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I need some MAJOR HD HELP!

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  • Homebuilt
  • Hard Drives
  • Systems
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Last response: in Systems
July 10, 2008 1:20:29 AM

Hello Toms HardWare, its been a long time. Work has pretty much consumed my time lately, but I really miss this place, it gave me alot of great help.

So I made my new build, right? I don't know how many of you remember, but I pretty much built it based off of advice gained on these forums. It is an $800 budget machine.

Windows XP Pro
e2180 @2.0 ghz (no time to OC!)
Gigabyte DS3L
radeon 3870
4gb ram
7200.10 barracuda hard drive 250gb
lite-on dvd burner
antec earthwatts 380watt

So, I'm having a problem. this computer is SLOW! When I first got it running It was blazing fast, esp on bootup. Now, it is extremely slow. My hard drive has about 20 gb free, and I need more space. I believe the full hard drive is also contributing to the slowness. So I am going to buy another hard drive (since I got my job my budget is much higher, I'm willing to spend up to $500 in upgrades for this comp, maybe more, so please comment on whatever else you think I can get to boost well, everything).


Here is my Hard Drive Debate:
Should I get a large hard drive, like the samsung Spinpoint, and then use this 250 as my boot drive??

If I do this option, some questions come into mind. If I use the 250 for os and programs only, is the rest of the space just wasted by necessity (the necessity being having an empty drive for space, another drive for storage)? If so, then I would rather purchase a smaller drive, say 75 gb (raptor?), or would that even make sense?

Or would partitioning this drive keep boot times low? If I partition the 250, say 75 and 175, would that make sense? If I were to completely fill the remaining 175 would the hard drive be just as slow as it is now?


Ok, I know that was alot to read, but I would really appreciate your help. I want to get my comp back into commission, I am tired of deleting, then adding, then finding more things to delete.

I'll make it easy and summarize what i am looking for for people who DO NOT WANT TO READ ALL THE ABOVE: I am Looking for advice for setting up a computer with a multi-hard drive system (bootdrive, storage drives). I currently have a single 250gb 7200.10 barracuda.


Thanks everyone.

More about : major

July 10, 2008 1:41:22 AM

What operating system are you running?

If you only have 20GB free on your current HDD I seriously doubt the 75GB Raptor would last you very long (also they have been superceded by Velociraptor AFAIK). I think you should buy a 7200.11 HDD, 500 GB for only $85 shipped!
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

What motherboard do you have?

That 3870 is woefully atiquated (jk, I have on too) the new Radeon is out and looks like its kicking, the 4870 can be had to just over $300, the 4850 (with slower RAM) for about $200. If gaming is your thing you cant go beyond these (well technically you can but can anyone really say the GTX 280 price is justified), I also heard that there is no driver lock in place to stop you crossfiring a 3870 with a 4xxx, the only thing is you'll be operating at lower memory speeds.
4850
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
4870
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Im of course asssuming you play a few games to warrant the GPUs, if you arent you should consider a CPU upgrade=, maybe a Q6600 ($210)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Of course do a full virus check (I assume you have already). Especially try Avast! as it can bootup and do it.

Hope this helps
a b B Homebuilt system
July 10, 2008 1:53:29 AM

Add a wd6400aaks.

Download spybot and adaware, update and run them.
Buy an antivirus if you haven't yet.
Related resources
July 10, 2008 3:48:39 AM

Updated!!
Windows XP
Gigabyte DS3L

Sorry i didn't add that the first time. And Smalltime, I don't think you understand. From what I understand at least, alot of people recommend keeping your storage (videos, photos, etc) on a separate drive from the one you boot from. I currently only have 30gb of program files on my hard drive, all the rest are my image and video collection.

Now, if I were to buy the velociraptor with 300gb of space, am I allowed to use ALL of that space, or would I only use it for programs and OS??? If that is the case, I'd have 270 gb wasted. THAT CAN'T BE!! How am I supposed to use my Hard drives?
a b B Homebuilt system
July 10, 2008 4:21:01 AM

Of course you're allowed to use it all, it's yours.
July 10, 2008 11:13:46 AM

ajsellaroli said:
Updated!!
Windows XP
Gigabyte DS3L

Sorry i didn't add that the first time. And Smalltime, I don't think you understand. From what I understand at least, alot of people recommend keeping your storage (videos, photos, etc) on a separate drive from the one you boot from. I currently only have 30gb of program files on my hard drive, all the rest are my image and video collection.

Now, if I were to buy the velociraptor with 300gb of space, am I allowed to use ALL of that space, or would I only use it for programs and OS??? If that is the case, I'd have 270 gb wasted. THAT CAN'T BE!! How am I supposed to use my Hard drives?

Oh, I just meant that if you have used 230 GB of HDD already, you will likely need quite a bit more or else you'll need to delete stuff peroidically (especially if you download music etc.).
I dont know of any advantage performance wise realted to splitting the videos and stuff onto a seperate drive, it makes it a bit easier to search through and backup but thats it.
Personally every time I build a machine I go "This time C is OS and Programs, D is games, E is everything else", eventually E has everything but the OS and a few token games.
a c 121 B Homebuilt system
July 10, 2008 12:16:35 PM

Agree with aevm. Install a 640 GB WD. Migrate your multimedia collection to it. Leave everything else on the C drive if you wish.

You do have backups, don't you?
July 14, 2008 10:06:59 PM

Ok, so are you guys basically saying that I should just stay with the 7200.10 hard drive as my boot drive, partition it, and it will stay JUST AS FAST AS WHEN I FIRST LOAD XP as long as I don't let it get more than 80% full? Is that a good summary?

Oh, and is there any argument FOR a raptor-type hard drive? I hear people absolutely rave about raptors, are they worth the money?

HOW DO YOU USE A VELOCIRAPTOR??? That is what I want to know. If it is true that loading a hard drive up slows it down, why would I need 300 gb? Say I bought the velociraptor. I load my OS, and about 40gb of programs/games onto it. If I want to utilise the rest of that hard drive without losing boot/program load time/everything else speed, would that be possible? or, would the entire system slow to a crawl like it has done with my 7200.10 hard drive if I use the 300 for anything more than an OS/programs drive???

Or, what about this idea: Say I bought two of the 36gb raptors and put them in raid0, and then used my current 250gb drive as storage, and then got another identical 250 gb to mirror the storage on the other 250. That way i'd ahve a super fast boot drive (drives in raid0) and then secured backup (my photos are very valuable). What do you think?
a b B Homebuilt system
July 15, 2008 12:15:42 AM

Yes, try to avoid filling up the disks too much, and defragment them from time to time.

Raptors are fast, but recent disks like Seagate 7200.11 and WD7500AAKS and WD6400AAKS can actually beat them in some important benchmarks. The newest Raptor (Velociraptor) is the only one that combines 10K rpm with perpendicular recording and beats those 7200rpm drives in everything. That is, if you absolutely want a Raptor, get the 300GB version and avoid the 36/74/150 GB versions.

Two of the 36GB Raptors in RAID 0 may actually be slower than a WD6400AAKS. That is, the enormous density of the WD6400AAKS increases average R/W rates, just like RAID 0. RAID 0 won't improve access times to small files at all. You also have a higher risk of losing data in RAID 0.

The simplest approach is to get a Velociraptor and a WD6400AAKS. I just don't know if the Velociraptor is really worth $300. Yes it's faster than a WD6400AAKS, but 3 times the price for half the size, yuck...


Edit: How do you use a Velociraptor... Well, whatever way you want, it's your $300. I'd make a 100GB partition for Windows and the most often used programs.