Partition W7

What's the best way to partition W7?

If I have a 500GB disk should I create a 100GB partition for the C drive then another partition of 400GB as the E drive.

Should I then save programs in the C drive and files in the E drive, or both programs and files in the E drive (If this is the case do I need to create new folders in this drive and if so is this a copy of the C drive file structure - Program Files etc?).

I am guessing I can format it before or after W7 is installed.


Essential Member
Hello and welcome to :)

During the installation of most programs, You can choose where to install the program. For simplicity sake I'd recommend keeping programs in your installation drive, and all your personal files on the 400 GB partition.

Hope this helps :)

Joe S

Excellent Member
That is pretty much how I set up my drives. One partition for system and programs the other for data.

Thanks very much. That sort of makes sense and was the answer I was looking for.:D

It would have been pretty difficult to install both files and programs in the 400GB partition, which would have been quite scrappy. I need to get myself used to this arrangement now!

Just wondering what your opinion is on zeroing a HDD before installing Windows. I normally use DBAN but am wondering if this does lead to a performance improvement (ie. quicker read and write times) than if a user does not do this.


Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
I would certainly recommend manual partitioning before install windows (and also endorse the recommendations above - C drive for op sys and installed apps, Second partition for data). I'd also recommend looking at Acronis True Image (or similar - there are some free packages do similar jobs) to enable you to image your drive C to an image file to be stored on the data drive. With standard compression this would generate a file just a little more than 50% of the space used on drive C and can enable a full recovery including all updates, configuration and installed apps in minutes). A good third party app which can enable partition management and also includes a tool to burn a bootable version to cd is easeus partition manager which you can get for free from here:

EASEUS FREE Partition Manager Software. Free Partition Magic alternative for Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7 and Windows Server 2000/2003/2008. Hard Drive partition software.

Joe S

Excellent Member
Pat I've used the Acronis and like too. I think a restore of image takes less than 15 min. I make my image from the rescue CD.

Thanks - I will look into Acronis if I start accumulating important data...

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