Yesterday, I was reading my Norton Save & Restore manual. It says that it is common to partition so that ones system files are in a separate partition from other program files . Is this an efficient way to partition? Should one also ceep document files separate from program files?
There's not really much point, as many program files are dependant on your registry. Therefore, if you ever want to reinstall your OS, you'd still have to reinstall all your software and stuff for the registry entries. Technically, you could backup the whole registry..
However, I would say it'd be worth it to keep documents on a different partition or even different drive if you have one.
Short answer: kinda.
Long answer: The default programs (ex: Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player)+ MS Office must be in C:\Program Files. I'd also recommend installing your security (antivirus & firewall) programs there as well. Of course you should be fine putting your games, Firefox, Photoshop and miscellenous programs on a separate partition, and that will work fine. You may very well have to reinstall any commercial apps because of the registry keys. Now whether or not its better, well, that depends on who you ask. IMO it saves you trouble later on, so your programs (and more importantly your settings) will be safe if you need to reinstall Windows. IM logs (though I recommend you store these somewhere else like in My Documents) are more likely to survive if you forget to back them up.
I think you are pretty solid and you are asking the right questions IMHO.