Operating System Hard Drive choice?

February 25, 2009 at 08:27:09
Specs: Windows XP Pro, 4GB
I'm throwing together a server for mostly sharing files at home. I'm generally wanting to maximize the read\write time. The "shared" space will be on a seperate RAID array. All networking is through a Gigabit interface to maximize performance.

Does it matter what drive the operating system is on? I'd like to throw it on a small PATA drive, but I'm unsure of how involved it will be in the sharing of files. Thoughts? Slow PATA drive ok? Or is the speed of the OS drive important here?


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February 25, 2009 at 08:47:57
Are you thinking of setting up a RAID 0 array which it appears to be as you mention speed. If this is the case then I would urge you to think again.

There is no speed advantage to be gained and you put yourself in a vulnerable position if one of the disks should fail. There is no chance of data recovery at all. Regular backups are essential. RAID 0 only has a speed advantage if you a regularly reading and writing huge file and I mean files in the giga byte range.

Speed is not the objective of RAID. Redundancy is and there is no redundancy on a RAID 0 array, quite the opposite in fact.

Take RAID out of the equation and it doesn't matter which drive the OS goes on. The difference in the real world between PATA and SATA is so small as to not be worth worrying about.


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February 25, 2009 at 08:54:32
No, the "share" space will be on RAID1.

So, sticking the OS on a PATA drive would not affect the performance of "shared" access. Good good!

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