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Computer Hardware Audio interfaces, MIDI interfaces, control surfaces, MIDI controllers & USB MIDI keyboards (not motherboards or system components)

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Old 25th September 2008 , 11:14 PM
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Exclamation Hard Drive allocations!

Before I get into my make-shift bed (Long story!) for the night, I thought I'd leave a query for the forum fairies, so that I may wake in the morning and find an answer under my digital pillow!

What is the best and most efficient way to allocate your hard drives?

This is mainly directed at PC users, but mac users are welcome to contribute too.

I presently have an 80GB hard drive and a 150GB hard drive both with speeds of 7200rpm. The former is SATA I and is partitioned like so:

30GB - System Drive (where XP and all of my programs boot from) / 50GB - Sample Drive (where all of my samples are stored)

The latter drive is SATA II, and is partitioned like so:

35GB - Projects (where I store and work on all my current projects) / 115GB - Assets (where I store archived and pending files)

But I can't help thinking I always need more space! I've got a 1TB external; but that's for my Mac and will only run on my PC with Mac Drive. Furthermore, when Omnisphere arrives, I'm going to be hard pressed to find some space for the full install.

Does anyone think I should alter the jobs of each of my drives? Or maybe I should use the Assets drive as a secondary sample drive.

I know I can count on you guys to give me rock-solid advice!

For now... sleepies (as my GF's boys would put it)!

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Old 26th September 2008 , 09:26 AM
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C'mon guys!

Any takers?
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Old 26th September 2008 , 09:33 AM
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Hi Matt
How much currently un-used space do you have on your ..
a>'Assets' partition and..
b>'Sample' partition
Would help to know this in order to answer your question more efficiently..
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Old 26th September 2008 , 09:34 AM
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and PS.. Do you have a Mac machine at the moment or are you intending to..?
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Old 26th September 2008 , 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modz1 View Post
Hi Matt
How much currently un-used space do you have on your ..
a>'Assets' partition and..
b>'Sample' partition
Would help to know this in order to answer your question more efficiently..
Okay...

Assets is about 90GB
Samples is about 10GB

Quote:
Originally Posted by modz1 View Post
and PS.. Do you have a Mac machine at the moment or are you intending to..?
I have a MacBook Pro which I use for live performance... there's about 80GB left on that (I tend to keep it fairly empty).

Cheers M1 (I'll call you that from now on, to protect your ID )!
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Old 26th September 2008 , 10:01 AM
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Hiya

Not sure it'll help, but here we go.

I have a 500gb SATA II drive, 50 gb of which is allocated to programs/plug-ins etc. etc. (the odd game or two )

The remainder of this is allocated towards sound libraries.

I have a further 250gb drive which has photos/projects etc. on it. and also has back ups of my sound library and other stuff that I don't need
fast access to.
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Old 26th September 2008 , 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mutilatedlip View Post
Hiya

Not sure it'll help, but here we go.

I have a 500gb SATA II drive, 50 gb of which is allocated to programs/plug-ins etc. etc. (the odd game or two )

The remainder of this is allocated towards sound libraries.

I have a further 250gb drive which has photos/projects etc. on it. and also has back ups of my sound library and other stuff that I don't need
fast access to.
Do you think that I should get a 3rd HD? Something like 500GB?

Can anyone recommend a reliable internal 500GB SATA II HD? I think I might need that additional space!
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Old 26th September 2008 , 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfracas View Post
Do you think that I should get a 3rd HD? Something like 500GB?

Can anyone recommend a reliable internal 500GB SATA II HD? I think I might need that additional space!
I've always gone with Seagate Barracudas. Fantastic performance, reliable and good quality.

However, I think anything by Seagate/Samsung/etc. are all reliable these days, and very reasonably priced.
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Old 26th September 2008 , 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfracas View Post
Do you think that I should get a 3rd HD? Something like 500GB?
Why not? External hard drives are getting quite cheap nowadays. I bought a 500GB Western Digital external hd, and it only cost me 65 from PC World.

For me, I hardly partition my hard drive. I just separate everything into different folders, and because I'm a bit pedantic, the folders are organised so that I never get confused looking for anything. My laptop has 290GB, which is more than enough seeing as even with all the programs, videos and music I have loaded onto it takes up 83GB of that space.

