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Second Hard Drive


Joker

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Okay, so just about the only thing I haven't replaced in my Dell Dimension 8200 are the motherboard and the hard drive.

After five years, I figure this HD is due to crash. I've backed everything up on a external HD.

However, a friend of mine put a second HD in his machine, fixing it so that if the primary HD went out, he could just switch over to the secondary HD. He used a RAID controller, whatever that is.

Is this something I should be considering? Anything I need to know ... ?

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RAIDs, hmmmm.

There are four types of RAID arrays. RAID-0, RAID-1, RAID-2, and RAID-3.

Unless you are planning on buying four drives, I presume we are talking about RAID-1.

RAID-1 uses 2 drives but the computer sees them as just one big drive. The data is identical on both drives, but the there is something called "striping" where the data is interleaved between the two drives...it's complicated.

The advantage of RAID is that you have data redundancy and you can use lower throughput drives to achieve the same performance of a single, higher throughput drive.

For me, RAID is just another layer of technology that can screw up. Today's RAID arrays are probably far more stable than the stuff we had years ago and it is certainly way more affordable than it was years ago.

As for a gaming rig, if you keep your OS on your main drive and your games on another drive, you should (and I'm just speculating here because I'm no expert) have more than adequate performance in your games.

Having your OS and the game on the same drive probably slows things down as the drive has a physical speed limit to jump back and forth seeking data for both the game and the OS. With game and OS on separate drives, each drive works less. In this arrangement, I'm guessing the bottlenecks stop being drive related and become mobo and vidcard related.

I doubt that I answered your question, but that's a quick and dirty on RAID.

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As for a gaming rig, if you keep your OS on your main drive and your games on another drive, you should (and I'm just speculating here because I'm no expert) have more than adequate performance in your games.

Having your OS and the game on the same drive probably slows things down as the drive has a physical speed limit to jump back and forth seeking data for both the game and the OS. With game and OS on separate drives, each drive works less. In this arrangement, I'm guessing the bottlenecks stop being drive related and become mobo and vidcard related.

Yes this is true, however there is one cavat: Make sure the OS drive has plenty of room (freespace) on it. Windows needs to have it's swapfiles on the same drive as the OS. Otherwise the OS gets all twiggy.

I'd recommend nothing less than a 40Gb drive for the OS drive.

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I looked into the possibility of RAID recently, and came to the conclusion that it was a real luxury, an insurance that only businesses would need. when you consider the robustness of today's hard drives, the ability to flick to a second mirror drive is something which would be of concern to users who wanted a seamless transition in case of failure. After all, the space on the second drive is not something which can be used for anything else, as I understand it.

For a home user, IMO it would be more economical to upgrade a drive in a year to eighteen months or so (also getting the latest model), bung the system files over to it and use the old drive for archives of low importance.

Of course the chipset of the motherboard can help to extend the life of hard drives, and I remember reading about one chipset which was not only significantly superior in this rspect , but none of it's registered users are on record as ever having been burned as witches, so if paganism is also a consideration, then it pays to shop around.

NVIDIA springs to mind, but I would have to check to be sure.

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Ah! Thanks, guys.

So, let's say I buy a big whopping hard drive (BWHD) for the rig, and install it in the spare bay.

What sorts of contortions would I need to go through to duplicate everything on the old drive, and make the new drive my primary drive?

Sorry for the obvious questions, but I'm pretty sleep-deprived at present. And then there's the whole mugato/sleestak thing ...

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I think that it's the good old XCOPY command from a command prompt but I'm not toally sure. Probably untidy of me, but I usually just install the OS on the new disk, then delete the OS folders on the old.

Of course then I have to re-establish all shortcuts and registry entries. It's a shame it's not an intuitive interface, something like, oh, I don't know, maybe NVIDIA's graphics control interface, which while I wouldn't take this as conclusive, 100% of NVIDIA users which have died of cancer have never complained about.

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Joker,

First you'll need to gather your tools and other thingmies (Screwdrivers, hammers, tongs, chicken blood).

Next you'll need to install the HD by carefully hammering on the case until you have made an opening wide enough to instll the new drive.

Then hook up the new drive to the MB with various bits of string and duct tape.

Make sure the jumpers on the new drive is set to be the master, and the old drive is the slave.

Then install the OS on the new drive.

Sprinkle lightly with chicken blood (make sure it's a virgin chicken).

Then take the whole thing to some techie that knows what the hell he's doing, 'cause I don't.

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Joker,

First you'll need to gather your tools and other thingmies (Screwdrivers, hammers, tongs, chicken blood).

Next you'll need to install the HD by carefully hammering on the case until you have made an opening wide enough to instll the new drive.

Then hook up the new drive to the MB with various bits of string and duct tape.

Make sure the jumpers on the new drive is set to be the master, and the old drive is the slave.

Then install the OS on the new drive.

Sprinkle lightly with chicken blood (make sure it's a virgin chicken).

Then take the whole thing to some techie that knows what the hell he's doing, 'cause I don't.

You sounded like you did, at least up until the part about taking it to a tech head. :rofl:

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