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Thread: Should I keep WinXP on a different HD?




  1. #1
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    Question Should I keep WinXP on a different HD?

    I'm considering upgrading my computer to faster hard drives soon. Currently, I have WinXP and my main program files (Office, Virus Scanner, drivers, etc.) on one hard drive, and all of my games on another. I used to have everything all on one, but ran out of room for all my games, and so made the switch.

    I am considering buying two Raptors and throwing them in a RAID 0 array. My question is, will putting my OS and games on separate hard drives (one of them on the array, the other on one of my older drives) speed things up, or should I just dump everything on the Raptors?
    Owner of the computer "Alatar the Blue"

    Athlon XP FX-53
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    2 x WD Raptor II
    120 GB Western Digital SE SATA HD
    Windows XP Home SP2

  2. #2
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    The Raptor drives will have faster spindle speeds, better access times and higher transfer rates so use them. As for different drives, just create a couple of partitions and you'll be set. Just remember to keep any vital data backed up on a non-RAID device because if you break the array, you lose the data forever. It is very difficult and many times impossible to retrieve the data from a broken array.
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  3. #3
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    Putting the games on the RAIDed Raptors would probably be best. I can't be positive since I haven't tested it, but I think the faster HDD setup would make up for the fact that the HDD is being used by both the OS and the games.

    I'd set it up like so:
    A couple partitions (everything in NTFS) on the RAID drives for OS and games (one for OS, one for games).
    One big partition on the other drive for files and any other programs you use.

    Of course, you could try some different test to see what's best using SANDRA and PCMark. That would be very time consuming, but I don't know that there's a lot of web information regarding what's fastest in this type of situation.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies so far... keep 'em coming! More opinions are sought!

    Out of curiousity, why should I have multiple partitions (one for OS, one for games)? I did this originally in case I needed to reinstall WinXP, but when I did that, realized that although my games' data was still instact on the other partition, the games couldn't be run, as Windows hadn't detected that they were installed.
    Owner of the computer "Alatar the Blue"

    Athlon XP FX-53
    MSI NeoPlatinum2
    2 GB Kingston PC 3200 CL2 RAM
    ATI x800 XT
    Creative Labs Audigy 2 ZS
    21" Viewsonic Flat CRT
    Logitech Z-680 speakers
    2 x WD Raptor II
    120 GB Western Digital SE SATA HD
    Windows XP Home SP2

  5. #5
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    I like it for organizational purposes, but it also keeps your games and any saved games you have in the event that you need to reinstall for some reason. Many games won't run after you trash Windows because their registry entries are gone. Some will, though. Plus you still have the save games so you can just reinstall.

  6. #6
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    Good point.

    I've also heard that unless you're doing some MAJOR seeking (like video editing), RAID 0 really won't give you that much of a performance boost.
    1.) What do you think of that?
    2.) If that's true, would it be a wiser choice to run the two raptors separately, one for Windows and basic programs, and the other for games?
    Owner of the computer "Alatar the Blue"

    Athlon XP FX-53
    MSI NeoPlatinum2
    2 GB Kingston PC 3200 CL2 RAM
    ATI x800 XT
    Creative Labs Audigy 2 ZS
    21" Viewsonic Flat CRT
    Logitech Z-680 speakers
    2 x WD Raptor II
    120 GB Western Digital SE SATA HD
    Windows XP Home SP2

  7. #7
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    This article isn't really about RAID in general but it's applicable in this case:
    http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=913&p=9
    Unfortunately, I haven't seen any tests for simple using multiple drives. Using the paging file and a seperate drive should increase performance, too, so it may very well be faster to run the OS on one Raptor with applications and the paging file on the other. You can look for some tests yourself, but you may end up going in circles and getting nowhere.

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  9. #9
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    Cool. After reading those articles, it looks like I'll be putting Windows on one raptor II, and my games on another. I'll use one of my older drives for the page file (once I figure out how to set it up). Not sure what I'll use my other current drive for... backups or movies/music maybe? Thanks, everyone.
    Owner of the computer "Alatar the Blue"

    Athlon XP FX-53
    MSI NeoPlatinum2
    2 GB Kingston PC 3200 CL2 RAM
    ATI x800 XT
    Creative Labs Audigy 2 ZS
    21" Viewsonic Flat CRT
    Logitech Z-680 speakers
    2 x WD Raptor II
    120 GB Western Digital SE SATA HD
    Windows XP Home SP2

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