Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Best way to install new build (Dual boot)

Last response: in Systems
Share
September 4, 2009 12:53:07 PM

Hi,

I just ordered a new build and I'm wondering what the best way (performance) is to make the installation. I want to install XP and windows 7 in a dual boot setup.

system specs :

Cooler master 590
Corsair 750W PSU
Asus P6T deluxe v2
I7 920
Kingston 1600 Mhz 6GB
1 x WD 640 caviar black
1 x samsung F1 500GB (from a previous build)
2 x WD 500GB 16Mb cache (from a previous build)
Samsung DVD-RW
Sapphire HD4890 Vapor X 1GB

- How should the disks be partioned and formatted (cluster size?)
- RAID?
- I've heard that by putting the page file on another disk you increase performance? Is this correct and how should I do this?
- Order of installing OS (first XP or windows 7)

Thanks in advance for any advise!
September 4, 2009 3:22:09 PM

Thanks for the links but I'm looking on some thoughts regarding the partitioning itself. How to setup the HD

- Should I create small partitions and only install the OS and installing the apps & games on another partition / drive or just install everything on the same partition?
- Which cluster size? Is the standard formating during XP setup OK
- Is it benificial to put 2 drives in a RAID setup?

I just want to know what the best way is to configure/ setup this build.
Thanks
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
September 4, 2009 7:34:17 PM

I have been dual booting .... well since the last millenium and w/ a single HD always found this approach to be the best ...at least for me:

C1: 1st OS
C2: 2nd OS
D: Swap and Temp files
E: Games
F: Programs
G: Data
H: Backups

C1 and C2 means you are using some type of 3rd party boot manager that hides C2 when you boot to C1 and visa versa. Putting OS1 on C and OS2 on D still keeps you out of your machine if the C drive gets fudged. Was a very common option in the days of NT and Win9x where Dada would work under NT on the home machine and kiddies would boot to Win95. Nothing the kids could do could damage anything of Dada's (on NTFS partitions that Win9x couldn't see). If you are not going to use a boot manager, just use D and bump all the others up one.

Having swap and temp files on a separate partition is less important now with 2 TB drives in existence but it does save space by having both OS's use the identical swap / page file. It also keeps swap and temp files forever on the outer edge of the disk where the disk is twice as fast as it is on the inner edge.

The rest of the partitions are ordered by which needs the most speed, keeping the things that need the fastest reads / writes closer to the outer edges of the disks and the stuff where you don't are about disk speed at the inner. But again, how this works for each individual depends on what you are doing and what works best for me might be a bad idea for you.

Multiple drives and RAID introduce a whole lot of variables. RAID 0 is fast but if you read the articles on storagereview,com, you can be quite surprised that not only does it not give you the real world performance that artificial benchmarks might suggest but that the performance increase is hardly significant. AT the link below, the gaming benchmark went from 519 w/ a single drive to 529 with RAID 0.

http://faq.storagereview.com/tiki-index.php?page=Single...

So whether a 2% performance increase worth the costs and risks of RAID 0 will depend on what you are doing.


a b B Homebuilt system
September 4, 2009 8:46:09 PM

Here is what I did
(1) connect only the drive you want XP on.
(2) Install XP.
(3) Disconnect XP HDD, and Connect 2nd Drive
(4) Install Win 7 on this disk
(5) Reconnect first Hard drive and walla using F12 (my gigabyte MB) select which HDD to boot from. You can now boot either XP or Win 7 WITH NO messy boot manager AND you can install Win 7 first or 2nd, does not matter.

After you have loaded both operating systems you can reattach other drive(s)

This is the procedure I used for XP/Vista and Vista/Win 7. I removed the pair with XP - but can simply pop them back in and triple boot. All three of my operating systems are on a pair of Raid 0 HDDs. I started using raid 0 before SATA was available and have not had a single failure (Take that back - one failure - MY Fault). that's 6 sets and the oldest one is about 7 - 8 years old and still running strong on orginal raid 0 drives.

Editted to correct my "fat" fingers that move at random.

Added:
Refer Partitions - I always setup a 100 -> 200 Gig partition for operating system and Programs, the rest of the disk is for my data/files. The 2nd partition on both drives can be co-utilized by both operating systems.
September 7, 2009 8:17:02 AM

Thanks for the information.

Is it then better to install the OS on seperate (physical) drives instead of installing it on the same drive (but different partitions). I was first planning on making 2 partitions on the WD drive and installing both XP and Windows7 on it.

I would setup a partition on a different drive (physical) to put temp and swap files.
September 7, 2009 12:04:58 PM

Well...since you have 4 hard drives, I would install xp one one, then windows 7 on another, then on the third would be partitioned in half so half is for windows 7 applications and the other is for xp applications. Then your third hard drive would have a small partition of around 18GB for your pagefile, and the rest of it would be for data and other misc stuff.
a b B Homebuilt system
September 11, 2009 9:45:53 PM

RetiredChief said:
I started using raid 0 before SATA was available and have not had a single failure (Take that back - one failure - MY Fault). that's 6 sets and the oldest one is about 7 - 8 years old and still running strong on orginal raid 0 drives.


That's incredible. Where do you live, what temp range do they see, are boxes moved frequently and what type of HD's used ? This is a topic I am very interested in as I wonder how much the "environment, usage type and HD type affect how long HD's last. I only use server HD's w/ 5 year warranties for my own use and therefore have had reasonably good success. Then again the Raptor has the same MTBF and it's shown failure rates as high as 25% w/ certain models. I think this whole "green" HD thing is being used to cover the fact that vendors want to have an excuse to lower rpm's.

As for boot loaders, the things I liked about them are:

1. No time lost loading the BIOS and drilling down to the Boot Order.
2. When 1 OS is in use, it can not access the other OS partition which is completely "hidden" and access to it is blocked.
3. They come free with your partitioning program.
a b B Homebuilt system
September 11, 2009 9:47:43 PM

swoop76 said:
Thanks for the information.

Is it then better to install the OS on seperate (physical) drives instead of installing it on the same drive (but different partitions). I was first planning on making 2 partitions on the WD drive and installing both XP and Windows7 on it.

I would setup a partition on a different drive (physical) to put temp and swap files.


Depends on the relative speed of the drives. If on separate drives tho, if you are controlling which one starts via BIOS, if one drive goes in the toilet, you can still boot.
!