Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Need advice on installing two hard drives


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 StartingOver

StartingOver

  • Members
  • 69 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:About 70 miles from Galveston Bay wade fishing!
  • Local time:07:12 AM

Posted 26 March 2010 - 11:54 PM

I need some advice on setting up two hard drives for my HP Pavilion a1100y desktop. The system has a Celeron 2.80GHz processor, 2GB of RAM and is running Windows XP Home SP3.

The original drive is a SATA 40GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.7. The new drive is a SATA 160GB Western Digital WD1600AAJS. I'll be doing a clean install of Windows using the original discs from HP which automatically creates a partition for, and installs, the Recovery Partition (whether I want it to or not! :thumbsup: ).

So, which drive should I use as my boot drive? I'm inclined to use the larger drive for the operating system, all programs and the recovery partition; and use the smaller drive for the swap files (virtual memory) and the "My Documents" folder. I use the "My Documents" folder in Windows for all of my storage; documents, pictures, music, the works. I normall don't need more than about 5GB of space for that folder.

Since "My Documents" is a Windows folder, is there anythng special I need to know about moving it or can I just drag & drop from one drive to the next?

Finally, what questions am I not asking??? Any advice beyond what I've asked for will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
StartingOver
Just Remember "To Err Is Human" (To REALLY Foul Things Up Requires A Computer!)

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 MrBruce1959

MrBruce1959

    My cat Oreo


  • BC Advisor
  • 6,377 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Norwich, Connecticut. in the USA
  • Local time:08:12 AM

Posted 27 March 2010 - 12:09 AM

I would use the larger drive for your boot device and main operating system.

The smaller drive is great for a backup drive and storing critical files in case something bad should happen with the main drive.

Yes you can just move or copy and paste the My Documents folder right over to the secondary drive, and access everything through My Computer or create a shortcut to those folders on your c:\ drive desktop.
Welcome to Bleeping Computer! :welcome:
New Members: Please click here for the Bleeping Computer Forum Board Rules
 
My Career Involves 37 Years as an Electronics Repair Technician, to Which I am Currently Retired From.

I Am Currently Using Windows 10 Home Edition.

As a Volunteer Staff Member of Bleeping Computer, the Help That I Proudly Provide Here To Our BC Forum Board Membership is Free of Charge. :wink:

#3 Hawkeye4

Hawkeye4

  • Members
  • 326 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:08:12 AM

Posted 27 March 2010 - 02:07 AM

For me, I'd put the operating system on the smaller drive and My Documents on the bigger one since it's new. That way if the OS HD goes out, your data will be protected somewhat. But, that's just my humble opinion.

#4 StartingOver

StartingOver
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 69 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:About 70 miles from Galveston Bay wade fishing!
  • Local time:07:12 AM

Posted 27 March 2010 - 02:30 AM

MrBruce1959 & Hawkeye4, thank you both for your advice. But, this is the same problem I have when I check with some of my computer friends locally, half agree with MrBruce1959 & the other half with Hawkeye4.

Both opinions make sense. I'm so-o-o-o confused!?

Will anyone break the tie?

Thanks again
StartingOver
Just Remember "To Err Is Human" (To REALLY Foul Things Up Requires A Computer!)

#5 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 55,246 posts
  • ONLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:07:12 AM

Posted 27 March 2010 - 08:56 AM

I belong to the camp where the smaller drive winds up with the O/S :thumbsup:.

My reasons are:

a. There is no advantage at all...to installing Windows XP on a hard drive partition larger than 20GB.

b. In fact, doing so proves to be a nuisance when it comes to partition maintenance operations (chkdsk, defrag).

c. The advantages of having the larger hard drive as something other than the system drive...lies in the fact that the majority of data files are now separated totally from the system drive. If one drive goes bad, only one aspect causes heartburn and leaves the user seeking data-recovery options. The large drive can be partitioned and data-access times will not be slower, as they would be if all those partitions were on the same drive used for the system partition. Seems like a small item but it can be annoying when transferring/moving/accessing large numbers of files or large files.

Ultimately, it's user preference.

