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Windows Thread, How many Partitions do you have?? in Technical; The previous tech set up his images for local machines with three partitions: C drive for most system stuff (approx ...
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    actech's Avatar
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    How many Partitions do you have??

    The previous tech set up his images for local machines with three partitions:

    1. C drive for most system stuff (approx 50% of HDD)
    2. D drive - only a few gig for temp stuff
    3. X drive - Drivers and HDGuard swap file (whatever was left)

    Now with the new version of HDGuard out I have been talking to the developers and they claim that it is faster and better to have the swap file on the c drive and that got me thinking - do I need 3 separate partitions on local machines. Every thing is redirected from the server so no local storage is needed (well maybe maybe with the three laptops we have but nothing else)

    What does everyone else do?

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    mossj's Avatar
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    one partition, after all you get the same amount of storage...

    P.S If I had my way 2 partitions one windows, one *nix

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    actech (18th May 2009)

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    User3204's Avatar
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    For workstations, I usually just have one partition, as we usually wipe it every year to 18months.

    For servers, I tend to set up 3 partitions:
    C: windows and local applications/tools (25% of disk)
    D: data store and network applications (50% of disk)
    E: temp files and log files (25% of disk)

    For my own personal machines at home, I will have an extra one to split the windows fromn the applications (20% for windows, 20% for applications, 35% for data), but this is just because I used to wipe windows every 6 months or so before I upgraded to Windows XP.

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    actech (18th May 2009)

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    Michael's Avatar
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    Three partitions on a workstation? A waste of time. Delete all existing partitions and install a new OEM version of Windows (for example Windows XP with SP3).

    I then usually create a directory called "Drivers" in the root of C:\ and create sub directories for VGA, Sound, LAN etc etc... I use GPOs to hide/restrict C:\ when users logon other than domain administrators, so it doesn't really matter.

    As for the page file, it's a common myth that splitting it over several partitions on one physical drive will improve performance. You'll only gain some improvement splitting it over several physical drives. On a workstation, I would leave it as default. Windows does a good enough job out the box.

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    actech (18th May 2009)

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Mostly one partition as said above no real reason to have multiple.

    Only exception is CC3 machines where there is a second partition for backup/restore image.

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    actech (18th May 2009)

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    Michael's Avatar
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    Only exception is CC3 machines where there is a second partition for backup/restore image
    Very true. When I questioned RM why don't they have one central image on a file server (bearing in mind all the workstations are the same), they didn't really have an answer for me. It wastes an incredible amount of disk space and their method is far slower. It starts off from the second stage of re-installing XP, but is thankfully automated with an answer file.

    My method of re-imaging, joining the machine to the domain then installing all the MSIs takes 45 mins, even on low spec machines. Their method takes about 2 hours. Brilliant.

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    For Windows I agree, one partition is just fine (Windows gets confusing otherwise, bless it). In Unix-land, multiple partitions is the norm, for various reasons: making /usr read-only, keeping /tmp where it can't fill the disk and stop root logging in, likewise for /home, minimising fragmentation, etc.

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    actech (18th May 2009)

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Very true. When I questioned RM why don't they have one central image on a file server (bearing in mind all the workstations are the same), they didn't really have an answer for me. It wastes an incredible amount of disk space and their method is far slower. It starts off from the second stage of re-installing XP, but is thankfully automated with an answer file.
    Yes this is the if you allow the build process to take an image. I agree that this makes little sense.
    However, once the machine is fully built you can take your own image that is stored on the second partition (overwrites the image from the build process). Takes a couple of mins to backup and restore which is much quicker than a rebuild or the using the default image.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    It still wastes an incredible amount of space in my view and compressing the image will just take longer to restore. The other reason I created new images from scratch is because XP SP3 became available, some images appeared corrupt and many were re-installing around 75-100 Windows hotfixes! I always prefer starting from new.

    When I re-image XP on an RM network, it contains just XP SP3, IE7 and the .NET Framework (all versions). This literally takes minutes to restore, join it to the domain, then after a few reboots all the MSIs are installed automatically.

    If in some cases if you have applications for certain machines/departments, you can allocate this using the RMMC.

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    rh91uk's Avatar
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    Just one partition here for bog standard Windows Images - don't really need more than one for Windows. If we get any machines in prebuilt I usually remove all partitions and just merge it all into one and format.

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    actech (18th May 2009)

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    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    We used to run two partitions here - one for Windows and users and one for applications. It made redirecting Start menus very fiddly, so we've gone back to one partition and I've seen no problems, even with machines that have done three years on the same image.

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    Hard drives are often the slowest part of a computer so by placing data in different physical locations on the hard disk you reduce performance by increasing disk seeks as the drive heads move between the partitions. Therefore one partition is best.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    Hard drives are often the slowest part of a computer so by placing data in different physical locations on the hard disk you reduce performance by increasing disk seeks as the drive heads move between the partitions. Therefore one partition is best.
    I've never really thought about it like that. I'm not sure in practice just how much of difference you'd notice, or if it's measurable at all.

    The other problem with multiple partitions, is on some systems the disc drive is allocated D:\ and on some it could be allocated E:\ or F:\ It could get extremely fiddly (as mentioned above) if using redirected Start Menus/Desktops.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Very true. When I questioned RM why don't they have one central image on a file server (bearing in mind all the workstations are the same), they didn't really have an answer for me. It wastes an incredible amount of disk space and their method is far slower. It starts off from the second stage of re-installing XP, but is thankfully automated with an answer file.

    My method of re-imaging, joining the machine to the domain then installing all the MSIs takes 45 mins, even on low spec machines. Their method takes about 2 hours. Brilliant.
    Which is why we don't use the RM build process here. We have a basic XP image we pull down to the workstation using FOG, then it's set to automatically log in on first boot, the RM comissioning tools are pre-installed, and an autoit script calls the VB file and the computer name program, prompts you for the computer name and fills the rest of the boxes automatically - bingo one RM'd workstation in a fraction of the time. OK, so we can't remotely initiate re-builds, but we never used that feature anyway.

    Mike.

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    It is measurable (using programs like HDTune and HDTach) and unfortunately it can be quite noticeable.

    I don't have any benchmarks to hand, but the easiest way to test it would be to have a computer with two identical HDDs (one with a single partition and the other split 50/50). Then copy a large file between the different partitions and time how long it takes. You might be surprised at how big a difference it makes.

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