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Rebuilding RIG with 2 Hard Drives - Any tips for paritions?

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September 2, 2006 11:30:13 PM

*This is repost from the Hard Drives forum, I realized afterwards that this is where partition related questions should be posted*

Okay, so I decided to rebuild my rig to make it a dedicated system for multimedia apps, audio editing/production. I kept hearing a lot of good things about having the OS on one hard drive and the swap file on the second drive, with the apps, etc.

Here is what I'm planning to do, in terms of partitioning, I would love to get feedback on what to do with the space on the drives. As it stands, both drives are SATA I, 7200 rpm and 8meg cache, except the Seagate 300 has NCQ:

Volume1: 200gb Maxtor SATA
C: System - 20 gigs for OS, antivirus, Norton Windoctor, Spyware, PowerISO, AnyDVD, Norton Ghost, Nero, Etc.

D: - 180 gigs left??? Not sure what to put here, should I put apps on this drive instead of the second one?

Volume 2: 300gb(278 gb when formatted) Seagate SATA

D: Swapfile - 8 gigs. 2.5 gig Exclusively for the Windows Swapfile, the rest of the space for and all temp directories that Windows Uses, including temporary Internet Files and Temp foldre for each User under Windows XP. Photoshop Scratch disk here.

E: Applications - 50 gigs(currently all my apps max out at 25 gigs, so I doubled this for expansion)

F: Data - 200 gigs My Documents folder, projects, ISO dvd backups, etc.

G: System BACKUP - 20 gigs backup of OS partition on other drive. Will probably ghost that partition to this, just in case of a problem, etc.

Thanks guys! Let me know what suggestions you have. I haven't rebuilt my system yet, but I will in a couple of days, once I sort out how to organize the data. Basically, I want to max out performance in programs, etc. by not taxing the OS with 1 hard drive.
September 5, 2006 1:32:21 PM

Partitions are a matter of preference, no one way is the right way. However for you setup, I would change two things 1. The sap file on Volume two will increase access time to the disk, which will already be competing for seek time with your apps, and Data writing. I would perhaps suggest another disk, maybe 40 GB IDE drive for the swap, you can use this for your pack ups as well in a straight disk config. If you do have an extra sata header then go for that.
September 5, 2006 2:51:15 PM

I had the same delima except I had two 250G HD's. (One is on loan to another computer, and I am not doing much A/V stuff now).

I am not sure what is best for swap files. I would have thought having it on the 2nd disk would have been better. Depending on the Sata chipset I would think it should have enough throughput so there would not be any competition for seek time etc., but IDK.

I started simple so my OS and everything was on one HD. I had about 10G for the OS and boot apps (20 would have been better), 50 for other apps on D, ?? for final AV material, and 5G for junk. On the second drive I had it partitioned at 200G and 50G, 50 for backups and junk. I used the 2nd drive for source material and the first for finals. This worked well. I think the two drive setup was faster (and much safer)than RAID0 for video stuff.
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September 5, 2006 5:04:18 PM

Okay, I did some reading around and changed things up. This is how my plan looks at the moment:

Volume 1: 200 Gig Maxtor:

C: System partition - 20 gigs for OS, antivirus, nero, basics system apps

D: Programs partition - 80 gigs for all my audio/video programs,etc.

E: General parition - 100 gigs general storage space for anything extra

Volume 2: 300gb(278 gb when formatted)Seagate

D: Swapfile - 8 gigs. 2.5 gig Exclusively for the Windows Swapfile, the rest of the space for and all temp directories that Windows Uses, including temporary Internet Files and Temp foldre for each User under Windows XP. Photoshop Scratch disk here. FAT32 partition for slightly faster performance.

E: Projects - 50 gigs for audio recording projects

F: Data - 200 gigs My Documents folder, projects, ISO dvd backups, etc.

G: System BACKUP - 20 gigs backup of OS partition on other drive. Will probably ghost that partition to this, just in case of a problem, etc.


I sort of realized, that there would be a lot of empty space on Volume 1, so I went ahead and put the programs on that drive. This way the second drive is left more open to be the swap file drive and available for just recording/rendering audio/video projects. My question is, is it still worthwhile in this setup to put the swap in the first volume or would it be beneficial to keep it on the second drive? I keep reading on tech optimization sites that the swap on a second drive would be beneficial. Of course having a 40 gig SATA drive just for the swap, would be even more ideal. Do you think it's worth buying an extra drive for this, or using this current new arrangement?

Thanks guys, this helps a lot, I am right in the middle of getting ready to partition soon.
September 5, 2006 6:15:05 PM

Ok, so plan two looks better, not to say the first one didn't. Moving the swap off the OS lto another physical disk will give you performance gain even if you have it on a partitioned drive. The idea is your no longer fighting for access time. In my opinion 37 bucks for a 40 gb drive is worth it, you'll operate in a straight disk, and have your Backups in a safer place. This is only my opinion, because I have seen partitions fail on big drives because of fragmentation. But you don't need it and would easily be able to add it some other time down the road.
September 5, 2006 7:32:09 PM

Thanks for the confirmation PCcashcow, I'm going to go ahead and start setting things up.

I have seen those 40 gig SATA drives for pretty cheap and will definitely consider picking one up in the future.
!