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Old 04-05-2009, 11:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default HDD setup/partition

Hi guys,

Since they were on sale, I picked up 3 WD Caviar Black 750GB HDDs. All I was thinking about at the time was space, space, space, since I was always running out of space on my 160GB. I did less research/thinking on hard drives than any of my other components. Now that I look back, I probably should have gotten a small SSD for OS/programs in place of two of of the 750GBs.

Anyways, how do you think I should set these three drives up for good performance? I will be storing a lot of videos/large audio files. I was thinking of setting up two drives for everday use, and keeping the third drive for backing up.

I read that somtimes partitioning the drives, and putting the OS and programs on one partition is good? Would there be any point for me to do RAID with the onbard controller? I read this article on short stroking...any point of doing that?

Tom's Hardware article on Short Stroking
Accelerate Your Hard Drive By Short Stroking : On The Stroke Of Performance: Hard Drive Short Stroking - Review Tom's Hardware


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Old 04-06-2009, 12:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: HDD setup/partition

Congrats on your terabyte+ of space!

So, you want to partition your drives? Well partitioning is an excellent way to create organization amongst your hard drives as obvious with distributing space.

You have two 750's that will be on all the time, I'm assuming they are all SATA. Well, if your motherboard has the onboard RAID in place, you can run a MIRROR raid ( Raid 0 I think, not sure) which does as it says, you mirror one hard drive completely once it's full and run back ups as needed, then, when the said hard drive crashes or errors you can go backwards plugging in the mirrored hard drive into the failed drive and voila, all the information you've saved till the crash is restored!

There are a number of ways to use the hard drive space. I suggest a partition exclusively for your operating system with some space for updates and programs that you would use exclusive to the OS. Drivers, virus scanner, updates, etc.

Another Partition can be used for programs you install, say third party applications, fourth partition can be music, fifth can be videos. I have a similar set up with a 250GB and 320GB drives in my system. I've split both drives into four pieces making it roughly 100+ GB per partition.

The other options in a RAID are striping, which takes two or three hard drives and spins them at the same time as one large drive. Then, the data is put in 'pieces' across all of the drives. There are different options in RAID configurations, it's purely based on how you want the hard drives organized as SATA is probably the fastest transfer rate for most consumer to high end users next to high speed SCSI array's. (we're talking 10,000RPMs or more with insane data transfer rates).

Before you ask, I know very little about SCSI array's, I know IBM used them along with server administrators for there ability to add and remove as many as 5+ devices to a single chain. It becomes all sorts of insane at that point.
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