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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

iMac - Partition or not? That is the question!

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Member Since: May 05, 2009
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I've always been a PC user until I just got fed up and purchased a mac. My new iMac is on it's way! It has a 1TB hd... so plenty of space!

Question 1: When I get my new iMac should I partition the drive or not? (Not sure if the "thinking"/advantages are the same for a Mac, since I'm brand new to this fantastic world.)

Currently: On my PC I have 2 partitions: 1 for OS & programs. 1 for the "data" (pictures, recorded TV, music, documents, etc...) This is so if I have to REINSTALL I only have to mess with the small OS/Programs partition and I don't have to mess with the data partition. (No need to restore media off of backup, etc...) Plus my PC seems to run a little more efficiently when I partition it this way.

Question 2: Should I stay with this same concept with my iMac?
Question 3: Are there any advantages to keeping the media (pictures, recorded TV, music, etc...) in the "default" areas?

Also, I plan on using VMWare Fusion 2 to do my ASP.NET development in XP. I plan on keeping my website files in the VMWare "environment" (unless u suggest otherwise.)

Question 4: Should I create it's own partition just for the VMWare environment(s)? What do you suggest?

Your advice is appreciated! I should get my iMac at the end of the week. I'm sooooo excited!!!!
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Hi and Welcome to Mac Forums!

I went through the same debate (partition or not) when I got my Mac, with its 750 GB hard drives. In the end, I could not find any real benefit to partitioning my OS from my data.

There are two "traditional" reasons to think about this:

1/ Protect your data from possible disk corruption due to something dreadful happening to your OS or one of your applications

2/ Make it simpler to install new versions of the OS

For the first of these two reasons, I note that the best defense against disk corruption is to undertake regular backups to an external volume. I do this myself and so didn't see the need for alternate protection. Further, corruption can easily occur on either partition, so partitioning is no guarantee of safety.

For the second reason, Mac OS X releases are not that common (this isn't like Linux, where new versions come out every few months) and when they DO come out, it is generally safest and fastest to completely re-install, wiping out your disk and starting from scratch. That way, there is nothing lingering in your files that may impact the behaviour of the new OS version.

Considering these two things, I decided against partitioning and haven't had any issues with it.

Neither argument above is bulletproof, and the second one is rather "wishy washy" even to me, but I could not find any compelling reason to partition and so decided against it.

Let us know what you decide!

My Macs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5 GHz, G4 Cube with 1.2 GHz Upgrade
My iStuff: 64GB iPhone 5, 64GB iPad4, 30GB iPod Video, 16GB iPod Touch
My OS': Mac OS X Lion, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Mac OS X Tiger, Mac OS 9.2.2, openSUSE 10.3
I was on the Mac-Forums honor roll for September 2007
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