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Old 30 May 2003, 17:05   #1
Parsec
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Partitioning Questions

Lastnight I got my A1200 to recognise the 1.08Gb IBM drive I installed in it.

I am going to install WB3.1, but after playing with HDTools I decided to let the OS auto-partition the drive for me. But before proceeding, I decided to have a look at what it had decided to to. It had created an 8Mb boot partition, and then filled the drive with another partition. 8Mb ?????

Why do people bother with the system partition? Is it because (unlike Windows) you can blow away the system partition and reinstall, and all your games and apps on the other partition will still work?

I am trying to decide why I should go with two partitions, I suppose 200Mb for system then the rest for games
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Old 30 May 2003, 17:40   #2
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You don't need more than one partition, really, but it makes organising your files easier. It's also a security measure - if your Amiga crashes when booting up, for example, the computer will only have to validate the boot partition (usually between 50 and 100MB) rather than the whole (1GB) disk. Should the boot partition become corrupt, any other directories will remain unaffected.

I always had three partitions, until I acquired more hard disks than I could find uses for - Workbench, Applications and Work. The first contains the system, the second contains programs and games, and the last contains data files (pictures, mods, samples, source code, etc).
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Old 30 May 2003, 18:30   #3
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Right, so if the boot partition got totally screwed you could wipe it, reinstall the OS and the apps on the the other partitions work because they are self-contained? Cool. Wish PC's worked like that (suppose they did until Windows came along)...

It sounds like a screwed partition is not that uncommon. Is there a file system that is more reliable (SFS/PFS)?
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Old 31 May 2003, 18:31   #4
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Right, so if the boot partition got totally screwed you could wipe it, reinstall the OS and the apps on the the other partitions work because they are self-contained?
A lot of apps will. But remember that some put libraries, fonts, handlers etc in the drawers in the system partition.
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Old 31 May 2003, 22:52   #5
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The first Amigas with HDDs were delivered with a small System and a big Work partition. This has become standard.

The FastFileSystem is known to become slower the more files are on the partition and the deeper the directory structure is.

Also the file system becomes invalid from time to time when the system crashes during write access. The validation time afterwards lasts longer the more files are there.

So creating several partitions increases speed and safety.

But the decision depends on how you use your Amiga and how often you experience file system invalidation. Because of my experience I have created more and more partitions, the larger my HDDs got. My desktop looks similar to a stamp collection :-)

You probably organise the files on your hdd into topics. E.g. one drawer for graphics programs, one drawer for music programs, one for programmer's stuff, one for internet programs, one for data, one for pictures, one for mods etc. So why not create partitions instead of drawers ? Where is the difference ? Of course partitions are static in size. But HDDs are large nowadays.
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Old 01 June 2003, 00:24   #6
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The big difference between partitions and drawers is the RAM they consume. A drawer requires no memory. A partition takes 23K (each partition is treated as a separate device, and each device consumes 23K addressing space) plus enough memory to store the partition's bitmap (don't ask me what that is, but its size is directly proportional to partition and block size).

If you've got 64MB of Fast RAM, or a small drive, make as many partitions as you want. Otherwise you'll find that your RAM mysteriously vanishes.

Hard disk problems are fairly regular under the standard Fast File System. My Amiga used to hang when booting from cold, so every time I turned the system on it invalidated the boot partition. I switched to SFS, and now disk access is much faster and it is apparently impossible to invalidate the drive. It also has extra data security measures, a Windows-style recycle bin directory on every drive to prevent accidental deletion, disk integrity verification tools, etc, and it's free. (I fixed the boot problem too, which no doubt helps.)
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