7 Replies Latest reply on Jun 13, 2009 8:37 AM by the_wine_snob

    How to set up two hard drives (not three)


      I just added a second hard drive (500Gb SATA).  It is currently empty.


      My first hard drive currently has everything on it - Operating System (XP), programs (including PE4), media files, scratch files, etc.  The first drive is about 200Gb with only about 22Gb free.  There is about 70Gb of assorted video media on the first drive.


      I've read Harm's tips regarding setting up three or more drives (OS/programs on one, media on another, scratch files on a third).


      But I only have two drives, and will not be getting a third for this machine.


      What is the best thing(s) to move to the second drive?  (note that I'd rather not move the OS).


      In addtion to whatever else I should move to the second drive, would there be any mileage in moving or reinstalling just PE4 to the second drive (assuming that's possible)?


      For info, I'm not a power user or computer guru.  I just went to the computer store and asked for a second drive.  I have not idea about RAID etc, but I assume they are either no RAID or RAID 0 (don't know what I'm talking about).


      Thanks for any ideas.


        • 1. Re: How to set up two hard drives (not three)
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          Given your hardware, I would leave the OS (obviously) and all programs on your C:\ drive. I'd move all media, Project, etc. files to D:\, along with setting the Scratch Disks to Same As Project, keeping them on D:\ also. As for your Page File (Windows Virtual Memory), I doubt that you'd see much imporvement by moving it to D:\, but you might want to experiment with this. I'd also experiment with running it with a set size (about 2.5x your physical RAM), and also letting Windows dynamically manage it. I would create a test Project for the experiments, and then do the same operation on that Project with a clock handy. You'll probably find that there is little difference between the setups, and if that is the case, then I'd just leave the Page File on C:\, where it's located now. Where people usually see a big difference is with either a RAID 0 of two smaller, but very fast HDD's, or one smaller very fast HDD, just for the Page File. Even then, the speed increase will probably be minimal and might not justify the cost of adding, say a 10,000 RPM 160GB SATAII HDD, just for that purpose.


          With that third HDD, in Harm's example, the media files would go onto that, but in your case, I'd move them to D:\. The idea is to spread as much of the workload, as is possible, over as many physical HDD's, as you have.


          Also, by giving your OS and your programs a bit more "breathing room," you will eliminate as many bottlenecks, as you can.


          RAID's are either setup via software, or via hardware. They are a method for combining physical HDD's into arrays. If you have not done this physically, and with the two HDD's that you have, there is no real reason to do so, you do not have to worry about it. Harm's suggestions for RAID are for the greatest speed (and probably some redundancy built in), especially with HD media. However, to offer their full potential, you'd need 3 matched physical HDD's, or 2 at the least. Again, in the ideal world, one would use a RAID controller card, and NOT go with a stripped software RAID.


          Good luck, and you will not be sorry that you added the extra 500GB HDD. You should notice an increase in speed in many operations and likely more stability with larger Projects.



          • 2. Re: How to set up two hard drives (not three)
            Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

            I agree with Hunt.


            You'll see the best performance boost by just moving your project and media files to the second drive and leaving your operating system and program files on C.


            Meantime, do ensure that:


            1) Your C drive always has at least 30-40 gigabytes of free, defragmented space, just so your basic programs and operating system can run.


            2) Your new hard drive is set up in the BIOS as well as the operating system. You do this by enter Set-up (pressing ESC or F1) when your computer's logo screen appears, before Windows starts to load during boot-up. If you don't have it set up in the BIOS, your second drive will run very inefficiently.


            3) Ensure your new hard drive is formatted NTFS, not FAT32. FAT32 drives have a file size limitation that often chokes video files.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: How to set up two hard drives (not three)
              John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Also, while everything is working, buy and USE hard drive backup/imaging software


              What I use is discussed at http://www.pacifier.com/~jtsmith/ADOBE.HTM#SmartOwn

              • 4. Re: How to set up two hard drives (not three)
                Ed.Macke Level 3


                A couple of things immediately come to mind.



                If you already have a separate backup strategy in place, you can ignore this first part. But if not...

                I'd like to offer the suggestion that you use your second drive for backup purposes.

                I have a similar setup to you: (2) 500GB internal HD's. For me, one is my "workhorse", and the other is a copy of the first. My digital photography workflow also has a backup directory on my "workhorse" drive, meaning I have a working and backup directory on my primary drive, and both of those directories are mirrored on my second drive. So any given image has 4 copies: 2 of the edited (working) version and 2 of the original image. If it weren't for space restrictions, I'd do the same with my video assets.

                The point being: you can never have too many backups.

                With your setup, you could back up your "primary" 200GB to your "secondary" 500GB drive - and still have 300GB leftover on the second drive.

                The problem (if you can call having 300GB free a "problem") is that the 300GB has no backup. You could use that space ONLY for temporary storage (stuff that wouldn't matter if it was lost - like Premiere scratch files, Window's swap file, IE temp files, etc.) but I don't think that would come close to 300GB.


