View Full Version : Request suggestions for drive setup, partitions

2nd November 2002, 18:01
Got a new WD 120 gig SE drive today. About to install and rebuild, but would like some suggestions before proceeding.

The other drive I'll be using is an IBM 60GXP 40 gig. What I'm thinking is to make the 60GXP the master, partition it into three drives, with Win98SE on the primary partition (3 gigs), XP on the secondary (5 gigs) and the third partition (32 gigs) for apps/games installed.

Then the 120SE would be the slave, as a single partition, mainly for video capture and such.

Both drives will be on the same cable.

The thing I'm wondering...would it be better to use the 120SE as the master, and partition 8 gigs away from that for the operating systems? That would leave me with 112 gigs free for video capture/editing, and I would install apps/games to the IBM drive (single partition).

I'm thinking it might be better to have that monster cache for the operating systems, but have no idea if it would make a performance difference.

Thoughts? Other ideas? Thx.

Asus P4B533, 1.6a at 2.24, 512 megs of PC2700 (Samsung on generic PCB), Compro GF3 Personal Cinema Ti200, Voodoo5 5500 PCI, UltraPlex TSi 40 (SCSI), HP 9200i CD-RW (SCSI), Adaptec 2940UW card, Sony 5x DVD, Enermax 350W, Inwin Q500 tower, Intel Pro/100B NIC, CMI8738 onboard audio, etc. Also, I'm thinking about dropping in my old Hollywood+ as well (saw some glitches while watching a movie the other day).

2nd November 2002, 18:04
Will you be using in a Raid config?

2nd November 2002, 18:24
I like the first scenario as it is similar to what I use myself. However I would prefer the 120 Gig on the secondary master.


2nd November 2002, 18:25
Definitely not with the mismatched drives.

The WD is going to be the faster drive, and my also prove more reliable. It would be nice not to have the two drives intertwined though, so if one fails you're not stuck completely.

Here's my first though on what I'd do:
You've got a bit of HD space there. Make the WD your master, and put the OS's on there, leaving the majority of the space for vid-cap. Take the GXP and split it up, 30GB main partition for your apps and games, and then 10GB for other stuff. That other stuff will be a "vault"

Set up Ghost, and keep copies of the partitions of W98 and XP on there, once you get it set up. That's 8GB max. The other 2GB you can use to copy over important documents, downloads, and saved games from your 30GB partition. With that kind of setup you can lose either OS, or your app partition, and not be completely decimated. And you want the app partition to be the primary partition on that drive, because you'll want the "vault" to be the extended partition so that you can change its configuration easily.

2nd November 2002, 19:51
3dfx: Nah, no Raid config.

DJ: considering my tower and the length of the IDE and SCSI cables, my 120SE may not be able to be a secondary master, (which would essentially designate my DVD a secondary slave)...not sure if the length is long enough. Currently, the Ultraplex is in the top bay, the DVD is in the third bay and the HP is in the fifth bay. I like having the Ultraplex at waist height, but to make the cable length thing work, I'd have to drop all three drives down to the bottom three bays. Another possibility would be to mount the 120SE in an external bay between optical drives...or mount the GXP instead, making that a secondary master and leaving the 120SE alone on a cable (I've got some rails somewhere...maybe the box has some ;)). A very interesting idea to look into and consider tho', thanks.

Wombat, although I had already planned on imaging my OS partitions as you suggested, and burn the 98 image to CD (to offload space), you described an offset idea I hadn't considered (partitioning the 60GXP with a "vault"). Good idea.

So I'm thinking to combine the two suggestions. I could probably:
a) bump up the HP to the fourth external bay, and bump up the GXP from the cage to the fifth bay
b) make the GXP a secondary master, and the DVD a secondary slave
c) partition the GXP for apps and a "vault"
d) put the 120SE on primary IDE with no other device, and partition three ways as described above

I'm thinking out loud again...does this sound decent?

2nd November 2002, 21:05
I would say, use the WD as primary.
Since it is faster, you will see some performance benefit in it.

3rd November 2002, 06:20
I third that:
WD 120GB
C:\5-10GB WinXP + all apps and no games
E:\ The rest Captures
(F:\ 5-20GB optional user data - duplicate or additional storage)

D:\5-15GB Win98(SE) + games (backup your games data when you reimage
G:\15-25GB user data

There is intensive discussion on this topic on Ars right now.
Thread (http://arstechnica.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?a=tpc&s=50009562&f=24609792&m=7690938735&r=5870949735#5870949735)


Is it worth to keep ghost (PQDriveimage) images on HDD. IMO once you create image it's static and you don't need it taking up space. I burn my images under dos to CD-Rs (you can split it over multiple if you want) - My scenario is posted in the thread linked above, will get WD800JB soon™ (In a 1-2 weeks.) so my scenario will slightly change.

3rd November 2002, 07:29
I'm unsure as to whether the WD will actually be faster. Those huge platters don't necessarily deliver the best throughput.

Besides, you want that raw speed for video streaming.

Here's what I'd do:

Partition 1: Win98
Partition 2: WinXP

Partition 1: Apps/Games/Etc.
Partition 2: Video Streaming

I would NOT put a third partition on the OS drive for apps. If you want apps on the OS drive, put them in the same partition as the OS. We've been through this argument before, but what you want to do is have multiple partitions on a drive that WON'T be used at the same time.

