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I currently have 2 hard drives, and only windows xp sp3 professional installed.

Main hard drive is 1.5 Terabytes, 2nd hard drive is 500 gigs.

What I would love to do, is create 3 new partitions, but I don't know the correct steps or approach or if my idea makes sense.

  1. New XP Partition, to just hold installed winxp, to run xp apps/games etc - 60 Gigs
  2. Win 7 Partition - 60 gigs
  3. Media Partition - To hold all movies, tv shows, etc
  4. Data Partition - Do I need a partition to hold data for either/both OS's?

Not sure if I need a Data Partition, and what size that should be.

I want to migrate the winxp existing partition into a smaller, just the os, and some driver's partition.

But I don't want to damage my existing partition, until everything has been moved over.

I am just trying to find the best way to manage how my data/files are stored, so that it is both more efficient and more organized.

I truly appreciate your thoughts, thank you...

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Windows 7 as a Disk Mangement built into it that allows you to do this. Since you are using WIndows XP you won't be able to use the previous version of the same tool while the os is running thus you will have to use a third-party tool to do so. Before you do anything duplicate the disk with something like Clonezilla. – Ramhound Mar 14 '12 at 17:30
Okay that makes sense. I plan to use a boot cd of something called GParted Live. But making backups makes sense! Any other tips? – crosenblum Mar 14 '12 at 17:46
Gparted is a great tool. Here's a tutorial on adding and resizing partitions using Gparted. – Andrew Lambert Mar 14 '12 at 17:58
Yes, I have all that ready to use, but what size partitions should I create. I want to move my winxp files to a new but smaller partition, and still have all my programs work. – crosenblum Mar 14 '12 at 22:28
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The Windows 7 answer to keeping a back up XP systetm is Virtual PC (included with Windows 7 Professional). It would allow you to skip having a dedicated XP partition, and allow you to have boot OS's running at the same time (Boot to Win 7 and then run XP in a Window, like a remote session). Virtual PC allows you to use shared directories, so XP could use your planned media drive too. To do this, use Microsoft's disk imaging tool to create a virtual drive of your XP partition (once you've removed unneeded stuff and resized it smaller). That will create one largish VHD file that you can run later as a virtual OS. Then for your other planned partitions, having a separate partition for media/data is a noble step in getting organized. You'll still have data files stored in the same partition as the OS - like the user document tree. Some of the app data files have settings related to apps installed on that OS, and sharing them between OS's is probably going to break things in painful, unexpected ways. Its a personal organizational choice of whether to break out a separate partition for media, or just create a dedicated directory for the same purpose. I find a dedicated directory more flexible, because it doesn't require fixed partition limits. The only plus of separate paritions that I can think of, is being able to completely delete an OS partition can keep the media easier. Another possibility, is to remove the 500gb drive, and use it in an external case (with USB or eSata connections) to store less frequently used media/data. That will help keep your machine quieter and cooler too.

And another alternative plan to extend your idea of a media partition, is to have a separate small server, like a windows home server. This would allow other devices - like your tv or new music player - stream media when your main computer is off. Also allows you to switch between a laptop and desktop, keeping a separate storage locaiton. These small servers can be purchased/made starting at about $300, and also serve as automatic backup locations.

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