Program files and hard drive partitions

Ok so i just bought a new hard. Its faster and has a lot more space then my current one. I usually make 2 partitions one for windows and one for my documents. Sometimes I run across people that also make a partition for their installed programs. My question is, are there any benefits in doing this? Do you have any problems installing any programs?

Just as a side question, how many partitions do you use and why?


Nope, not necessarily. Most of the people I know who do this believe they can save some of their installed programs by separating the partitions. The recovery is done by (a direct method of) merging a back-up of the registry with the new system registry, (a more viable method) merging the specific program registry entries. Sometimes it works, most of the times it doesn’t, and if it doesn’t, can lead to data loss. It’s not recommended. There’s no benefit to this and could only lead to more frustration. There are programs that assume you’d install them on C:\ and they won’t work if they’re not installed there. Then there are some that won’t even let you change which partition.

I use 5 partitions: (1)NTFS Windows partition (2)NTFS Documents/Back-up partition (3)Ext4 Linux partition (4)Ext4 Linux /home partition (5)swap partition.

thanks for your repsonse. ill probably just stick with 3 partitions. backup, documents, windows


My personal preference is to use two physical hard drives - one for the OS and apps and the other for user generated data.

The reasoning behind this is that I can image the OS/app drive when it is set up and then reimage whenever I feel like it without the risk of losing user generated data (which is stored on the second hard drive). The second hard disk (with the user generated data on it) is backed up regularly.

The reason I use two drives rather than two partitions on a single disk is as follows; if you get a hardware failure on a disk, it is a failure of the disk and impacts equally all partitions on the affected disk.

I’ve used this method on literally hundreds of installations and it has worked flawlessly for over a decade now.

Ewen :slight_smile:

I tend to use 1 drive with 4 partitions on my computer or tablet.

  1. Windows XP
  2. Ubuntu
  3. Linux Swap
  4. Data

The data drive being accessible to both Windows and Ubuntu for all users.


thanks everyone for your input. my suspicions were correct. i will just stick with the normal partitions (windows, documents, etc)

If it’s for a laptop, then multiple partitions to separate data “types” is fine, but for a desktop, I still think separate physical drives is the best option.

Ewen :slight_smile:

I completely agree. Once i build my new desktop (eventually) ill definitely get multiple hard drives, including an SSD for the OS.