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Thread: Recommended HD drives and partitioning

  1. #1
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    Recommended HD drives and partitioning

    Short form
    Which primary and storage HDD(s) should I get for a machine to run office applications and store media?
    Is bigger necessarily better for a primary drive?
    Which manufacturer has the most reliable drves?



    Verbose

    My current PC which I just use for office apps, internet and e-mail, no gaming (excepting solitaire about 5 years ago), has a single 120GB PATA drive. It is quite full, seek churning quite a bit and I frequently hear clunks as it recalibrates.
    I'm chancing my luck still using it, as there are too many bad and weak sectors [per HD sentinel] for my liking. I need to change it as soon as possible. Currently have 2GB RAM PC3200 400MHz, so I guess the HDD is paging a lot. I am upgrading to 4GB RAM anyway; 4 x 1GB stcks Kingston ValueRAM at £11 each from Misco.

    I don't want to replace the machine yet, I'm waiting for the LGA2011 architecture to hit the market and for prices to settle a bit. I will go SSD then, perhaps with a PCI-E SSD. In the meantime I'm looking for reliable HDD(s). I will probably use it or them for storage on future build.

    Budget: around £100 initially excluding coolers/silencer.
    Waiting for a competition prize cheque to arrive due by 28th for funds.

    Current HDD
    Main partition is 60GB O/S XPSP3 32 bit, MS apps, e-mail reader, documents, some music and videos.
    (15GB free)
    2nd partition 16GB Downloads, music, video (633MB free)
    3rd partition 20GB Music, videos (2GB free)
    4th partition 20GB - Archive; backups of documents, settings, mail files, music, video.

    Due to decreasing space over the years, I've shifted the media files all over the place so they are
    now on all partitions.I could do with getting the media onto another physical drive, perhaps re-
    ripping as WAV and ripping a couple of hundred CDs not already on my PC.
    I'd like also not to have a big electric bill due to the inherent current draw of the drives or any
    cooling I'd need to add.

    Which manufacturer has the most relaible drives; Hitachi, Samsung, Seagate, Western Digital ...?
    I cant find MTTF MTBF data?

    What hard disk configuration, capacities and spin speeds are recommended?
    Given the budget should I just get one HD this month and add another as funds permit?
    Should I get two matched drives, one for primary, one for backup, media and archive?
    One primary, one for data and a third for media? Things seem to be going NAS direction in the Hi-Fi world too.
    Are the higher capaciy drives >1TB less reliable?
    Is there any point in having a 1TB primary drive, over say a 500GB one? There doesn't seem to be an improvement in access times with the higher cache sizes.

    Can I go with a 7200rpm caviar black sort of grade for the primary and a slower, green, one for a
    storage? Would that set up beat frequencies oscillations due to the different frequencies?

    Partitioning
    How best to partition the drives, if at all?
    Is it possible to configure partitions to correspnd with platters?
    Mailbase file (Turnpike) is over 1GB I could probably benefit from setting a tablespace for that as
    it gets very fragmented.

    Reading through the threads here and on the web in general, Western Digital seem to be held in good
    esteem, with a slight edge over Seagate. The Scan site,however rates the Caviar black drives with two stars and the Seagates with three stars. Any reasons?

    I was thinking of getting this one for a start:
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1tb-w...64mb-cache-8ms

    Any help would be appreciated, I'm spoilt for choice and it's giving me a bit of a headache.
    Tags: Hitachi, Samsung, Seagate, Western Digital, HDD, reliability
    Last edited by Frank E; 14-06-2011 at 05:10 PM. Reason: submit question in short form, was a bit tl;dr

  2. #2
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    Re: Recommended HD drives and partitioning

    Personally I wouldn't bother buying any new HDD under 1TB as they are cheap enough (even if you won't use all the capacity).

    For the OS maybe a Samsung F3 1TB and for media,Data, etc. Samsung 2 TB F4 ?

  3. Received thanks from:

    Frank E (14-06-2011)

  4. #3
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    Re: Recommended HD drives and partitioning

    I use WD drives and am quite happy. Had a number of failures with Maxtors. Agree with Sputnik regarding the size.

    So far 1Tbs have been OK as well as necessary - we tend to expand to fill the space avaialable.

  5. Received thanks from:

    Frank E (15-06-2011)

  6. #4
    Registered+
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    • Frank E's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus Sabertooth Z97 Mk2 socket 1150
      • CPU:
      • Intel 4790K not currently OCed.
      • Memory:
      • Corsair 32GB DDR3
      • Storage:
      • 2TB Samsung 860 Pro SSD (boot OS, Apps), 2 x 1TB HDD, 1x 4TB HDD, 1 x 10TB Samsung Red Pro.
      • Graphics card(s):
      • MSI GTX770
      • PSU:
      • Cooler Master V750 Semi modular. Dedicated radial circuit with clean earth, filtered sockets and UPS
      • Case:
      • Corsair Obsidian 550D mid tower (would not recommend)
      • Operating System:
      • Win 10 Pro 64, various VMs
      • Monitor(s):
      • LG 24" HD
      • Internet:
      • 80 Mbps nominal FTTC. 2960G 1Gb switch. Some CAT6 wired in

    Re: Recommended HD drives and partitioning

    Thanks Sputnik and Oldboy.
    Think I'll go with the Samsung F3 1TB for O/S with SamsungF4EG 2TB for storage.

    Edit: and possibly a couple of passive coolers/silencers.
    Last edited by Frank E; 22-06-2011 at 01:01 PM.

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