Using the Microsoft "FDisk" utility
cases, the FDisk utility will only confuse the inexperienced and it definitely struggles
on today's large drives. Unlike the manufacturer utilities available, you will have to
manually format the partitions too. If you ever formatted a giant partition like this,
then you know it can take virtually forever to complete. The best route is to use the
utilities supplied with your drive or download them from your manufacturer. They will make
this process much easier than you can imagine. The best utility I've ever used is IBM's
"Drive Guide". It can partition and format a 45GB drive in about 5
to the BEEF!
should be partitioned into 3 sections.
||The first partition or C
DRIVE for the operating system should be about 6 GB. This will give you plenty of room to
install the OS and programs. I recommend letting ALL programs install to their default
directories. In general, this will be C:\ Program Files. This will make your life much
easier in the long run and keeps all of them in one tidy location.
||The second partition or D
DRIVE should use the remainder of the drive minus 1 GB (we're saving that for the E:
drive). Use this partition to store all of you valuable data. For example, Word, Excel,
PowerPoint, MP3 files, etc. data. That way, should your C: drive become badly corrupted,
you can format C without losing your data! It's ALWAYS a good idea to isolate your
data from the OS system drive for this reason alone.
||The final partition or E
DRIVE will use the 1 GB you saved back. This partition should be used for the "swap
file" or "page file", temp files and Internet Explorer temp files.
Immediately after getting the OS installed, go and set the swap file to use the E: drive
BEFORE putting anything else on it. My preference is to make it 256MB minimum and 256MB
maximum. This is more than enough for 99.9% of circumstances. Doing this while the E:
drive is clean will give you what's known as a "contiguous" file. A contiguous
file is one that spans consecutive sectors on the drive keeping it in ONE piece. It will
operate much more efficiently as one solid, static piece. Next, go into Options in
Internet Explorer and tell it to use drive E: for temporary internet files. Also, create a
couple of folders called "temp", "temp2", etc. Use these folders to
keep stuff that you know you're not going to need again. That way, when you're cleaning up
the system, you know items in there are safe to delete. Setting up your E: drive
like this keeps all the "garbage" in one location.
||Try to always keep at
least 20% of each drive free for effective defragmentation. Before defragmenting, delete
all your temp files. Defragment your drives about once a month and be sure to disable/stop
ALL programs running before starting the process or it will take forever. This means
antivirus programs, screen savers, zone alarm, etc. Hitting CTRL+ALT+Delete will permit
you to shutdown any programs quickly.
||If your C: drive starts
to reach the 20% threshold, start installing programs to your D: drive. Setup another
folder called Program Files to keep them isolated from your data as much as possible.
||Periodically delete all
the temp files on the E: drive. Especially the temp internet files. Excessive temp
internet files will SLOW down your internet browsing experience!
||If you use Microsoft
Office, setup folders on D: drive called Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Access, etc. and set the
default file paths in the programs to these folders. This is normally in the
"Tools">"Options" menu choice.
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