I'd only ever partition my drive if I were to install a second OS onto it, which I might well do for uni.
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Old 26th September 2008 , 11:03 AM
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You need to give careful thought as to what your main (music/studio) machine is likely to be for the foreseeable future Matt. I guess that will determine wether it's your PC or Mc that will be blessed with the Omnisphere install..? I completely echo Mutilated lip's recommendation for Seagate (never let me down) and yes, I'd go with a 500 (ish) gig additional external drive..
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Old 26th September 2008 , 11:05 AM
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and further to Krykos' post above, my external Seagate too is unpartitioned (it contains only samples, audio files and libraries etc)..
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Old 26th September 2008 , 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modz1 View Post
You need to give careful thought as to what your main (music/studio) machine is likely to be for the foreseeable future Matt. I guess that will determine wether it's your PC or Mc that will be blessed with the Omnisphere install..? I completely echo Mutilated lip's recommendation for Seagate (never let me down) and yes, I'd go with a 500 (ish) gig additional external drive..
Thanks all.

Yes, you're right - I should upgrade. Though winning Omnisphere has been the kick I needed to progress with that. I've retrieved additional memory for my PC and I'm going to buy another drive today.

I have several bays left for an internal drive; I think I'll go with one more internal before I get another external.

Thanks again!
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Old 26th September 2008 , 01:33 PM
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I'd re-arrange your drives. Keep your samples away from the operating system. I know the drive is partitioned, but if you have a program that constantly tries to read samples from the disk (rather then load them into ram) it will significantly up the workload and wear on your drive.

I'd probably stick your projects on the operating system partition, and switch the samples there. That way you basically have one drive for operating, and one for your media.

Oh and, it's deffo worth getting an external or making more use of the one you have. Macs with OS 10.5 can now read and write NTFS drives natively. Bit of a godsend that. No more 2 hard drives with the same set of data. You can just go between with ease.
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Old 27th September 2008 , 05:09 PM
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If you partition a drive, you need to consider "why?"

There are several reasons why you might:-

1/ Make backups easier. Backing up the system needs to be treated differently than backing up your data files. The data files can generally be backed up by just copying them from one drive to another (although if you've got tons of stuff, and backup regularly, there are better strategies). Backing up the system needs a backup program which can copy files while they are in use. As well as the actual files, you need to backup your "system state". System backups can be carried out a lot less often than your data backups, since if you're not installing new programs, the only thing changing the system will be updates.

2/ Defragmentation. If you having something which writes loads of small files, which are frequently wiped, then havinga partition just for that is very worthwhile. Most people have their cache for their internet browser on the same drive as their system. This leads to rapid fragmentation of the system drive - bad idea! I have a small partition of onlya few Gb for caches etc. If it needs to be defragmented, this can be done quickly since it's a small drive, or alternatively, the easy way to do it is just occasionally dump everything off it completly!

3/ Crash recovery. If you've only got one drive, and everything is on it, what happens when you have a bad crash which corrupts NTFS? You loose everything, and you've got to both reinstall your apps, and hopefully recover your data from backups. Splitting the drive means you can have your data seperate from apps and OS, so you just need to rebuild those.

Wrong reasons for partitioning are:-

1/ Organisation. Looks as though this is why you have split your drives up, but really you may as well just create folderss on a single drive - there is little advantage in splitting the drive into partitions.

2/ Efficiency. Apart from reducing fragmentation, the system is no more efficient on a drive which is partitioned, than it is on a single large partition. If you want performance gains, you need two physical drives - not two partitions on one drive.

I agree completely with Ed - keep your OS and apps on one physical drive, and your samples on another. Depending on the apps you use, if they have "scratch" discs for temporary files, put these on the same drive as the OS, or better still, on a partition of that drive.

With regard to an external drive, the big advantage is that you can take it between machines - very handy if you want to go between your Mac and PC with big files, or if you want to take your data to another machine to be backed up. Another advantage, if you use a solid aluminium case, is that the external may well run quieter and cooler than an internal.

Given that most people now are working with Gigabytes of data, rather than Megabytes, your strategy should be to ensure that all of your data is on at least two hard drives. You can certainly backup to DVD's as well, but in long term storage, these may give read problems when you go to use them, and there is the management problem of how you backup 10's of Gigabytes of data on discs which only store 4.7Gb (unless you're on multilayer discs).

Has your motherboard got spare connectors for another SATA drive?
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Old 30th September 2008 , 05:06 PM
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Thanks to you all for your assistance.

I bought a new internal HD late last year and didn't think about the benefits of moving my samples.

All your advice has been invaluable; I've swapped allocations (and changed my drive letters so I don't get into a muck and fuddle).

There's a lot of mention of externals, for the benefit of sharing samples and audio between computers, which I think is a great idea. There's been mention of Seagate drives; ideally, I'm looking for 500GB. Can anyone elaborate more on what particular models you find reliable?

I've started using my 1TB LaCie D2 Quadra (which is partitioned) with my laptop; using its FW800 port; but I don't think this is of much use to me on my PC, when I've only got FW400 ports and a SATA II internal.

Thanks again for your help.
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