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Windows 7: Help! What do I do with all these hard drives?


23 May 2011   #1

Windows Vista Ultimate x64; Windows 7 Ultimate x64; Windows XP Professional; Windows Phone 7
 
 
Help! What do I do with all these hard drives?

Hey all.

I'm building a new Windows 7 computer. (You can see my profile for the stats.)

Anyway, I have 8 x 2TB Seagate HDD (internal) and 3 x 2TB Seagate HDD (external) and am wondering how to maximize their use.

No, it isn't a server. I'm just a digital packrat and I'm heavy into the oldgames scene, so I need backward compatibility for all my old games. Should I dual-boot XP or just use Virtual?

Admittedly, most will be for data storage. Any ideas? Assembling hardware is easy. I just don't know how to optimize so if I install, everything is still on default settings. Can't figure out page files, etc. Still reading through the tutorials... ^_^

Anyway...

C: OS (Windows 7 Ultimate)
D: Program Files
E: Downloads (I download a lot)
F: Documents
G: Pictures
H: Music
I: Videos
J: ?

K: Mirror of C:
L: Reserved for Windows Backup
M: Mirror of E:

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

23 May 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Hello Silverfish. Welcome to the Forum.

One thing I can tell you is to connect only one drive when you install Windows 7. This will assure that the OS and System Reserved partition goes on the drive you want.
The page file should be on C: with the OS. If you have more than 4 gig of RAM it will not be necessary to have a larger or secondary page file in most instances.

You can add the rest of the drives one at a time or all at once - dealers choice - after the OS is up and running.

With SATA it does not matter where they are plugged in on a single controller, there is no hierarchy in performance terms. But if you are using additional SATA ports on a secondary controller, these could be accessed last. I might be best to put the backup/archive disks on those ports if that is the case.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2011   #3

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

Generally one keeps the OS and program files on the same partition because programs may install files not just in their own directory but also in windows directories plus they create registry entries, startup shortcuts etc. Some programs will not run if installed outside C:\program files. Of course this'll vary from app to app, if your games can run from another partition/disk that should be fine.

But you can move the pagefile to a different disk, that speeds up things by reducing swap file read/write ops on the system disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


23 May 2011   #4

W7 X-64 RTM,SUSE 11.1, XP PRO SP3 as a VM, VMware ESXi
 
 

Hi there
Send them to me !!!! I'll pay the delivery charge.

You can never have too much HDD space.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2011   #5

Windows Vista Ultimate x64; Windows 7 Ultimate x64; Windows XP Professional; Windows Phone 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
Generally one keeps the OS and program files on the same partition because programs may install files not just in their own directory but also in windows directories plus they create registry entries, startup shortcuts etc. Some programs will not run if installed outside C:\program files. Of course this'll vary from app to app, if your games can run from another partition/disk that should be fine.

But you can move the pagefile to a different disk, that speeds up things by reducing swap file read/write ops on the system disk.
Sorry, I should have specified.

C: OS + Windows 7 applications
D: Really old games going back to 1985...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

IF your looking to play really old games and want to use windows 7 as a base look into DosBox
DOSBox, an x86 emulator with DOS
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2011   #7

Windows 7 Profession 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TBeblen
One thing I can tell you is to connect only one drive when you install Windows 7. This will assure that the OS and System Reserved partition goes on the drive you want.
The page file should be on C: with the OS. If you have more than 4 gig of RAM it will not be necessary to have a larger or secondary page file in most instances.
Hmmm, I don't have the same opinions here. I see no reason you need to have only one drive connected. I have never had an OS try to install where it did not belong, unless the install routine discovered another installation of Windows on the drive already - but even then, careful reading of the prompts before clicking will take care of that.

I agree with Bill2 the Page File does not need to go on C drive either. There is little benefit to putting it on another "partition" as the boot partition - because there is only one read/write head assembly which can only be in one spot at a time. But as Bill2 noted, if the PF is on a secondary drive, the OS can access critical system files on C and at the same time, access the PF on another drive - because there are two read/write head assemblies.

The only downside to not having a PF on the boot drive is there will be no memory dumps, in the event of a system failure. These dumps are what you send to Microsoft when Windows Explorer reports it encountered a problem. But the reality is, do you ever send those dumps? Me neither. If a concern, you can always have more than one PF, but I never do.

Finally, as far as managing the PF, let Windows do it! It is smarter than you and me at determining what it needs - I promise you of that. Especially Windows 7. The only time you need to manage the PF is if you are critically low on free disk space. Then you may need to set a fixed PF size. But that is a temporary measure until you buy more or free up space.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bill2
Generally one keeps the OS and program files on the same partition because programs may install files not just in their own directory but also in windows directories plus they create registry entries, startup shortcuts etc. Some programs will not run if installed outside C:\program files.
Well, here I have to disagree with Bill2 a bit. It is very rare for a program to not run outside of C:\Program Files. If it won't, it most likely will not prompt you for a install location, it will just install. But it must be remembered that MANY people have more than one drive, or maybe more than one OS installed. So MANY people have Windows installed on a drive other than C.

My C drives (starting with Windows 3.11) contain only Windows and my hardware drivers. All my applications (Office, security programs, email, etc.) are installed on D - and note the install routing correctly configures the Registry with D. I also move My Documents, My Downloads, My Music, and Windows default temporary file locations too - to keep my C drive from getting crowded with applications, or cluttered with tiny temporary files.

I do this for the same reason to put the PF on a second drive, the OS can access system files the same time it accesses application files. If you put all your applications on the same drive as the OS, the one read/write head assembly can only access the OS or application files at any one time.

Also, if you put all your application on the boot drive, if that drive fails, you lose everything, and I mean everything.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2011   #8

win 7 X64 Ultimate SP1
 
 
Yes, Yes

Digerati

I agree. On only haveing one disk plugged in at installation, I unplug everyone except the target becuase I have at times misidentified the intended disk. That was my fault not the OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2011   #9

Windows 7 Profession 64-bit
 
 

Quote:
I agree. On only haveing one disk plugged in at installation, I unplug everyone except the target becuase I have at times misidentified the intended disk. That was my fault not the OS.
Okay, if you are worried that you will mess it up, then I agree, remove that potential. But I contend the better solution is to pay close attention during the initial stages of the installation, and follow the prompts carefully.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2011   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Dual booting is an old, outdated technology. Virtualize!
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Digerati View Post
Hmmm, I don't have the same opinions here. I see no reason you need to have only one drive connected. I have never had an OS try to install where it did not belong, unless the install routine discovered another installation of Windows on the drive already - but even then, careful reading of the prompts before clicking will take care of that.
You haven't installed many OSes then, I'm guessing. If you blank the system volume and Windows picks up other formatted volumes, you'll end up with a new system volume using a letter other than C. I always go one of two routes: Either disconnect all formatted drives until the OS is installed, or start the installer with all drives blanked and unformatted.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Help! What do I do with all these hard drives?




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