Second HD on one system ?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Grasshopper, Oct 6, 2004.

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  1. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Registered Member

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    Hi all ,

    I am going to put a second HD in my computer , I was wondering if I can put my OS on one and all other programs on the othero_O
    Will my security programs work properly setup this wayo_O

    I thought this was the best way to play and not having to worry about messing up my OS . I hopefully will be able to reformat the drive with my OS on it and still have all other programs and settings on the other drive.

    Thanks,
    Frank
     
  2. nod32_9

    nod32_9 Guest

    Not a problem. If you have to reformat the HD with the OS, then you may need to reload some applications, to re-establish the links with windows.

    A better option is to partition the hard drive. You can create an infinite number of extended logical partitions after the C primary partition.
     
  3. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Registered Member

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    So if I put a second partition on my Hard Drive and in the future have to reformat the partition that my OS is on , will I still have a problem with broken links,or will being on the same physical drive allow my programs to re-etsablish their links with Windows themselves ?

    If this is the case then there is no real advantage to having a second HD other than Drive failure.

    There is always something to learn :D

    Thanks again.
     
  4. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    The program needs to have registry entries for windows to know where it is (generally speaking), so you will have to reinstall a lot of programs when you format. The second drive (or partition) can be used to keep all of your personal data on, though.. set your email to store the emails on the second drive, etc, then when you have to reformat you don't have to worry about backing things up as much. Another advantage is that you can put the page file on the second physical drive for better performance :)
     
  5. nod32_9

    nod32_9 Guest

    It depends on the application. Some, like the zipped version of Firefox, will run if you clicked on the Firefox.exe icon. These are my favorite programs because they don't have add junks to the operating system's root folder or registry. Others, like Office, require a reinstall.

    If you decide to store Office documents or other data outside of the C partition, then you will not lose the data when you wipe the C partition. Again, the key is to keep ONLY the operating system in the C partition. Worst case scenario, you may need to reload some applications, but the data should remain intact.

    Having a 2nd HD will allow you to store the backup image file of your OS and data away from the primary drive. If the primary drive fails, then you can easily restore the image files from the 2nd HD. Note that writing to a HD is much faster than optical discs.

    In theory, putting the page file at the BEGINNING of the slave HD can improve read/write speed by about 15MB/sec. In practice, if you're running WXP and have sufficient free physical memory, then you won't notice any change in system performance.

    A second HD will add more electrical and thermal load to your PC. And don't forget the noise issue.
     
  6. Comp01

    Comp01 Registered Member

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    The main reason to want to have a second hard drive like that would be for performance mostly, I have a system I currently making into a small server with 3 hard drives in it, 1 is 1.5GB's for the OS, then 2 is 1.6GB's with one 500MB partition, the 500MB partition is in use for the swap file, and the main partition is for program files, and the 2rd HD is 127MB's, I mostly use this as a temporary drive (All cache files, etc, revert to this drive, then for a quick delete I can just format /q it.) - But this took alot of tricky registry work to make happen.
     
  7. nod32_9

    nod32_9 Guest

    Discounting RAIDs, a modern HD has a maximum continous speed of about 50MB/sec. In real world operation, the actual read/write speed is closer to 18MB/sec. That's 10 times slower than the cheapest PC100 RAM. You're much better off speed-wise by investing in RAM, not a second HD.
     
  8. Comp01

    Comp01 Registered Member

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    Yes, but as far as program load time, and for the swap file its much better having it set up as I do, I could easily load up the system with 512MB's of RAM, but it doesn't do much good if you can't load the programs off the drive at a decent rate, and I am not saying invest entirely in a second HD, I am saying investing in a second HD as a small performance boost is worth it, but all in all it all comes down to how you balance the system, with a equal amount of RAM, CPU, and hard drive performance, you can stack on on RAM and without the others its not going to do much good besides for multi-tasking.
     
  9. nod32_9

    nod32_9 Guest

    The location of the pagefile has nothing to do with the ability of the hard drive to read/load a program. Since the program is already on the disc platter, a fragmented hard drive will reduce the read speed.

    A pagefile is used as an extension of RAM for data in RAM that hasn't been used recently! In layman's language...windows dumps unimportant stuffs to the pagefile. Theoretically, you may save a few milliseconds of read time. That may sound great on paper. But there isn't a PC user that will be able to notice this change. Bottomline is that you will NOT realize any real world speed improvement by tweaking the pagefile if you have unused RAM in W2K/WXP.
     
  10. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Registered Member

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    Thanks for the tips folks.

    If what Comp01 stated is true then setting my computer up to run well is like setting up an engine in a car to run well , you can drop on the biggest darn carburator you can afford but if you don't better your cam, intake and exaust you will not see much in the line of performance gains. makes sense .

    So if I dropped an 80G HD into my computer to replace the older 40G and upped my Ram from 2100 to 3200, I will see a much better performance gain than just doubling up on the HDso_O Plus I will have enough room to partition it and back up what I need.

    Do you think this is the best path to follow?

