First build, need some OS advice

Boyo

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Apr 10, 2006
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I am getting set for my first build (say goodbye to Dell), and I am lost as to how to use my 2 HDDs. Originally, I posted my hardware list on another website for review(starts with A and ends in tech), and I had 1 HDD. It was a 150GB Raptor. A lot of people told me it was better to drop down to a 74GB Raptor, use it only for my OS, and put everything else on a larger HDD. So what do I know? Nothing. So I went on Newegg and bought a 74GB Raptor and a WD Caviar 250GB.

Now when I ask for advice as to how to set this up, suddenly those people are gone. How can I put my Windows XP SP2 on my Raptor, then run programs from my Caviar??? I don't see how this is possible. When programs install, they place themselves all over the HDD, including Documents & Settings. I don't want to fill up my Raptor with junk, have it fragmented and slowed down, while my 250GB Caviar sits there with only my media and other storage.

Did I make a costly mistake? Should I return the 74GB Raptor and buy the 150GB instead??? Can some of the pro's on this board help me out, and help me configure my HDD's with my OS properly???

Any help is appreciated (and needed). :confused:
 

beanman101283

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Nov 4, 2004
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There is no reason to have the OS on one hard drive and programs installed on another. If you did want to do this though, most installation programs ask you where you want to install a program, and it's there that you would change it to the second hard drive.

Now, what i have in my computer is a 74GB Raptor and another 250GB drive. The Raptor has my OS and programs, and all my documents and other media are stored on the 250GB drive. I've also moved the My Documents folder to the 250GB drive. To do that, i click on the Start menu, right click My Documents, click Properties, change the Target destination to the second drive, then click the Move button.

More space is always nice, and i would have gone with the 150GB Raptor, but you should be fine with the 74 unless you install TONS of programs and games and other crap.
 

djnes

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It sounds like you've been led all over the place. You have a good set fo drives there, so this is how I would set it up. Install XP and your games/apps to the Raptor. Use the 250 GB drive for storage, and to back up anything important on the Raptor. Store all of your data files on it, etc. I have a directory on my second hard drive called "_Backup", and I use SyncToy from MS to backup my .pst files, saved games, etc to that directory. You won't gain anything by installing your apps on the Caviar drive. The Raptor is faster, so keep the OS, apps, and games there.
 

Ezekial

[H]ard|Gawd
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Jun 7, 2004
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good posts so far.

this is one of those opinion type of threads.. however, as opinions are like assholes, I still think my way (and what has been said thus far) is the best way regardless of my opinion...

Use Raptor for OS + programs + games

Use 250gb for backup, games, storage, and programs that have "ciritical" data on them. For instance, I put my Trillian on the 2nd drive. That way if I want to wipe the first drive, for whatever reason, I never have to question loosing that program. I also put most games to my 2nd drive, because often, you can run games (maybe not the latest and greatest) without doing an installl... jsut hte game folder contents is enough. Therefore if I reinstall, my game data & program is intact.

Either way... you want to keep the most used programs on the raptor. Reserve the 250 for storage and lessly used programs... or ones that are just really large and you need to reserve space on the 74gb drive if wanted.

Currently I have a 36gb raptor with my OS and shit tons of applications installed to it, along with a couple games. I have everything else on my data drive. The OS drive is near full, but I have every application under the sun on there that I use. You'll have double this amount, so plenty of space for games.

For the most part... if I format my OS drive. I only need to backup my Documents and Settings folder and call it a day :)
 

Boyo

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Apr 10, 2006
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Okay, it sounds like my two HDD's are not the nightmare I thought it was from all of your posts.

So, if I am following you correctly, don't partition my Raptor, just install XP and my other apps to the Raptor. But, move folders like My Documents, media, back-ups to my Caviar.

Should I partition the Caviar so that part of it is used for back-up only?

Also, what if i were to install an app like CCleaner? Should stuff like this go to my Caviar or just keep it with everything else on my Raptor?

Thanks alot for your help, guys.
 

djnes

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I wouldn't create more than one partition on either of those drives. Then you'll have a C: and a D:. You seem to be unsure of how applications handle drives when they are installed. If you were to install something like CCleaner on your Raptor, there's no reason why it won't handle the D drive as well. If you've used something like that before, you'll see that you can select the drives to clean. Applications that are installed to one drive aren't "blind" to any other drives in the system.
 

Boyo

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Apr 10, 2006
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djnes said:
I wouldn't create more than one partition on either of those drives. Then you'll have a C: and a D:. You seem to be unsure of how applications handle drives when they are installed. If you were to install something like CCleaner on your Raptor, there's no reason why it won't handle the D drive as well. If you've used something like that before, you'll see that you can select the drives to clean. Applications that are installed to one drive aren't "blind" to any other drives in the system.

Yes, you are correct. I am totally unsure of how applications handle drives. But that is one of the points that I am trying to learn.

