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Wednesday, Sep 25, 2002

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All about drives

What is the difference in maintaining two (c&d) drives and five (such as c,d,e,f,g) drives? Is there any advantage in going in for more number of drives, as I have seen at browsing centres?


There is not much difference in having a single partitioned disk or multiple partitioned disk at a basic user level. If you think file management will be better if you had multiple partitions, then you can very well do it on a single portioned disk by allocating an organised set of folders for each area of work in your system like c:\Programes, c:\games\, c:\graphics etc.

In fact it will be much more hassle-free this way as you will not encounter disk full satiations as in the case of multi partitioned disks.

If you had drive letters from C to I, you will have to go around deleting and clearing files in each partition to free up space. You will also end up losing disk space as you will have to leave an amount of disk space free (as a general practice) in each partition.

The actual need of partitioning a disk into multiple partitions comes in cases such as the following.

When you want to have a multiboot system with more than one OS running, you can prefer to have a separate partition for each OS you load. In some cases, special software such s photo shop and Maya prefer to have some of their working and memory swap files on a different partition than the system partition and their root partition for better performance.

Then there is the problem of the `slack' issue which is related to the lowest level of disk structure involving the size of the clusters, the number of partitions, size of the partition and the size of files stored on the disk.

This will require an extensive explanation. Typically small size partition are not preferred as the percentage of slack and waste of space will be high. If it is a high capacity disk, say 10 GB or higher, you can have partitions of 4 to 6 GBs in size.

Generally speaking, it is preferable to have three or four partitions and anything more than that is dependent on the factors explained above and the size of the disk.

Solution by G. Rajah

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