Partitioning Advice


I'm getting one of those cool new 667 TiBooks, lucky me :D. How do you guys think I should partition the 30gig drive? I was thinking 20-25 for OSX and it's apps, and 5-10 for OS9 and it's apps, but should I do a three partition scheme?

Any suggestions appreciated!



The smaller the partition the smaller the minimal file size. So small partitions are more efficient in storage and size. Continuous storage space is more useful.

My setup

1 GB partition for 9 and its applications. I haven't needed more.

The 350 MB swap partition helps eliminate disk frag. I didn't make it more than my physical RAM size. I just didn't see a need.

The rest for X. Editing videos? Then you need continuous space. I also wouldn't want to manage all of X's user directories, links, and etc over several partitions. Unix wants things in certain locations. Moving them is just one more thing to maintain.


What is a swap file partition? How is it used? I have read where some believe that OS 9 and OS x should be on the same partition and you should have one partition for a swap file.

I am still trying to figure out if I want to have separate partitions. Right now, I have everything on one and it works very well.


mach-o mach-o man
Whats nice about placing os9's system folder and os X's system folder on different partitions or even better on different drives, is that there is less confusion.

If you've ever used yaboot or anything like that, you'll know what I mean.

As for the Swap space:

Swap space is space for virtural memory. In OS 9 you can pick the volume for this to happen on.

In Mac OS X you can but its more dificult.

The idea/philosophy behind placing the swap space on another partition is to prevent it from fragmenting your files. Its also a nice place to put various application's swap files, like the gimp, photoshop, and vista scan (or whatever, there are many examples).

So make it large enough, at the least, for your system's swap file. If you want, double it for other stuff.

Bottom line, if you have a 30gig disk, making a 1gig partition for this really isn't a complete waste. Although I'd limit it personally to 500 megs.


Thanks kilowatt! All of this partitioning talk is very un-Mac like to me.

I can't wait for the day when all we need is os x. We have thought of using our current iMac for OS 9 and getting another mac (which we need anyway) for os x. Now that's the easy way to partition. Of course, it's not very flexible.....but it would be nice to work only in os x!:cool:


2 or 3 partitions, whatever makes you happy. I have 2 on my G3 233 laptop, and that's very cool. Put a bootable OS on either partition. If you're paranoid, but an emergency boot folder on a third partition. But with the new system control panels you can install and choose among any number of OSes per partition (logical volume) so do whatever you want.

And the idea that partition size affects file size is no longer valid under HFS+ (Mac Os Extended) as it uses 4k blocks no matter how big your HD is. ... unless you have something larger than a 16Terabyte drive. If you don't know how big a Terabyte is, then you're not at risk.

So in general it's cool to have 2 partitions in case you want to boot from one to screw around with the other. But it doesn't make your data any more safe. HD corruption eats entire HD's sometimes. and I would leave the VM stuff default on the boot drive. My swap size is often 3Gig, especially if I'm running classic, so limiting it to a little partition doesn't make sense to me. Just don't fill your boot drive too full. VM does need some room to breathe.



There is a method to my madness :)

I have had iMovie's import hose my X partition. Using the option key during boot saved my a**. I was able to run Disk Warrior and Disk First Aid on all partitions. Those programs are ineffective if the damaged drive has your current active system. Having 9 on a seperate partition is nice for organization and repairs. The third swap partition is simply there to get the most speed out of my system.

You are correct about the file size issue. That's what I get for posting a message half asleep. The file system itself takes up gobs of space on large partitions. My external 60GB HD has around 3 to 5GB taken just for the file system :-(