ds store wrote:
Many PC users like to partition their drives, leaving a space between the OS + apps and the Users data, so when changes to the OS occur or apps, it keeps it all up near the front of the drive for better performance and thus avoids the lengthily defrag process they have to perform monthly.
It's worth noting that modern desktop Windows (i.e., 7 and 8) automatically schedule background defragmentation of non-SSD hard disks. Users never give it a second thought anymore (not that most of them ever did in the first place).
As for multi-partitioning, it's an obsolete methodology that continues to cause sysadmins headaches. Many a server out there in userland runs for years and an overly small boot partition can end up being a nightmare to administer. Whenever I install a new server, the first bloody thing I do with the Dell/HP default partitioning is delete it. NTFS and HFS+ work best when they have room to grow and write very large files contiguously. The more free space on a partition, the less possibility of fragmentation/performance becoming an issue in the first place.
Optimizing only works optimally when it can deal with files that are used frequently. Usually, those are system-/application files, but occasionally they're userland files that would greatly benefit being at the fast end of the platters.