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Master and Puppets

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February 12, 2004 6:42:34 AM

Working configuration:
IDE1 - HDD with several partitions (with installed O.S.),
IDE2 - DVD-rom drive,

I want to install a 2nd HDD and also a 2nd O.S.
I can either:
a) install the 2nd O.S. on one of the available blank partitions of HDD1 and install the 2nd HDD as slave on IDE2.
b) install the 2nd HDD as master on IDE2 and install the 2nd O.S. on it and change the dvd drive to slave.

I need some comments or help on potential performance issues here.
Is there any reason to do or NOT to do one of the above solutions? Give me your opinions and ideas.
Will anything need to be adjusted or changed in the 1st O.S. after the dvd becomes slave? The dvd drive is used for the normal usual uses (files, movies).
I primarily wouldn't want to cause any changes to the fist HDD and O.S. apart from using one of the available partitions to install the 2nd O.S. (if i decide to go for option a).

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.

More about : master puppets

February 12, 2004 6:50:03 AM

You should install the second HD on IDE2 as master and change the DVD to slave. The second OS can be installed on any drive or partition, but I recommend using a different partition than the first OS.
If you go for best performance, each OS'es should be installed on a small partition that is the first partition on each drive. This ensures that the OS files are placed on the part of the drive that has the fastest transfer rate.
you don't need to change anything after you DVD drive becomes slave. Your drive letter may change, but thats usually not a problem unless you have some programs that expects your DVD to have a specific letter.


<i><b>Engineering is the fine art of making what you want from things you can get</b></i>
February 12, 2004 7:15:19 AM

"The second OS can be installed on any drive or partition, but I recommend using a different partition than the first OS."

Don't you mean 'I recommend using a different HD than the first O.S.'?

"but thats usually not a problem unless you have some programs that expects your DVD to have a specific letter."

Well, i don't think so. Sometimes that i need to update stuff the prompt (browse) will come with the drive letter, but i can then change that, right?

There's the option of installing a recorder sometime soon as well. I guess it will pose no problems performance-wise since its going to be a slave and its supposed to be one anyway, right?


<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Xrtaea on 02/12/04 04:19 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
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February 12, 2004 7:35:41 AM

Quote:
Don't you mean 'I recommend using a different HD than the first O.S.'?

As the least, I recommend a different partition to avoid any conflict with swapfile etc. You don't <i>need</i> to use a different HD if you don't want to. But if you go for best performance you should place the OSes on a small partition thats in the beginning of the drive. For the best possible scenario, the OSes should be on separate HD's so that each of those small partitions are in the beginning of each drive.
You could also make two small partitions in the beginning of one of the HDs, and use each of those for the OSes. I don't think there is much performance difference (especially if the drive is large compared to the size of those partitions). Thinking about, I would prefer that, since it would leave the other HD free from OS related stuff.
BTW, why do you need to install a second OS? I have heard about this strange thing before, but have never really understood the benefit of it.

Quote:
Well, i don't think so. Sometimes that i need to update stuff the prompt (browse) will come with the drive letter, but i can then change that, right?

Yes.

Quote:
There's the option of installing a recorder sometime soon as well. I guess it will pose no problems performance-wise since its going to be a slave and its supposed to be one anyway, right?

An optical drive doesn't <i>have</i> to be slave. It can be master if you wish. There is no performance difference.

<i><b>Engineering is the fine art of making what you want from things you can get</b></i>
February 12, 2004 8:51:18 AM

Thank you HammerBot!
You've been really helpful :-)

"You could also make two small partitions in the beginning of one of the HDs, and use each of those for the OSes. I don't think there is much performance difference (especially if the drive is large compared to the size of those partitions)."

Well, i was thinking of that but, since that disc is not really big (40Gb) and the only partition available for a second O.S. is the second one (the first is no more than 7Gb) i can't really consider it being in the beginning of the HD, so i guess i shouldn't preffer that method, should I?

"BTW, why do you need to install a second OS? I have heard about this strange thing before, but have never really understood the benefit of it."

Strange huh?... weird... :-)
One reason why i need double O.S. is to retain compatibility with older apps and even hardware that no matter what i tried i found not to be compatible (or fully compatible) with xp.
Another reason is that if something REALLY screws up within one O.S. (or in case of a HD crash too) i can use the other one to access data files without the need to waste time repairing. It is really important to be able to have access as fast as possible.
This comp is part of a rig used as a backup to process audio files for audio sequencing. For efficiency reasons it is extremely important to have an instant way out of a crash... sometimes i just don't have the luxury of time to waste. Both OSes can access the data, hence the need for 2 of them.

Since we mentioned performance issues and how outer tracks give higher transfer rates, what should partitions that are close to the center be used for? I mean, system files shouldn't be there, games shouldn't be there, applications that don't load to memory completely shouldn't be there... so what's left? Files that you definitely don't mind if it's a little slower to access like photos and MP3's?... I really don't know how to utilise such a partition to the max. Any ideas?

"An optical drive doesn't have to be slave. It can be master if you wish. There is no performance difference".

Oh, I assumed they better be slaves since all recorder manuals i layed my hands on recommended setting them as slaves. That's why i said that.

You know, since we've been this far, there's another thing i could use help with. Norton Ghost.
I absolutely understand that i should -and will- find out for myself, so i will understand if you tell me to. Still, if you don't mind, i'd like to ask you for a brief explanation on it's use:

I'm thinking of making a partition (close to the center) to store the Norton Ghost file of the system. What i don't know is how much space is needed and what it depends on.
Does it matter how much each partition is in size, or does it ONLY depend how much is USED in each? Is there compression involved?
For example: let's say you have a disk that has 3 partitions: 7,20,11Gb and each one contains 3,2,4Gb. How much size will the file that NGhost creates be?
That would REALLY help me decide on the size requirement for the last partition.

If you could shed some light there i would be REALLY greatful, but like i said, i will understand if you tell me to do it on my own. Besides, you've been really helpful already!

Thank you.
February 12, 2004 10:12:52 AM

Quote:
i can't really consider it being in the beginning of the HD, so i guess i shouldn't preffer that method, should I?

True.

Quote:
what should partitions that are close to the center be used for?

I would have no problems placing games and apps on those partitions. They load a bit slower, but unless they are really HD activity intensive the difference isn't that big.
I usually put mp3, video, photos etc. on such partitions.

Quote:
You know, since we've been this far, there's another thing i could use help with. Norton Ghost.

I don't use Norton Ghost myself (I use PowerQuest drive image), so I can't be sure about this, but I expect it to be similar to drive image.
Drive Image makes an image of used data only and gives and option of low and high compression. The image of my boot/system partition (4 GB of data) is usually around 2.5 GB with low compression and 2 GB with high compression.
Older versions of Norton Ghost was unable to write the image to NTFS partitions (one of the reasons why I chose PDI). In that case it was necessary to have a small FAT32 partition to write the images to. However, I believe this issue is fixed in never versions og Norton Ghost and thus there is no need for a dedicated partition for images. Simply use whatever data partition you already have.

<i><b>Engineering is the fine art of making what you want from things you can get</b></i>
February 12, 2004 10:32:55 AM

So, i guess that
a)within one image file you can include the used space of multiple partitions,
b) without compression, it would be a 1:1 ratio, right?
February 12, 2004 10:35:03 AM

a) No. Each partition gets its own image file.
b) Yes.

<i><b>Engineering is the fine art of making what you want from things you can get</b></i>
February 12, 2004 10:55:00 AM

Hmm,
it would have been nice if you could include more than one partition, so by using a single image file you can restore up to a whole HD.
February 12, 2004 12:01:05 PM

You can make a disk to disk copy. But that requires a disk of equal size.

<i><b>Engineering is the fine art of making what you want from things you can get</b></i>
February 13, 2004 10:29:40 AM

The guide for Ghost I got started with:
<A HREF="http://ghost.radified.com/ghost_1.htm" target="_new">http://ghost.radified.com/ghost_1.htm&lt;/A>

I really like ghost, just FYI here's how I use it, though of course, it may not be suitable for your purposes.

I have a 15gb OS partition and 2x15gb OSBackup partitions (on another h/d).

The 1st OSBAckup partition is a recent backup, with os/drivers/apps etc all installed (I update this now and again, when the OS has been stable for a while). If something plays up, or a program I install messes things up, I can restore from this image in a few minutes.

The 2nd backup is from the original clean install of winxp and drivers. If ever anything nasty happens to the OS partition, I can ghost back to a clean install in just a few mins.

Works much better than WinXP system restore, and ghost boots from a floppy and ghosts the image back in just a few mins.
!