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by JB Burke

Q: I just got a new laptop and it has a 1 terabyte drive. The OS and all the installed software only takes up a fraction of that space. Should I partition the drive?

A: There are several things to do with a new laptop or desktop. The manufacturers make money by installing software with limited duration licenses on new PCs. Most of it is of no value to you, and takes up space and slows your computer. The first thing I would do is download and run a free program, PC Decrapifier. When you run it, it will search through your computer for all the installed software. It reminds you to create a restore point first, and then suggests you watch out for paid software – which you probably don't want to uninstall. The list it presents will probably surprise you with how much there is that you don't need or want. I just ran it on my seasoned desktop and found 20 things that I am uninstalling.

Now that your new laptop is nice and clean, you should probably partition that large hard drive. Doing so will make it easier for backup and recovery in case of problems down the road. My recommendation is to leave perhaps 100 to 150GB for your "C" system drive. That would generally be more than enough for a normal system, unless you foresee installing a lot of software (like I do). The rest would become your "D" (Data) drive. I also have a third partition ("E") for photos. A good partition tool (also free) is EaseUS Partition Master. If you are unsure how to do this, ask a PC expert friend, or perhaps attend a meeting of the Prescott Computer Society and check around for some of our local experts.

Why are smaller partitions easier to manage? If your "C" (Windows OS) system becomes corrupted and won't boot, or is infected with a difficult to remove virus, for example, it would be easier to restore just the smaller "C" drive than the whole 1TB hard drive. You do backup regularly, don't you?

Published: Courier 8/24/14 - Page 1D