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SSD and HDD - Partition HDD or not

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September 1, 2011 3:53:56 PM

I am trying to set up my secondary hard drive and would like some advice on configurations.

My situation is I have a 128 GB SSD for my OS and some basic programs. Right now all it has on it is the OS, Internet Security, Drivers, and a couple of basic programs and still has 76 GB left over. I did not do any partitions on this drive and left it as one whole specifically for the OS and some of the more basic programs. Along with the SSD, I have two 1.5 tb HDD for storage and additional programs.

My plan was to set these two up in RAID 1 for mirroring just in case one of the drives fail. I was thinking about partitioning the drive to about 200GB for programs and the rest allocated for Basic Storage. Programs I will be installing include 3ds Max, AutoCAD, Revit, and possibly Photoshop and Illustrator. I will also be installing games here and there.

Another option I had in mind was setting up a partition separately for Games and another for my more important programs to keep them separated and organized. Maybe 100-150GB each.

Still researching on how to set up these partitions, but that will come after I decide what to do.

I would like to hear people's opinions with this sort of setup and what would maybe be the better solution. I definitely want to set up at least one partition so programs are separated from my basic storage of files, music, movies, photos, etc.

Thank you.

More about : ssd hdd partition hdd

a c 124 G Storage
September 1, 2011 4:18:27 PM

Your plan sounds good!

Leave the SSD for the OS and other important frequently used programs. Set up RAID 1 (mirroring) and leave the 200 GB partition for additional programs to be installed here.

This will serve you well in organizing programs and data.
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September 1, 2011 4:22:54 PM

Well, I'll give you my take on the situation and how I've always handled it myself. There's only one reason I ever partitioned my OS drive and that was so I could chkdsk and/or defrag my OS partition of just 80GB instead of an entire 500GB HDD if a chkdsk or defrag was ever needed or tried for troubleshooting. With an SSD, chkdsk's are still useful sometimes but defrags aren't. But either way, it's still only 128GB and not 500GB.

With storage drives I've never bothered partitioning since it was just a storage drive and I would just make folders for my data, games, programs, etc for organization purposes only. It's been simpler for me this way for years and I just haven't come across a reason or purpose to change it. Is there any reason other than organization as to why you definitely want to seperate your programs/games from your storage files via a partition rather than just folders? The way I always saw it is that it's on the same HDD anyway and I've only ever felt the need to chkdsk or defrag (my only reasons for partitioning my OS drive) my storage HDD once in my life and I did it overnight. But I've had to repartition drives many times to make some partitions larger because I suck @ss at predicting partition sizes for future growth.
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September 1, 2011 4:51:22 PM

I feel that having a partition drive for programs separate from my basic storage of data is a good way to organize and separate the programs files from the basic data. I don't know too much about it, and you do make a point about just having folders to separate them, but it would seem nice to have basic storage start at the top of a partition on a hard drive, like it was its own clean drive, and to have the program partition also have its own drive feel to keep things separated and easy. To me this seems like it would help to prevent installing somewhere I didn't want to, given the partitioned drive letter would be the place to place the software installations.

You are right though that choosing the right size for the partition would be crucial to setting up the drive, so I may allocate more space for that partition to be safe, since even 700-1000 GB would be more than enough basic storage data for myself, leaving somewhere around 300-600 GB for programs and games.
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September 1, 2011 5:08:55 PM

I think it works just as well either way. There may be advantages to physical partitions that you may discover down the road. I don't think you can go wrong either way. I was just never able to adequately predict how many games I'd install at the same time or something of that sort and would have to backup an @ssload of data to resize a partition or two lol.

Also, I have lost complete faith in practically any onboard RAID with any motherboard as they are all software RAID. I've tried it with too many motherboards from different vendors' softwares and they are all just flakey as hell. Just one day I'd come home from work and my RAID chip/software would lose my RAID 1+0 setup and I'd have to rebuild the RAID array and rebuild the mirror. My data was never on the RAID, just my OS so it was never really that bad. But, eventually I got tired of it and said piss on it. However, with a mirrored RAID it's not a big deal as you'll have an exact copy of your data anyway. If it's just a striped RAID though, you'll lose everything.

Since you're going to be using a RAID 1 setup, you really have nothing to worry about. I'm just throwing it out there just in case your's turns out as flakey as all of mine so that you won't be surprised or try to troubleshoot endlessly like I did for a while. I haven't tried in a few years so maybe it's actually better, but I'm done with it either way lol.
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a c 124 G Storage
September 1, 2011 5:38:40 PM

Regarding partition or not, I have done it both ways. During the early days of PCs I used to partition the 2nd. hard disk and then delegate the partitions to data, music, photos, etc. - these days I don't partition disks because they are quite inexpensive. If I need additional storage, I just add another HDD. Both methods have merits.

Coming to RAID - my data is on RAID 1 and was set up over 18 months ago on my home built computer. It has worked flawlessly and I never had a single failure yet! The motherboard is EVGA Classified and the RAID 1 disks are Seagate 1 TB disks. (Details are in my profile).

In addition, I perform regular and frequent backups of my entire system. RAID 1 (mirroring) is not a substitute for backup.
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September 1, 2011 5:49:19 PM

Ubrales said:
Regarding partition or not, I have done it both ways. During the early days of PCs I used to partition the 2nd. hard disk and then delegate the partitions to data, music, photos, etc. - these days I don't partition disks because they are quite inexpensive. If I need additional storage, I just add another HDD. Both methods have merits.

