Should I format my hard drive to store media files and make room on the system partition?

rumi June 5, 2010
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I am using Windows Vista. I have only C drive. The laptop is two and a half years old and the computer hangs often. It has 1GB RAM and 80GB hard disk. Do I need to partition, so that the C drive will be free? I have lots of songs and videos in C drive{local disk}. Or do I need to format? Thank you.

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  1. Richard Carpenter
    June 18, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Having different partions on the same drive WILL make the drive go bad faster, end of story. If your machine is not running right scan for malware. I would use Malware Bytes and MRT and see if it speeds your machine up.

    • Tina
      June 18, 2010 at 7:04 pm

      So you're saying that using partitions shortens the hard drive's lifetime? What exactly do you mean and what is the reasoning behind this?

  2. spacebitch
    June 15, 2010 at 12:19 am

    The above suggestions are very useful, but I had no choice but to use an external hard drive and they are fairly cheap nowadays. I'm in UK and I can buy a 500GB hard drive for around £50. I keep al my media (music, videos, and photos) on it, and can take the external hard drive and plug it in to my sister's computer so she too can listen/watch or view

  3. Srinivas G
    June 13, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    My lecturer told me a couple of years ago, "the smaller (and emptier) the 'C Drive' the better"!....and you should host your personal (media) files on a different partition. There are two main reasons for it.

    1) When the partition on which the OS is installed is compact, defragmented and hosts very few files, the system boots and runs fast.

    2) Should your Vista mess itself up or get infected by malware, you can easily format the C Drive and re-install the OS without loosing your personal data.

    And you need not format your HD for doing this. Using free software like "EASEUS partition master", you can 'split' your 80 GB HD into two partitions of 30 and 50 GB each, without loosing any data (OS installation) on your C Drive. I've done this on my Aunt's laptop without any glitch. However, you may have to move your media files to an external device temporarily before you split/resize the partition. After the process is over, move your media files to the new 50 GB partition and clean-up and defragment your C Drive. :)

    • Aibek
      June 13, 2010 at 6:38 pm

      I second Firevas' suggestion to use different partitions or drives. I have been doing this for the last 2-3 years and found it very convenient in many ways. It makes very easy to reinstall the OS without loosing any data.

      Btw, here is MakeUseOf review of the EASEUS partition master, http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/easily-create-edit-windows-partitions-with-partitionmagic/

      • Srinivas G
        June 13, 2010 at 7:29 pm

        There you go. Thanks for posting the link Aibek. :) and @ rumi - that review also is a tutorial for resizing the partition. Follow that and you'll be fine. :)

  4. Merryann Palmer
    June 6, 2010 at 4:22 am

    Personally, I would do neither.

    Since you have a relatively small hard drive, I need to ask if you have done maintenance on the system. Have you defragged yet? Compressed the drive? Deleted all temporary files, cookies and internet history? Removed any unused or unneeded programs?

    All of these steps will improve the performance of the system. Increasing the memory would help speed it up a bit. I have had very good experiences with Crucial.com for purchasing memory (http://www.crucial.com/store/drammemory.aspx) If you have no idea what type or how much memory you need, they have a program that will scan your computer and tell you what you have, how much it will accept, and what type to buy.

    You biggest problem is the size of your hard drive and the media you have. Unless you want to replace the hard drive with a bigger one, in which case you may want to consider a new computer, I would recommend either an external hard drive or large flash drives.

    Using an external drive, such as the "My Book" or "Passport", would give you a drive you can devote to your media files without choking the hard drive. Access time may be a bit slower than keeping them on the internal drive, but you won't notice it at all once you clean the files off the system drive. In face, you will probably be able to get to them faster than you do now. ZDnet can help you find the drive you want. Here's a link to the list of external hard drives they have information on: http://www.pcmag.com/products/0,,tqs=46049E3D93E17B876376C51896D22506832A264D,00.asp?action=defaultadvancedquery&cid=&sid=25190&gridtitle=Recent+Product+Reviews&googlequery=q%3d%26start%3d0%26num%3d10%26mt823%3d21076%26mt634%3d18258&stpdinglp=1

    One thing to remember when getting an external hard drive - if it is a USB connection and does NOT have its own power supply (gets its power from the PC), be sure that the draw is small enough to work with your laptop. Some of these drives pull so much power from the PC that they won't work on a laptop.

  5. Jack Cola
    June 6, 2010 at 4:02 am

    I did what you did, but I don't think it really makes a difference. I only did it so I could manage my files easier and if my computer get's a virus, I only lose the programs I have installed (when you format) and not all of my important documents.If you are low on space with only megabytes remaining, it will make a difference on the performance of your computer.Also, defrag your computer which may give you a little more space and run Disk Cleanup.The main reason why your computer lags is because you have too many programs installed and your computer starts all these at bootup and are running while you use your computer, even though you may not be using them all - or never need to use them.This post will help you http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-troubleshoo...And so will these:http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/10-quick-fixes-to-...http://www.makeuseof.com/answers/long-computer-...

    Edit: Just wrote an answer to a similar problems http://www.makeuseof.com/answers/operating-system-stored-data-partitions/

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