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Windows 7: Mirrored or double drive--current thinking?


11 Nov 2012   #1

Windows 7
 
 
Mirrored or double drive--current thinking?

My wife's XP machine is ready for the pasture. The machine has a second drive that we both use for storing redundant Acronis images of her OS and mine with other images stored on the second logical drive of her primary hard drive. The setup has worked fine.

At work she has several PowerSpec computers that arrive with mirrored drives. The computers are reliable and inexpensive. You would have to install a 3rd drive to have the Acronis resting place as with our current setup. I really do not see the value.

So I'm here posing the pre-purchase question, given the preceding, as follows: For a home computer that does a lot of important personal Quicken work for us among other tasks, the basics would be: Windows 7 with a Win8 upgrade disk, 4-8 GB memory, Intel instead of AMD average speed mulitcore processors with graphics on the processor (we do not do games nor imaging other than looking at stills)

With the questionable aspects being:

1. Machine pre-configured with the OS and whatever belongs on a boot SSD drive vs. standard drive?

2. The second drive being larger than her current second drive since the first SSD drive would be smaller due to cost?

3. Assuming I could configure at will with PowerSpec (which I do not know, particularly with the SSD component) are there other boxes that don't advertise and keep the cost down yet folks here have found to be reliable and have decent repair--service options?

4. ANY suggestions along these obvious lines are surely welcome!

Mark

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Nov 2012   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

You have listed a lot of facts, but I am not sure of what your question is?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2012   #3

Windows 7
 
 
Questions refined

1. Today's market--is it reasonable (vs. quasi extravagant and only for borderline technophiles) to order a machine with the primary drive an SSD (fast boot time) + a large second (and possibly a 3rd) storage drive?

2. If yes to '1', do you all have experience with computer manufacturers that offer the aforementioned setup without difficulty, for a good price and solid service. Our excellent experience has been with IBM and IBM/Lenovo for both desktop and laptop machines for ~10 years. But Lenovo is considerably more expensive than say Powerspec (for example) which my wife has had good experience with (not needing service so that's an open item) with 2 machines for over a year.

3. Given the setup referred to in '1' and assuming the primary drive is an SSD and would be much smaller than a conventional primary drive (SSD/GB cost), and given our behavior of storing redundant Acronis copies imaged from our individual 2 computers on my wife's (the computer purchase in question), would you tend to purchase a very large 2nd drive and partition it as needed or purchase a large 2nd and add a 3rd drive for the additional storage and partition it as needed yet have the additional safety of spreading the redundant data between physical drives?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Nov 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by markg2 View Post
1. Today's market--is it reasonable (vs. quasi extravagant and only for borderline technophiles) to order a machine with the primary drive an SSD (fast boot time) + a large second (and possibly a 3rd) storage drive?

2. If yes to '1', do you all have experience with computer manufacturers that offer the aforementioned setup without difficulty, for a good price and solid service. Our excellent experience has been with IBM and IBM/Lenovo for both desktop and laptop machines for ~10 years. But Lenovo is considerably more expensive than say Powerspec (for example) which my wife has had good experience with (not needing service so that's an open item) with 2 machines for over a year.

3. Given the setup referred to in '1' and assuming the primary drive is an SSD and would be much smaller than a conventional primary drive (SSD/GB cost), and given our behavior of storing redundant Acronis copies imaged from our individual 2 computers on my wife's (the computer purchase in question), would you tend to purchase a very large 2nd drive and partition it as needed or purchase a large 2nd and add a 3rd drive for the additional storage and partition it as needed yet have the additional safety of spreading the redundant data between physical drives?
1) I have mine setup with a SSD of 120 GB which has my Win 7 and all of my programs on it. I then have a 160 GB HDD which has songs, pictures, letters, etc on it. You might need a bigger one depending on how many documents you have. . If anyone is using a SSD, this is the standard way of setting things up. == My third drive is a 500 GB HDD which is used only for my backups. It has two partitions, one for the Win 7/Programs and the other for my Documents.

2) I can't speak on number two. I put my SSD in myself. Most PC's now are not sold with SSD. I have observed that if you want one with an SSD, it is going to be a premium price. You might be better off to purchase a SSD (well under $100) and have someone install.

3) You need to have a separate HDD for your backups so that if a HDD fails, your backups do not also fail.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2012   #5

Windows 7
 
 

Thanks--answers all questions.

Mark
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2012   #6

Windows 7 Professional 64bit SP1
 
 

Pretty much any factory built PC these days can be fit with an SSD after it is purchased if you want. Also, an SSD + bulk HDD is quickly becoming the norm in modern systems. I have a 128GB SSD for my OS and programs/games, and a 2TB HDD for the rest of my "bulky" data. Works like a charm.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2012   #7

Windows 7 64 bit SP1
 
 

OK, so if I understand you correctly, here is what you need:

Boot SSD drive
Secondary larger data drive
Even larger external drive to backup your SSD system image and data drive to.

Forget mirroring - if one drive fails your SOL. If one drive gets corruption your SOL. And your probability of one drive of a mirror failing is twice that of a single non-mirrored drive (sort of).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2012   #8

Windows 7
 
 
Additional questions on the topic

1. Does anyone here have a contrary view that no manufacturer has become particularly adept and interested in setting up a machine pre-installed with the SSD primary and with the OS installed on the SSD? I will be calling Lenovo this a.m. but that's the only company that I have historical firsthand confidence in.

2. With each new machine purchase (at least at the rate we replace machines) processors involve a new describing language and confusing product array. For 'quickness and responsiveness' for home business use that does not involve graphics manipulation other than view and editing images in Picasa and that sort of thing can you all recommend a processor range that will be okay for ~5 years forward?

3. The machine we're replacing is my wife's 6 year Lenovo Thinkcenter XP with 2GB that's clean as a whistle but underpowered for Quicken and Quick books (particularly loading the large databases). For reference, my 5 year (upgraded from Vista 32 bit) Windows 7 is 64 bit + 4GB with a standard laptop drive is more than quick for my lesser needs. Considering her new machine may upgrade to Win8 at some point and does handle more stuff than mine does the new machine want more than the 4 GB of mem?

4. Since she's not doing fancy graphics and games has Intel's onboard graphics vs. separate graphics card make price/performance sense (we'll retain our existing Acer flat screen monitor)?

5. Is there a particular type of hard drive that we should specify as the 2nd and 3rd standard (non SSD) drives?

Did I miss anything?

Mark
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2012   #9

Windows 7 64 bit SP1
 
 

Intel's on-board graphics should do fine. An i3 Ivy bridge should work fine. Memory is fairly cheap, get 8GB and make sure it comes with the 64 bit version of the OS installed. Get USB 3.0 Get a 128GB SSD and a Tb or so data drive then buy yourself an external USB 3.0 drive for backups.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2012   #10

Windows 7 Professional 64bit SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by GeneO View Post
Intel's on-board graphics should do fine. An i3 Ivy bridge should work fine. Memory is fairly cheap, get 8GB and make sure it comes with the 64 bit version of the OS installed. Get USB 3.0 Get a 128GB SSD and a Tb or so data drive then buy yourself an external USB 3.0 drive for backups.

This^^
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Mirrored or double drive--current thinking?




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