Lately I’ve been juggling a huge amount of files, from scratch disks to films to documents. A friend suggested I partition my hard drive to accommodate for use on; OS X, Windows and Linux as well as giving me -theoretically- separate disks/volumes for different file types, categories or recipients (ie. work for clients on one volume and personal work on another). Also, working on a mac, I want a drive to use as a time machine back-up.
I feel that, for both creatives, and techies alike this is a hot topic. I mean, do you multiply the amount of drives and lose space with each partition or keep your space and have an extensive folder system to navigate (if you’re as precious about your file and system organisation as I am) or do you just put your hand in your pocket, bite your lip and buy multiple external drives?
Partitioning a hard drive on any operating system is fairly easy, if you want to know how drop a comment below or tweet me. Although please note that when creating a partition in a hard drive, the drive will format itself so copy it all to your computers internal drive.
I have had a play with partitioning an old 320gb USB 2.0 hard drive and here are my thoughts. My initial opinion was “why?” but after a while I began to find it extremely intuitive as I instantly knew which files where in which area and what types of files they would be, this meant it was a lot quicker to find what I wanted. I also tried partitioning based on what the files where (ie. personal, work, college, creatabot etc), I found this extremely helpful as it had a server/cloud like approach to finding files. I’m always pushing to increase my productivity, I found that this really does boost my productivity as it is so simple to find things. If like myself you work across different systems, formatting a partition to be compatible with Windows and the other partition Mac made life a lot easier when transferring files, code and other data. This means you don’t have to rely on services like; Dropbox (which is a great application, that I use daily), Google Drive and Droplr, which are a little slow for transferring files -this is not what they where designed for- but instead can just drag and drop between systems instantly (depending on file size).
Some of the downsides I found were; it took a few attempts to get the partition sizes right as different file types needed more space than others or different categories received more data than others, I could just make folders within the hard drive to separate things out that way which would mean I could rearrange things easily if space became an issue and it adds possibly unnecessary icons to your otherwise minimalist desktop (unless you’re a clutter offender).
Using a partitioned drive as a scratch disk is a really nifty way of staying organised although it does lead to a slight speed decrease (unless you’re running USB3.0, Firewire 800 or Thunderbolt where it is almost unnoticeable), I would recommend using hard drives as scratch disks for important edits as you can set each partition to collate certain data or duplicates. If you’re an ‘Avid’ user then a speedy partitioned hard drive is exceptionally helpful as you can set one partition as the linked volume, one as the linked drive/folder and another to store the rushes (obviously you’d back them up somewhere else as well, wouldn’t you?).
Over all, I would definitely -if you have the space and a spare drive- recommend partitioning an external hard drive as I have found it boosts productivity and gives me the ability (when editing pictures or video) to save the edits, files and metadata on a separate drive to that of the all important RAW images or rushes.