D recovery partition - size required?


I

Ian Jackson

I'm looking at a friend's Samsung N220 (Windows 7 Starter) notebook to
try and sort out a few problems of apparent slowness, some of which
could be because there are lots of applications which are set to run
unnecessarily at start-up, and which I'll be attending to in due course
(not likely to be memory, as there's 2GB).

However, I've also noticed that size of the hard drive is 117GB (83GB
free) for C, and 112GB (102GB free) for D (recovery partition). Is the
size of D unnecessarily generous, or would it be more sensible to
allocate more to C - and if so, how much? There's already a lot of
information and discussion on this 'out there' - but as much is
contradictory and less than definitive, I would appreciate any informed
suggestions.
 
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S

s|b

I'm looking at a friend's Samsung N220 (Windows 7 Starter) notebook to
try and sort out a few problems of apparent slowness, some of which
could be because there are lots of applications which are set to run
unnecessarily at start-up, and which I'll be attending to in due course
(not likely to be memory, as there's 2GB).
2 GiB isn't much. 2 GiB (or 1 GiB) is the (absolute) minimum.

<http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/products/system-requirements>

In reality, I think 4 GiB is the minimum.

You can use CCleaner (portable) to clean up stuff and you can also use
it to uncheck startup items (CCleaner > Tool > Startup).

CCleaner (Portable)
However, I've also noticed that size of the hard drive is 117GB (83GB
free) for C, and 112GB (102GB free) for D (recovery partition). Is the
size of D unnecessarily generous, or would it be more sensible to
allocate more to C - and if so, how much? There's already a lot of
information and discussion on this 'out there' - but as much is
contradictory and less than definitive, I would appreciate any informed
suggestions.
117 GiB - 83 GiB = 34 GiB

There's 83 GiB of free space for C: To me, that seems more than enough.
I'm pretty sure that making that partition larger won't make the
notebook faster.

Have you checked how much memory is used after startup?
 
I

Ian Jackson

2 GiB isn't much. 2 GiB (or 1 GiB) is the (absolute) minimum.

<http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/products/system-requirements>

In reality, I think 4 GiB is the minimum.
Surely W7 (which is 32-bit) can't even see more than 3.5GB. Most W7
Starter notebooks - because they usually have slowish processors and are
generally intended to be used for relatively 'sedate' applications -
come with only 1GB (unless more is asked for). I would have thought that
2GB is not causing a speed limitation for the sort of things my friend
is using it for.
You can use CCleaner (portable) to clean up stuff and you can also use
it to uncheck startup items (CCleaner > Tool > Startup).

CCleaner (Portable)
<https://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/builds>
Yup - I use CC both for crap-cleaning and for stopping unnecessary
startups.
117 GiB - 83 GiB = 34 GiB

There's 83 GiB of free space for C: To me, that seems more than enough.
I'm pretty sure that making that partition larger won't make the
notebook faster.
But that's not really why I was wondering whether 112GB is
overly-generous for the D partition. It's simply if it's far more than
necessary, some of it might as well be donated to the C (just in case!).
Have you checked how much memory is used after startup?
Not so far - but I will be.
 
K

Ken1943

I'm looking at a friend's Samsung N220 (Windows 7 Starter) notebook to
try and sort out a few problems of apparent slowness, some of which
could be because there are lots of applications which are set to run
unnecessarily at start-up, and which I'll be attending to in due course
(not likely to be memory, as there's 2GB).

However, I've also noticed that size of the hard drive is 117GB (83GB
free) for C, and 112GB (102GB free) for D (recovery partition). Is the
size of D unnecessarily generous, or would it be more sensible to
allocate more to C - and if so, how much? There's already a lot of
information and discussion on this 'out there' - but as much is
contradictory and less than definitive, I would appreciate any informed
suggestions.
It's a netbook. Max ram is 2gig. Does it come with a way to make system
restore dvd. Probably need an external cd/dvd burner. This Asus netbook
has a way to make a usb stick recovery. The recovery is only about 5
gigs.

A system recovery partition usually doesn't have a drive letter.
Don't know how they make their recovery partition, but I would not fool
with it.


