Multiple hard disks - what's the best configuration?


D

DAN

Having just bought another hard disk due to my old one getting rather
full, I'm now trying to decide the best way to have my hard disks
configured and would appreciate some advice.

Here are the 3 hard disks I now have at my disposal:

IDE 120Gb

SATA2 160Gb (seek time 11ms)

SATA2 320Gb (seek time 8.9 ms)


(All run at 7200rpm).

Currently, I am using the SATA2 160Gb as my main disk for everything
(data, system files etc etc)
I have been regularly cloning this to the old IDE 120Gb as a backup so
if I end up with problems with my 160Gb disk, I can just boot into
the other and sort it out from there without having to go through a
complete clean windows reinstall, should that ever be necessary.
However now I have more than 120Gb of data on my 160Gb drive, I can no
longer perform that clone, so I've just bought the new 320Gb disk.

The question is, what would be the best way in which to use these
drives? These are my two ideas, but not sure which way would be
best.............?

I could:

A) Clone my current 160Gb to my new 320Gb and just use the new disk as
my MAIN disk (system, data etc all on the same drive) and have my
160Gb as backup, and get rid of the old IDE 120Gb drive. The new 320Gb
drive has a faster seek time - would I see much speed difference
running windows XP from it compared to the older drive with 11ms seek
time?

OR

B) Carry on using my 160Gb as my system drive, but transfer documents
and media files etc to the new 320Gb and use that ONLY for "My
Documents". I suppose this way I could still do a regular clone from
my system 160Gb to the old IDE 120Gb as backup as I have been doing.
But does it cause complications assigning the "my documents" folder to
a completely different drive?


Would I gain more speed having windows on one disk (11ms seek) and
docs on separate disk (8.9 seek) compared to just having everything on
the faster disk.

If I had everything on one big disk though, I guess I wouldn't be able
to have a cloned system backup anymore as the other two disks are a
hell of a lot smaller in comparison.


Advice please! :)

Thanks in advance
 
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J

John Doe

DAN said:
Having just bought another hard disk due to my old one getting
rather full, I'm now trying to decide the best way to have my hard
disks configured and would appreciate some advice.

Here are the 3 hard disks I now have at my disposal:

IDE 120Gb

SATA2 160Gb (seek time 11ms)

SATA2 320Gb (seek time 8.9 ms)


(All run at 7200rpm).

I use one hard drive, 37 GB 10,000 rpm.

If I used two, I might use the second hard drive for an additional
copy of important files that get copied to removable media, and for
the Windows swap file.

I have a 10 GB hard drive spare, but as long as important files are
copied to removable media, an additional hard drive typically makes
little difference IMO unless you need the space.

Given your need for space, I would use the two larger SATA hard
drives and use the smaller IDE drive for another system. The
configuration makes little difference IMO. I might also consider
getting rid of some files.

Good luck and have fun.
 
D

DevilsPGD

In message <[email protected]> John Doe
I use one hard drive, 37 GB 10,000 rpm.

First generation Raptor?

If you want your system to run noticeably faster, grab a 750GB Seagate
and turn on AHCI mode... Substantially better performance, and having a
couple GB to space is a nice bonus.
 
J

John Doe

DevilsPGD said:
In message <OVZ0j.61127$RX.18684 newssvr11.news.prodigy.net> John


First generation Raptor?

If you want your system to run noticeably faster, grab a 750GB
Seagate and turn on AHCI mode... Substantially better performance,
and having a couple GB to space is a nice bonus.

I bought the Raptor on Jan Alter's advice because I much more value
speed over size. When you buy a hard drive, you pay for both. Buying
a 750 GB hard drive would be a big waste of money for me.
 
D

DevilsPGD

In message <[email protected]> John Doe
I bought the Raptor on Jan Alter's advice because I much more value
speed over size. When you buy a hard drive, you pay for both. Buying
a 750 GB hard drive would be a big waste of money for me.

Except that the performance is far better on the 750GB then the original
36.7GB Raptor drives. I've got two of the Raptors on my desk right now,
and several 500GB-750GB drives in service across various servers.

The reason is twofold.

First, AHCI (allowing NCQ/TCQ) is a *huge* performance boost in some
cases (although admittedly for a single user system it's less
substantial then on a busy server), although this also depends on your
SATA controller.

Second, due to the extremely high density of a 750GB drive, bits
actually pass under a 750GB drive's heads faster at 7200rpm then under a
36.7GB drive's heads at 10,000rpm.

Seek times are marginally lower on the Raptors, however, if you create a
36.7GB partition on the inside tracks of the 750GB drive, and only seek
within that portion of the drive, the average seek times of the 750GB
drive massively outperform the Raptors (again, due to density, the inner
36.7GB of a 750GB drive means the heads only need to move between 5% of
the total drive.

In a real world example, I recently built a new Server 2003-64 box,
initially with a Raptor drive. We then rebuilt it on a 500GB Seagate at
7200rpm, and after some hassle to get AHCI working, we dropped from a 82
second reboot time down to a 64 second reboot time (measured on an idle
server, from "Event log service was stopped" to "Event log service was
started") -- Both cases, we're looking at the base OS, and the exact
same set of apps and load (no user activity, identical install scripts)

Oh, and the 500GB is cheaper.

Don't get me wrong, the Raptors are amazing drives in their class, but
skip ahead several years, technology has moved ahead and the first
generation is starting to show it's age.
 
I

isaac4all

What you have to do to your there hard disk. Is to make one the master
and the remaining to the slave. Use IDE cable that has four plug in.
The first one for the master, secound slave1 and the third for slive2
and the fourth plug-in should go into your mother board. Then install
your operating system. Formate the hard this when you have finished
installation of the operating system or before you install the
operating system formate them one after the other.

Isaac okoye
Information Rules the World
www.finditall100free.ds4a.com
 
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J

John Doe

DevilsPGD said:
In message <3d41j.22675$lD6.4397 newssvr27.news.prodigy.net> John


Except that the performance is far better on the 750GB then the
original 36.7GB Raptor drives.

If money were no object, I would have one of everything.

Makes no sense assuming or caring whether I have the original
Raptor, or limiting your comparisons to the original Raptor, IMO.

Any satisfied user of a 37 GB hard drive obviously has no use or
desire for a 750 GB hard drive.
Don't get me wrong, the Raptors are amazing drives in their class,
but skip ahead several years, technology has moved ahead and the
first generation is starting to show it's age.

So is your repetition of that comparison.

If you're disputing the fact a small drive is cheaper for the same
performance, please start a thread in the storage group. I would be
interested in seeing what storage group authors have to say about
your idea.
 
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D

DevilsPGD

In message <[email protected]> John Doe
Makes no sense assuming or caring whether I have the original
Raptor, or limiting your comparisons to the original Raptor, IMO.

True, I could have assumed you paid far far more for the 150GB Raptor,
except that you didn't since it wouldn't be the 36.7GB Raptor.
Any satisfied user of a 37 GB hard drive obviously has no use or
desire for a 750 GB hard drive.

Perhaps, but a user of a 10,000rpm drive is usually someone looking for
performance. Raptors are no longer the top performer in the SATA range,
nor are they the top performer in their price class.
If you're disputing the fact a small drive is cheaper for the same
performance, please start a thread in the storage group. I would be
interested in seeing what storage group authors have to say about
your idea.

Not at all -- I'm pointing out that a Raptor is a poor choice all
around, since you can get better performance AND larger size, at the
same price point.

If either performance OR size is important, the Raptor isn't a good
choice. If your goal was a 40GB, without respect to performance, you
could have spent far far less on the drive.

Caught on yet?
 

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