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Topic: How should I partition Hard Disk

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  1. #1

    How should I partition Hard Disk

    I\'ve got a 60GB Drive on the machine I am setting up GigaStudio on. How should I partition my Drive to best work with GigaStudio? 2 30GB partitions, one for programs, one for sounds? 3 20GB partitions? Do all your GigaStudio sounds need to be on the same partition? Thanks.

  2. #2

    Re: How should I partition Hard Disk

    Wow what a coincidence. I just got a new 60 gig drive a couple of days ago myself. What I did was two partitions. One was 40 gig\'s for my \"gigs\" and one is 20 gigs for my audio files. I think that the fewer partitions the better \"performance\" speaking. I\'m not saying this is the best way to do it but this is just how I did it.

    Donnie http://www.dssoundware.com

  3. #3

    Re: How should I partition Hard Disk

    Hmmn, maybe time to make a few comments:

    In general, files physically closer to the beginning of the harddrive supposedly have faster seek times - this means that the first partition on a drive should give the best performance for gigs.

    That is also why some defrag programs (like Norton) give you the option of placing certain directories / files closer to the start of the drive.

    In the same vein, it can then be argued that multiple small drives should give better performance for gigs than one large drive (provided the gigs drives are not connected through some PCI plug-in harddrive controllers, which can add significantly to the access time - one of the reasons some users obtain abysmal performance with SCSI).

    If you are going to use your PC for other things as well (word processing, etc), it may be a good idea to make a dual-boot system, in which case you would create two windows partitions with two windows installations, one dedicated to giga, and the other for the other stuff (wordproc, games, etc). It is especially important to keep games away from any DAW installation. You would then use an application like BootMagic to choose the appropriate partition at startup (there is also a free app somewhere on the internet, I forget its name). Since only one \"master\" windows partition can be active at any time, you would have to create another partition in which to swop files between the two installs, if necessary.

    For each audio track you record to (or play from) the same drive as the gigs (irrespective of which partition), you will lose some polyphony. I reckon it will be at least 1 / 2 voices per mono/stereo track - although it will probably be worse the further away the audio tracks are on the disc from the gigs. Also, the hard drive cache will play a role here.

    So if you are doing a lot of audio together with GSt, its probably best to put the audio on a separate drive. Hence, the best thing to combine with gigs on the same drive would be programs; performance will also be better if any swop (virtual mem) files can be kept on a separate drive.

    So I guess I would partition the drive as follows:

    Gigs
    Win Partition - DAW progs
    Win Partition - Other (wordproc, games, etc).
    Win Partition (smallish) to swop files
    Win Partition for backups of other drives

    Then I would have another drive which I would partition:

    Gigs
    Audio or progs or vmemfiles or backups of other drives

    In theory, additional drives could then be added with the same structure as the last. Of course, your milage may vary depending on you hardware, plug-in cards, the proportion of audio-to-gigs you use, and which samples are placed on which drives and are accessed in which ratios. Quite a number of variables, and thus basically impossible to suggest an optimal config.


  4. #4

    Re: How should I partition Hard Disk

    I like the idea of dual booting to keep my Gig setup clean.

    If I am going to stick with one drive for now, can I have my gig files on the same partition as my main gig partition, and then move them if/when I get another drive? I am not planning on doing any audio recording right now because I have an outboard digital recorder.

    So on to sizes, if I dual boot the drive, I\'m thinking 20GB for the non-Gig Windows partition, and then at least 20GB for my gig files. Do I need a full 20GB for my Gig-Windows partition, or should I shrink that and give myself more than 20GB for my gig files?


  5. #5

    Re: How should I partition Hard Disk

    Also, I have set up dual boot systems with Win2000/Win98 before, but never a Win98/Win98 dual boot. Does Win98 allow this, or do you have to do some trickery?

  6. #6

    Re: How should I partition Hard Disk

    Yes some trickery is needed -if you use BootMagic / Partition Magic, this is automatically taken care of. There is also some freeware program on the net that does the same.

    In essence Win98 does not allow two installs of itself, so to dual-boot properly, the one Win98 partition must be temporarily \"hidden\" - which is also why you need to create an additional paritition to put files in which you would like to be visible to *both* installs. (E.g. if you download an updated soundcard driver, you would probably have all your internet stuff on the non-gig Win98 install; but you would have to place this file in the extra partition for it to be visible, because the non-gig Win98 install partition cannot be made visible to the Gig Win98 install partition when booting the latter).

    This extra paritition need not be massive: it is normally only for temporarily copying files accross; although you may want to use it to permanently share files between the two installs.

    There is a nice FAQ on setting up a dual-boot Win98 system for DAW somewhere on the Net.

    You can split your Gigs accross as many parititons as you like, since they are basically ordinary windows files. You can have them on the same partition as your main Win98 gig install. However, note the performance issues which I have mentioned previously - here it may help you to use Norton Defrag to position your C:/gigs directory as close to the disk start as possible.

    In theory you can move gig files to other parititions / drives later. However, I have heard some mention that the .gsp performance files point to the original locations, and you may then have to redo them afterwards, otherwise they will be pointing at locations exist elsewhere. Unfortunately I have no experience with this, so I cannot really comment.

    As to the size of the actual partitions - this is up to the individual need. The size for Gigs will perhaps be mostly determined by how many samples you think you will need (you also have to include edited versions of samples). 20GB is maybe a bit on the small side? You will probably find in any case that you need to add an extra hard drive later on, during which stage you would probably redo your installation.

    It is normally better to make partitions larger rather than smaller, since it is much easier to split a partition later rather than trying to make it larger.


  7. #7

    Re: How should I partition Hard Disk

    Thanks for the advice! I\'ve used Partition Magic before, so I\'ll probably look up Boot Magic and use that.

  8. #8

    Re: How should I partition Hard Disk

    I\'m not sure, but I seem to recall that BootMagic is supplied with PartitionMagic?

  9. #9

    Re: How should I partition Hard Disk

    Yep you are right. I haven\'t used Partition Magic in a long time, so I had forgotten. I will probably pick up the new version--it is only $70 or so.

  10. #10

    Re: How should I partition Hard Disk

    cc, I realized drives are really cheap right now, so I picked up an additional 45 GB drive. So I now have about 105 GB to play with.

    I\'m going to do what you suggested--use partition magic to dual-boot the first drive, one partition for games, development, word processing etc, and one for Giga/Cakewalk. The second 45GB drive I\'m going to devote to Gigs.

    How big do you think I need to make the Giga/Cakewalk drive? I was thinking of making it 20GB. How much space does GigaStudio use? I don\'t want to have a bunch of empty space sitting around on the Gig/Cakewalk partition because I am not going to install anything else there--I am going ot keep it totally clean. So if I could get away with making it smaller I would like to.

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