KenW
 
J

John Williamson

But that's not really why I was wondering whether 112GB is
overly-generous for the D partition. It's simply if it's far more than
necessary, some of it might as well be donated to the C (just in case!).
What I do is to reduce the size of C: to about 40GiB, (Windows,
applications, hibernation file and swapfile fit there quite well for
me.) and move all the user data onto the D: drive. This has no effect on
the speed, but it does give you the reassurance of knowing that any
system problems are less likely to lose any data.

On a netbook I use day to day, I found that the sweet spot for RAM is 2
GiB. It's usually the maximum a netbook will take anyway, and the
reduction in swapping over having 1 GiB of RAM is the best and cheapest
way to increase the speed of the machine.

Reducing the size of C: also makes your system image smaller, so it's
quicker to backup and restore the system after any problems, while
making data backup easier as you only need worry about synchronising the
D: drive with an external drive, without having to search for data
hidden in the folders on your C: drive.
 
S

s|b

Surely W7 (which is 32-bit)
Or 64-bit, unless you are referring to W7 Starter? In that case, I did
not know it was 32-bit only.
But that's not really why I was wondering whether 112GB is
overly-generous for the D partition. It's simply if it's far more than
necessary, some of it might as well be donated to the C (just in case!).
Aha, I only use C: for Windows and programs. All my other data is on D:
(not only another partition, but also another hdd). I do the same for
laptops.

Downloads
My Documents
My Music
My Pictures
My Videos

I moved them all to D:/[User] I also moved all temp-files/folders to D:
 
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J

Jeff Layman

It's a netbook. Max ram is 2gig. Does it come with a way to make system
restore dvd. Probably need an external cd/dvd burner. This Asus netbook
has a way to make a usb stick recovery. The recovery is only about 5
gigs.

A system recovery partition usually doesn't have a drive letter.
Don't know how they make their recovery partition, but I would not fool
with it.
On my Win7HPx64 laptop the Recovery Partition (D:) is 12.6GB, of which
2.1GB is free space. There is also a hidden System Partition which is
199MB.
 
I

Ian Jackson

Jeff Layman said:
On my Win7HPx64 laptop the Recovery Partition (D:) is 12.6GB, of which
2.1GB is free space. There is also a hidden System Partition which is
199MB.
Noted.
 
I

Ian Jackson

Ken1943 said:
It's a netbook. Max ram is 2gig. Does it come with a way to make system
restore dvd.
Don't know (but probably).
Probably need an external cd/dvd burner. This Asus netbook
has a way to make a usb stick recovery. The recovery is only about 5
gigs.
I've had a look using Disk Management, and the hard disc is divided as
follows:
*An un-named volume, status 'Healthy (Recovery Partition)' Capacity
15GB, Free 15GB
*An un-named volume, status 'Healthy (Primary Partition)' Capacity
4.39GB, Free 4.39GB
*C: NTFS status 'Healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary
Partition)' Capacity 108.89GB, Free 80.06GB
*D: NTFS status 'Healthy (Logical Drive)' Capacity 104.51GB, Free
95,43GB
*SYSTEM NTFS status 'Healthy (System, Active, Primary Partition)'
Capacity 100MB, Free 70MB

On the D partition are four files (user1.woo - 1kB, user1.wc1 -
4,192,356kB, user1.w01 - 4,192,314kB and user1.w02 - 1,030,587kB)
A system recovery partition usually doesn't have a drive letter.
Don't know how they make their recovery partition, but I would not fool
with it.
I don't have much idea what much of the above means, except that D
partition does seem unnecessarily large - especially as in the way the
computer would appear to be configured, in normal operation I doubt if
much will ever be written to it.
 
I

Ian Jackson

John Williamson said:
What I do is to reduce the size of C: to about 40GiB, (Windows,
applications, hibernation file and swapfile fit there quite well for
me.) and move all the user data onto the D: drive. This has no effect
on the speed, but it does give you the reassurance of knowing that any
system problems are less likely to lose any data.

