How much space does a Windows XP partition require?

Sandra Hooff March 27, 2013

I’m trying to make another partition on my computer (for Windows XP) with Partition Manager and don’t know how to determine which figures go into partition size and unallocated space afterwards.

How do I determine how big to make the partition for Windows XP?

  1. Pooky Joralyn
    April 1, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Well, the Windows folder takes about 2-3GB after installation, and will grow after receiving updates. I guess 20GB is plentiful to install some apps.

  2. Faishal Akbar
    March 31, 2013 at 2:08 am

    dont use to much spaace for XP, if you just installing the os (not with the programs) i recommend 5-7 GB For Installing, if you prefer install with some heavy-size application I recommend 12-20 GB. (I'm always need more space than 5GB>)

  3. Martin Ristovski
    March 30, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    5GB is enough for the OS. I used XP on a 30GB partition of a 250GB Hard Drive. Installed programs went on the smaller partition and games, music, pictures went on the bigger one. If you are able to give it 15GB then you're good.

  4. Michael Heffner
    March 30, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    XP will install with all the extras removed in as little at 1.5 GB of space. This does not leave any additional room for programs or data though. If you are planning on using this to test programs on XP I would suggest using in the 20~30 GB range.

    Once you put in the amount of space you want to use in the partitioning software, it will fill in the un-allocated space with the remaining available space.

  5. Michael Heffner
    March 30, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    XP will "install" with all options removed in as little as 1.5 GB but this leave nothing for additional programs or data. If this is jut for an XP install for testing software I'd give it 20~30 GB.

    Once you put in how much space you want to use, it will fill in the un-allocated space with the remainder of the empty room on the drive.

  6. somu1795
    March 30, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    for minimalist use 5 GB is enough

  7. Vineet Kumar
    March 30, 2013 at 5:53 am

    I used XP for many years before switching to Win Server 2008 (DS version).
    And one thing I liked about XP was that it used to use very less space.

    For some one who just needs XP as a secondary OS (for running a couple of S/w), 10 GB would be more than sufficient.

  8. Kevin H
    March 30, 2013 at 5:31 am

    Yeah, I'd say at least 10gb. For me, I like to give some buffer so I'll give 20.

  9. Oron Joffe
    March 28, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Sandra, I agree with Bruce, there's no single figure because it all depends... As you can see, the basic size of the OS is not the main issue, but rather the other things that go with it, applications, temp files, installation backup files (e.g. windows$nt... folders), page file(s) etc.

    As a rough guide, I'd suggest 5GB minimum for the OS, more for applications if they go on the same drive. Since you are partitioning anyway, create a separate partition for the page file and set the page file to a fixed size (you can accept the size recommend by the system).
    If you are keeping the OS, applications, page file and hibernation files all on the same drive, I'd suggest 30GB as a minimum, and if your hard disc allows , increase the size further (up to about 80GB if you have plenty of space).

  10. Arpit Nadda
    March 28, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    If you want to install windows xp in partition, 5 GB will be enough. 10 GB would be fine. 20 GB would be very good.

  11. prashanth singh rathore
    March 28, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    15 GG is more than Enough...!!

  12. Dave Rimmer
    March 28, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Hi. When I had XP I put it on a 30GB partition of a 250GB HDD and everything else went on the other partition, you don't state the size of your HDD that you are using so can't really help you, do you intend to duel boot with 2 OS?

  13. Joel Thomas
    March 28, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Minimum space 5gb
    medium 10gb
    maximum 15gb

  14. Bruce Epper
    March 28, 2013 at 7:42 am

    This is the type of question that will result with a huge range of suggestions because there are so many ways you can set up the system and data files. If you are only going to use the partition for the OS, you can get away with about 2GB + the amount of RAM installed on your system if you will be configuring the pagefile to allow a complete memory dump on a system crash. If you are going to be installing all of your applications on this partition as well, you will need to add the required space for all of the applications to this figure. If you will be storing your data on this partition as well, you will need to account for these storage requirements as well.

    My XP Pro partition is 40GB, but it is only used for a few games that don't run well on later versions of Windows, testing some of my own custom software, and no data is stored on this partition. Even the installs of downloaded games are stored on different hard disks. Because of these factors, only 12GB of the partition is currently used.

  15. Alan Wade
    March 28, 2013 at 7:36 am

    50Gb these days is very little hard drive space. If you dont plan on installing loads of games and programs that should be plenty. If you plan on having loads of games and programs take it up to 100Gb

  16. Chadi El Haj
    March 28, 2013 at 6:07 am

    You have to keep in mind that your page file and .tmp files will default to the partition XP is installed at.

    I'd say give it 5 gb for main partition and the rest in the other partition.

    but just to be safe give it 10 gb.

  17. Tharindu Ariyaratne
    March 28, 2013 at 5:19 am

    Actually a long time ago when I was using XP My HDD (Hard disk drive) is only 40Gb and there was 3 partitions. 20Gb, 2 x 10Gb partitions. I installed XP on the 20Gb one and worked without any headaches.

    And you can install most of commonly used software but No big Games.. No high-end applications such as Photoshop, Maya, and I'm not recommend to install other programs in another partition as well, let all programs to be only in the C drive. If you install software in another separate partition even though the programme will save some system files and some parts on C drive.

    Make sure to maintain atleast 15% (3072 Mb / 3Gb) of free space on the C drive because it is crucial to smooth running of the XP.

    Hence 20Gb will enough for XP.

  18. SaapeXD MoHods
    March 28, 2013 at 3:55 am

    Windows xp Professional requires At least 1.5 gigabytes (GB) of available space on the hard disk


    The minimum hardware requirements for Windows XP Professional include:

    Pentium 233-megahertz (MHz) processor or faster (300 MHz is recommended)
    At least 64 megabytes (MB) of RAM (128 MB is recommended)
    At least 1.5 gigabytes (GB) of available space on the hard disk
    CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive
    Keyboard and a Microsoft Mouse or some other compatible pointing device
    Video adapter and monitor with Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher resolution
    Sound card
    Speakers or headphones

  19. maria cater
    March 28, 2013 at 2:15 am

    the more the better, i think~

  20. DalSan M
    March 28, 2013 at 12:23 am

    Bare minimum for installation of Windows XP is 1.5GB:, but recommended would be 5-10GB for other software to be able to be installed and useable for extracting zipped or "rar'ed" files (.rar). Other partitions can be used for installing some programs, though few will not give the option to install on another partition or drive. If you do not wish to use another partition to install programs, then 40GB minimum should be fine (unless many programs would be installed and files stored for Windows XP to be able to read from). You do not want to go below around 15-20% available space as it would slow the computer down in performance. Be aware that if you have 3GB of memory installed, the virtual memory/paging file and hibernation file would be around the same size unless you limit the virtual memory size to a smaller amount and disable hibernation if you do not use it. Otherwise, Chris has a good recommendation.

  21. Chris Marcoe
    March 28, 2013 at 12:06 am

    I did some searching and it seems like people are saying 60-80G is about right for Win XP and the programs that will go with it. Also, it says 40 is about minimum.

    However, others make the partition smaller, like 4-5G and put programs on other partitions.

    Hope this helps.


  22. Fred G
    March 27, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    If you are going to have just XP on the partition, 5GB should be enough.

  23. ha14
    March 27, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    Hard disk space requirements for Windows XP Service Pack 3

    how big depends where you want to install application, if on the partition containing the OS then bigger is better, if not then go to 10gb for the OS.

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