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Thread: HDD Advice

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    HDD Advice

    I recently formatted my PC. I was using a 750gb Samsung HD753LJ as my primary HDD which I bought last year for OS/Games and a 320gb Seagate ST332062A0s for storage of music/films etc which I've had for yonks..

    As you may have guessed I ran out of space rather quickly on the Seagate. So I decided in my indefinate wisdom that I'd swap the drives functions around this time. Unfortunately I think the seagate is getting a bit on as I've had it for a while and it will occasionally emit a loud click now and then all though it has no effect on performance. I'm pretty sure I've noticed a reduced bootup speed of windows as well.

    So what would I be best off doing? Replacing the 320gb with maybe a 1.5tb Storage HDD and using the Samsung as my primary drive again? Or replace the 320gb with a small/faster drive perhaps? Any suggestions to drives would also be welcome, looking at buying one drive at a maximum of say £100.

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    Overclocking Since 1988 nightkhaos's Avatar
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    Re: HDD Advice

    Well, what is the upper limit of your budget? I know this seems like an odd question... but bare with me.
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    Re: HDD Advice

    I suppose I could go up to £140 or so...

    Would depend on future income though which I'd have to first guarantee I'd be getting.

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    Re: HDD Advice

    How about an SSD?

    This one is outside your budget (and out of stock), and yes I know it is only 80GiB, but it will give you a very good perfomance boost!

    If it's too small (or too expensive), well, I would recommend get two of these, and putting them in RAID 0, if your motherboard supports it.
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    Re: HDD Advice

    An SSD would be very very nice, unfortunately as great as the performance boost would be I tend to play a massive variety of games and would probably fill it very quickly.

    I'm thinking as I never had a single problem with the Samsung Spinpoint and it still contends quite nicely with other drives and it's very quiet I might just buy an effecient storage drive for cheaps now as I'll no doubt be doing an overhaul of my system within a year or so as I've maxed out all possible upgrade possibilities on the motherboard beyond overclocking. Then I'll put in for some nice SSD's.

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    Re: HDD Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Kev32 View Post
    An SSD would be very very nice, unfortunately as great as the performance boost would be I tend to play a massive variety of games and would probably fill it very quickly.

    I'm thinking as I never had a single problem with the Samsung Spinpoint and it still contends quite nicely with other drives and it's very quiet I might just buy an effecient storage drive for cheaps now as I'll no doubt be doing an overhaul of my system within a year or so as I've maxed out all possible upgrade possibilities on the motherboard beyond overclocking. Then I'll put in for some nice SSD's.
    Okay fair enough. I will recommend either a Samsung EcoDrive or a WD Caviar Green for your storage drives.
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    Re: HDD Advice

    Everyone seems to be recommending the EcoDrive, so I got it.

    I may in the future, if I do come across this money I'm hoping for, buy a couple of VelociRaptor's and put them into RAID 0. They should last me a pretty long time surely? Or are SSD's fast becoming the new "mainstream"?

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    Re: HDD Advice

    I am currently using a 320GB system drive, with a 3TB server that I backup onto 3TB of external disks.

    Now, I'm not recommending that you follow suit, but I've been a lot happier since I cleared all the hard drives out of my PC and just kept it nice and simple with a single drive. I think the best thing for you to do would be to buy a brand new 320GB drive for about £35, and use that as a system drive.

    You could get a 1TB Samsung for £60 to use for additional storage (total of 1.75TB) and still come under your budget of £100, as well as having the opportunity to duplicate stuff between the 750GB and the 1TB for additional data security. I'm not recommending that particularly - you probably don't need the space, but it's there as an option if you need it. Keep the system disk small, and just use it for page files and operating system data etc, then you can easily expand and mess around with your storage hard drives whenever you need to. With the added benefit that you can easily format your OS drive without losing your documents.

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    Re: HDD Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Kev32 View Post
    Everyone seems to be recommending the EcoDrive, so I got it.

    I may in the future, if I do come across this money I'm hoping for, buy a couple of VelociRaptor's and put them into RAID 0. They should last me a pretty long time surely? Or are SSD's fast becoming the new "mainstream"?
    I wouldn't bother, by the time "the future" arrives I would think SSDs will be a very strong competitor to VelociRaptors, without all the RAID nonsense.

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    Re: HDD Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    I am currently using a 320GB system drive, with a 3TB server that I backup onto 3TB of external disks.

    Now, I'm not recommending that you follow suit, but I've been a lot happier since I cleared all the hard drives out of my PC and just kept it nice and simple with a single drive. I think the best thing for you to do would be to buy a brand new 320GB drive for about £35, and use that as a system drive.

