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Old August 5th, 2005, 01:41 PM   #1
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Multiple Hardrives

Ok, I have 180gb drive for video and an 80 gig drive for software. I want to put in a 400gb drive but want to keep the other two. Should it be a problum having three drives or no? Just curious.

Other specs..

3.2ghz pentium hyperthreaded
2 gigs ram
plenty of room in the case

thanks!
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Old August 5th, 2005, 02:01 PM   #2
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I've run up to 4 hard drives, 1 cd-burner, 1 dvd burner and the only thing I had to worry about was heat. So I installed some extra fans and bought a big heatsink. Make sure your ventilation is good. The more drives you have really, the more you need to make sure your OS is running smoothly, things are up to date etc. When I had the four hard drives, I was using a controller card. This is kinda slow and controller cards in my experience can be a little anal on jumper settings. Windows labels them as SCSI drives. I would just make sure you have the room, ventilation, and your system has enough muscle. You should be fine.


I've since moved away from so many internals. I think for my purposes, (storage) I'm going to start using stacked externals.

Steven Davis
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Old August 5th, 2005, 02:24 PM   #3
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Mark:
You may not need a controller card?? Depending on your motherboard, you may have SATA or PATA/ATA ports free.

If adding more drives, you do need sufficient:
power - Motherboard Monitor of your mobo manufacturer's monitoring utility can show if your PSU' voltages are good. SATA uses different power connectors which you may need adapters for.
cooling (heat is bad for hard drives; the topmost drive will be hottest since heat rises); speedfan can check hard drive temperatures.
hard drive controllers
room (some Dell/HP/eMachines/etc. cases have limited room)

Steven pointed this out I believe.
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Old August 5th, 2005, 02:40 PM   #4
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For what it's worth, I run three hard drives and a CD-ROM in my case, all PATA drives (hey, they're cheap).

Primary Master: 40GB C: -- Win/Linux OSes and applications
Primary Slave: 120GB D: -- video data
Secondary Master: 120GB E: -- video data
Secondary Slave: old CD-ROM -- used for OS installation mostly

In addition, I have a DVD-RW burner in an external USB2.0 case (since my computer is not next to my desk). My server has four PATA drives ranging from 30GB to 250GB. I'm using only the onboard controllers for both of these machines.

You may want to make sure that your BIOS and OS are capable of comprehending a 400GB drive. The last limit I'm aware of was 132GB (caused by the OS), which your 180GB drive seems to be OK with. With a 3.2Ghz P4 chip (I'm guessing XP Pro?), you should be fine, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
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Old August 6th, 2005, 09:03 AM   #5
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400 good idea?

Is a 400gb a good idea or would I be better going with two smaller drives. Putting all my eggs in one basket you know... And how much difference does hardive speed make with accessing video. I mean you see this one has a seek time of 8 sec and this one 8.5..just curious. And one last question in case someone knows..what is RAID and how would one set up your hardives for it. Any info would help....thanks!

Oh,I need that much space...and probally more...while were putting a documentary together, way way to many tapes shot to have to keep offlining media and putting it back on. Just like to store alot of it.
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Old August 6th, 2005, 11:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Errante
Is a 400gb a good idea or would I be better going with two smaller drives. Putting all my eggs in one basket you know... And how much difference does hardive speed make with accessing video. I mean you see this one has a seek time of 8 sec and this one 8.5..just curious. And one last question in case someone knows..what is RAID and how would one set up your hardives for it. Any info would help....thanks!

Oh,I need that much space...and probally more...while were putting a documentary together, way way to many tapes shot to have to keep offlining media and putting it back on. Just like to store alot of it.
Windows supports up to 24 hard drives, all the letter of the alphabet except A & B (taken upo be floppies). Of course, CD and DVD drives will consume some of the letters. The motherboard connectors usually support 4 internal IDE devices, hard drives and optical drives put together.

Fractions of a millisecond differences in seek time are inconsequential, IMHO. Sustained data transfer rate and rotation speed are much more important. 7200 rpm or better is an absolute must for video and high quality audio.

With a single 400 gig drive you might get better performance by partitioning it into two drives - that way the system doesn't have to search all over the full physical drive to locate data your requesting, though keeping the drive defragged goes a long way to alleviating that problem.

RAID requires multiple *identical* drives that are connected together into an array. There are several different type: RAID0 is also called drive striping and it splits the data between two disks, part of a file going onto one drive, the next part on the other, the next part back on the first, and so forth. The two disks in the array are seen by the OS as one big disk but because one can be writing while the other is reading it is faster than a single drive of the same size. The downside is that if either drive fails, everything on the system is lost since everything on one drive is useless without the other pieces from the other drive. RAID1 is called disk mirroring. It appears as one disk the size of one of the drives. Files are written to both disk redundently. You don't pick up signifigant speed advantages but if one disk fails, there is sufficient data on the other to rebuild all the data when the faulted disk is replaced. There are other RAID types as well using more than two physical drives and combining aspects of both striping and mirroring but these are the two most often encountered. The trade-offs choosing between the two are RAID0 gives a slight speed improvement and bigger storage capacity while RAID1 gives increased safety for mission-critical data.
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Old August 6th, 2005, 01:42 PM   #7
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ok then the question is, would yoiu guys do a 400 gb hardrive, or am I just as well off, or better, doing two 200 gb hardrives on a RAID. If so, how would I do that?

Thanks.
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 03:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Errante
Ok, I have 180gb drive for video and an 80 gig drive for software. I want to put in a 400gb drive but want to keep the other two. Should it be a problum having three drives or no? Just curious.

Other specs..

3.2ghz pentium hyperthreaded
2 gigs ram
plenty of room in the case

thanks!
I have 8 hard drive connected to my pc. I have 4 320gb SATA drives connected externally via SATA cables, external case and an external power supply. I also have 4 250 gb hard drives mounted in my case along with 2 dvd burners. I take the 4 externals with me; to and from home. It works nice to bring your work with you.

I also have a on motherboard sata controller and 2 pci sata controllers. My only concern was heat, all those hard drives make too much heat. I added 4 fans to the case and it seems to work fine. I really like the external case that holds four hot swap drives. Its very portable!

Jon
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Old August 24th, 2005, 02:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House
Windows supports up to 24 hard drives, all the letter of the alphabet except A & B (taken upo be floppies). Of course, CD and DVD drives will consume some of the letters.

........

With a single 400 gig drive you might get better performance by partitioning it into two drives - that way the system doesn't have to search all over the full physical drive to locate data your requesting, though keeping the drive defragged goes a long way to alleviating that problem.
In Windows NT and XP you can have an unlimited number of logical drives. You don't have to assign the drive a letter, you can vector it through an empty directory on any drive. You can also reassign A & B to a hard disk.

Partitioning is evil. It is an anachronism from the days that hard disks were larger than the current operating systems could address. Partitioning does NOT physically divide the disk surface but it creates a second file allocation table on the disk. The data is scattered and fragmented all over the disk, no different than with only one partition, so there is no speed advantage at all.

I don't recommend either using virtual mounting or partitions because both methods have a single point of failure that can lose all of your files.


Steve Mann
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