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View Full Version : Computer Help, Adding A 320G Drive



Sid_Vicious
07-31-2005, 05:40 AM
Can someone tell me if a P4 Dell bought this year will seamlessly take a 320gig drive and see all of it, or will partitions need to be made, possibly an add-on board be needed? How far has modern day arcitecture come these days for adding bigger drives? sid

heater451
07-31-2005, 08:14 AM
Sorry, I only have a part answer. . .

The drive size limitation is not hardware-based, but controlled by the operating system.

At this point I don't remember if XP has a limit, however, I personally prefer to partition, to make maintenance, like de-fragging shorter. I also like to keep my o/s installed on a separate partition than my files, in case it has to be blown away.

I'm sure someone will have a better answer, or you might be able to Google for one.



=========================

pooljunkie73
07-31-2005, 03:02 PM
XP should have no problem taking that hard drive. I agree with Heater, you should partition it just in case something goes wrong. I have a partition for my OS and one to back my files into, but its not mandatory that you do that.

Kent

Cueless Joey
07-31-2005, 10:39 PM
That depends on the motherboard I think.
I know some of the motherboards I've worked on had hard drive size limit so we had to flash them.
To find out what kind of motherboard you have, log on to Belarc.com. Download their free utility. It will tell you a lot about your 'puter and software.
I'd still partition that hard drive.

SpiderMan
08-01-2005, 07:58 AM
Heater,

Regarding the partition - is it possible to create a partition on an existing drive, then "sort" your files according to which "drive letter" you wish for them to occupy?

I have heard that partitioning a drive requires removal of the data first, which I'd prefer not to do. I'd much rather create a partition of the current empty space, then move my data out of the OS partition. Does that make sense?

SpiderMan

SnakebyteXX
08-01-2005, 10:15 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> Heater,

Regarding the partition - is it possible to create a partition on an existing drive, then "sort" your files according to which "drive letter" you wish for them to occupy?

I have heard that partitioning a drive requires removal of the data first, which I'd prefer not to do. I'd much rather create a partition of the current empty space, then move my data out of the OS partition. Does that make sense?

SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>

There are a several very good on the fly partioning programs available now that will let you re-partition a drive that contains data without destroying that data. Partition Magic is one of my personal favorites. PM also gives you the option to change a drive's format from FAT32 to NTFS or vice versa without destroying the drive's contents. Or to increase of decrease the size of the various partitions according to need.

As to setting up a separate partition for the OS? That's not a bad idea but it's not nearly as safe as having a separate hard drive strictly for that purpose. The OS drive (or partition) carries the greatest workload and is most likely to fail due to constant use. If you've got your OS on a partition and the hard drive fails - you stand the risk of losing all your data across all the partitions. With a single small drive (mine's 36 gigs) devoted to your OS you can still use your larger drive to back it up. This kind of multi-drive redundancy can be a life saver if your OS drive ever crashes.

Snake

Chopstick
08-01-2005, 11:48 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> Heater,

Regarding the partition - is it possible to create a partition on an existing drive, then "sort" your files according to which "drive letter" you wish for them to occupy?

I have heard that partitioning a drive requires removal of the data first, which I'd prefer not to do. I'd much rather create a partition of the current empty space, then move my data out of the OS partition. Does that make sense?

SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>

That's the we way do it on the larger systems. Keep the OS partition seperate from data and add on programs. That way when the OS corrupts itself, and it will, it won't affect your other stuff.

We routinely run partitions in the hundreds of gigs but that's the XP server version. I am not sure about the work station version. I am not a Windows weiney though. You should be OK.

Some of the guys at work have loaded Linux as the base OS and loaded a product called VMware on top of it. Then they loaded Windows into a VMware partition. Windows will then run inside a Linux window. When it crashes, they just open another window. It can't crash the machine. They say it has some other advantages as well. They have started to implement it on some of the big servers. I'll probably do it on the next machine I build for myself.

SpiderMan
08-01-2005, 04:29 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SnakebyteXX:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> Heater,

Regarding the partition - is it possible to create a partition on an existing drive, then "sort" your files according to which "drive letter" you wish for them to occupy?

