500Gb HDD Partition??


Jan 8, 2007

Buliding my first machine from scratch for a friend.
I've got a SATA Deskstar 500Gb HDD and want to put an XP install, I am going to partition the HDD but didn't know whether to do an even 250Gb split or not, what would you recommend?

Noticed that when on the setup screen there's already an 8Mb partitioned space, any reason for this plus it wouldn't let me delete it? Any help would be appreciated.

Also, am I correct by setting IDE controller in BIOS to [non-RAID]?



Jun 19, 2002
So I would suggest you use the search function to scope out previous threads on partitioning theories. If your going to partition, you need to at least have a clear understanding why you want to do so and how it works.

In short, when deciding to partition a drive you want to look at isolating your pagefile onto a small allocated drive space, away from the OS. Then you look at the OS space requirements and last your storage. Smallest to largest >Pagefile>OS>Storage. Because you have such a large drive you could decide to break up the larger storage portion into smaller pieces for logical organization like F: 200GB for music, and G: 100GB for Word and Text files.

But how you break it up is all a matter of preference, so search the forums and go with what you feel is best for your "friends" needs.

BTW, the 8mb partition that windows creates is hidden as a installation swap directory. Also be sure you have a SP2 Disk for this installation.


Jul 6, 2003
Make one partition large enough for your OS and installed applications.

Use the rest of the space for storage.

User True Image to perform regular automated backup of the OS partition to the storage partition (works without reboot).

Fix any software problem in under 15 min with a Restore from your last backup. Keep a TI boot disc handy in case your OS is badly damaged.

For bonus points move your email, internet, desktop, my documents folders to the storage drive so you don't lose any personal information when you do the restore.

Additional partitioning tricks are not worth the hassle, look at the benchmarks for proven real world benifits before doing anything unusual or complicated.


Jan 31, 2006
With that size drive I'd put multiple partitions. The first for the OS and programs, usually 35 to 40 GB. Depending on if you have a lot of music or do video editing or store a lot of video, I'd have a partition for music and one for video. Then have one for documents. First it makes it a lot easy to find things and second, it's generally best to use a separate partition for video stuff. But it really comes down to what's best for you. Partition Magic is a very good program for managing partitions. Really easy to increase and decrease the size of partitions. Not to put a damper on anything remember that while partitioning will allow you to reinstall the OS without having to worry about your data, if you have valuable data, it's best to have a second drive to back it up on

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