Should You Seperate Your Data into Partitions or Folders

by Richard Pedersen for Daves Computer Tips

Should You Seperate Your Data into Partitions or Folders

Two schools of thought on the best way to organize your data, programs and operating system – hard drive partitioning versus folder management.–PC Pitstop.

Hard Drive Partitions vs Folders

Note: These are only my opinions. Take them for what they may be worth. ~ Richard

There are a couple main viewpoints regarding hard drive partitioning versus folder management. Neither one is right or wrong. It is simply a difference in the way people tend to look at things.
One school of thought, mine included, says that it is a good idea to separate the operating system from the programs and the programs from the data they generate. This is accomplished by partitioning the hard drive so as to keep these things separated. This can also be accomplished with a folder system.
The other group will say the same thing can be accomplished with folders, thereby keeping everything on one partition. Personally, I don’t see the advantage to this approach. It may be simpler in some respects, but the advantages of partitioning your HDD are lost, as I see it.
The bottom line is that these are two approaches to the same solution: separation of data, programs, and the operating system
Here we go-

Let’s say that you want to install Windows 7 on your multi-terabyte Hard Disk Drive (HDD). You could install it and the Operating System (OS) wouldn’t have a problem with that.
I, on the other hand, have a problem with that. The trouble is that Windows will ultimately install everything else to that hard drive and therein lies the rub. All the programs and data and games will all get put on that same partition. It’s a mess, especially when it comes to backing up your files and photos and music and movies and databases and spreadsheets and so forth, ad infinitum. Another problem becomes apparent when you don’t have a good file-naming convention. If you are not consistent in your methods, it will soon become difficult if not impossible to find anything at all.
Wouldn’t it be nice to know that all your favorite family pictures can be found by going to the family pictures partition, or maybe, all your videos are on a video partition, or maybe, all your work documents are on the same work-oriented partition? To me, that is a well thought-out system.

In all fairness to those who prefer a single drive divided by way of folders approach, I must agree that is is an option. I happen to prefer HDD partitions. That’s just me. I’m not sure there is a definitive advantage by using folders over partitions. Perhaps it’s simply a personal choice.
Note: I don’t believe for a minute that partitioning a hard drive will in any way speed things up. It is merely a method to help you organize your data, make your backups easier to deal with, and nothing more.

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