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NTFS Partitioning Strategies
When setting up a new system using the NTFS file system, one decision that you need to make is how you are going to set up your NTFS partitions. Modern hard disks are very large; in many situations, it makes sense to not put all of the space in a hard disk into a single partition. NTFS is often used for server machines, which may make use of RAID technology to allow the creation of very large logical disks. If you have a 500 GB RAID array, it is certainly conceivable that you might not want all of that space put in a single volume!
I discuss partitioning issues, including the various tradeoffs in choosing numbers and sizes of partitions, in this comprehensive discussion of partitioning. While that discussion is oriented around the FAT file system, many of the same points apply to NTFS. A key one is that NTFS is like FAT in that the cluster size of the partition affects its performance, and the default cluster size depends on the size of the partition selected. Other general "common sense" issues are also relevant to NTFS as well as FAT; for example, not splitting up your disk into too many partitions to "organize it".
In addition to that section, here are a few specific points that you may want to keep in mind when partitioning a system with NTFS:
These suggestions should help guide you as you set up an NTFS system and determine how to partition it. Once again, I would encourage you not to worry too much about fine-tuning your partition selection strategy. Most of the other system setup and administration decisions you make in setting up the PC will have more of an impact on overall performance.