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hard drive layout - partitioning - very confused

Last response: in Storage
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August 24, 2007 2:34:14 PM

Hello everyone, after doing days of research on how to layout my drives - or partition them for the best performance, Im now officially more confused than before. So I decided to start my first thread.

My question is, I have the below 3 hard drives and want the best performance for Windows XP sp2, my games, my graphic apps, music, and most importantly my web development files/images/images.

WD Raptor 36gb
320gb Seagate 7200.10 Baracuda
120gb Seagate

I heard of many people installing windows on the raptor and putting all program files (applications/games) on a seperate drive, such as the 320gb. Then using the 120gb as the web development storage and music because the files are small in size and access time isnt as important. Im not sure how to approach this, I also heard of the idea of partitioning the 320gb with a 10gb partition just for the Windows paging file as well. So in reality, I really dont know how to set this up. Your guyses experience, advice, and current setups would be greatly appreciated, I need to get this setup ASAP.

Thanks.
a c 154 G Storage
August 24, 2007 3:40:03 PM

Keep it simple. Put your os on the raptor, along with those programs you use frequently. Put your data on the other drives. Don't bother with partitioning. Don't bother with a separate pageing file. If you have a pageing performance problem, get more memory. Optimizing HDD performance can be done, but the improvements are relatively minor, and they come at the price of inflexibility. One exception is if you frequently copy data from one source to another like a backup, then arrange it so that the source is on one drive, and the target is on a separate drive.
August 24, 2007 4:37:53 PM

The only other suggestion I can add to what Geofelt said was to consider moving your swap file to a driver other than the one your OS is installed on. However, this does not involve partitioning and can be done after Windows is loaded. Although not AS fast as the Raptor, the 320 GB drive you listed should actually page faster than the Raptor because the Raptor will presumably be busy handling other IO requests at the same time. Just my 2 cents.
August 24, 2007 9:03:51 PM

Agree with both the above. The 2 main reasons for partitioning is if you have one drive and want your OS/programs on one partition and your data on the other but this doesn't apply to you. The other would be to better organize your data, e.g., music on one and movies on the other, but whether it's worth doing and how it's done is really up to what works best for you.
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