Coming to RAID - my data is on RAID 1 and was set up over 18 months ago on my home built computer. It has worked flawlessly and I never had a single failure yet! The motherboard is EVGA Classified and the RAID 1 disks are Seagate 1 TB disks. (Details are in my profile).

In addition, I perform regular and frequent backups of my entire system. RAID 1 (mirroring) is not a substitute for backup.



Mine ran flawless for 3 months at a time. I guess I just wasn't meant to use onboard software raids lol... I'm sure it was the shitty software that actually managed the raids as they were all written if Java if I'm not mistaken. I've also never had an EVGA board either. Maybe that's my problem lol.

Back on topic though, I think you and I pretty much agree.
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September 1, 2011 6:14:04 PM

i would avoid partitioning the raid

install your programs on the SSD - that's what it is for and if you ever reinstall windows, you'd probably want to reinstall your programs as well, having them on a seperate drive won't help. Use your raid for storage & any overflow programs,, but I would just uninstall programs you no longer need before going that route (would you need 7 games installed or just 2)
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a c 124 G Storage
September 1, 2011 7:04:27 PM

arson94 said:
.....I've also never had an EVGA board either. Maybe that's my problem lol.

Back on topic though, I think you and I pretty much agree.

Yes I agree with you!

And I think the world of EVGA for quality and customer/tech support. I started out with EVGA's X58 SLI which worked great, and then upgraded to EVGA's Classified X58 which has been in my computer for over 18 months. EVGA gave me good info regarding their products and that was helpful in some of my purchases.
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September 1, 2011 7:24:11 PM

Lots of good stuff here. A lot of things are going through my head after getting all this information. I will be installing some additional programs on the SSD, and I also heard that a portion of the drive should be left open, so if that is the case, there isn't a whole lot of room left after the OS, Antivirus, updates, Drivers, and a few programs. I will use that space until it is full.

I am wondering, how does installing programs on another drive work? Say if I make a folder on my 1.5 TB HDD called 'Games', for example, will it make a folder called Program Files or Program Files x86? Or would it just create a folder with the name of the game I have just installed? Same for my Modeling and CAD software. I am asking because I know that when programs like 3ds Max or Revit install, there are a few places where data relating to the program is placed. Really quite unfamiliar with all of this.

I am also wondering if RAID 1 is necessary anymore. I thought it was something I wanted, to keep a copy of my data in case one drive or another failed. But now am thinking maybe I use the extra HDD as a backup drive and disconnect it after every backup.

How big of a drive would I need for a complete backup of a 128GB SSD and 1.5TB HDD? I don't really know how backups work, do I need an equal amount of storage to back up my data and system, or is it compressed somehow during the backup process. Trying to get the best use and performance out of my components and set everything up in an efficient manner. Its a lot to learn!

Thanks everybody!
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a c 124 G Storage
September 1, 2011 8:02:39 PM

Here is a good backup program: http://www.todo-backup.com/ (free) - in addition to Win 7 backup.

A sector-by-sector backup requires the exact space of the disk being backed up. But a files and folders backup required just the space of the files and folders.
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September 1, 2011 8:15:10 PM

Ubrales said:
Yes I agree with you!

And I think the world of EVGA for quality and customer/tech support. I started out with EVGA's X58 SLI which worked great, and then upgraded to EVGA's Classified X58 which has been in my computer for over 18 months. EVGA gave me good info regarding their products and that was helpful in some of my purchases.



Well one reason I've never had them is because I've always used AMD CPU's. But I'm aware of their quality, or at least their reputation of making quality products. The problem with 'onboard' raid though is usually the sh*tty software. So as long as the software is worth a crap then OP shouldn't have any problems.
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September 1, 2011 8:23:26 PM

Programs that take an image whatever you want to back up will only need space equal to the amount of data you're actually backing up. And many of those programs can use compression if you select the option to compress the image and in those cases will take up somewhat less space than the amount of data you're backing up.

As Ubrales said, sector-by-sector or bit-by-bit backups require the exact amount of space equal to the drive being backed up. But Windows 7 also supports backing up just folders and files using Backup and Restore. But if you have a spare drive just for this purpose, backing up can also be simply click and dragging a copy of everything to the spare drive.

Also, almost every program/game allows you to change the install directory at some point during it's installation process. You just tell the installer exactly what folder you want to install to.
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a b G Storage
September 1, 2011 10:15:22 PM

Partitions and disk organization are a personal thing, there are unlimited ways to do it and ways to look at it. I used to have lots of partitions and I used that system to help with my organization. Gradually I have gone to fewer partitions. Right now I work with 3 partitions-

C: for OS and programs. The data on this partition doesn't change very often. I can run an image backup whenever it changes but otherwise I don't have to worry about backing up this partition.
D: for data, "my documents", etc. This is MY stuff, so I back it up more frequently. I can back it up using different means, whatever is convenient, from xcopy up to various sync programs.
E: for temporary data. I never worry about backing this one up. If I want to put a group of photos on a CD for a family member for instance, I copy the folder of photos to this drive, delete some, add some, edit some, whatever, then I can write the folder to a CD. When I'm through I can delete the folder because I know it is only temporary.
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September 20, 2011 3:45:04 PM

Best answer selected by oobe_banoobe.
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