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Partition size for Windows XP Professional

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Partition size for Windows XP Professional

I wonder if the knowledgeable people on this forum can help answer the following question.

I currently run a Windows ME system with a 4GB partition for the Operating System. I'm shortly going to take ME off this system and replace it with a clean installation of Windows XP Professional.

My question is this: is the 4GB partition large enough (long term) for my Windows XP Pro installation? If not, what would the recommended minimum size be?

Note that I use this primary partition for the OS only. Any programs that can be persuaded to install onto my second partition (i.e. most programs) are installed on there, together with all my data, so the primary partition is pretty much dedicated to the OS.

Of course, it'll be more convenient for me if I can just re-format the first partition and install XP on there (of course, I'll have to remove and re-install applications but my data, though backed up for safety, should be happily still there on my second partition) but if this is going to give me problems long term I'd rather put the effort in now to allocate a larger partition.

Any advice appreciated.
10 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Partition size for Windows XP Professional

4GB is fine if it's just for the OS. The min requirements are 1.5GB so you have some spare capacity. You will need to put the swap file on another disk though.

What about the rest of your system spec: Processor type/speed, ram etc, they all play a part in determining if XP will run or not. You really need a min of 256Megs and ideally 512Megs of memory to get the best out of XP.

Disks a pretty cheap now a days so if the 4GB is a single disk then why not just but a 40GB disk now.
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Partition size for Windows XP Professional

Thanks Peter Cheesy - that's useful info.

I don't think I'll have any worries with the rest of my spec. :lol: - I have 2GB of RAM (which, of course, Win ME can't make full use of - hence currently 1GB) on an Athlon 1400 box. Just ordered another disk (160GB) to add to my existing (60GB) so, in reality, increasing the partition size would be no big deal.

However, you have prompted a further question - whether it would be better to have the swap file on a bigger windows partition or stick with the 4GB and have it on another partition? In other words, are there benefits in having the swap file on a separate partition anyway?
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Partition size for Windows XP Professional

A seperate partition will prevent fragmentation
of the swap file increasing access time and
therefore performance.
However with 2Gig of RAM will you ever
need more memory ?
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Partition size for Windows XP Professional

To stop fragmentation of swap file don't let windows manage it. Just set the min & max values to the same - say 1GB for your setup - but I would still recommend putting it on a separate disk as WIndows can easily use up 1->1.5Gigs when installing patches/hotfixes, recovery data and all the other residual files that get created over time.

Also mopve things like temp internet files to another disk, that can take up quite a bit if you are not careful.

If you decide to increase the partition size to be bigger than 4GB then the above issues goes away.
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Partition size for Windows XP Professional

Quote
However with 2Gig of RAM will you ever
need more memory ?


"640Kb ought to be enough for anyone." - Bill Gates (1980)
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Partition size for Windows XP Professional

Thanks to all, including the quotes from mariglenn Smiley
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Partition size for Windows XP Professional

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Partition size for Windows XP Professional

Mobo is an Abit KG7 with latest bios update - just under 2 years old, I think. BIOS history shows support for 48-bit LBA and have checked Abit's site for XP compatibility.

Looks OK (fingers crossed). I have done the usual driver gathering exercise, too - should be fun getting it all working anyway!
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Partition size for Windows XP Professional

You should have no problems with your mobo, but read the MS article at address I posted earlier, it has a link to a patch which prevents data loss and/or corruption on large capacity drives. Good luck.

Regards

Colster
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Partition size for Windows XP Professional

Thanks - I'll pay special attention to the article and make sure I've got the necessary patch (the price for being power mad Wink )