Partitioning hard drive

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I finally pulled the trigger on a new laptop. I can't believe I waited so long.

I partitioned the 1 tb hard drive into a 300 gig partition for Windows & programs, 500 gigs for files, and the rest I didn't need right now, so I just left it as unallocated space. Eventually I might want to install some type of linux on the drive, but now I just don't need to.

My question: should I format the empty space as its own 175 or so GB partition? Will the files on the two partitions already set up, at some point, wander onto that unallocated space, leaving me without a contiguous 175 gig area of my SSD? Or is this impossible to happen?
 
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Will the files on the two partitions already set up, at some point, wander onto that unallocated space
No. The space that is not in an active partition used for a filesystem will remain empty.

It is like subdividing real estate. The physical boundaries of each parcel don't change afterward.

On a SSD you should allocate the whole drive as the filesystem so that the distribution of flash wear works better. The filesystem can be contracted later if you want another partition. On a mechanical disk it does not matter.
 

paulri

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No. The space that is not in an active partition used for a filesystem will remain empty.
It is like subdividing real estate. The physical boundaries of each parcel don't change afterward.
Thanks. That was what I thought, but I wasn't sure. In that case, I'll just leave it unallocated in case I want to merge it with my larger partition later on.


On a SSD you should allocate the whole drive as the filesystem so that the distribution of flash wear works better. The filesystem can be contracted later if you want another partition. On a mechanical disk it does not matter.
My concern about merging that unallocated space onto my files partition is that in the future--perhaps a few years--I might want to reclaim that space into a new partition, and that I wouldn't be able to, because there would be too much data & too many files scattered throughout the partition. Or would I shrink the partition first, which would have the effect of moving all the data back onto that smaller space, which would then free up teh space I need for the partition?
 
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Yes if you shrink a partition it will move files as needed so all of their data is in the new smaller space. Then the freed-up space can be reallocated.
This of course can't work if the files need more space that that they can't all fit. In that case you'd need to delete some files. But that is also where you'd be with the smaller partition in the first place, it would have become full.
 

paulri

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Earlier you said something about "the distribution of flash wear works better" if I were to use that unallocated spaced. Can you explain that, or link to an article that talks about that? I'd rather not wear out the ssd prematurely by making a new partition that isn't going to be used right now, or even having a lot of unallocated space on the drive.

Yes if you shrink a partition it will move files as needed so all of their data is in the new smaller space. Then the freed-up space can be reallocated.
This of course can't work if the files need more space that that they can't all fit. In that case you'd need to delete some files. But that is also where you'd be with the smaller partition in the first place, it would have become full.
 
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you can only write each individual bit a set amount of times, so the drive writes everywhere in turn so the whole drive ages at the same rate. A drive with double the size will last twice as long doing the same things.
 

paulri

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That makes sense.

OK I'll move that unallocated space onto my 500 gig documents partition.

you can only write each individual bit a set amount of times, so the drive writes everywhere in turn so the whole drive ages at the same rate. A drive with double the size will last twice as long doing the same things.
 
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