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Question about setting up 2 Hard drives

Last response: in Storage
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August 9, 2010 7:54:56 PM

Ok, so I currently have a 250gb HDD that I filled up so I ordered a 1 TB drive to give myself more space.

I'm pretty much a noob when it comes to configuring a drive besides just doing a fresh windows install..

My main questions are - When my second drive comes, I plan on getting it up and running, and moving my data files over to this drive, and then wiping the 250gb drive and leave it as my primary disk for my OS/programs.

Now, to my understanding, I will not be able to move programs to this second hard drive and expect them to work when I reinstall windows onto my other disk, is this true? Also, should I continue to install programs onto the C drive? or install them to my new drive (D)?

Sorry if this is confusing, but I've never really understood the whole multiple partition thing since if you wipe your computer clean with a fresh windows install, everything that is a program and is installed on the second drive becomes unusable, then what exactly is the point to installing to the drive that doesnt contain the windows files?

Thanks for whoever can clear this up for me!

edit - Ive also looked into getting an SSD but I would only be able to afford an 8-16gb drive, if I did buy this, what could I use it for? I assume installing windows, but then again that leads me to asking my question stated above..

More about : question setting hard drives

a b G Storage
August 9, 2010 8:08:36 PM

when you reinstall windows, you will have to reinstall all your programs as well (even if you just move the programs from c to d you will have to reinstall them)

You can install programs to any drive you want, won't really make much of a difference
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August 9, 2010 10:56:24 PM

I am no pc expert, but faced a similar issue myself recently, so my approach may be of interest to you.
160GB disk getting full.
purchased a 500GB disk for more capacity.

After a bit of thought I decided to do the following :-
* get hold of a partition manager utility (I used easeus free version)
* install new hard drive into pc as second drive (check that it is recognised in bios settings)
* use partition manager to copy original drive contents onto a partition of new drive. (easeaus has a good help section explaining how to do this)
* remove original hard drive, and make sure that settings are changed so that new drive is recognised as new boot device. (in my case both drives were sata, so I just unplugged the old drive cable, and plugged the new drive into the sata0 connector)
* check bios recognises the drive, and windows boots ok.

At this point you should have a working system with unpartitioned free disk space, but otherwise same as original.

This is a relatively painless way to swap disks, and as you new drive is likely to be better spec'd than your original will result in a general performance improvement.

* reconnect original drive
* partition/format remainder of new drive

when I was happy everything was working ok I reformatted the old drive.
iirc I had to alter drive letter assignment, but that is fairly straight forward.
giving me :-
drive C: system disk1 (new drive)
drive D: applications disk2 (old drive)
drive E: data disk1 (new drive)

I then :-
* changed the system to use a pagefile on drive D: only
* moved data files from C: to E:
* moved (un-reinstall) games from C: to D: (I used 'Change Of Address' (COA2) to move apps. an old program which is far from perfect. I cannot recomend this as it did cause me some problems but overall saved me some time and effort. you can google it if your interested in trying it out)

Keeping the system files at the beginning (fastest place) of your new (maybe faster) disk will help system performance. Pagefile use should have reduced impact on system performance.

I also got a copy of 'MyDefrag' (freeware). A very useful disk defragmentaion program that is smart about the way it deals with system/frequently used files, keeping them close together, and at the beginning of the disk.

Of course this is based around what I thought best after doing some research for my pc use, and others more knowlegable may be able to point out some flaws in my ideas. But for me it has resulted in a noticeable improvement in performance (my pc is pretty old now). And hopefully is a good starting point for you to work from.

Best of luck.
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a b G Storage
August 10, 2010 1:13:21 AM

Could do what I did. I have a 120GB hard drive and a 200GB hard drive. My 120GB is used for OS's and programs only. The 200GB is strictly data.
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August 10, 2010 8:46:33 AM

runswindows95 said:
Could do what I did. I have a 120GB hard drive and a 200GB hard drive. My 120GB is used for OS's and programs only. The 200GB is strictly data.


I'm going to probably do what you did, just install programs to my current drive and movies/music go to my second drive.

I dont play any games besides WoW and SC2 so theres no reason to install anything onto my 1tb drive...I'll just have a ton of room for data it looks like. TY!

Also, NoesNuthin, thanks for your input, I dont feel like messing with pagefile tho, and changing the default location for programs to be installed is also a bitch (tried it on my laptop and just decided it wasnt worth it), so I will stick with the simple ole' C-programs D-Data
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a b G Storage
August 10, 2010 6:46:57 PM

What I suggest you do is mirror you current 250gig drive to your new 1 TB drive.
It will be much faster, so in the simplest straight forward approach, you want everything on it, use your old 250gig drive for a backup. Things like Photos, music, important data, etc, just make a copy and save to that drive. So you have your hard to replace data backed up somewhere.

You can download a program called Acronis True Image. Many retail drive kits come with cloning software, or you can download it from the drive manufactures website.

This software will clone or mirror you current drive image to the new drive, very fast, very simple, very easy. TADA! You now have EVERYTHING on both drives, and the new drive will be set as the boot drive. You can delete what you don't want off your old drive after you get this done.
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