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Hard Drive Set Up

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December 21, 2010 12:42:32 PM

I’ve recently bought the parts to build a new computer. Some of the parts are coming from a previous build.

System Usage: primarily to render video and photoshop picture edits for home use, secondary Media center

Parts not required: 1075T, ASUS M4A89GTD, 4GB Corsair XMS3, 8GB Kingston HyperX

I have two hard drives
1 TB Samsung F3
1 TB Hitachi Deskstar

I originally was thinking I would purchase and SSD for this build to use for the system partition (use the Samsung as primary storage and Hitachi as back up storage). However, the price range for the SSD hasn’t come down to my price point yet.

I’m now thinking of using the Samsung as primary system partition and secondary partition as storage (having more than 200 GB of video and pictures), while using Hitachi as the back up storage. I will be loading Windows 7.

Does this sound like a good set up for these two hard drives?
How large of a partition should I allocate for the windows partition?
Any other recommendations?

More about : hard drive set

December 21, 2010 1:05:47 PM

Windows 7 takes up about 30 gigs of space alone so your partition will be based off of how much other software you will be loading on. somewhere between 50 to 100 should be good.
I would recommend partitioning about 80 Gigs just to be on the safe side.
Both drives are 7200 RPM and the samsung i think reads and writes a little faster so you probably are good with that being your primary drive.
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December 21, 2010 1:05:53 PM

You CAN partition one of the drives (the F3 for example) to a size large enough for your OS and programs (maybe 150GB - 250GB), and have the remaining as a separate partition. However, IHMO you aren't really buying anything except a logical split of your available space. Creating a small(er) partition for your OS might, and I stress might, see better performance. If you are fine with a 1TB OS drive and 1TB storage drive, then simplicity is your friend...
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December 21, 2010 1:07:24 PM

Is there any particular reason you need partitioning?

The samsung should be fine as a boot drive. Win 7 allows you to setup automatic backups. Much better idea if you're concerned about data loss. Obviously put backup of 1 drive onto the other.
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December 21, 2010 1:09:49 PM

Data protection and recovery is the best reason to partition your hard drive. While it can't protect against a catastrophic hardware failure, keeping your OS on one partition and your media on another can guard against losing everything in a software failure. If you need to reinstall your OS, maintaining a separate partition means you can simply format that section of the drive and reinstall everything, while retaining all of your important information on another partition. To further protect yourself, you can even set off a small rescue partition with diagnostic tools and other utilities (but a USB key can work just as well for that).
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December 21, 2010 3:09:03 PM

1. Win 7 automatically creates a restore partition.

2. Partitioning does nothing to protect data from HD failure or viruses. Backing up data is a much better option as it actually protects the data.

3. The chances of having a software failure resulting in a non repairable boot & somehow still being able to access data on a different partition in next to nil.


The two cases where partitioning isn't a waste of time are:
1. You'll be constantly making backups of your OS and installed programs. Partitioning allows you to easily make a backup of the boot drive as an image. However, outside enterprise area, most people simply get everything installed and make a backup image to use in case of failure.
2. You want to have multiple OS's.

Hence my question to the OP. If he's doing this for data security purposes, then it's a waste of time. If he's doing it for one of above 2, then it's not. Regardless, you should be backing up data if it's important.

edit: Using partitioning for data protection has same exact issue as using RAID 1. Guys at Puget wrote up a nice article on this a while back, but still perfectly valid.
http://www.pugetsystems.com/articles.php?id=29

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December 22, 2010 2:09:03 AM

To protect my data, I was planning on having automatic back ups to the Hitachi drive. I'm not as concerned with the OS as my home photos and videos. I also back up to DVD stored off-site.

I wanted a separate partition for the OS and programs because I thought this speeds up the launch of the OS and programs. If I'm wrong, please inform me. Photoshop also encourages a separate partition to be used as a scratch disk preferably on a different drive than the OS.

I wasn't planning on using a RAID configuration. I'm not planning on using multiple OS. Later, I may play around with VM OS for fun.

Since this is going to be a new build, I wanted to build it the best way possible with what I have. Let me know your suggestions.
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December 22, 2010 3:23:20 AM

Partitioning doesn't affect launch speeds. Drive performance is much much more important.

SSD as a Scratch disk is a good idea if it's important to you.
Also, if you want fast boot, a SSD will also be much much faster than a mechanical drive.
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