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Should I partition new 1TB external hard drive?


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#1 teiresias

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 06:35 PM

I just bought a new Western Digital 1 TB My Book Essential WDH1U10000N external hard drive and plan to use it for media storage as well as backups of my internal C:\ drive; do you think I should partition it due to its large size? I already had two internal drives fail on me, one only a year old, so I was wondering about the benefits of partitioning in case one partition becomes corrupted and the others will be fine. Also, if I partitioned would I technically lose some storage space of the 931GB available? Lastly, do all the partitions have to be the same size?

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#2 the_patriot11

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 02:17 PM

Might make organization of the drive easier, like all music here, backups here, etc. etc. and if you get a corrupt sector it will help keep you from losing all the data on the drive from reformating it, but thats all I can think off from the top of my head.

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#3 teiresias

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 04:27 PM

Thanks.

My dad had also asked someone, who ended up saying that I need to partition it, at least probably into two halves, since given the age (2005, I think?) of my computer he didn't think the BIOS would be able to recognize / be compatible with a 1TB drive. Is there anywhere I can look that stuff up? I know exactly what BIOS I have and everything, Dell version A01 dated 5/25/2005.

#4 hamluis

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 04:48 PM

The size restriction of a BIOS...doesn't apply to any system running XP with at least SP1 installed.

FWIW: It would take a system much older than yours...to have a BIOS that would have any size restriction worth noting...having XP with SP1 installed would override that.

There is a real limit currently, but it's so large that it's not worth considering in today's computing, IMO. It's much larger than 1TB.

Louis

#5 the_patriot11

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 07:15 PM

I wouldnt think the bios would limit the hard drive if you have at least XP sp 1. But theres one way to find out, plug it on in and find out. :D

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

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#6 dc3

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 08:24 PM

On a hdd of this size I would think that partitioning it into several partitions is going to make the seek times smaller than finding data on the whole drive.

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#7 teiresias

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 10:05 AM

I thought I read something like that elsewhere, thanks. Though I plan to use the drive for storage, I'll be playing the media on it as well would it have any effect upon playback of video, e.g. skipping or lagging, if the seek time is larger? Though I also wonder how it being connected through a USB cord (480 MB/s transfer rate) would affect that ...

#8 dc3

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 10:26 AM

There is a huge difference in transfer rates between USB 1.0 and USB 2.0, the 1.0 has a transfer rate of 12Mb/s where as the 2.0 has a transfer rate of 480Mb/s. If you don't have USB 2.0 you may wish to look into purchasing a USB to PCI card to increase the transfer rate.

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#9 teiresias

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 03:46 PM

I know the external drive / cord / etc. is USB 2.0, but where would I look to find out which I have on my computer? I went into the Device Manager and I saw this:

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#10 hamluis

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 08:27 PM

The enhanced host controller...provides USB 2.0 capability.

http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/connect/usb/usbfaq_intro.mspx

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#11 teiresias

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 05:05 PM

Ah, so I do have USB 2.0 capabilities, thanks.

I have decided that I'll need a few partitions for certain things where unzipping / decompression without tons of errors can only be done in the main folder for a letter name drive because of the sheer length of many filenames inside the zipped file; it would get unwieldy if I had to unzip those several different things in the 'main' folder of my external drive; I'll want a separate drive letter folder for that.

Before I get started, will formatting etc. be done automatically when I plug the USB cable into the port and the device is recognized, or what do I have to do? Do I partition AFTER formatting? Will I need a certain program to be installed beforehand so I can partition correctly?

And lastly, I'm still wondering if all partitions have to be the same size, i.e. dividing the drive into halves, thirds, quarters, etc., rather than having, say, two thirds and two sixths, or a half and two quarters?

I'd really appreciate whatever answers you can provide; my main drive hasn't been acting up for days now but I still think backing up is something I should do soon, as I learned when I lost my year-old secondary internal drive to corruption / general failure.

#12 the_patriot11

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 08:43 PM

I would think windows would give you the option of what to do (format etc/) when you plug it in and all drivers are installed, though its been so long since I installed one, not sure, if not you can do it ive device manager. and external hard drives work the same as internal ones, in fact they are the same hardware just in a box that allows you to plug it in via USB or whatever interface your using, so you don't have to have equal partitions, just like an internal hard drive you can make the partitions any size you want.

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.


#13 hamluis

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 09:27 PM

Disk Management - http://www.theeldergeek.com/disk_management.htm

Disk Management In Windows XP - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/309000/

RADIFIED Hard Drive Partitioning Strategies - http://partition.radified.com/ Skip down to the section dealing with hard drives, partitions, and folders.

Louis

#14 teiresias

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 06:29 PM

Thanks so much! I just read all three links and they were very helpful.

I'm about to format/partition, and have one last question since I am going to be creating partitions after all, should I make primary partitions, extended, or logical drives to separate? I was going to check the 'radified' link again after reading it but the site seems to be down for some reason since I viewed it an hour or so ago.

I'm trying to get on it with soon since I'm now down to around 1.4% free space on my internal (C:\) drive.

#15 teiresias

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 12:09 PM

I just wanted to thank you for all your help; last night I installed the external drive and partitioned/formatted it. It was a bit annoying to see that it had already been formatted as FAT32 and made into one primary partition, so figuring out how to convert it to NTFS was a pain, but once I deleted the partition and made a new extended one to put four logical drives in, it went well. Never realized it would take so long to format (well, the ones that were hundreds of gigs), though! But now I've managed to have the different cluster sizes I wanted for each partition, so I'm happy. Those links came in handy!

Thank you!




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