I have heard that partitioning a drive requires removal of the data first, which I'd prefer not to do. I'd much rather create a partition of the current empty space, then move my data out of the OS partition. Does that make sense?

SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>

There are a several very good on the fly partioning programs available now that will let you re-partition a drive that contains data without destroying that data. Partition Magic is one of my personal favorites. PM also gives you the option to change a drive's format from FAT32 to NTFS or vice versa without destroying the drive's contents. Or to increase of decrease the size of the various partitions according to need.

As to setting up a separate partition for the OS? That's not a bad idea but it's not nearly as safe as having a separate hard drive strictly for that purpose. The OS drive (or partition) carries the greatest workload and is most likely to fail due to constant use. If you've got your OS on a partition and the hard drive fails - you stand the risk of losing all your data across all the partitions. With a single small drive (mine's 36 gigs) devoted to your OS you can still use your larger drive to back it up. This kind of multi-drive redundancy can be a life saver if your OS drive ever crashes.
Snake <hr /></blockquote>

Thanks,

I'll keep an eye out for "partition magic" to turn up cheap or rebated.

I've started using a large external HD for most of my data, but my applications are still on the internal HD with the OS. I wonder if the programs would all run OK and not be slowed by sharing a single USB interface with the data they're manipulating?

SpiderMan

heater451
08-01-2005, 05:36 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr>Thanks,

I'll keep an eye out for "partition magic" to turn up cheap or rebated.

I've started using a large external HD for most of my data, but my applications are still on the internal HD with the OS. I wonder if the programs would all run OK and not be slowed by sharing a single USB interface with the data they're manipulating?

SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>I would also recommend Partition Magic, although I'm also paranoid, and would back up stuff first. As long as Windows stays around, PM should "keep" as well--no real need to upgrade it.

Since you already have another, separate hard drive, why not just copy the work data there, and leave the O/S and the apps on the boot drive? You could also just keep 'working' files on the boot drive, but back them up on the other one.

As for the sharing the USB port, I wouldn't think it was a problem, unless you were running a lot of data through the port, like with an external hard drive, or maybe a USB network connection. Even then, I'm not so sure, you would probably have to be running a lot of apps simultaneously, and then I would guess that some apps hog more bandwidth than others. Still, Windows may have the last say, by allowing the "up front" app the priority on the port--sort of like memory management. . . .

Of course, I am assuming that more than one app can use the USB port at a time, which seems wrong, but then again, USB hardware can be daisy-chained. I do know that USB maxes out the ability to daisy-chain at some point, but that's with more periphereals than the average user would have.

Sorry, that I don't have a real answer.


============================================

Chopstick
08-02-2005, 06:44 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr>

I've started using a large external HD for most of my data, but my applications are still on the internal HD with the OS. I wonder if the programs would all run OK and not be slowed by sharing a single USB interface with the data they're manipulating?

SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>

Actually in this case, the apps are not using the USB interface. The driver for the disk subsystem is using it. The apps are accessing the disk through an OS function call which invokes the driver, which in turn accesses the USB interface.

If you are at USB1.1 this could be a problem. It is limited to 12 mb/s. The disk drive will saturate it. Even cheap drives now days can do 25 mb/s. USB2.0, at 480 mb/s, will handle it with no problem.

SpiderMan
08-02-2005, 07:06 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote heater451:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr>Thanks,

I'll keep an eye out for "partition magic" to turn up cheap or rebated.

I've started using a large external HD for most of my data, but my applications are still on the internal HD with the OS. I wonder if the programs would all run OK and not be slowed by sharing a single USB interface with the data they're manipulating?

SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>I would also recommend Partition Magic, although I'm also paranoid, and would back up stuff first. As long as Windows stays around, PM should "keep" as well--no real need to upgrade it.

Since you already have another, separate hard drive, why not just copy the work data there, and leave the O/S and the apps on the boot drive? You could also just keep 'working' files on the boot drive, but back them up on the other one.
<hr /></blockquote>

I was thinking of the difficulty of re-installing all my applications if I had to rework the boot drive, versus just re-installing the operating system. Do you think it would be better to leave all programs on the boot drive?

