Hard drive configuration in updated system

August 31, 2011 at 11:11:01
Specs: Windows 7 Home Prem 64, i5-2500K / 8GB
I am updating my PC with new CPU, motherboard, RAM, OS, etc. and have three hard drives available: (1) a new 1TB WD SATA (7200rpm 64MB cache), (2) a 320GB Seagate SATA (7200rpm 16GB cache) and (3) a 120GB WD IDE (7200rpm 8MB cache). I also have a 500GB USB drive that I use for backup.

I'd like some advice as to how to configure them: where to load OS, Applications, Data, etc. Should I partition? I am not really running any games. Application usage is mostly Web, iTunes, Photoshop, Picasa, light video editing/recoding, A major part of the data consists mainly of 20000+ music files, 1000s of photos and a fair amount of home video.

I am maintly looking to optimize performance. Appreciate the insights.

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August 31, 2011 at 18:52:08
There are two thoughts here that may influence your decision.
First: Use the 320Gb drive for OS and programs and use the much larger 1TB drive for your files and the 500GB drive for back up again. You can save the 120GB drive foe where you may need it later or use it to experiment with Linux if you are so inclined.
Second: Use the newer much faster 1TB drive, partition it 150GB for Windows, antivirus program and some primary programs and utilities, 150GB for your programs, and the rest for your files ('Music drive', or 'Photo drive', etc), Use the 500GB drive or the 320GB drive as another storage drive and the other as your back up drive.
I favor the second one for a few reasons:
1- The WD 1TB drive is faster.
2- I trust the WD drives better from experiences.
3- I like the OS on it's own partition since there is less trouble if you need to reload Windows or reimage the OS partition from a backup drive image stored on your back up drive if you ever have a major infection or corruption.
4- The geometry 'feels' better with drives labeled 'Windows 7 OS', 'Programs', 'Music files', 'Picture and Video files', 'General files', and 'Back Up Drive'.
There are other possibilities, these are the most logical to me.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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September 1, 2011 at 07:46:44
Thank you very much for laying those options out. Option 1 has an element of simplicity but I wasn't sure whether the performance boost from having the OS on the fastest drive was worth it.
In option 2, would it make sense to use the 320 for say music - performance hit there?


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