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Windows 7: Ideal W7 disk setup

21 Jul 2009   #11
mikinho
Microsoft MVP

6x W2K8 R2 (x64), 6x W7 7600 (x64), 2x Gentoo (x64), 1x Ubuntu 9.04 (x64), 1x pfSense (FreeBSD)
 
 

Btw, I don't recommend using different partitions\drive for System\Apps. I do it mostly out of habit. Most of my products I develop are for servers. In a server environment the performance of having a seperate app drive is worth it as the disk I\O is common bottleneck in modern applications. I'm slightly anal (well very anal to be honest) and like all my systems to be configured the same even if it offers no performance benefit.

For a typical user and home use keeping your apps on a separate volume really offers no benefits as Antman mentions.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Jul 2009   #12
cricket

win 7 7600
 
 

page file only on 4gb usb device would it help?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2009   #13
mikinho
Microsoft MVP

6x W2K8 R2 (x64), 6x W7 7600 (x64), 2x Gentoo (x64), 1x Ubuntu 9.04 (x64), 1x pfSense (FreeBSD)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by cricket View Post
page file only on 4gb usb device would it help?
You never want to have your pagefile on a removable drive. USB devices can be removed without warning (physically or even with software problems), your pagefile can contain data that has not been committed or does not exist elsewhere and will crash your system if removed.

USB for ReadyBoost is great as it is used to contain file sections that have already been read from disk into RAM to store as a cache. It is fast read but if needed can go back to the pagefile or re-read from original location.

Edit: I also don't think Windows will let you specify a removable device for paging without hacks. This is one of those times (quite common actually) that just because a hack\tweak exists doesn't mean you should do it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Jul 2009   #14
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mikinho View Post
Edit: I also don't think Windows will you specify a removable device for paging without hacks. This is one of those times (quite common actually) that just because a hack\tweak exists doesn't mean you should do it.
I think you are right. I once tried to put 4 USB flash drives in a RAID0 stripe to have the fastest portable storage that would fit in my pocket...but the system would not allow it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2009   #15
mikinho
Microsoft MVP

6x W2K8 R2 (x64), 6x W7 7600 (x64), 2x Gentoo (x64), 1x Ubuntu 9.04 (x64), 1x pfSense (FreeBSD)
 
 

An interesting read and mostly on-topic for this thread: if (ms) blog++; : Tweaking for Performance (Disks & Volumes).

His process wouldn't work well for me but would work well for quite a few. Just another idea.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2009   #16
saverio

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

thanks for all your input so far, it's been truly educational.

I'm going to try going onto one drive to see if there is any appreciable slowdown, i'm using this opportunity to have a play so that when 7 retail hits my mat i've got everything ready and my mind in order.

I've looked at SSD, but the price is so prohibitive at the moment, and currently i have x2 velociraptor 300gb in raid 0.

I'm going to take out discs 3+4 as they are 7200 WD discs 250gb each, and just leave my WD caviar green 500gb dump/music/iso's and backup disc.

I was toying with mucking around with another OS (OS X) on the second velociraptor if I go to single disk tests for a while, but when retail comes along, i'll look for a nice use for it, perhaps either put it back in raid or use it for music or images.

I'm quite anal about backups (since a mac workstation shat it's cheap and nasty fujitsu drive and wiped out a week of solid video editing work ) doing a disc image and also an easy transfer backup 1 -2 times a week, or after any new software installation.

I'll probably not move the users folders after Antman's and others comments, and just make sure I religiously backup.

Which leads me onto... the latest disc image I have is of the raided volume (600gb) can I restore this onto one drive (300gb - but the data and files come to only 180gb) or does it actually need the phyical speifications of the volume originally imaged?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2009   #17
Antman

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by saverio View Post
... the latest disc image I have is of the raided volume (600gb) can I restore this onto one drive (300gb - but the data and files come to only 180gb) or does it actually need the phyical speifications of the volume originally imaged?
You do not need to match the specs. If it fits, it's OK.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jul 2009   #18
mlevy

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

With the way 7 works with being able to add a directory to the Libraries, I don't feel it's needed to install the OS in such a way that it permanently moves the location of certain files, such as My Documents. Right now, my PC is set up with two 250 GB drives, one is my OS drive (partitioned 200/50 for XP/7, should have given more to 7), the other contains my data files. I then added the folder with my data files to the Documents library.

Regarding moving apps off the system drive. Look into how the filesystem handles Symbolic Links. It allows you to link a folder from one drive to another. Kind of like mounting a partition in an empty folder but it doesn't have to be a whole partition.

Example, say you want your OS on a standard HDD but want all your game files on an SSD, you'd make a game folder in the Program Files folder then link it using a symbolic link to a folder on the SSD.

Backups. I've found the hard way that Windows 7 will NOT do an image backup to a removable drive. I have a 500 GB MyBook that I can NOT do a system image to. I think I'll plan a 1.5-2 TB internal for this purpose when I build my Win 7 rig.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2009   #19
DJG

 

Try this setup:

- Keep the WD 250s.

- Create a 120GB RAID 0 volume using the two Velos and the two WDs (4 spindles - it'll fly, forget about the 7200/10K RPM stuff). Make two 60GB partitions for two boot OSs if you want. Or make it a 60GB volume for one OS and have more left over (see below).

- You still have ~ 110-130GB x4 - create a RAID 5 volume with the rest and use it for image backups & stuff, fault tolerant. Yes, you lose from each Velo, which get reduced to 250, but you gained 250x2 from the WDs, plus speed and a fault-tolerant image repository.

Because the RAID 5 is used mostly for backup, the shared spindles with the RAID 0 won't affect system speed normally which will be fast with the 4 spindles.

All in theory, of course, although I use something similar, but with more and bigger drives.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2009   #20
saverio

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

DJG, mlevy thanks for your input.

I think I will do as you suggest. And use the velo's in raid.
As it is, I've found someone to take the WD's off my hands and I think they were causing me a few spin up and chkdisk problems which i'd not encountered before they were installed.

Vendors here in the UK are starting to discount v-raptors as the technofashion youth are all pestering for SSD's. I still can't justify the vast sums per GB of an SSD, and until I start seeing enterprise use them I'm going to throttle back. I've yet to see a server farm invest in any despite the figures claimed and that makes me nervous.

I like the idea of using the second partitions as raid 5 - so in theory - I could have 4 or 5 drives, partition them and use the primary partion blocks as OS / programs and the second partion for image backups and stuff as you say..

So for the 500GB volume I could lose it altogether
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Ideal W7 disk setup




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