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Topic: Buying new hard drive(s) - dilemma!

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  1. #1

    Buying new hard drive(s) - dilemma!

    I\'m thinking of buying a new hard drive for my desktop PC as I need more space for samples and also for back-up purposes.

    I\'ve currently got 2 40GB Seagate Barracuda IVs. The first drive has XP and samples on it and I\'m running out of room. The second drive has all my audio data on it and I have quite a bit of room left on this one.

    I currently back up my audio data to CD which is a pain, as I don\'t have room to back up to my first drive, and there\'s no point backing up to the same drive.

    I was thinking about getting a Firewire drive (200GB Maxtor OneTouch) to store samples and back-up the other two drives. I want to be able to stream samples from this to Kontakt. Will the Firewire drive perform OK? It will be plugged into an Adaptec Firewire PCI card as my MOBO doesn\'t have Firewire capability.

    All this has also made me rethink my whole drive strategy.

    The other option would be to replace my current drives with 2 x 160GB drives so that I can partition them and back them up to each other. I could also have two XP partitions - one dedicated to audio and one for general use.

    Any ideas? Feeling lost!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Buying new hard drive(s) - dilemma!

    I would suggest this:

    Drive 1...OS/Programs/TEMP ONLY

    Just take the samples off your current drive.

    Drive 2...Your current \"Audio\" Drive

    Drive 3...New drive--with GIG files and Audio Project safety copies.

    I wouldn\'t go FireWire if I were you. On a desktop, you\'re going to get the most trouble free performance just adding another drive. You should still have one IDE channel left unless you have two CDROM/DVD drives. You could add an UltraATA Card for the same or less than a FireWire card if you need more channels.

    Another thing you might consider: One nice removable drive bay. It\'s better for the removable to be a \"slave\" so that pulling it out doesn\'t incapacitate the entire channel.

    IF you want to spend a little more for some options, buy TWO new drives (exactly the same). Then configure the machine this way:

    IDE 1 Master: Barracuda...OS/Prog
    IDE 1 Slave : CD/DVD slave
    IDE 2 master: New Drive #1 (audio projects)
    IDE 2 slave : New Drive #2 (samples) in removable bay

    In this way, you buy yourself some insurance. Because you\'ll now have an exact duplicate spare of both drives, you can recover data in case the controller board goes out on one of them (no eye rolling--this has saved my life twice in the last five years). Also, by putting the \"sample\" drive in a removable bay, you give yourself the option of slipping in the \"spare\" Barracuda to do incremental backups of important projects.

  3. #3

    Re: Buying new hard drive(s) - dilemma!

    Good advice Bruce - thanks very much. However I should have told you that I have a Carillon case which means I can only physically fit two internal drives into the machine. A pain. I also have a DVD player and a CD-R/RW writer.

    Now I am really lost!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Buying new hard drive(s) - dilemma!

    Are either of the CD/DVD drives internal?

    You could buy an external case for one of those and put IT on FireWire. That might buy you the third case/drive slot.

    I have the same problem with my rackmount Giga machines...I\'m looking into a case modification.

    Actually, you might consider just getting a new case. Depends on how proprietary your switches/led/etc cabling and connectors are. For instance, Compaqs are the WORST. They actually use nonstandard PCI/AGP slot metrics, just to screw over people who want to update their own machine. Very frustrating, too, because Compaq makes some great cases that deserve a better fate than lying in a dump.

  5. #5

    Re: Buying new hard drive(s) - dilemma!

    Bruce - you are a genius! You have just solved all my problems. Why didn\'t I think of that before!

    One last question - will having the drive with my samples on it as a slave drive affect performance if I am simultaneously streaming audio on my audio drive (secondary master)?

  6. #6

    Re: Buying new hard drive(s) - dilemma!

    Thanks for the good advice Lee.

    Paul

  7. #7

    Re: Buying new hard drive(s) - dilemma!

    One thing that people tend to forget about backing up to a hard drive is not about actual disk failure, but a virus. At least with backing up to CDRom or DVD-R, once it\'s on there, it\'s on there, you\'re NOT deleting the files.

    Devon

  8. #8

    Re: Buying new hard drive(s) - dilemma!

    If you have two drives on a single IDE cable, the bandwidth is split between the two -- not really a problem with ATA-100 drives since most 7200 IDE drives max out at around 40-60Mbs transfer rates. The bigger concern is cpu utilization since it, not the interface, handles the command queuing. Again, not much of a problem with fast cpus.

  9. #9

    Re: Buying new hard drive(s) - dilemma!

    One last question - will having the drive with my samples on it as a slave drive affect performance if I am simultaneously streaming audio on my audio drive (secondary master)?

    Response
    If both the secondary master and slave are both the same speed ,there only limitation will be the shared throughput on the single bus, if they are not the same speed then both hard drives will be reduced to the speed of the slowest one among them .
    I think the great way to go when considering a new motherboard is to buy one that has 4 IDE slots on the motherboard[a few manufactures like Abit and Gigabyte implement this on some of there boards],that way you can have

    Main master for Operating system and program files

    Secondary Master and slave for CDR/CDrom and DVD/DVDR.

    3rd bus channel Harddrive set to master for storing audio from sequencer.

    4th bus channel harddrive set to master for storing giga samples.

    I have this setup on my computer and it works great.

  10. #10

    Re: Buying new hard drive(s) - dilemma!

    One question about the above three disk recommendation:

    Isn\'t the slave slower than the master? That\'s been my understanding. Maybe it\'s no longer true.

    I bought a separate IDE card, so that my three HDs are all masters.

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