                If you subscribe to the theory that the OS and applications don't need backed up, the problem doesn't get any better. Then your primary drive has (let's say) 50 GB of OS and applications, and 150GB of data. So you only need to back up 150GB to your second drive, but all that does is give you 350GB of available UN-backed up space.


                However, again, if you subscribe to that theory, you could gain more backed-up space, but unfortunately it would involve moving your OS and applications to the larger drive. That way, you'd have 50GB of OS and apps (not backed up), 200GB of data space (backed up to the smaller drive), and 150GB for temp space. But that's obviously a pain, and you'd have your swap/temp files on the same drive as your OS, but on the other hand it would give you a full 200GB of BACKED-UP data storage.

                Another option (and actually on my to-do list) is to get an external hard drive to be used solely for backup purposes. If you get, say a 1TB USB or Fireware external drive, you could back up both of your drives - OS *and* data - and use the full capacity of both of your internal drives for work and storage.

                But, whatever you do, your first priority should be making sure you have back-ups of your data.




                If you just purchased and installed a second SATA drive. it's a sure bet it's not configured to be RAID.


                However, if you do have RAID or intend on setting the drives up to be RAID configuration, it would most likely be RAID 0 or RAID 1. To me, either is a Faustian deal:

                RAID 0 would give you 700GB of space - and it would be faster! BUT... if EITHER of the drives fails then you lose ALL of your data. Read that last part over... if EITHER drive fails, you lose ALL of your data. That would not help me sleep at night!  Yes, you get  increased speed, but the tradeoff is your likelyhood of data loss actually goes UP! If you're going to do RAID 0, you'd better have a good backup strategy in place!

                RAID 1 is nice because it ensures that each drive is an exact duplicate of the other. It's basically built-in backup / redundancy. The tradeoff there is that total capacity is the smaller of the drives in the array, so in your case you'd only get 200GB of available storage.


                RAID 5 is a good compromise, but you need 3 drives.


                Given those limitations and the cost of implementing a RAID solution, a simple backup mechanism might be a better way to go.

                So, overall, let's say you have a separate backup strategy in place (i.e. external drive) and a non-RAID setup (most likely), I think the typical advice would be:

                • Put your OS and applications on one drive
                • Put your data on a second drive
                • Put a Windows swap file on each drive (then put in enough RAM so that the swap file doesn't get used!)
                • Put your temp files on the second drive, or split them up.
                • Definitely back up your data drive. Backing up your OS/applications is a personal choice. I do.

                The general idea, as you might suspect, is to split up your files so that no single disk is a bottleneck.


                Hope that helps somewhat

                • 5. Re: How to set up two hard drives (not three)
                  dmsketchup Level 1

                  Once again, a fast and impressive response from this forum.  Never fails.


                  So, to summarize:


                  I will leave the OS and programs (including PE4) on the first drive.


                  I will move the media to the second drive, and also set my PE projects and scratch files to the second drive.


                  This will free up 100Gb on the first drive, so I'll defrag that and for the time being leave the Windows page file on the first drive (though I will look into Ed.Macke's suggestion of having  a page file on each disk, which I didn't know you could do).


                  I have confirmed that both drives are NTFS.


                  I think I have confirmed, as Steve suggests, that the new second drive is indeed set up in BIOS, but will confirm that with him in a separate reply.


                  Thanks all for the additional info on backing up and RAID.  I actually have an external (slow) drive that I use just for backing up, so I'm OK there for now.  But the RAID info will be useful for a new machine, which I am always thinking about.


                  Thanks again everyone!


                  • 6. Re: How to set up two hard drives (not three)
                    dmsketchup Level 1

                    Thanks Steve,


                    I just want to check the BIOS issue:


                    I rebooted and entered Setup during the DOS screen (actually F2 on my machine).


                    I found the Drive Configuration, which listed:


                    First  SATA Master: WDC WD5000..... (this is the new (second) drive)

                    Second SATA Master: None

                    Third SATA Master: None

                    Fourth SATA Master: WDC WD2000.... (this is the old (first) drive)


                    I highlighted the WD5000 and hit Enter for Hard Drive Settings


                    Most things are "Auto", but there are numbers filled in for Size, Cylinder, Head, Precomp, Landing Zone, and Sector.


                    I didn't change anything.  Given this, can we say that the drive is indeed set up in BIOS as you suggested checking?




                    • 7. Re: How to set up two hard drives (not three)
                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                      As for the Page File, I found that splitting it between my C:\ and my E:\ gave the best performance on my workstation. I then found that placing it on my E:\ drive totally, was the best on my 3x 200GB HDD laptop. The differences were very slight but I could measure them, and chose the fastest.


                      If things are working well with it on your C:\ your time to test might not be worth any increase in speed. This is something to do on a rainy day, when there's no golf, or football (either American, or the rest of the World) on TV, and you are between Projects. Lot of re-booting and testing involved. Get's old fast.


                      Good luck, and let us know how it goes,