Recommended setup for new hard drive?

  Bling Bling 14:14 27 Jan 2006

Hi all,

I've just ordered a new 200gb hard drive for my Dell computer as i'm constantly running out of space on my existing 20gb drive. I was intending to replace the old drive completely and re-install Windows XP and all my software on the new drive as it is alot faster etc. I'm not bothered about the hassle of re-installing everything, it's been ages since I last did a clean install.

I was just wondering if anyone might have any suggestions about how I should set up my new drive (partitions etc) as I want to make sure that I can make the most of the new capacity but also be able to make defragging/maintenance as quick as possible.

I'll be using the NTFS file system on my drive, and I have a Pentium 4 1.4ghz processor with 128mb RD-Ram.

The new drive is a Seagate ST3200822A Barracuda Plus, 200GB 7200RPM ATA/100 with 8MB Cache.

Any advice?

  MichelleC 14:17 27 Jan 2006

I'd suggest at least 3 partitions. This cuts down error checking and defrag time as well as reclaiming data easier.

  Pineman100 14:27 27 Jan 2006

When ever I have partitioned a drive, I've always ended up regretting it. Each time I've tried to envisage the appropriate size for each partition, and I've always been wrong! This means I've then had to use something like Partition Magic to resize the inappropriate partitions, and on one occasion this totally crashed my system.
Maybe it's my ignorance speaking, but nowadays I always avoid partitioning.
Are you going to install your old drive as a slave and use it for backups?

  GANDALF <|:-)> 14:27 27 Jan 2006

You will notice no difference in speed if you partition and there is no need to partition these days. Personally I would buy an external HD enclosure and put the 200Gb drive in that. Around 20 squid should get you a decent one... click here

Keep your 20gb HD as is and take off all the programmes that you do not use often. This means you do not have to reload the OS and drivers. You can have programmes on an external drive and run them off the drive with no noticeable loss in speed. You deffo need rack up your RAM to 512 as you will notice this upgrade.

External HDs are the way forward and it is barking to rely on partitions when they are totally unecessary especially if you are using them for backup.


  GANDALF <|:-)> 14:30 27 Jan 2006

ps..althought the new drive is 'faster' I doubt if you would see any difference to your 20gb HD unless you were a bonkers gamer. Upgrading your RAM as much as possible and buying a 40Gb HD would have been a much better option.


  Bling Bling 14:32 27 Jan 2006

To be honest I think the new capacity will be plenty so I was just going to leave the old drive out. I'll keep the existing installation on it and put it away safe, just in case I have a problem with the new drive. If anything goes wrong with the new drive, I can just plug the old one back in until I get the problem fixed, but hopefully it wont come to that!

  Bling Bling 14:36 27 Jan 2006

oops! slight mistake in the first post. I've actually got 256mb of ram! I'll definitely look into getting some more though, just have to find somewhere that sells Rd-Ram at a reasonable price.

  Monument 14:38 27 Jan 2006

I agree with Gandalf that partitioning up a drive is pretty pointless. I really do think you should look to increase the RAM. In reality the minimum for XP is 256MB and 512MB should be the target.

  Monument 14:39 27 Jan 2006

We cross posted

  Stuartli 14:42 27 Jan 2006

You've probably not paid much more for your 200GB drive than for the 20GB (depending on how old it is)..:-)

  ICF 15:42 27 Jan 2006

If you decide for whatever reason to have only one hard drive then partitions in my opinion are very useful.You can clean install windows if it becomes corrupt without loosing all your music,photos and programs.Yes I know you should do back ups but it depends on the frequency you do them.

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