GreyMack
Diamond

Re: How do I wipe clean, do fresh install?

Partitioning may offer some advantage if you ever need to:

... do a clean reinstall (versus a repair) of your operating system, drivers, utilities, and applications. If your data is stored on a separate partition, it will still be there after you reinstall. If your data is on the same partition as the operating system, it will be lost during this process. Of course your data should be backed up at all times anyway, in case of a hard drive failure or other catastrophy, but having it on a separate partition may be convenient.

... use imaging software to back up your operating system, drivers, utilities, and applications. If you collect a large ammount of data and keep it on the same partition as the operating system, imaging the partition can become rather time-consuming, and if you back up the image to CD or DVD, it can require quite a few disks. Of course you should back up your data anyway, but having it on a separate partition allows you to back up your operating system, drivers, utilities, and applications on a separate schedule from your data backups. Again, this advantage becomes more pronounced as the magnitude of your data collection grows. (Drive/partition imaging software can provide swift and complete recovery (to the time the image was created) of your operating system, drivers, utilities, and applications even in the event of a hard drive failure/replacement, if a copy of the image is stored on a separate hard drive or CD/DVD media.)
 
There are other considerations for drive partitioning in this link.
 
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