Last week I downloaded and installed the Windows 7 release candidate (free for anyone to use till June of next year) and the whole process was much easier because I’ve got my PC’s hard drive well-partitioned.
I’ve got to be conversant with many operating systems, so right now I’m triple-booting XP, Vista, and Windows 7 on my PC (not to mention using OS X on my MacBook Pro). This is definitely overkill for non-tech writers, but I do think it’s a good idea for power users to separate their data onto a standalone partition.
This morning at Lifehacker I ran down exactly how to do that, and what the benefits and drawbacks are. Here’s the full article: How to separate your data from Windows on a standalone partition.
Great article! I figured I’d leave a comment here rather than in the hustle and bustle of the LH website.
I’ve been partitioning for, gosh, at least 15 years, and it’s saved my butt so many times. Wiping out an OS is child’s play when things are well-separated. (It’s neat, though, how in Windows 7 they set it up so when you’re re-pointing your My Documents folder you can now point to multiple locations…i.e., just proof that times are still changing even with old concepts)
One thing I like to do is to give certain drive letters to the partitions on particular machines and then on another computer to map it to that drive. For instance, the L drive might store work data on my laptop, and then on my desktop I might map the letter L to that partition on my laptop…making shortcuts always work and just making my life easier when referencing particular files : ).
In my PC, I have Windows 7 RC, Ubuntu 9.04, (Windows XP in Virtual Box, to use in Windows 7 and Ubuntu). I have 3 partitions, one for Windows 7, one for Ubuntu, and one for my data. :-).
This whole concept of drive partitioning has gotten me into trouble. I thought I was being smart by dividing the new hard drive for my Mac into system and data areas, but soon discovered that I HAD to leave Applications in the bootable area as a practical matter, and that I hadn’t allocated enough room on the system drive. Now I’m left wandering the internet reading different articles that alternately claim that repartitioning on the Mac is/is not destructive. Sigh.
Partitions are not enough! We’ve had a dedicated Samba box in my household for a few years now. Between two other desktops, one or two laptops depending on the time, and a host of other network-enabled devices, there isn’t any other way to keep up with it.