Microsoft should use a /home partition….



I saw this yesterday or day before… George Ou has said that Microsoft should move user data to it’s own volume (or partition). He is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. I think these days the default install for any modern operating system ought to assume you care enough about your data to seperate it from the main OS. I find myself slightly annoyed at linux distributions that DON’T do this by default, although most will at least let you make changes to the partitioning in the install process. I had got to just assume this was the way things were since Mandrake always defaulted to seperate home and root partitions.


But when it comes down to WHY it’s important we have to look a bit beyond the day to day use and start looking at the next release of the OS. (Or in windows, the next reinstall….) When you do a new release it’s nice to know that your data partition could go untouched. I’ve done several Mandrake (and now Mandriva) upgrades on my laptop and desktop. Sometimes I’ve done an upgrade within the existing OS and other times I’ve chosen to wipe the root partition and start with a fresh install (which many times is recommended.) Again, the same home partition data has been there, untouched.

The bottom line is that it makes things simpler when it’s time to upgrade (or reinstall). That’s exactly George’s point here. He points out that one tech said that they’re policy was to give the customer the choice of giving up the data to a disk wipe and charging 2 hours for a windows reinstall on a suspect/infested/unstable windows machine, or charge 4-5 hours for data recovery, plus the windows wipe and reinstall. Not a nice choice to be making.

Additionaly, being on a seperate partition opens up the backup possibilities for someone to just make an image of their data partition. (Many tools support this imaging, but the data+install is usually pretty large – just imaging the data is a much more reasonable approach.)

Bottom line is that this would make a lot of peoples lives a lot simpler. Microsoft (and various linux distros that STILL don’t do this by default), don’t you think seperate home and program partitions should be the default by now?

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