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3 Hard drives...will windows be faster on it's OWN hard drive?

Posted on 2003-11-08
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Last Modified: 2010-04-14
Would windows work faster on it's own hard drive, and then put all programs on a second, and store all files on a third, or won't it make any difference?

Thanks!
Lee
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Question by:croozin
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:CrazyOne
ID: 9708480
It will make a difference but how much is the question.
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Expert Comment

by:CrazyOne
ID: 9708483
I mean you may not find the increase in performance that you hoped for.
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Assisted Solution

by:Dexstar
Dexstar earned 50 total points
ID: 9708575
croozin:

> Would windows work faster on it's own hard drive, and then put all programs
> on a second, and store all files on a third, or won't it make any difference?

For best results, put your OS files on one, your pagefile on another, and your program files on a 3rd.  That's how you'll get a big performance increase.

Hope that helps,
Dex*
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Expert Comment

by:Quetzal
ID: 9708696
You will get the fastest performance by using a striped volume (RAID 0) albeit at the expense of higher exposure to data loss in the event of a single disk failure.  A striped volume cannot hold the system or boot partition of a Windows 2000-based system, so you could put the system and boot partitions on one disk and create a striped volume with the other two.
 http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=303184

You can get many of the benefit of a striped volume and redundancy using striping with parity (RAID 5) and the loss of a single disk will not cause you to lose any data.  However it takes a minimum of 3 drives to make a RAID 5 parition, so you would need a 4th drive for the system and boot partitions.
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=303237
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Accepted Solution

by:
Quetzal earned 75 total points
ID: 9708718
I disagree with Dexstar slightly.  I would:

1. put OS files on one drive
2. put applications on second drive
3. put data files on third drive
4. split the pagefile over all three drives.

The idea is to get your system using as many physical drives during any given operation.
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Expert Comment

by:Quetzal
ID: 9708724
Last but not least, buy a RAID-5 card and attach your hard drives to it.  You get the speed advantages of striped volumes, the redundancy of RAID-5, and the conenience of organizing your hard drive space anyway you want (one giant parition or several).
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Expert Comment

by:Dexstar
ID: 9708793
Quetzal: After hearing your idea, I like it better.  Split the pagefile over 3 drives... I like that.

Of course, you accomplish the same thing with RAID, but with lots of extra convenience, so yeah, go with RAID if you can, otherwise do like Quetzal said.

Dex*
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Author Comment

by:croozin
ID: 9711386
Dexstar and Quetzal,

After reading Dexstars response first the other day, I investigated "page files".  I spent lengthy time, but came across this site... http://www.theeldergeek.com/sizing_the_page_file.htm (as I didn't know what a page file was a first).

I did find that Quetzal was completely correct, but not until after researching due to Dexstars suggestion.  I appreciate everyone's help, as I have sucessfully solved my problem, and although it doesn't seem huge, I notice a difference.  In the end, next time I'll buy more RAM first, and then upgrade my hard drive space. :)

Thanks to all!
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