Multiple Hard drives and XP question

Posted on 2004-04-25
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
Hey, i have an old 10 gig lying around and im currently purchasing a new 160 or something gig.. i was wondering if it is a good idea just to put windows XP and all my apps on the 10 gig, then put all my media (mp3's and such) onto the 160 gig.  How would the performace be? Pros? Cons? thanks
Question by:kylecruz
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Expert Comment

ID: 10914110
If the drive is an old 10GB it would be a waste of time putting your O/S onto it.

The drive would be far too slow compared to your new 160GB unit.

The best thing to do would be to make a 20GB partition off the 160GB for your operating system and use the 10GB for a pagefile / swapfile disk.


Expert Comment

ID: 10914406
its better if u keep ur 10gb for gathering the backup files. ... because if at anytime if u have to format ur main 160gb hdd .. u still have all imp. files saved in old hdd ... hope this info will help

Author Comment

ID: 10915481
what does a page file/swap file disk do?
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Expert Comment

ID: 10915676
by many it professionals it is recommended that you store your swap files on another partition or
disk, this in return will make the computer a little better in performance , swap files relates
to virtual memeory.

heres some sites to understand it better,289893,sid9_gci213077,00.html

heres one that tells you a whole information plus tips on where to place swap files

Expert Comment

ID: 10916372
If the safety of you data is of paramount importance then i suggest you use the 160GIG as a backup drive. Unfortunately the integrity of the 10GIG is uncertain. If you can afford it, you may choose to  purchase a small drive say a 40GIG and use it for your operating system. It would certainly be faster than the 10GIG and more stable. In the end the, you data including MP3's would be safely on another drive in the event your main drive goes bad. (I had to learn this the hard way)

Expert Comment

ID: 10917596
One thing to bear in mind if you are going to install the 10gig and 160gig in your machine is the impact the 10gig's performance will have on the 160gig.  When you look inside your PC you will usually find 2 ports on the motherboard, each capable of handling 2 hard disks/cdrom/dvd drives.  Although there are 2 devices attached to this, the PC can only talk to one at a time.  If you have both of your hard disks on the same cable and listen to an MP3 from your 10gig drive (which will probably be much slower than your new disk) the PC will finish reading the chunk of data from the file before switching back to your 160gig disk to continue caching webpages or working with any other type of document.  Each time it does this, the performance impact will be minor, however, when built up over a large period of time or doing anything intensive, you will find this more and more noticable.  I would personally do one of the following, a) ensure both disks are on completely different cables, b) ditch the 10gig hard disk and buy a cheap 30 or 40 from somewhere, c) ditch the 10gig and just have 1 hard disk or d) buy another controller card which can be quite cheap.

Hope this helps.

Accepted Solution

nbjahan earned 125 total points
ID: 10933191
There's no doubt that your new H.D.D. is quite faster than the older 10 Gigs H.D.D. so your solution would not the best one.

Here is my recommendation for best performance:

- Install OS and apps on 160GB disk's first partition with 15 GB or lower space -> because after program failure (when the partition is marked dirty) Windows XP tries to scan that partition ,so higher capacity needs more time for scanning the drive, and also the defragmenting process .

- If you need large amount of installed programs then it’s better to define separate partition for your installed programs.

- It's always better to keep OS partition and Programs Partition at the lower capacities.

- A partition for media files could have larger cluster size.
For example you can set a partition with 16KB cluster size for MP3 files (usually 3~6 MB) and another partition with larger cluster size for larger files! But keep in mind that large clusters will result in waste of space.

- And finally store most frequently used files on new HDD and the other files on the older one.

Author Comment

ID: 10935677
i dont use too many programs.. just the same ones frequently... so im thinking i should just put the os and partitions on one and media and downloadables on the other. cluster size? i set to default for each partition... good idea?? im not even sure what they are

Expert Comment

ID: 10936783
No problem, since your files (downloads) are not so large it's good idea to use the default cluster size but if you're going to read/write large pieces of data from/to the disk it's better to use larger cluster size because it's faster to read/write larger chunk of data from/to the disk at each I/O operation.

What is clusters:,,sid43_gci211801,00.html

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