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Partition, partition, partition. An interesting trial in SPEED


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very interesting idea :-)

I'm just wondering if it's possible to "set" these custom partitions/mounts in an installation of a fresh unattended WinXP ?

(and if it is, how we do that, in a small guide for example, i'd love to test this in a VM at 1st :-) )

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey all........ after much testing in VMWare, I have posted a "pdf" file that will guide everyone on how to properly map the partitions to the appropriate folder. Feel free to give me some feedback. Enjoy!!


Edited by quasar_9000
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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey I'm a little new hear, this is a great board by the way.

Firs thing I thought I'd mention is that the attached PDF above downloads as ~44KB and when I try it to open it in FoxIt PDF reader I am told it is not a PDF or that the PDF is corrupt.

edit: Ok maybe that only happens if you're not logged in. I just tried downloading again (I'm logged in now) and it worked. Never mind then.

One thing I'll point out about C: drives, make sure they are big enough to store your page file in case something happens. For instance recently I ghosted my whole C:/S: partitions (the one HDD) so I could go to a LAN party and be only a little paranoid. When I restored this image my S: drive had reverted to D: for some reason. And since the system couldn't find S: it defaulted it to C:. I have two gigs of memory which works out to... (1.5 x 2048 = 3072) a 3,072 megabyte page file which would hardly fit on a more ~4 gig C: drive. Of course if you have 256MBs of memory you don't really have to worry about it.

In conclusion I recommend making your C: partition a little larger than four gigs or taking other precautions.

As far as installing applications to a drive other than C: I did find the extra utility SETX that will permanently change the value of the %ProgramFiles% environment variable to another value. You can get here, there's probably another link some where: MS's download page)

As for my own set up I am think of implementing something like setting up my first hard drive as C: and Page partitions and then mounting a 400 gig drive to C:\Program Files so that I don't have to worry about resetting the path of everything I install (which will help with silent installs). I'll have to SUBST to create some drives or something. That would take some getting used to.

Edited by subassy
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Experts pl forgive me if this sounds quite absurd but i would like to clear. Will it be possible mount the Programs in to a different directory by booting the system into safe mode and moving the folders into the desired drive and giving a mount diskmgmt of C:\Program Files to the desired partition. Kindly help.

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OK, I agree that this kind of research must be done, for future purposes and better answers for the future, but in the other hand, I don't understand this obssession on to be faster. Overclocking, partitons, etc. Almost all the available software still running on the same way of, at least, one decade ago. Maybe "the face and the way you move the mouse changed" but...

Most of all gains, you can't feel really. Compare a sheet or a graphic table with senses of a human body don't make sense. Put 2 machines side by side, same hardware and different configuration, and ask someboy what is the faster?

You'll be very surprised. Even identically machines have different behavior. There's a lot of things without answers, about circuits, electricity, etc.

Of course, English isn't my native idiom.

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  • 10 months later...

Hmm, interesting observations.

Have you done comparisons on the same computer (same hard drive) without the partitioning and then with. There is a school of thought that agrees with you and also a completely different school of thought that says splitting up your drive like that DECREASES speed.

Would almost definitely be a bad idea do it with different hard drives as you are then talking about splitting the OS over various hard disk controllers.

I've never really tried it and I only tend to partition to split up the disk for different OSes rather than try for performance gain. Because my computers are slow anyway (I seem to be attracted to computers with VIA processors, which, while great for their passive cooling, turn about to be about as fast as a midrange Pentium III) and so quite often my bottlekneck is actually in the processor, and not the hard disk.

Your theory sounds excellent on paper but I am skeptical until we can see actual comparisons. Like a lot of things that look good on paper, it doesn't always produce the same reliable results for real. Case in point: Windows Vista's Superfetch. Works great on fast computers, and yet it pretty much kills slower computers.

I also tend to be leaning towards FAT32 lately. Although it doesn't have journalling, permissions and supposedly isn't as reliable, I believe it to be faster. An advantage of FAT32 not having permissions means that malware which destroys your OS by altering permissions is largely useless.

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  • 3 weeks later...

lol theres nothing wrong with fat32

their both fine only ntfs is alitte bit better

if you have the choice to get ntfs get it but its not great or any thing

i still use 9x and i only got fat32 but i dont care becasue i know am not missing out from any thing on ntfs

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I used to to this procedure several years ago, actually 8years, on windows 2000/xp.

However, if you have a farely new computer there is a much faster way to increase overrall system/io performance.

Use a good partition manager to set cluster size to 64KB, disable pagefile first tho and hibernation if u have it,enable large memory pages on 64bit 2gbram+, increase critical workerthreads to 16(both). Then defragement harddrive. C:\ should be somewhere between 40GB to 60GB, suitable to keep many to insane many programs. Games should be kept at a completely different harddrive, because then games dont have to read/write to same place as windows/os has to.

Also prefetch should be disabled as it slows down system boot, unless you are going to manually optimize the layout.ini, just forget prefetch.

Also good practise is to use portable software, making the y:\program files here mentioned in #1 bloat, as you will NOT need it, since all programs should preferrably be portable and on different harddrive for optimized performance.

For even further i/o speed consider ramdisk software by superspeed software, or getting some expensive SSD sata drivers, which you place directly on sata-port on mainboard, making it a truly fast 0.1ms system access speed.


I am interested in boot speed as well, do you have any stats to verify the above settings? Because according to Microsoft removing the Prefetch does the complete opposite and prolongs the boot time. Also a large cluster size prevents using compression, and in a PC with a fast CPU decompressing on the fly may be faster than reading uncompressed data from the disk.

Now I didn't do formal timings; I just count how many times that ticker in the default Windows boot logo goes round when Windows boot. The closest I've gotten is half a round, although after accidentally deleting some files from windows the ticker now almost completes a full round before booting.

As far as I can tell, the most obvious speed increase is from defragmenting the hard disk and disabling the network adapter (each will reduce the booting time by half a round of that windows boot screen ticker).

Disabling indexing and creation of 8.3 filenames may help with file writing as well.

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