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Topic: Second Hard Drive

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  1. #1

    Second Hard Drive

    I have read and had recommended to me that I get a second hard for all the samples (from Giga Studio, from SI, from any other source). Putting Sonar and GS on my OS drive and all the libs on the other one. My question is what if I don't? I have a PC Pentium 4 3 GHz with 1 GB Ram, and if I don't get the second hard drive will my set up just slow down? crash? punch me in the groin? I don't have an aversion to getting this other drive, but I am just trying to figure out it's value. I will be using my set up for orchestral works, so I do want to run at peak efficiency and I am guessing that I should get another GB of RAM.

    Thanks,
    Sherb

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: Second Hard Drive

    Yeah, everybody says to get the 2nd drive, as you don't want to record to the same drive that your system stuff is on.

    I finally got a 2nd drive, onto which I both record and have my VSTis/sample libraries, and the difference is pretty dramatic. I know longer hear the squeaks and scrapy noises of the OS when I'm listening to music, patches seem to load faster, and everything is more stable generally.

    I have the page file off on the data drive as well. I don't know why this helps so much, I just know that it does.

    Many folks get yet another drive (or at least partition) to seperate their sound samples from their recording space, but I've never tried that. But having at least a separate system vs. data drive most definitely helps.

  3. #3

    Re: Second Hard Drive

    Pardon my ignorance but the page file is....?
    "When I am in the right mood, ideas seem to teem with me. Those I like to retain. When I start composing I draw upon the accumulation in my brain." -Motzart

  4. #4

    Re: Second Hard Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by sherbmusic
    Pardon my ignorance but the page file is....?
    Yeah....I'd like to know as well!

    Thanks
    conga

  5. #5

    Re: Second Hard Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by sherbmusic
    Pardon my ignorance but the page file is....?
    When your computer is running low on RAM and more is needed to complete your current task, Windows uses hard drive space to simulate system RAM. In Windows, this is known as virtual memory and often called the pagefile. This is similar to the UNIX swapfile.
    --
    Robert Gregory Browne
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    St. Martin's Press
    http://www.robertgregorybrowne.com

  6. #6

    Re: Second Hard Drive

    O.K. i got it: page file, is also cald swap file. It's sort off like virtual memory, you can make beleave your computer you have more memories. This technology allows the CPU to store more data in memory by letting it swap sections of memory in and out of a holding area. ex: whit 1 gig of actual memory can pretend it has 2 GB by moving section off data( call '' pages'') that it does't think it will need right away into the holding are, and swapping it back when needed. The probleme is this process take time(0.050 sec.) and that's not good for samples caus it create gaps and pops.

    I fund this information in my EWQLSO XP manual.

    Now, i forgot to turn it off, dummy, , i knew i did something wrong.

  7. #7

    Re: Second Hard Drive

    OK....so which program does the page file originate in (the O.S., Sampler, Sequencer) and where does it need to go?

    I plan on running, XP, Sonar, Giga and a seperate drive for samples.

    how many HD's for optimal performance? Or is that question overly simplistic with all of the variables?
    conga

  8. #8
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: Second Hard Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by congalocke
    OK....so which program does the page file originate in (the O.S., Sampler, Sequencer) and where does it need to go?

    I plan on running, XP, Sonar, Giga and a seperate drive for samples.

    how many HD's for optimal performance? Or is that question overly simplistic with all of the variables?
    conga
    Much depends on your work style. I have one external hard drive, which is a backup drive, a safety feature, used solely for backups. I maintain separate backups of the system drive and the data drive. I have one internal drive containg operating system and applications, including libraries. No trouble so far with all on the one drive. I have another internal drive, which contains all my data files, Sonar, Sibelius, spread sheets, etc. I also set my Zen Micro for 1 Gig removable hard drive, which I use for transfering data between computers, and where I store my passwords in case I need them when I visit my sister or whatever.

    For my use, this setup works well. It may be a bit simple for your needs.

    Richard

  9. #9
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    Re: Second Hard Drive

    Howdy. In theory, a second HD will give you better performance, only, however, if it is not a slave to the first HD. So, you would want HD #1 on IDE cable #1 - this HD has your OS, host app, etc. HD #2 would be on IDE cable #2, and this HD would would have your sample library. The theory behind working like this is that if you have samples streaming from a second HD, less resources are needed form your computer. I do not know this for a fact, and have no evidence to support this, but many people have said this is the way to go, and that there is at least a slight performance difference for the better.

    Cheers.

  10. #10

    Re: Second Hard Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by sherbmusic
    My question is what if I don't? I have a PC Pentium 4 3 GHz with 1 GB Ram, and if I don't get the second hard drive will my set up just slow down? crash? punch me in the groin?
    I doubt that your computer will smack you in the groin but what sometimes happens is that you media software and running applications will try to access system resources as well as media data on the same drive. Your sequencer software usually doesn't have any patience what so ever for waiting for other system tasks to be completed before it gets the audio data it needs. This is good because it gives you more accurate timing in your music. but sometimes system resources must be accessed in certain intervals of time or your system may crash, so this becomes a conflict.

    You harddrive can only deliver data 'so' fast, and when your seq software fights with windows over the direct access to the hardisk it commonly results in a CPU usage spike - meaning a slight hick-up of your music or the timing, or it may also translate into cracks and pops in the sound. The larger your arremgement is, the more likely this is to happen if you use everything on the same harddrive.

    Having your audio data on a completely different harddrive than what your system is on provides both the system and your seq software virtually free access to the material each of them needs badly and no fighting will need to occur. This is especially sensitive when recording sound into your computer via your media software.
    Kid: When I become an adult I wanna be a musician.
    Parent: Son, you cannot become both.

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