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Partitions, is this a good strategy ?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Here's what I'll do after I receive my new dual GHz in a month (didn't purchased it yet ). It will be my first operation on my new computer.

The machine will come with an 80 GB HD, single partition (I presume). I'll make 4 partitions on it :

1- A "small" partition just for a vanilla MacOS X, used as normal OS.

2- A "big" partition for all my applications (OS X and OS 9). This partition will have an OS 9 installed on it, but no OS X.

3- A "medium" partition for an experimental OS X, so I could do tweaks, hacks, experiments and shareware stuff on it.

4- A "big" partition to hold all my files, documents, text files, images, pictures, music, etc. but no applications on it. No boot system. Just documents and files.

Do you think this is a good strategy ?

I want ALL my documents to be safe. Not just on backups. That way, if I screw up something with OS X, I should be able to reinstall the OS without reinstalling all my files and applications.

I want to be able to test shareware things and new applications on OS X, and have a vanilla OS X ready on another partition just in case. Do you think this is a good idea ?

I'm new to OS X, so I'm not sure if this could work. This strategy is the one I'm using on my old computer and it saved me many times in the past.

Is it possible to have many OS X on different partitions of the same HD ?

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post #2 of 21
hrm. not quite.

in OS X applications don't like to be seperated from the Apps folder at the base of OS X, updaters don't find them and permissions get screwy.

1. large partition for os x and your x apps

2. large partition for your documents

3. medium partition for 9 and your 9 apps

4. medium sized 'test' os x if you really think you need to... i personally wouldn't, but YMMV.

Currently i have my drive in this scheme.

1. large partition for OS X and X apps

2. small (512mb) partition for my swap files

I'd recommend dedicating a partition for your swap files, it dropped my app launch time by half- however i'm on an ancient g3450, i can't really speak of the performance benefit on a much faster dual gigger... so once again YMMV.
post #3 of 21
[quote]Originally posted by janitor:
<strong>hrm. not quite.

in OS X applications don't like to be seperated from the Apps folder at the base of OS X, updaters don't find them and permissions get screwy.
snip
</strong><hr></blockquote>

My drive is split up three ways:

-1 small partition for OS X(and a few apps, see below)

-1 large partition for the majority of apps(X, 9 apps and an OS 9 system folder for classic)

-1 large partition for docs(pics, mp3's, files, etc.)

There are some apps(very few so far like NetBarrier, SETI and USB Overdrive) that do need to stay on the X drive in it's apps folder and I keep those exceptions there. For the most part though everything works fine the way I have it. I like the original poster's idea of having a small partition for an experimental X drive. If I had an 80 gig drive, I'd do that as well so I could hack around, explore, learn, etc. without screwing up my main system. I figure that the docs partition gets the most work so it is definitely good to keep it separate. I moved my swap file to my docs partition as well with Swap Cop. I'll most likely being scraping all the 9 stuff(except a few games)off of the apps partition by the end of the year.

Scott

[ 02-26-2002: Message edited by: AsahiToro ]</p>
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by janitor:
<strong>hrm. not quite.

in OS X applications don't like to be seperated from the Apps folder at the base of OS X, updaters don't find them and permissions get screwy.
.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Aarghh! Are you sure about this ? If this is true, then I see this as a MAJOR downgrade from older MacOS. On my old Mac (with sys 7.1), I'm placing my apps in different folders, anywhere on the HD. I usually class them by "usefullness". For example :

1- One folder for all the wordprocessing apps,

2- Another folder for all the graphics apps (like Photoshop, Color-it! and some others),

3- A folder for the drawing apps, like FreeHand and Illustrator,

4- A folder for the maths and science apps.

Etc.... Those folders are placed at the root level of some partition, so when I open the partition, I see them clearly.

Can I do that in OS X ? Please !!!

Maybe I should ask this in another thread, but too late.

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

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Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

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post #5 of 21
[quote]Originally posted by Kali:
<strong>

Aarghh! Are you sure about this ? If this is true, then I see this as a MAJOR downgrade from older MacOS. On my old Mac (with sys 7.1), I'm placing my apps in different folders, anywhere on the HD. I usually class them by "usefullness". For example :

1- One folder for all the wordprocessing apps,

2- Another folder for all the graphics apps (like Photoshop, Color-it! and some others),

3- A folder for the drawing apps, like FreeHand and Illustrator,

4- A folder for the maths and science apps.

Etc.... Those folders are placed at the root level of some partition, so when I open the partition, I see them clearly.

Can I do that in OS X ? Please !!!

Maybe I should ask this in another thread, but too late.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I've done that on my apps partition. I have separate folders for graphics, internet, office stuff, games, etc.. Each have an icon on the dock to easily access anything. No problems so far.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by AsahiToro:
<strong>

I've done that on my apps partition. I have separate folders for graphics, internet, office stuff, games, etc.. Each have an icon on the dock to easily access anything. No problems so far.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Few!! Can someone else confirm this, so I can sleep in peace ?

Can we really place everything everywhere (except in the system folder), like in the old days ? It should, or I'll smash Apple!