SpiderMan

SpiderMan
08-02-2005, 07:08 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chopstick:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr>

I've started using a large external HD for most of my data, but my applications are still on the internal HD with the OS. I wonder if the programs would all run OK and not be slowed by sharing a single USB interface with the data they're manipulating?

SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>

Actually in this case, the apps are not using the USB interface. The driver for the disk subsystem is using it. The apps are accessing the disk through an OS function call which invokes the driver, which in turn accesses the USB interface.
<hr /></blockquote>

I was asking about a case where the apps would reside on the external HD, therefore they would have to use the USB interface, if even just to be loaded into RAM.

SpiderMan

SnakebyteXX
08-02-2005, 07:38 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr>
I was thinking of the difficulty of re-installing all my applications if I had to rework the boot drive, versus just re-installing the operating system. Do you think it would be better to leave all programs on the boot drive?

SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>

It's appropriate to have most if not all installed applications residing on your boot drive (in Program Files). If the boot drive fails you simply reinstall the OS and then reinstall the Apps.

The important stuff that needs protection are your email files and doc files and anything else that constitutes 'personal files' that you've created - including digital pictures - address books, etc. I try to set up my system so that the majority of my personal data doesn't sit on the boot drive and if it does it's backed up on another drive. OE email files can be re-directed to a folder other than the default (boot drive) and files saved to your 'My Documents' folder (anything created by the MS Office Suite) can also be redirected to a 'My Documents' folder that can be set up on a separate hard drive.

As large storage capacity has become cheaper and cheaper the option to use an extra drive or two to hold system backups - applications in installable form - as well as a complete collection of your system drivers has become a cost effective means to avoid the risk of total data loss.

I view the OS (Win XP) as a marching band that even with proper maintenance over time tends to 'get out of step'. When this happens boot times slow down - performance slows down and things 'just don't work like they should'. Even if your OS partition or stand alone hard drive hasn't crashed, once the performance of the OS has begun to degrade sufficiently it may be time to consider a complete reinstall of OS and all apps. When that time comes having everything neatly organized and ready to reinstall can save you a huge headache not to mention hours and hours of precious time.

In contrast, one of my best buddies operates a very lucrative data recovery business. He tells me that it's folks who continue to keep everything (including personal data) on their boot drive that constitutes the vast majority of his business. Lost personal data is his bread and butter.

Just my dos centavos.

Snake

Chopstick
08-02-2005, 09:07 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr>

I was asking about a case where the apps would reside on the external HD, therefore they would have to use the USB interface, if even just to be loaded into RAM.

SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>

In the case of disk access the application does not have any direct knowledge of the physical interface of the drive. It makes a function call to the OS based on a logical reference like "D:". The routing/multiplexing of disk access requests to physical interfaces is handled by the OS. When an applicaiton is invoked it is the OS loader that pages the application code into memory.

I guess, rather than going into further technical detail, I should just address your original question directly.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr>
I wonder if the programs would all run OK and not be slowed by sharing a single USB interface with the data they're manipulating? <font color="blue">Your applications would be fine on the external disk. They will not be slowed down by the interface.</font color>
<hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue">What I don't like about having the apps loaded on the boot drive is the amount of time it will take to reload them in the event of an OS failure. If they reside on an external disk and the OS is reloaded you will lose the shortcuts and registry entries that point to them but you can still envoke them directly from their directories.

If you back these things up to the external disk all you have to reload is the shortcuts and registry and if you are in a hurry you don't have to do it right away. There's even software that will manage this process for you. </font color>

Chopstick
08-02-2005, 09:30 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SnakebyteXX:</font><hr>

I view the OS (Win XP) as a marching band that even with proper maintenance over time tends to 'get out of step'. When this happens boot times slow down - performance slows down and things 'just don't work like they should'.

<hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue">Absolutely right! I urge anyone not trust Windows for anything. Take every precaution that is possible to protect your data. This piece of crap has done more damage to the US economy than every other disaster that has ever occurred combined, with the possible exception of the World Wars.

They even went so far as to convert all the computers on a Navy ship the USS Yorktown to Windows. The whole ship locked up while they were underway and had to be towed back to port.

