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115 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 87850 8-Aug-2011 21:39
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Hi All,

Having just about filled up the 200GB drive I use for data (primarily as a consequence of getting a new camera a few months ago, and it's thirst for taking full-HD video!), it's time for an upgrade.  I'm interested to hear what others may do given the following situation:

First, a bit of background on the current setup:

Windows XP SP3
3 physical internal drives:
C: = 80GB   (IDE - OS)
D: = 200GB (IDE - Data, just about all program installs, games etc, photos+videos from the camera)
E: = 640GB  (SATA - Videos - editing family ones, the odd TV recording etc - and other large downloads (e.g. game demos))

I also have a 1TB external USB drive for backups.

Since the 80GB drive is now 8 years old, I thought I'd take the opportunity to retire it before it fails (although I have done a chkdsk, and no bad sectors were reported).  So I was initially thinking that I'd buy a 1TB drive, move the data to it from the 200GB D: drive, and then move the OS from the 80GB drive to the 200GB drive.

And then I got thinking... and I decided that I may as well take the opportunity to upgrade to Windows 7 too.  So, I've bought a new 1TB drive, and have a further 4GB RAM (currently running 2GB) and Win 7 64-bit on the way.

Given that I'll be doing a full reinstall, I'm now wondering what the best use of the available drives is.  I was initially thinking of putting Win7 OS on the 200GB drive, and then using the 1TB for data as above.  However, as well as the 80GB drive being 8 years old, the 200GB is nearly 6, so I'm thinking maybe it's time to remove that from the picture also.  If I was to do that though, does anyone have any recommendation on the best partition split for the 1TB drive - 100/150/200MB for the OS, and the rest for the data?  Or should I stick with the separate 200GB IDE drive for the OS, and continue as planned?

I have in the back of my mind that even if I partition it, and stick the OS and the data on separate partitions, that should the drive fail I'll potentially lose both.  But if on separate disks, at least I'd only lose one or the other.  But with drive capacities being so big these days it seems a waste to have a dedicated drive for an OS, and they're only going to get bigger (can't afford a SSD yet!).

So with all the above in mind, what would others do in this situation?  Keep the separate drives, or remove both IDE's and partition the new 1TB SATA?  If the latter, what partition size split?

Any suggestions gratefully received.

Cheers,

Simon.

P.S. Apologies for the slightly long post!  :-)

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619 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 503583 8-Aug-2011 22:00
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TBH it sounds like it was time for a complete upgrade.  With the $300+ you would've spent on the disk, ram and Win7 it would've made sense to save and spend a further couple of hundred on a new machine.

But assuming thats not an option...

Is there another available sata port?  I'd be getting another smaller sata disk for that and using it as the OS drive and retiring the 200GB IDE (or probably leaving for data I wouldn't worry about if it got lost).



115 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 503592 8-Aug-2011 22:19
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tigercorp: TBH it sounds like it was time for a complete upgrade.  With the $300+ you would've spent on the disk, ram and Win7 it would've made sense to save and spend a further couple of hundred on a new machine.

But assuming thats not an option...

Is there another available sata port?  I'd be getting another smaller sata disk for that and using it as the OS drive and retiring the 200GB IDE (or probably leaving for data I wouldn't worry about if it got lost).


Full upgrade/new machine, as nice as it'd be is not an option really, plus I think the rest of the machine is still (reasonably) well spec'd:

CPU = Intel Core 2 Duo, E8400, 2 x 3Ghz
RAM = 2GB (soon to be 6GB as mentioned)
Motherboard = Asus P5K-E/Wifi-AP

Despite the age of the two IDE drives, it was built only 3 years ago, so I think there's still a bit more life in it!

Yes, there are other available SATA ports - so I could explore that option.  A bit crazy with the pricing though, as the smallest cheapest drive on Ascent is 160GB for $65, and then you get 320GB for $68!  I'd then end up almost in the same position of thinking "there's a lot of unused space there..."!  Definitely worth considering though.

Cheers.

584 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 503605 8-Aug-2011 22:46
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I'd drop the 200GB IDE drive - using it as a boot drive is going to be detrimental to system performance. Boot from the 1TB drive, it's more modern and will be faster.

Whether you partition or not is up to you - I don't personally partition drives on desktop PC's/laptops.

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  Reply # 503618 8-Aug-2011 23:14
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the price of 2TB drives (around $100 each) these days makes it a viable solution to get two of them and use at least part of each disk in a raid mirror configuration. if you are taking a bunch of photos and videos, you probably dont want to lose them. along with a backup somewhere else -offsite with a friend, online with a provider- you really want to protect those as much as possible.

i'd still have a third drive for the OS - i just prefer to be able to have an OS drive i can completely wipe and reinstall without having to worry about my data. also, you can get a better performing smaller drive for the OS.




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115 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 515351 1-Sep-2011 21:11
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Hi All,

This is a rather belated post to say thanks to the above for your suggestions on my hard-disk setup.  I ended up ditching the 200GB IDE drive, and configuring the new 1TB SATA drive into two partitions: an 80GB C: drive, and an 850GB D: drive.

In conjunction with the additional memory increase to a new total of 6GB RAM, and a clean Win 7 Pro 64-bit install, the new setup absolutely flies compared to my old XP install.  Granted it's early days yet, and hasn't gone through months/years of patches and installs/uninstalls of programs, but for anyone interested, to give an indication of the difference, under XP it used to take about 3 mins to boot to a fully usable desktop from cold start.  Under Win7, it's now taking a shade over 1 minute!  Awesome stuff!!

Thanks again for the suggestions and advice.

Cheers,

Simon.

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