Can I even delete the "Applications" folder if I don't want to use it ? I guess not.

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

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Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

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post #7 of 21
[quote]Originally posted by Kali:
<strong>

Few!! Can someone else confirm this, so I can sleep in peace ?

Can we really place everything everywhere (except in the system folder), like in the old days ? It should, or I'll smash Apple!

Can I even delete the "Applications" folder if I don't want to use it ? I guess not.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I wouldn't delete your Applications folder on the OS X partition. Again, from my experience, there are some apps(usually system related) that need to stay there. Beyond that, I basically put anything anywhere on the other partitions. Hope this helps,

Scott
post #8 of 21
In OS X revision updates, some Apple applications may be updated; for instance Mail in the 10.1.3 update. If you move these applications elsewhere, the updater won't find them.

I'd suggest getting used to keeping all of your applications in the applications folder on the same partition as OS X and put aliases for them wherever you like. Problem solved.
post #9 of 21
post #10 of 21
See <a href="http://forums.appleinsider.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=5&t=000438" target="_blank">my post here</a> for answers about your apps.

In general, I strongly advise against partitioning drives. I could go into a looong discussion here, but I'll be brief. If you must, I'd suggest a two-partition setup down the middle. That way you can have two OSX's if you want to screw around with the system and are afraid you'll really mess things up. You don't need a separate partition for OS9; it can go wherever you want it to. You don't need a separate partiton for swap files; that's just plain silly. What's the point? Your Mac is still polling the same drive for data; so, why just move it to a different section? It won't make it any faster. Moving swap to a separate drive, on the other hand...

Anyway, I've said my bit. Don't split into partitions. One big partition is fine.

[ 02-26-2002: Message edited by: starfleetX ]</p>
post #11 of 21
Yeah, I used to partition my drives like crazy, but that just doesn't make sense to me any more. I have two drives in my machines, and each has only one partition. Each has Mac OS installed though for HDD/data maintenance and repair.
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post #12 of 21
[quote]Originally posted by Kali:
[QB]

Aarghh! Are you sure about this ? If this is true, then I see this as a MAJOR downgrade from older MacOS. On my old Mac (with sys 7.1), I'm placing my apps in different folders, anywhere on the HD. I usually class them by "usefullness". <hr></blockquote>

I've done this in my dock.

My OS X Applications folders are one big, flat mess. A lot of my updaters have expected to see the Applications folder organized as Apple organized.

I placed folders with aliases to applications in my dock. Folder automatically go to the right side of the dock.

So on the left, I have applications currently running plus any apps I need drag-and-drop access to, like DropStuff and TextEdit.

On the right, I have seven folders (with custom icons so I can identify them quickly) plus the trash can.

It's worked well for me, and I rarely go into my applications folder.
post #13 of 21
I leave all the apps that came in the Applications folder where they were. I have another Applications folder in my home directory where I put other apps. Everything works fine for me.
post #14 of 21
Partitioning CAN be a good idea, especially in an Unix world and MacOSX...

It makes sence to split up the system and the rest of the data on your disk, just to make sure the system doesnt run out on space for its VM files. Also, if you are running servers, you might as well put the user accessible areas on a different partition for the same reasons or work with several partitions, just to ensure space for different groups.

Also, when you poke around a lot in the Mac OS X system like I do and you screw up you can just boot with the system software cd, select you partition, reformat and reinstall. Doing so on a 1 partition setup would involve booting into OS9 and getting rid of the invisible folders on the root with resedit before being able to boot from the installer, which is much more fuss.

Thirdly, Its a lot safer. If one of your partitions get screwed up, you still have the others. With a 1 partition setup, everything is lost. For example I once knew of a server that worked with a data and boot partition, the boot partition got corrupted entirely but the data partition was still ok, so they managed to recuperate from the crash very easily. Having a 1 partition solution would involve the restoration of the entire drive from scratch.

I personally keep 4 partitions on my HD. One for Mac OS 9, One for a 'Trusted' MacOSX, one for an 'Experimental' MacOSX, and one for my data and applications. I just fill the Applications folder with aliasses to the subdirectories I keep for apps and leave the apple stuff inthere so theres no fuss with upgrading from the update pane. I used to have 2 Mac OS 9 partitions but since Mac OS 9 is a dead end, I switched configuration.

Hope this is of any help to you,

/x4
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by iks_iv:
<strong>Partitioning CAN be a good idea, especially in an Unix world and MacOSX...

It makes sence to split up the system and the rest of the data on your disk, ...
...
Thirdly, Its a lot safer. If one of your partitions get screwed up, you still have the others. With a 1 partition setup, everything is lost. ...

I personally keep 4 partitions on my HD. One for Mac OS 9, One for a 'Trusted' MacOSX, one for an 'Experimental' MacOSX, and one for my data and applications.
/x4</strong><hr></blockquote>

This is exactly what I do on my old system, and what I wanted to do for my new system to come in a month.

It saved me lots of troubles before, and I'm sure it's the right strategy. Thanks all.

