Aside from data security, one of the 'advantages' of partitioning a hard drive is that system files are on the 'faster' outer part of the drive.

While seperating system files and data is/was common with old *nix based oses, its generally not considered best practise in windows (for that matter most modern linux distributions don't seem to recommend it)

So, no, splitting an SSD for data security dosen't make sense - it makes more sense to back up your user files regularly - while seperate partitions may protect you from software failures, backups protect you from both hardware and software failures.

There's a thread on OCZ forums talking about the subject that pretty much goes through the same thing from both perspectives (and i learnt that apparently partitions arn't physical on SSDs).

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It's the outer tracks of a hard drive that tend to be faster, at least for sequential access. But the drive should write to these first, so the point still holds. –  sblair May 7 '11 at 10:52

I usually put all my important stuff, work documents, data, music on a second partition so that I know that on C: is all my less important stuff and on my D: drive is my work data. Much easier to navigate to my content in that way.

Ps, I never put content in the My documents\libraries folder, better to put it outside that mess.

On my SSD my C: drive is 75 GB in size.

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Should I partition the SSD as described above in case I need to re-install windows 7

It's up to you. Windows 7 doesn't need to be reinstalled a lot of times like older versions. But if you want to be safe, you can use a 100 GB system partition. I didn't partition mine.

If I were to partition how big should I make the system partition should i stick with my current 100GB system rest for data?

Usually 100 GB is enough for a development environment.

This is my first SSD are there any known issues when partitioning SSD's or best practices that should be followed.

Not really. There are some problems with RAID, but if you don't use it there's nothing to worry about.

I use the same SSD and it's just like a normal HDD, but a lot faster. The speed is visible and 7200 RPM HHDs will seem very slow after a couple of days on the SSD.

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