Louis

#6 StartingOver

StartingOver
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 69 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:About 70 miles from Galveston Bay wade fishing!
  • Local time:07:12 AM

Posted 27 March 2010 - 12:45 PM

Thank you Louis!! And not just for breaking the opinion tie but, for listing your reasons. Using the configuration you outline agrees with much of the online research I've gathered (white papers, etc). Even though it is ultimately the consumer's choice, it seems that conventional wisdom follows your advice. So, if you have time for another response, I have some detailed questions about the setup.

When I perform a clean install using the smaller drive as the boot drive, the partitions set by the recovery process seem to be less than ideal regarding space management. The default partition sizes allocate about 29GB to C:\ and about 7.5GB to D:\. First, I've never understood where the balance of the 40GB of storage that is available according to the drive's manufacturer's label. And, for that matter, it seems that any drive I've ever installed always has slightly less actual available storage space than the box says it has (not a big deal, just makes me go "Hm-m-m-m"). The point is that the recovery partition winds up having over a gig of "free" space. Is that necessary or can I allocate less space, say 5GB to D:\ drive, allowing only slightly more space than the total size of Recovery Image and allocate more space to C:\ drive?

The next decision is where I should install my programs. I've never checked the total storage my software/applications need (& I should) but, I can tell you that, prior to getting the second drive, my puny little 29GB C:\ drive was almost full. There were times when my free space available, after clean up and defrag, was measured in megabytes, not gigabytes. And I try to keep my total data storage (documents, pictures, videos, music, the works) under 5GB . I try to keep any data that I doesn't have to be readily accessible on a disc. So, my thought was to put the most used applications, such as Microsoft Office Professional, on the smaller drive. Since my data will be stored on the larger drive, that should avoid some of the bottlenecks created by having the application doing the work and the data being worked on located on the same drive. This is the reason I'm moving the swap files to the larger drive. Then, I could store programs like Eraser, Spybot S&D, CCleaner, etc. on the larger drive when C:\ drive approaches about 50% capacity. Your thoughts on program storage?

I'm sure there are more questions but, I just went blank. I'd love to go out & buy new but having too much month at the end of the money demands that I maximize what I do have. I view it as doing my part to protect our environment by avoiding waste!

Thanks in advance for your help (and to anyone else who wants to jump in!).
StartingOver
Just Remember "To Err Is Human" (To REALLY Foul Things Up Requires A Computer!)

#7 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 55,246 posts
  • ONLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:07:12 AM

Posted 27 March 2010 - 02:12 PM

<<When I perform a clean install using the smaller drive as the boot drive, the partitions set by the recovery process seem to be less than ideal regarding space management.>>

Aaahhh...I have no systems which require recovery/restore partitions...thus, I have no experience dealing with such. When such a system comes into my possession, the first thing I do is delete all existing partitions and then do a clean install of XP Home (I have several valid licenses which are unused).

If I had a system and intended to use the system manufacturer's scheme for reinstalling...I would read up on the space requirements for doing an install.

<<First, I've never understood where the balance of the 40GB of storage that is available according to the drive's manufacturer's label. And, for that matter, it seems that any drive I've ever installed always has slightly less actual available storage space than the box says it has (not a big deal, just makes me go "Hm-m-m-m"). The point is that the recovery partition winds up having over a gig of "free" space. Is that necessary or can I allocate less space, say 5GB to D:\ drive, allowing only slightly more space than the total size of Recovery Image and allocate more space to C:\ drive?>>

As I said, read up on the space requirements when using the system manufacturer's techniques.

As for hard drive space differentials...there's a common misunderstanding among users. See Hard Drive Size Differential - http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/ph...php?p_faqid=615. Note that WD is a primary hard drive manufacturer and what they indicate is standard.

<<The next decision is where I should install my programs. I've never checked the total storage my software/applications need (& I should) but, I can tell you that, prior to getting the second drive, my puny little 29GB C:\ drive was almost full.>>

I think you phrased this incorrectly :thumbsup:. The question should not be asking where programs should be installed (matter of opinion, but I choose to install them close to the O/S and registry because I see no sense in putting them anywhere else)...but why is 29GB too small for your system partition?

And the answer to that has to be...because you have unnecessary data files being stored on your C:. There is no advantage at all these days to having data files in My Documents, My Music, etc. Long ago, when systems only had one hard drive, considerably smaller than those in use today...those categories were created by Microsoft to simplify the user finding files and actually brought some order to file storage.