On a netbook I use day to day, I found that the sweet spot for RAM is 2
GiB. It's usually the maximum a netbook will take anyway, and the
reduction in swapping over having 1 GiB of RAM is the best and cheapest
way to increase the speed of the machine.

Reducing the size of C: also makes your system image smaller, so it's
quicker to backup and restore the system after any problems, while
making data backup easier as you only need worry about synchronising
the D: drive with an external drive, without having to search for data
hidden in the folders on your C: drive.
I'm aware of the advantages of keeping the operating system separate on
one drive (or partition) and your data elsewhere, but my intention is
really not to mess around any more than necessary with this computer (if
it ain't broke etc). The primary objective is simply to check if it is
running rather slowly. Personally, I don't think it's bad at all - but I
will stop some of the startup applications. The reduction of what
appears to be a surprisingly large D partition is something which 'seems
a good idea at the time', but as my friend is unlikely to fill up the C
partition very quickly, I'm sure she'll never see any real benefit from
me doing it.
 
I

Ian Jackson

Surely W7 (which is 32-bit)
Or 64-bit, unless you are referring to W7 Starter? In that case, I did
not know it was 32-bit only.
But that's not really why I was wondering whether 112GB is
overly-generous for the D partition. It's simply if it's far more than
necessary, some of it might as well be donated to the C (just in case!).
Aha, I only use C: for Windows and programs. All my other data is on D:
(not only another partition, but also another hdd). I do the same for
laptops.

Downloads
My Documents
My Music
My Pictures
My Videos

I moved them all to D:/[User] I also moved all temp-files/folders to D:
Yes, it's a good idea to keep your data from clogging up the C-drive,
and gradually encroaching on the workings of the OS and the programs.
This is certainly true on this PC, where I've managed gradually to
reduce a 120GB hard disk to 15GB free (for example, I've got 23GB of
photos sitting there, essentially clogging up the works). If spring ever
does come to the UK (0 centigrade here at the moment), I resolve to do
some serious spring cleaning!
 
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G

Gene E. Bloch

Don't know (but probably).


I've had a look using Disk Management, and the hard disc is divided as
follows:
*An un-named volume, status 'Healthy (Recovery Partition)' Capacity
15GB, Free 15GB
*An un-named volume, status 'Healthy (Primary Partition)' Capacity
4.39GB, Free 4.39GB
*C: NTFS status 'Healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary
Partition)' Capacity 108.89GB, Free 80.06GB
*D: NTFS status 'Healthy (Logical Drive)' Capacity 104.51GB, Free
95,43GB
*SYSTEM NTFS status 'Healthy (System, Active, Primary Partition)'
Capacity 100MB, Free 70MB

On the D partition are four files (user1.woo - 1kB, user1.wc1 -
4,192,356kB, user1.w01 - 4,192,314kB and user1.w02 - 1,030,587kB)

I don't have much idea what much of the above means, except that D
partition does seem unnecessarily large - especially as in the way the
computer would appear to be configured, in normal operation I doubt if
much will ever be written to it.
Guessing from the file sizes, I'd say that the three files are iso or
similar disk image files for writing to DVDs, with .w01 corresponding to
the first DVD, and so on. w00 might be an index or control file.

The result would be a bootable DVD used for recovery. If you were to
follow the procedure to make a recovery disk set, you might not need the
D: partition any more.

Advice: don't trust what I just said :)

BTW, in agreement with Ken1943's remark about recovery partitions not
having a drive letter: when I get a computer in which that partition
does have a letter, I always immediately remove the drive letter. This
is a prophylactic measure to avoid accidentally doing *anything* to that
partition.
 
R

R. C. White

Hi, Ian.

