I have a large 6Tb external hard drive, which I am not using to boot my system at the moment, but only as a storage. I plan to store regular backups, photos (unarchieved) and some personal data.
Should I still partition the hard drive? If so, what will be the appropriate partition size and what could be the advantages and disadvantages of it (e.g. it can have low access speed or partitions will not be visible under some systems)? Are there any restrictions or performance issues in Ubuntu that I should consider?
This post gives such answer:
- Formatting Convenience - If you ever need to format, you do not have to copy your data out first since it resides on another partition. You can just format the OS partition.
- Increased Security - There is increased data security, since your data is now on another partition. Malware that affects or scan files on only one single drive will not scan your data partition.
- Improved Performance - you can defragment your OS drive for max performance, and not worry about it being fragmented so fast, since data (where it changes the most), resides on another partition.
Slower Data Moves - Moving data from one partition to another takes awhile, unlike moves in the same partition.
Set-up Inconvenience - There are advisable steps to do in order to let your OS use the other partition as data effectively without impacting your workflow. e.g Moving your My Documents folder to the other partition.
Reduced Space - When you have 2 partitions, some space is lost.
Additionally I found relevant this criteria:
- Different filesystem types - one can use different file system types on partitions, like having a "native" ext4 partition, NTFS partition if you need to exchange files with Windows machine freely (without third party software).
From what I see, there is no speed gain from partitioning a disk, even if it is large. Quite oppositely, there is a loss in speed. However, defragmentation will easier (it can be done for each partition separately), which will improve the performance.
Can anyone provide more complete list of criteria? To help you, some extra questions: When having a boot partition can be useful? Is it useful to recover the data from this hard drive? If I have a disk error in one partition, will the others work? If I plan to have multiple users for the disk, is there increased safety if I partition it? If I use it for backup, I will be copying and deleting large amounts of data every week (e.g. several hundred Gb), is it better to do such thing in different partition?
I guess all above is about physical partitions (not logical ones), but correct if it is wrong.