</font color> Windows leaves missle cruiser dead in the water. (http://www.slothmud.org/~hayward/mic_humor/nt_navy.html)

<font color="blue">What kind of stone cold idiot would hook Windows to a missle platform? </font color>

SnakebyteXX
08-02-2005, 09:43 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chopstick:</font><hr>

<font color="blue">What I don't like about having the apps loaded on the boot drive is the amount of time it will take to reload them in the event of an OS failure. If they reside on an external disk and the OS is reloaded you will lose the shortcuts and registry entries that point to them but you can still envoke them directly from their directories.

If you back these things up to the external disk all you have to reload is the shortcuts and registry and if you are in a hurry you don't have to do it right away. There's even software that will manage this process for you. </font color> <hr /></blockquote>

What about all those application specific .dll files that reside in Windows or one of its sub directories? They are not nearly as easy to track down or replace.

I'm also a big fan of the multiple-OS setup. With more than one hard drive it's possible to have a second OS (dual boot) on one of the other drives. When and if the time ever comes that you find yourself locked out of your primary XP the capacity to boot into a second XP OS in order to fix broken or damaged files in the first can be a lifesaver.

Snake

Chopstick
08-02-2005, 12:28 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SnakebyteXX:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chopstick:</font><hr>

What about all those application specific .dll files that reside in Windows or one of its sub directories? They are not nearly as easy to track down or replace.

<hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue">My information is out of date. I talked to the senior Windows guy at work. You cannot separate application specific files from the OS. No matter where you try to load it, it will still copy dlls and such to Windows directories. It's even worse than I thought. I'm glad I don't have to mess with it.

So Spidey, it won't help to load your apps on the external disk unless you are cramped for space. A portion of them will always get loaded on the boot drive.</font color>

ChopStick~~~&gt;Unix biggot.

heater451
08-02-2005, 04:37 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chopstick:</font><hr> My information is out of date. I talked to the senior Windows guy at work. You cannot separate application specific files from the OS. No matter where you try to load it, it will still copy dlls and such to Windows directories. It's even worse than I thought. I'm glad I don't have to mess with it.

So Spidey, it won't help to load your apps on the external disk unless you are cramped for space. A portion of them will always get loaded on the boot drive.</font color>

ChopStick~~~&gt;Unix biggot. <hr /></blockquote>I think that it's rare anymore, that you would be able to run an app without installing it under windows--not including stand-alone "utilities".

If apps didn't load anything into the Windows O/S, you would simply be able to copy them onto a CD, and then onto another computer---there would be no need to actually "install". Running stand-alone, an app might even be O/S independent, so you could run it on Win95 through XP, and there wouldn't be a need for an O/S-compatible version.

You can install apps on separate partitions, but if you have to blow the O/S away, they become disconnected from it and there is no registry connection either.

As has been said, just keep your 'personal' files on a separate drive than the boot drive, but go ahead and load all the apps onto the boot drive. Make sure you have the original install software, however.

Also, I can attest to the benefit of a dual-boot system, since I'm lazy enough not to back up everything on schedule. Having Win98 on my machine along with 2K has saved me some headache--as recently as last week, as a matter of fact. One caveat w/ using 98, however, is that you would want to format as FAT/FAT32, as 98 won't read an NTFS drive.

Another thing, just because this posting is making me think about it. . . .In an emergency, you might be able to load up NOPX--this is a Linux install on CD, which runs from the CD, to recover files from windows. I'm not completely sure on that though, so check w/ your local Linux guru.

Lastly, if you have a single hard drive system, and the O/S craps out, you can always connect it to another PC, on a slave IDE channel, and, hopefully, pull your data from it. I have had this operation go south twice, though--once when I plugged in a laptop drive, with a loose read/write arm, and I think I shorted something. The second time, I think XP didn't know which drive to boot from--even though it should have only gone for the 'master' drive, and it threw a fit, then decided never to boot again (requiring a reinstall of the 'recovery' PC)!

Sorry to ramble, it's what I do.



===============================

SPetty
08-03-2005, 08:02 AM
A 320 gig drive?

Geez, just how much porn does one man need? /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Rich R.
08-03-2005, 08:38 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr> A 320 gig drive?

Geez, just how much porn does one man need? /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif <hr /></blockquote>
"So many ............., and so little time." /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif