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big single hard disk or 2 small hard disks? ?

Posted on 1998-06-02
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
I am about to buy a nice PC system from Dell with double 400MHz Pentium II, 256 MB RAM, SCSI based CD ROM, SCSI based ZIP and SCSI based hard drive. The OS will be NT4.0

Question:
Should I buy 2 hard drives at 4 GB or 1 hard drive with 9 GB?

The idea is to "mirror" the two drives in order to get a faster read rate and hopefully normal speed write rate. I heard about this technique and would like to try it. Is this technique really faster than using a single 9GB hard drive? How easy is it to set up with NT4.0?

The drives I am talking about are
One 9.1 GB SCSI, Ultra2/Wide LVD (7200 RPM)
Two 4.0 GB SCSI, Ultra2/Wide LVD (7200 RPM)

I don't really need more than 4 GB of space and therefore wouldn't mind having only that amount available. Communication speed to the hard drive is more important to me.

I appreciate that you share your expertise with others.

"Mug"
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Question by:mug
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lmar earned 400 total points
ID: 1135806
Mirroring will slow writes down and speed up reads a little bit.  I wouldn't recommend you implement it in your NT Workstation machine, instead rely on tape drives to backup data.

NT mirroring on the system partion also requires a fault tolerant boot disk should the primary drive fail, and if you search the MS knowledge base, you'll find a LOT of problems with recovering from a failed primary partition.

If you do want mirroring, I recommend a hardware adaptor (about $450) that will do hardware mirroring.  It's os independant, and will work much better should your system fail.

If you're interested in performance, 2 drives with the page file off of the system drive will be a little faster.  Your 400MHz system will be pretty spanky though anyhow, so you may want to go with the single 9GB drive now, and add a second drive later if the need arises.  1 9GB drive will be less expensive than 2 4GB drives.  Good luck

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by:mug
ID: 1135807
Thank you very much!

"Mug"
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