I did some Google searches before posting. I did not find the exact/specific answer I want, so I thought the guys at Tom's should know.
I will be building a new system once my semester is done and I have time. My question is about the installation of the OS. Is it a good idea to install the Operating System on a separate hard drive ( a small one just for the OS) and have all the applications and the media files on another physical drive or is it better to have the applications and the OS on one physical hard drive to keep the access times low?
I want a solution that will allow me to re-install the operating system ( in case it starts feeling slower or I dual-boot) without having to re-install all the softwares I have. I am guessing exporting the registry before the re-installation of the OS and restoring it after will spare and keep the applications intact since they are on another drive.
I would really appreciate your opinion/experience about hard drives and partitioning strategies concerning my topic.
I use DVD+R disks. $30 buys you a box of 100. You can fit 4.3 GB on each. For the really important files, make 2 DVDs and verify them after burning by copying them back to the HDD in a temp folder. Keep the second copy at some friend's house.
The 320 GB/640GB/1TB disks released recently have 320GB platters. That's a huge density, and it allows the heads to read/write a lot of data. These disks have average read/write rates in the 90..100 MB/s range. Older (and smaller) disks are usually in the 50..70 MB/s range.
Mind you, this makes a huge difference only if you work with large files and they are not very fragmented. For working with lots of small files or booting Windows a small disk might still be competitive. What you really want there is a Velociraptor, but those are very expensive.
Actually, there are advantages in having two physical disks. Let's d say you have a huge video on partition C and want to compress it to a DivX file on partition D. If those partitions are on the same drive it takes at least twice as long, and the heads work like crazy. It's the so-called "butterfly" move where the heads keep going from source to target and back instead of just reading or writing adjacent sectors.
No, sorry. I've always kept Windows and the applications on the same partition.
Maybe if the OS and its swap file are on a HD, and the applications on a second HD, you'd get more speed because the swap file and the applications can be accessed at the same time. But then you can just add more RAM so the swap file is not used at all, and you'd get a lot more speed.
Nah, I don't think separating OS and apps will do much. I'm pretty sure it would have a positive impact, but small.
Yeah I read about it. Imagine how much money they are going to be though!
I think it's too many eggs in one basket. The HD dies and you lose everything (unless you can recover it by paying $$ or using your skills by swapping the disks)
I'd rather have multiple HDs, work HD and backup HD.
Hi xsever, I think I replyed to Avem and not you by mistake. I am in same situation as you were when you started this string. What did you finally decide to do and how has it worked out for you. Thanks Karl
I have found with Windows OS, that while you can install programs on a seperate drive, the programs still install some of it's files on the C: drive. It does not really give you any performance inprovement.
I have found that media and data are best stored on a 2nd HD, not a 2nd partition. If you are looking for data security on a running system look into use 3 drives, 1 for OS and programs, and 2 in RAID 1 (mirror) array. This way if one drive fails, the 2nd drive will still have 100% of the data intact. Replace the 1 failed drive, and you are now backup and running with 2 drives containing the exact same information.
More motherboards are now coming out with RAID as part of the basic motherboard. Drives are now much cheaper than ever, and you can have more peace of mind that you won't loose your precious data.