    You could get a 1TB Samsung for £60 to use for additional storage (total of 1.75TB) and still come under your budget of £100, as well as having the opportunity to duplicate stuff between the 750GB and the 1TB for additional data security. I'm not recommending that particularly - you probably don't need the space, but it's there as an option if you need it. Keep the system disk small, and just use it for page files and operating system data etc, then you can easily expand and mess around with your storage hard drives whenever you need to. With the added benefit that you can easily format your OS drive without losing your documents.
    That was my exact original plan, I just forgot completely about the fact that I bought the Seagate around 3-4 years ago! Even WEI only gives it a 5.6, the only harddrive I've ever seen to get under 5.9.

    Only problem still with a smaller drive is that I really do have a lot of games! Steam itself along with the games I play most through it takes up around 160gb. Then there's WoW and EVE Online and Fruity Loops with the hundreds of VST's I have. By the time I've finished doing my "fresh install" I've got barely anything left on my 320gb and I have yet to install Sims 3 (for the gf of course..)!

    What I was thinking at first was getting a fast 500gb, 10k RPM drive. But they seem really expensive and the performance boost didn't seem that grand.

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    Re: HDD Advice

    I wouldn't bother with RAID 0 for a performance boost - there really isn't one most of the time so it's really just a waste of money. I'd say either swap the drives like you said but for a new, fast drive go for something like a Samsung HD322HJ which is a single platter 320GB drive or the 500GB single platter 7200.12 Seagate drive. If you want more performance you could get a dual-platter 640GB or dual platter 1TB drive but you get the idea.
    Also something I always recommend is http://forums.hexus.net/hexus-hardwa...on-theory.html

    Edit: sorry, tab was open for a while and I didn't refresh. Was meant to be below this post: http://forums.hexus.net/hexus-hardwa...ml#post1746606

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    Re: HDD Advice

    Ta for the advice guys and thanks for the link to the partitioning tip. Will definately give that a go.

    I'm going to do a fresh install again on the SpinPoint on wednesday when my EcoDrive arrives and shall see what the performance is like. I may get a burst of spontaneity and buy a single platter drive at i37.

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    Re: HDD Advice

    I would also check your new drive for bad sectors ( or at the min let windows do a full format (not a quick))
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    Re: HDD Advice

    Full format does check the drive for bad sectors.

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    Re: HDD Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    Full format does check the drive for bad sectors.
    Well, actually, no, it checks the logical structure of the file system.

    There is a lot of confusion over format and chkdsk. Formatting a floppy disk really does lay down the sector structure on the drive, and records the start and end of sector markers ('soft' secors) and optionally records the file system - the File Allocation Table (FAT) and system files if the floppy is to be bootable.

    But a hard drive is formatted by the manufacture, and the actual physical location of sectors is hidden from the end user (the computer operating system). All drives have bad sectors on them, and they develop errors as they are used. However there are many more sectors on the drive than its reported size, and as part of the mfr's testing, defective sectors are mapped out, and the spare sectors brought into use. This is done before the sector actually fails and is transparent to the OS. Although common perception is that the drive starts writing at the outside, and works in, there is no easy way of determining if that is the case.

    The OS tells the disk to write data at LBA (say) 1500, but the OS has no way (or need) of knowing the actual disk topology. And at different times in a disk's life, the physical location of LBA 1500 may move. (This is why I am slightly sceptical of Zak's partition theory, although the fact that those that have tried it do report that it does seem to work may give credence to the fact that the outside tracks are written first - although during the life of the disk, some of those sectors may be re-mapped elsewhere)

    So formatting a hard disk lays down the file structure, the FAT (for a FAT system) and the MFT for an NTFS system. Running chkdsk checks the logical structure of that file system, not the physical integrity of the disk - that is done by the disk itself.

    Mfr's tool sets do allow some lower level disk operations, and there are other methods of accessing the data, and the disk's internal operating system, other than through the SATA/PATA interface, but they are proprietary to the disk mfr.

    So running chkdsk may be worthwhile after 'formatting' a disk, to check the integrity of the file system, but it tells you nothing about the physical condition of the disk - for that you need to interrogate the S.M.A.R.T data.

    For more info about chkdsk have a look at this link:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/187941
    Last edited by peterb; 03-08-2009 at 08:52 PM.
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    Re: HDD Advice

    Chkdsk /r doesn't really do any more than a full format. Zak's partition theory does work and, unless there is a large area of damaged disk things are stored pretty much the way they are supposed to be on a disk. Look at things like drive speed tests - they test from outside in (as seen by the OS) and it goes from faster to slower. If the disk just threw stuff anywhere then what would be the point in defragmenting?

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