Windows 10: Partition strategy for clean install (Win10, apps, scratch, storage)? Solved

  1.    06 Dec 2015 #1

    Partition strategy for clean install (Win10, apps, scratch, storage)?


    In need of basic advise please.

    I am building a new computer next weekend and have three drives and would appreciate your advice on a partitioning strategy for 3 drives:

    - Drive 1: New 256GB SSD m.2 pci-e SSD for Win10 and apps (autocad, sketchup, Adobe CC, rendering apps)

    - Drive 2: Old 2010 Vertex SSD which is 90-120gb (can't recall) for scratch disk/win page file for Adobe and apps

    - Drive 3: New HGST 7200rpm 4TB 3.5" HDD for files, pics, video and possible system image ( necessary on Win10?)

    1) I plan to format all 3 drives as NTFS unless there is strong suggestion to do otherwise?
    2) what is best partition strategy for Drive 1? How much GBs for partitions for Win vs Apps? Is 60GB adequate for win10 partition leaving just under 200 GB for apps?
    3) I read on win website to create 3 partitions for sys in this order: utilities; sys; win recovery. Does default win setup do this automatically or must I specify how many partitions and in what order and in what size? I'm clueless on this.
    4) Disk 2: how much risk am I taking by using 5 yr old SSD for scratch disk? The virtual memory is volatile anyway so am I just risking each current session? I plan to point page file, cache, scratch to this drive. If too risky, I presume that using boot SSD as scratch is better than using HDD #3?
    5) Disk 3: does win10 still require that user do image of opsys for recovery (using acronis et al) and, if so, how many GBs do I partition on Disk 3 and if so does it matter if it is the first or last partition on this drive 3?
    6) what win 10 should I get? At Fry's they have OEM and also USB flash drive?

    Thank you you for any advice in advance!
    Last edited by Riotubes; 06 Dec 2015 at 19:33.
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  2.    06 Dec 2015 #2

    I can tell you how I would start. Boot from the Windows 10 install USB, select custom install, delete any partitions on the first SSD, install Windows 10 to the unallocated space and let it create it's own partitions.

    Also, I would not pay full price for a Windows 10 product key, I would purchase a cheaper Windows 7 or 8 and use that product key to activate Windows 10 with.
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  3.    07 Dec 2015 #3


    If you let Windows 10 have the entire drive it's likely going to drop system files all over it so you can't shrink it easily afterwards.
    Well, not without some trickery anyway.

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  4. Posts : 2,004
    Windows 3.1 to Windows 10
       07 Dec 2015 #4

    fdegrove said: View Post

    If you let Windows 10 have the entire drive it's likely going to drop system files all over it so you can't shrink it easily afterwards.
    Well, not without some trickery anyway.

    just one of those things that make you -

    SAY WHAT ??
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  5.    07 Dec 2015 #5


    Well it happened to me on numerous counts hence my warning.
    Note also that, and it's just a habit of mine based on experience, none of my W10 installs are larger than 25Gb.
    Yet when you do a clean install on an empty drive then Windows system files are all over the place making shrinking the drive a laugh as disk manager can't move system files.

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  6. Posts : 5,701
    Windows 10 Pro X64 16299.192
       07 Dec 2015 #6

    That's ridiculous! You will spend all your time trying to keep enough free space so the PC can run at all much less well.

    Let the 250GB be the C: boot drive, exactly s NavyLCDR described. You have plenty of space in the 4TB drive for anything else. It will be divided into 3 partitions, like my 250GB Samsung SSD is and as shown I still have 168GB free:

    Click image for larger version. 

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  7.    07 Dec 2015 #7


    That's ridiculous! You will spend all your time trying to keep enough free space so the PC can run at all much less well.
    Thank you for that.
    What is ridiculous to my mind however is wasting drive space and mixing OS and data. But what do I know....

    It will be divided into 3 partitions
    Make that 4.

    To each his own,
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails ExplorerView.png  
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  • Posts : 5,701
    Windows 10 Pro X64 16299.192
       08 Dec 2015 #8

    Poorly worded, sorry. I could have phrased that a lot better. Anyway, that's why it's called a PC (Personal Computer). Everyone has their opinion or idea on how it should be setup and used. As long as your choice works for you then all is well.

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  •    08 Dec 2015 #9

    I'd leave the page file on drive 1. No point having it on a slower disk, let windows partition disk 1 (keeping apps, OS, pagefile etc in the default one partition) and make one partition each on 2 (scratch) and 3 (data). You could make a small partition on disk 3 (say 1GB) to put a Windows PE or Marcrium bootable image on to save on USB key but other than that I can't think of any benefit in partitioning.

    You do need to make system images, yes. You could keep one image of disk 1 on 3 (no need for it to be in a separate partition). Disk 3 you should backup (whatever directories you would care if you lost) to an external drive (which isn't always connected) as well.

    I'd get the cheapest 7 or 8 version I could find (Pro as I always want bitlocker) and then just install 10 Pro and use the key to activate it. If you think you might upgrade your MB in future it is probably worth getting a non OEM version so you can transfer it.
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  •    21 Dec 2015 #10

    Thanks to all who responded. I decided not to partition any of the disks. I'm using #1 as OS/apps, #2 as app scratch disk and app temp files and #3 data/archive/disk #1 images
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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