I can translate some of your Disk Management output.
*SYSTEM NTFS status 'Healthy (System, Active, Primary Partition)' Capacity
100MB, Free 70MB
This is your System Partition. When your computer is powered on, after the
POST (Power-On Self Test - usually hidden these days, since most users don't
know what it means, anyhow), contents of this partition are used to find the
Boot Volume. The only critical files here are Hidden and System files, so
it may look like the partition is empty. The "bootmgr" file is less than
300,000 bytes. The \Boot folder contains the BCD (Boot Configuration Data),
consisting of about 100 files in dozens of languages, totaling about 22 MB.
So the total usage for all this is less than 30 MB, leaving the 70 MB you
see from the 100 MB capacity of the partition. This obviously is a very
important partition, so leave it alone.
*C: NTFS status 'Healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition)'
Capacity 108.89GB, Free 80.06GB
This is the Boot Volume. It holds the entire C:\Windows folder tree, which
holds the entire Windows operating system, including thousands of folders,
subfolders and files, totaling 10s of GBs. You have ~80 GB free of ~109 GB
capacity; the ~28 GB used seems like a typical Win7 system. (But note that
Win7 can grow much larger, depending on the hardware and software
configuration of your specific computer. Mine has 56 GB free on the 102 GB
Boot Volume.)
*D: NTFS status 'Healthy (Logical Drive)' Capacity 104.51GB, Free 95,43GB
This volume has no special Status (System, Boot, Page File, etc.), so it is
all available for "data", consisting of your choice of applications, photos,
music, documents...or whatever you choose. Gene's guesses as to what the
files you listed might be are at least as good as mine might be, so I'll not
tackle that question. But...
...that D partition does seem unnecessarily large...
I think most of us would agree that there's no such thing as too large, when
it comes to data disks - unless you need the disk capacity for some other
use. This can become like Fibber McGee's closet (if you're old enough to
remember that), but if you keep your files properly organized, the sky's the
limit for a data drive. ;<}

I know nothing about those two small unlettered, unnamed, empty partitions
at the front of your disk; they probably are proprietary to your specific
computer model. You'll need to consult documentation about your computer.

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP (2002-2010)
Windows Live Mail 2012 (Build 16.4.3505.0912) in Win8 Pro


"Ian Jackson" wrote in message
Ken1943 said:
It's a netbook. Max ram is 2gig. Does it come with a way to make system
restore dvd.
Don't know (but probably).
Probably need an external cd/dvd burner. This Asus netbook
has a way to make a usb stick recovery. The recovery is only about 5
gigs.
I've had a look using Disk Management, and the hard disc is divided as
follows:
*An un-named volume, status 'Healthy (Recovery Partition)' Capacity
15GB, Free 15GB
*An un-named volume, status 'Healthy (Primary Partition)' Capacity
4.39GB, Free 4.39GB
*C: NTFS status 'Healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary
Partition)' Capacity 108.89GB, Free 80.06GB
*D: NTFS status 'Healthy (Logical Drive)' Capacity 104.51GB, Free
95,43GB
*SYSTEM NTFS status 'Healthy (System, Active, Primary Partition)'
Capacity 100MB, Free 70MB

On the D partition are four files (user1.woo - 1kB, user1.wc1 -
4,192,356kB, user1.w01 - 4,192,314kB and user1.w02 - 1,030,587kB)
A system recovery partition usually doesn't have a drive letter.
Don't know how they make their recovery partition, but I would not fool
with it.
I don't have much idea what much of the above means, except that D
partition does seem unnecessarily large - especially as in the way the
computer would appear to be configured, in normal operation I doubt if
much will ever be written to it.
 
C

Char Jackson

Yes, it's a good idea to keep your data from clogging up the C-drive,
and gradually encroaching on the workings of the OS and the programs.
This is certainly true on this PC, where I've managed gradually to
reduce a 120GB hard disk to 15GB free (for example, I've got 23GB of
photos sitting there, essentially clogging up the works). If spring ever
does come to the UK (0 centigrade here at the moment), I resolve to do
some serious spring cleaning!
You mentioned "clogging" twice in the post above. I'm curious, what do you
mean by that? It's obviously not the dictionary definition of clogging,
which is why I ask.
 
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G

Gene E. Bloch

Thanks, but those are the definitions that don't apply. Apparently, you
either have something else in mind or you're confused regarding the effects
of having a large number of files on your hard drive. Hint: they don't clog
anything just by being there.
Perhaps we should think about the possibility that this is what is
meant:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clogging
 
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