My windows xp box is made of two (physically 2 separate HD) drives: C for windows OS only and D for all other files (applications and My docs). This set up has resulted in a great improvement in reliability. Has anyone else tried this set up and if so, are there any tweaks I should try?
dual drives xp(7 posts)
If you have the luxury of 2 HD's, I would mirror everything. That gives you maximum protection. I.e. install everything on one HD and back it up on the other. Because, if one of your HD's crashes, everything on it is lost with your current setup.
WHS, your statement is correct. yet for most home users the current setup is most likely better for the user. The reason I say this is because in the likelihood that a HDD would crash is not as great as the need for a reinstall. If you have to reinstall windows you then have to back up all of your data and the import it all back in. where as if you have it on a separate HDD then you would not need to fuss with that. also you will lose half your disk space when mirroring. If you recommend any type of RAID to someone you should explain the loss in storage space. and for all we know he could have a 10GB HDD for the C: partition and a 200GB for the D: partition. If he mirrored the two disks It would bring him down to 10GB of usable disk space. My recommendation would be to leave things as they were and not fuss with them at all.
smash, your points are well taken. I guess it depends whether you like maximum protection or convenience. I did not want to imply Raid although the word "mirror" might have been the confusion. All I meant was frequent total system backups onto the second HD. Norton GHOST (I guess now it's version 14) is a good tool for that. With 2 seperate HD's I did not assume that space was a problem. Maybe the poster can give us the data.
PS: I dread reinstalls and that's what I would protect myself against.
The whole idea is reliability. My point is that Windoze by itself on an HD is very well behaved and I gets no more crashes. Well, maybe a lot fewer. On a one HD system it would inevitably come down every six to eight months (Bootmgr fails to load or HD is unreadable). Then I would loose all my docs etc. :(
Now when windows crashes My docs are all nice and safe on a separate HD. I just seems to me to be a better mousetrap this way.
The windows HD is a 120 gig with 90% free space (Ive done the partition thing and tried to be fancy using one partition for swap etc. but this time around I just formated and installed plain vanilla. The windows installer likes it that way...
Another plus is that only the Windows Hd ever needs to be degfragmented. The other HD is always un needed for dfrag. So defrag goes by fast. I do however, a lot of times have to run chkdsk because of file errors on one of the two HD every now and then.
RAID is okay for mirror and array 0 and although I am big fan of RAID from a long time ago, new HD's are very fast (Raptors and such) and getting faster. I prefer to mirror to another PC on network instead of onboard dual. But thats me.
Looks like you have given that setup a lot of thought and if it works for you, that is perfectly alright. Most of us do not have the luxury of 2 HD's and have to do with additional external drives - if you're lucky on a firewire because there are hardly any e-sata's. I only hope they come out with affordable solid state disks in the 25GB range soon. That would be ideal for the system. At least the Eee points into that direction, although still at a modest level. For the user data, frequent backups to an external device are an easy out. These new 16 and 32GB USB flash drives also look promising - even as permanent residence for most files. I keep some on a 4GB flash now.
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