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    hard drive setup/raid/dv capture...


    Hi,

    I just ordered the components to build my new computer. I bought two hard drives (Seagate ST3160023AS 160GB Serial ATA 7200rpm 8MB Hard Drive), a Intel Pentium 4 / 3.0CGHz 512k socket 478 Hyper Threading Technology 800 MHz FSB and a ASUS Motherboard for Intel Pentium 4 / Celeron Processors, 800Mhz FSB Model# P4C800-E DELUXE. I'll be using XP Pro.

    I will be using it to capture video, create dvd's and webdesign (dreamweaver and photoshop). I'm planning on using a RAID 0 configuration.

    Here are my questions:

    1. What is the best partitioning strategy for me?

    2. How large should I make the C: partition for XP?

    3. Should I purchase another hard drive and use it for capturing video or can I capture it on the current drive I'll have.

    4. Should all programs be on one partition (C: ?) and the data saved by the programs on a separate partition?

    Thanks for any advice.
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  3. Perl Monkey
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    Any real reason to use RAID 0? A single drive like that should be plenty fast to capture a DV stream, so the added speed shouldn't be much of a concern. You'll get the most hard-drive-to-hard-drive copy speed if you go from one to the other instead of RAID 0 array back to itself, so if you can plan your editing to cross from one to the other, you can do best (but this only goes for file copying, if you're performing effects on the video, you're assuredly going to be limited by cpu power, not hdd speed).

    RAID 0 just offers absolutely no protection for hardware failure. I use it, but get concerned sometimes (like when the start making their occaisional random noises that are unbecoming to a hdd). If either drive fails, all your data is gone.

    I tend to have a partition for windows itself (about 2G), one for programs (about 10G, but can vary), and whatever's left in a big data partition. This lets me image each separately for backup (and restore each separately, though if windows is restored and some programs were installed after the backup, they may not work correctly, but it works more often than not). That, and most of the thrashing around the system does with swap file and temporary files can not clutter the filesystem you're capturing to.

    All that said, it is nice not to have to worry about which partition is on which drive and just making it all out of the raid array. Hard drives these days tend to be pretty good, a few models excepting (read: IBM GXP 120), so you probably won't have any issues for some time. Like any system, be sure to backup whatever's critical.
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    The Dude Abides
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    I'd say go with RAID 1 (mirroring), there is a little speed loss, but not much. Your setup wouldn't likely be affected much, and it would give you a fast way to restore your system.

    As for partition, I would go a little bigger than 2gb, I believe XP takes up that much itself. The bad thing about low amounts for the OS partition is what happens when the programs you install start adding to the Windows partition (dlls in the windows directory) and you run out of space? Sound impossible? Nope, I've run into that several times with WinNT 4 servers. Very tough to fix without a rebuild.

    I've never found a huge benefit of multiple partitions, it always seemed overrated. Very little speed increase. I always use one partition, and then store the data in a single directory. It makes backup even easier.
    The Dude
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  7. Perl Monkey
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    If you move your swap off the boot partition if you have to and be careful to install everything to the programs partition, I've not had any issues with 2G (running Win2k).

    Heck, I thought I was doing good for only having three partitions. I know a guy who had a partition for swap running FAT16, and a separate one for his internet cache, in addition to the three I mentioned. I use three more for system backup convienence than speed.

    Actually, if you're reading data, RAID 1 is faster than 0. It's a little slower than a single hdd to write to RAID 1, but not significant enough to care. Still should be plenty fast for DV capture. The big issue with RAID 1 is that you lose half your hard drive space. Sure, you have a good backup system, but most people (using myself as a basis) don't care to backup everything in the system. Video gets edited and exported, so I don't want to back up all the raw DV footage.
    Andrew - Perl (and VB.NET) Monkey

    Never underestimate the bandwidth of a hatchback full of tapes.

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