    Thanks
     
  11. Robyn

    Robyn Registered Member

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    I have two HD's in my computer (160GB + 120GB) I have the OS installed on the 160Gb (partitioned to suit my needs) plus all my program files but store all the data from the programs on my 2nd HD therefore if a re-install was necessary my data is still intact. I also download any new applications etc to my 2nd HD and then copy them to my 'Programs in Use' on the main drive (good to have a store for the originals) I have both drives partitioned and find it is a more organised way for me to work and store my data/pictures/programs/web stuff.

    I have 1GB of fast RAM running on dual channels which is more than able to cope with two drives plus a really quiet PSU and fans recently fitted. The 60GB drive I replaced is now housed in a USB ibuddy case and I can use this as an external backup drive. This may be something you would consider if you do replace your drive. Buy a housing for the old drive and use this to back up all you files and folders externally.
     
  12. nod32_9

    nod32_9 Guest

    No gain if both the 40 and 80 Giggers are 7200 rpm drives with the same cache capacity. A larger hard drive cache will boost read time of smaller applications.

    Buying faster RAM is a waste of $ if your PC cannot fully utilize the capability of PC3200.
     
  13. Sweetie(*)(*)

    Sweetie(*)(*) Registered Member

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    Great Idea.
     
  14. dober

    dober Guest


    What an idea. Can you please direct me to a link showing such a USB housing for a drive. Don't know where to find. Thanks
     
  15. Sweetie(*)(*)

    Sweetie(*)(*) Registered Member

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  16. Robyn

    Robyn Registered Member

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    I am in the Uk and purchased mine in Maplin's ibuddy USB external HD caddy

    The only extra you need to buy is a power cable but the actual fittng is easy and it is very useful. I have a 'proper' external drive for my main PC but use this one for my laptop now.
     
  17. nod32_9

    nod32_9 Guest

    I prefer the use of an internal IDE hard drive connected to a quick-release bracket. The bracket will allow you to swap drives in less than a few seconds.

    The throughput speed of an internal IDE hard drive is higher than an external hard drive. The best argument may be the price. The bracket costs less than $20. And you don't have to pay for the ridiculous price of an USB hard drive.
     
  18. Comp01

    Comp01 Registered Member

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    You'd have to add more memory to the system (IE: if your system is currently running 256, move it to 512, etc.) another, more expensive way for hard drives would be a 10k or 20k SCSI drive with a 8 meg cache (If your motherboard supports SCSI drives.) I think for performance adding some more RAM (Not faster, but more, maybe doubling the amount you have if your motherboard supports it.) getting some hard drives that have a bigger cache, and possibly a newer graphics card if you're into PC gaming, the page file does have quite a bit of performance impact from what I see on every system I've tweaked it with (This, however, is just my expierence, it atleast seems to make a system run a bit better, especially on a 98SE based machine.) As for backup, I think a plain old 40GB 7200RPM drive will work fine, as long as its just for storage, or, again, some hot swappable SCSI's.

    Also, the whole page/swap file thing:

    I never meant it for a giant performance increase, and I am not talking about this with todays newer machines (Though, it still wouldn't hurt to tweak it and move it to a 2nd HD.) on some of the older machines, such as what I use for a server, it does make a noticeable performance increase.
     
  19. luv2bsecure

    luv2bsecure Infrequent Poster

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    Robyn - This is exactly what I do. I keep the OS and program files in one partition and point ALL data to a My Documents folder on a second hard drive. The "My Documents Folder" on Drive 2 then has several sub-folders, such as:
    - Roboform Data
    - Password Safe Files
    - Email backups
    - TexNotes files
    - Word Processing Data
    - Saved HTML pages
    - Recent Security Program Signatures
    - Misc Data

    On this same "Drive Two" I also have a folder called, "Program Installs" which include all of my major program installation files.

    I also have my cookies and Temp Internet Files (cache) on a simple 30MB RAMDisk.

    This makes for a well-organized system, as well as making backing up very easy as I just backup my "My Docs" folder with all the sub-folders to partition 2 on my first drive. This way, if drive failure occurs on any drive - I am covered. I also burn all data and program installs on a DVD once every couple of weeks and keep it off site.

    I also have a "perfect state" image of my c: drive (OS and programs) that I can reinstall at any time, (if I run into any problems at all).

    I also turn the paging file OFF. If you have at least 500MB-1GB of memory - you'll get a BIG performance boost!

    Good luck!
     
  20. Robyn

    Robyn Registered Member

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    Hi luv2besecure

    It certainly looks like we have 'similar' setups with our drives. I also keep a 'Programs in Use' partition which would be your 'Program Installs' :) I just have to maintain housekeeping in this section if a program is updated or I have uninstalled it (these are moved to a little dump folder until I am sure I do not need them) but it really has proved very useful. Backing up is a lot easier when everything is setup to what is suitable for the individual. The only thing I have not done is turn off the page file even though I have 1GB of RAM.

    I have backups of my programs on discs and my external drives plus have a disc made solely for security/spyware cleaning programs which comes in very useful when a friend has not been as careful as they should have been online!

    Organisation is great and it does take a little work to 'maintain' but it is well worth it especially if you have a lot of disc space - why waste it?
     
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