Why a 2nd drive or a 2nd partition is important
Computer manufacturers should AUTOMATICALLY put a 2nd partition (D drive) for data, but they don't because that's not keeping it simple enough for their buyer market. 
I know because I've seen office people with a C drive completely crammed for space and a D drive completely empty. 
They didn't even know it was there and they used it for years. 
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When I recently built a PC for one of my my close friends, I put not only his MS Office data files (word documents and such) but also his Outlook Address Book and all the files that actually hold his email on a 2nd partition. 
He has, as I do, much mail of a technical or business nature that's stored in Outlook, so it's not just disposable "chat" mail. 

Actually, since his was a Desktop, I put his data on a completely separate physical D drive, not possible with a Laptop. 

Having a 2nd drive on a PC is actually better for these reasons. 
1)  Use the 2nd drive for data storage as listed above, but use Winzip or something to create compressed backups to the first drive.  This is security against physical drive hardware failure, if you have any data you care about, including your email contact address book, your Instant Messenger contacts, and your Favorites or Bookmarks. 
2)  Move Windows swapfile (virtual memory) and Temp folder (Windows own "scratchpad") to the 2nd drive.  No details here on virtual memory, but think of it like turning your PC from a one-fisted beer drinker to a two-fisted beer drinker.  It makes the PC "ambidextrous" (left + right handed), and that much faster.
3)  If the whole PC dies, and you buy a new one, plug in the 2nd drive into your new PC with some configuration and everything is there. 
At first, I used to keep my "working" data on the C drive, and then back up to the D drive, but then I realized that was bass ackwards.  Rather, keep my data on D and back up to C.  Then once in a while -- only for the truly paranoid or those who have seen many people gnash their teeth and tear out their hair over lost data -- back up to a network drive and/or to some free online storage like Yahoo's Briefcase (after encrypting in Winzip w a password) and/or burn to a CD periodically. 
(Or at least a few floppy disk for small files, if you don't have a burner.  Floppys are about 10¢ and worth every penny for reliability, if you know what I mean.)

The only thing that took a little extra time was configuring the Outlook Express Address Book for the 2nd drive. 
I also put the files used to install Windows on the 2nd partition.  (A folder of .CAB files for Win9x.)

IF you don't understand the importance and what I mean, the normal way PCs are all set up is when you need to re-format and re-install, you lose everything and have to start from scratch. 
Ugh.  Painful.  Time-consuming.  Hours.  Days.  HORRIBLY boring! 
But there's some workarounds that are not too difficult and save time every time after that. 
Sooner or later Windows will have to be erased and re-installed, especially the 9x variety (95, 98, and ME) and if there's an easy way to do it, you don't have to suffer with a "broken" operating system for months. 

I also save a few registry settings to the D drive, for any customizations, including the location of his "mail store", which saves you all the painstaking configuration stuff. Just Right-Click and select Merge, and all your old settings are restored, the ones that we remember to back up anyhow. 
That also saves much time in the future with a few simple mouse clicks and years of personal experience on my part. 

For my friend's PC, I actually saved a GHOST image of his first drive to the 2nd drive, AFTER Windows, Office, and all his base apps were installed. That means it can be restored in 15 minutes just like I left it, saving hours of work. Requires a DOS-based boot disk and (aka Windows 98 Startup Disk), and acquiring a legal copy of the Norton GHOST program (or maybe borrowing GHOST on a floppy disk if you know someone who doesn't mind illegally lending you their disk).

Gary Goodman
330 733 3518

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