For the sake of argument, let's say I don't use any partitions, and my Raptor is the C drive and my Caviar is my D drive. What I am trying to figure out and learn what is the best way to take advantage of my computer, is where to install certain programs. So, if we use CCleaner in this instance, am I better off downloading it to my D drive and running it from there or downloading it to my my C drive which is my Raptor. I use CCleaner as an example because, while it is a helpful program, it is by no means a critical program. And that is the point I am trying to figure out. Should these non-critical programs be left off my Raptor and run from my D drive to prevent my Raptor filling up with junk and slowing it down.

I know this may all be very simple and elementary to a lot of the people on this board, but it's not for me unfortunately. I'm still learning as I go along. I really appreciate everyone's help and input, and patience. Thanks again to all who have posted.
 

beanman101283

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Be sure not to get the terms "downloaded" and "installed" confused. You kept saying download in that last post when i think you meant installed. Downloading is generally getting a file off the internet and copying it to your computer. Installing it is generally running a program that places the files in a directory, creates registry entries if necessary, and creates shortcuts to the program. I apologize if you knew that but i just want to be sure.

So, having said that, if you want to download the installer for CCleaner to the D drive, that's ok. I have a folder full of installation programs for Firefox, CCleaner, video card drivers, etc. But when you install those programs, you should just let them install to the default directory, which will almost certainly be the Raptor. There's no reason to change the default directory, even if it is a "noncritical" program. The Raptor is a very fast drive, and having your programs run from there is better than having them run from the other.

One thing i just thought of that may make things a little easier is to leave the 250 drive disconnected while you install Windows on the Raptor. This makes sure that Windows doesn't swap the drive letters for whatever reason. Once Windows is up and running, then connect the 250 drive and Windows will assign it the next available drive letter.
 

billb

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Sep 5, 2005
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Boyo said:
to prevent my Raptor filling up with junk and slowing it down
The amount of data on a drive has nothing to do with how fast it is, Though data at the beginning of the drive is accessed faster than data farther from the beginning, adding data has no effect on the access speed of data already there.
Fragmemtation has the largest effect on data access.
 

beanman101283

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billb said:
The amount of data on a drive has nothing to do with how fast it is, Though data at the beginning of the drive is accessed faster than data farther from the beginning, adding data has no effect on the access speed of data already there.
Fragmemtation has the largest effect on data access.

Agreed. Spend some extra cash on a good defrag program like Diskeeper. You won't have to worry about defragging your drive again.
 

Ezekial

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great thread

I will agree with only 1 parition per drive.
Raptor = C:
250 = D:

Install XP to the C: and all programs and games. While installing say, Quake3, you could alternativly chose to change teh installation folder from C:\Program Files\Quake3 to D:\Program Files\Quake3 or D:\Games\Quake3. This would keep the full program off of your "OS & Program Drive" (Raptor) and allow it to not be deleted if you ever wanted to format your Raptor. Granted you could copy if over at that time, but it's already been done.

Same could be said for my comment on Trillian. I install mine to D:\Program Files\Trillian so that I don't have to worry about backing it up when I format my C:\. You can do the same if you want, but it is NOT requried. Its just how you would like programs sorted... like a sock & underwear drawer :D

Its really all up to you how you think it should be layed out. And don't worry... we have all been here and you will learn in time what you like to do and what you don't like.

As for backups.. at a minimum I like to copy critical data between drives. Meaning if you have redirected "My Documents" to your D:, you may want to run a backup program (like MS Backup.. included with XP) to backup that folder to your C:\. This way if one drive dies, your other will have a backup of that data. Same goes for your Internet bookmarks, Trillian, etc.

MS backup merely takes the data and puts it into 1 file... basically just like a ZIP file. You could also use a ZIP file or RAR file as well.
 

Boyo

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Apr 10, 2006
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Okay. I now see what all of you are telling me, and it makes perfect sense.

Now, what i have in my computer is a 74GB Raptor and another 250GB drive. The Raptor has my OS and programs, and all my documents and other media are stored on the 250GB drive. I've also moved the My Documents folder to the 250GB drive. To do that, i click on the Start menu, right click My Documents, click Properties, change the Target destination to the second drive, then click the Move button
beanman101283, I like this idea of yours and I am going to set up my drives like this too.

So I will use the Raptor for my main drive and run everything from there because I see all of your points that otherwise, the speed of the Raptor is wasted. I also did not know that no matter how much is on the HDD, it doesn't affect speed, so thanks for that info.

I'll just make sure I get a good defrag program, and use my Caviar for back-ups, media and other assorted files(like the huge space taking files)

beanman101283, djnes, Ezekial, billb- thank all of you for the enormous help and advice. I was sort of panicked there at first, but all of you had great ideas and tips, and I feel a lot more comfortable about setting up my OS and HDDs....Thanks again guys.
 

djnes

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it's always a good feeling when you get it booting to Windows the first time. Post back if you have more questions, but the best advice I can give you is, take your time, read each screen during the setup, and you'll be fine.
 
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