Today, those folders are neither necessary nor convenient. They were not designed with the idea that users would have tons of large data files in them and today they often contain files which would be better stored...on other partitions, drives, media.

So...I install my programs on the System Partition, with the O/S and the registry.

I store all video, graphics, and music files...on separate partitions I have created on other hard drives attached to one of my systems. Because I have a home network, it doesn't matter what partition on what drive, since all are accessible from any system.

<<This is the reason I'm moving the swap files to the larger drive.>>

IMO, the swap file location is a non-issue, other than in the minds of some users who probably have more experiences with older systems than you do.

Anyone who thinks moving the swap file in today's world of SATA and SSDs, multi-core processors, etc...IMO, is living a delusional life.

The swap file, on a system that has adequate RAM installed, is not a major player in system efficiency. The time when users like myself may have been concerned with such...has come and gone, IMO.

Users would serve themselves better, IMO, if they disable hibernation and indexing and let XP manage the pagefile on the same partition.

Others here have differing and different computer experiences, with many of them more varied than mine. They may have different perceptions of the things I've posted on.

The key to life is to remember that...most of the decisions one has to make in life...come down to nothing but personal preference. Right/wrong, beauty/ugliness...on and on.

Personal preference.

Some of us have reasons for such, some of us don't have reasons...but they all remain personal preferences.

Louis

#8 StartingOver

StartingOver
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 69 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:About 70 miles from Galveston Bay wade fishing!
  • Local time:07:12 AM

Posted 28 March 2010 - 06:03 PM

My thanks to Hawkeye4, MrBruce1959 and, especially to Hamluis.

Louis, your details and explanations were extremely helpful and I can't thank you enough. Yes, ultimately everything comes down to personal preference but, I've learned (the hard way some times!) that its better to use a system established by someone more experienced in a given area instead of re-inventing the wheel all of the time! (I have a bad habit of doing that! LOL) Then, if I need to adjust a part of that system to fit a particular issue I'm facing, at least I have an established starting point. So, once again, thank you.

Louis, you mentioned you partitioned your drives for various specific uses. Did you do that just for your own personal organizational preferences or are there also benefits to the system? I can certainly see the benefit if the drive does not have to wade through jpeg's, music & video files to access my Office documents. And, I'm thinking that would slow the process of fragmentation by having the drive partitioned for a particular use, IE; only MS Office documents or only music files. Am I on the right path?

Would you mind sharing how you have various partitions set on your drives, in other words, what is the partition for & what made you decide to set it up? Obviously, I'm dealing with extremely limited space compared to even an off-the-shelf laptop you could buy at WalMart today! So, based on your answers, I'll have to decide on the number and sizes of the partitions I can use.

Thanks again
StartingOver
Just Remember "To Err Is Human" (To REALLY Foul Things Up Requires A Computer!)

#9 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 55,246 posts
  • ONLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:07:12 AM

Posted 29 March 2010 - 02:59 PM

Well...I have a lot of hard drives and my tendency now is not to use my IDE/PATA drives, even though they still work without problem. There's just no reason to use PATA if the system supports SATA, IMO.

The fact that hard drives are humongous in capacity these days...is appreciated by me, a person with a 6GB hard drive in my first system. I believe that going from small drives to large drives...and capturing video files...and editing graphics and music files...these are things I like to do which can take advantage of the very large drives.

So I create partitions based on the things I do on a system, outside of visiting forums, surfing, and other mundane habits. I find it easier to work with graphic files...if I know that all of them are in one partition, with multiple folders for further categorization.

Ditto for video files...I give separate partitions to Movies...Sports (Soccer, Tennis, etc.)...Basketball, Women...Basketball, Men...and so on.

It's just all designed to make it easier for me to find whatever file I might want...on any of my home network systems...in the shortest amount of time.

Nothing particularly clever about it...it just fits me :thumbsup:.

<<Obviously, I'm dealing with extremely limited space...>>

No one has to feel like computer space is limited...with external enclosure/hard drive combinations available for USB attachment. If multiple computers are involved, a home network provides the same additional capacity.

Louis




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users