For example, when you're in WinXP, you will NEVER use the Win98 partition. When you're capturing video, you won't (we hope) be firing off a dozen other programs, but maybe you'll be hitting the swap file, which is on a different physical drive entirely. Get it?

- Gurm

3rd November 2002, 10:10
Originally posted by Gurm
I'm unsure as to whether the WD will actually be faster. Those huge platters don't necessarily deliver the best throughput.

Check storagereview (http://www.storagereview.com).

WD1200JB is teh win ATM as far as ATA drives are concerned, second only perhaps to WD's higher capacity drives with 8MB of cache like WD2000JB. We'll see how it stacks with upcoming 8MB cache Baracuda.

So it will certainly be faster, maxing at 50MB/s on outer platers (30 at inner and 40 average), where the os will reside.

I second that separate partition for apps (besides OS and data partitions) is not worth it since if you nuke the os you have to either reinstall or reimage apps anyway.

However separate partition for data is desirable because you can nuke OS and apps, while leaving your data intact (You should still backup though.)

3rd November 2002, 10:35
Nobody mentioned in this thread, but I'll suggest getting rip of Win98 altogether.

3rd November 2002, 11:47
Gurm, it's not the platters so much as the SE has 8MB of cache on it.

WyWy: the rest of us assumed that if he's starting over like this, he <I>needs</I> W98 for something. Not everything works in XP.

Utwig: Yes, I have an image of my XP drive on CD, but it's a minimal one. Keeping it on the HD is faster, and he could easily update it weekly or something this way without spending a lot of time and CDs. He's got room to play, so why not?

Slugbait: I would NOT mix HDs and CD/DVD drives on the same channel. It used to be a horrendous idea, and though it's gotten better, it's still a bad idea. The way to IDE protocol shares the channel, slow/glitchy slaves can really hinder the master drive, and rob you of the performance you should have. CD/DVD drives usually aren't designed to be considerate of sharing with a HD, so they can really bring you down.

3rd November 2002, 12:33
A Promise or Highpoint PCI IDE controller may be the ticket here.

It would give you two more IDE Channels with which to work and a great deal more flexibility.

Best of all they are quite inexpensive, from $20-40USD new in the box.

3rd November 2002, 14:39
Put the OS on the smaller drive and leave the 120 Gb drive in one partition for video capture, do not partition this drive as some of the partition(s) will have slower performance. Also make sure you put each of these drives on separate controllers for best performance.

3rd November 2002, 16:50
I'd limit the big drive to captures and data.

It's tempting to partition it, so you can move everything to one side or the other to reformat rather than defragging (and cleaner), but I'm not sure how much of a performance loss you'll encounter by doing it. Personally, fragmentation is one of my biggest issues, even with the smaller drives.

3rd November 2002, 16:58
But what OS are you running? NTFS doesn't get hit by fragging anywhere near the way FAT does.

3rd November 2002, 17:01
Originally posted by Wombat
Utwig: Yes, I have an image of my XP drive on CD, but it's a minimal one. Keeping it on the HD is faster, and he could easily update it weekly or something this way without spending a lot of time and CDs. He's got room to play, so why not?

I use prooven wersions for work, so a complete install of all apps and drivers (5.01 Powerdesk or later, will I see a difference in my Photoshop?) with all preferences and net connection set is all I need. So I have image of my June install and use that. When I significantly change hardware I'll reinstall everything and update to new versions.

98 is just bare OS and DX8.1 and I frequently install and uninstall games so that image also suffices. Latest or before latest powerdesk for 98 - I don't care.

3rd November 2002, 18:33
Originally I was thinking about doing dual-boot, primarily because I'm so comfortable with Win98 and know how to secure it. Plus, I occassionally like to play Glide games, and I was concerned with other software and hardware, like my scanner and firewall.

Well, I verified my scanner works fine in XP. I lose some software features of my Epson 740 printer, but it still does the basics. And perhaps I can get those x3dfx drivers to work...but if not, I have a slower machine with SLI, so maybe buying a V5 PCI last year was overkill...

So I decided to go for it, and just do XP. Heck, I can always rebuild again if it doesn't work out the way I want.

I'm going to leave both drives on the same cable (maybe get an ATA card in the future). WD will be the primary, partitioned 5G for the OS, the rest for capture and editing. The IBM will be for apps/games and backups.

I've got one more CD to burn (backing up files), and then I'm gonna rip my box open and get started.

3rd November 2002, 18:49
Oh, BTW, thanks for all the suggestions...and that Ars link was a hoot, too (but still somewhat informative)

3rd November 2002, 20:44

I still have a fair amount of fragmentation running Win2K & NTFS on a single ATA-133 drive when I load hours of material at a time. You're certainly right though, FAT would be totally unusable compared to NTFS, which is what makes the cheap, high quality editing even possible.

Our older system with 4-18 gig LVD drives and dual 2940 controllers striped across all the drives with two partitions on NT4 (required for Discreet edit 6.0) has less of a problem, but still works better if we reformat after each major project.

4th November 2002, 14:54
Use something for defragmentation like diskeeper.