Another benefit of partitioning is a noticeable performance gain by short-stroking
. This means you partition a very small part of your drive, such as a 250GB partition on a 1TB drive, and anything you place in that 250GB partition is "forced" to be on a certain area of the drive platter (the outer edge) which is read and written to quicker due to the hard drive head being closer to your 250GB partition data than the other 750GB.
You can even create multiple partitions to achieve this. If you have a 1TB drive, I'd create a tiny partition that is just enough to hold Windows 7 + updates + programs, maybe 30GB or 40GB. This means your OS and programs will load up very fast. I'd then have a second larger partition of maybe 300GB (about 30% of the drive capacity) for games, so that they can load faster. The remaining ~650GB would all just be left on the side for music, video, documents, etc. as those types of files typically don't need fast read times to open up quickly.
Yes, if your drive fails, you lose everything on all partitions. But that's no different from your drive failing if you had no partitions; you'd still lose everything. No matter what, you always need to make sure to backup any files you would hate to lose. Little off topic here but I thought I'd share: I use Dropbox for important files, 2GB of storage for free, and Google Music (beta) for my music, 20,000 songs for free. You can't download your music back from Google Music, but there's really no need to if you have an Android device. If you have an iPod then you're out of luck, you'd have to back up all your music elsewhere.Edited by Stealth Pyros - 6/20/11 at 7:53am