A separate partition for all the documents (and only documents) is the right thing to do, IMO. You're absolutly safe that way.

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

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13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

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post #16 of 21
I haven't gotten my iMac yet, so I need to ask the question: doesn't OS X have a /etc/fstab, or some sort of analogue? If so, you could build a partition for apps and mount it as /Applications

Just a guess.
post #17 of 21
[quote]Originally posted by starfleetX:
<strong>See <a href="http://forums.appleinsider.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=5&t=000438" target="_blank">my post here</a> for answers about your apps.

In general, I strongly advise against partitioning drives. I could go into a looong discussion here, but I'll be brief. If you must, I'd suggest a two-partition setup down the middle. That way you can have two OSX's if you want to screw around with the system and are afraid you'll really mess things up. You don't need a separate partition for OS9; it can go wherever you want it to. You don't need a separate partiton for swap files; that's just plain silly. What's the point? Your Mac is still polling the same drive for data; so, why just move it to a different section? It won't make it any faster. Moving swap to a separate drive, on the other hand...

Anyway, I've said my bit. Don't split into partitions. One big partition is fine.

[ 02-26-2002: Message edited by: starfleetX ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

<a href="http://www.ResExcellence.com/hack_html_01/08-15-01.shtml" target="_blank">MacOS X VM Swapfile Benchmark Results</a>

Read the last 2 paragraphs. Also, my swap files are on a seperate partition and my load times have gone from between 3-5 bounces to 1-3. ugh, have you actually tried it? jesus.
post #18 of 21
[quote]Originally posted by janitor:
<strong>

<a href="http://www.ResExcellence.com/hack_html_01/08-15-01.shtml" target="_blank">MacOS X VM Swapfile Benchmark Results</a>

Read the last 2 paragraphs. Also, my swap files are on a seperate partition and my load times have gone from between 3-5 bounces to 1-3. ugh, have you actually tried it? jesus.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Note that the guy at ResExcellence didn't only put his swap files on a separate partition, but that partition was also located on a separate physical drive!

That's a huge difference.

I don't think anyone would argue that putting swap on another drive improves performance, it's just that putting it on another partition on the same drive doesn't give you any immediate speed boost.

Putting swap files and other frequently changing files in a separate partition even on the same drive does help with file fragmentation, though, thus helping to reduce speed degradation caused by it in the long run. Actually, that's the main reason why, besides swap, /var and /tmp are often on separate partitions on Unix systems, too.

Bye,
RazzFazz

[ 02-28-2002: Message edited by: RazzFazz ]</p>
post #19 of 21
On a similar note, if your VM file grows and shrinks that could be a good reason to keep it on its own partition (same HD or not). If you keep it on your drive with your OS, docs, and apps which fragment into many little pieces over the entire drive over time, the VM file would have to grow and shrink around those pieces thus becoming fragmented itself. In the end, it may not be that big of a deal having it all on 1 partition/drive if you have a truly vast drive with plenty of space to expand into. That may reduce the chances of your VM file ever needing to grow into a space already filled with fragments. It all depends on where the stuff ends up in the first place, I suppose. Given that, you could at least sway things in your favor by deliberately putting the VM on its own partition.
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post #20 of 21
[quote]Originally posted by Kali:
<strong>

Aarghh! Are you sure about this ? If this is true, then I see this as a MAJOR downgrade from older MacOS. On my old Mac (with sys 7.1), I'm placing my apps in different folders, anywhere on the HD. I usually class them by "usefullness". For example :

1- One folder for all the wordprocessing apps,

2- Another folder for all the graphics apps (like Photoshop, Color-it! and some others),

3- A folder for the drawing apps, like FreeHand and Illustrator,

4- A folder for the maths and science apps.

Etc.... Those folders are placed at the root level of some partition, so when I open the partition, I see them clearly.

Can I do that in OS X ? Please !!!

Maybe I should ask this in another thread, but too late.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Kali -

Is it me or have you been pondering on what tower to buy for the past month only to always come up with some reason that Apple is screwing up or the towers are broke or the graphics cards are not good enough....now it's partitions in OSX. If you are so unhappy with everything that is Mac, why are you buying a Mac? Or are you Macintosh in disguise?!?

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post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Bodhi:
<strong>

Kali -

Is it me or have you been pondering on what tower to buy for the past month only to always come up with some reason that Apple is screwing up or the towers are broke or the graphics cards are not good enough....now it's partitions in OSX. If you are so unhappy with everything that is Mac, why are you buying a Mac? Or are you Macintosh in disguise?!?

<img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" /> </strong><hr></blockquote>

When I put many thousands of dollars on something, I'm always taking all informations about it before buying. That way, I'm sure I'll make a good decision. Not you ?

I'm already sure the Dual is a nice machine. There's no doubt it's the machine I'll buy. But I'm not in a hurry, so I'm taking time to get all informations about this system and the problems I may experience with it. I will never put several thousands of $ without doing this.

And there's a very simple rule in the computer world : Never, ever, buy any Apple product within its first 2 months of release.

I'm just a prudent and paranoid person. That's all.

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

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Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

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