If your case and controller will allow only one more internal, I'd look into a 750 - 1TB unit. Fry's (Western US retailer) just had the Seagate 7200RPM ATA-300 1TB HDD's for US$89.00.
I'd leave the 250GB as your System and program HDD, and move your media, etc. to the new D:\.
For externals, I would suggest looking into FW-800, or better yet, eSATA, if possible. You will likely require a card, or ExpressCard for these, but they will give you so much faster a connection, than FW-400. Personally, I find USB's to be only good for archival storage of Assets. I cannot edit to/from those, and do not like the connecion speed with a FW-400.
I do a lot of editing to/from my Maxtor 2TB FW-800's and swap them back an forth from my laptop to my workstation.
Once again you have provided helpful advice. You provided much of the file conversion info I mentioned. I have printed out Harm's articles on drives and purchasing/building a NLE PC. A great deal of this is beyond my current understanding of how things operate but I am going through them and will look up what I need to understand them better. In the meantime I'll look into the drives you mentioned as well. I'd like to get the internal one resolved first.
Harm's article does go up into the higher end of NLE systems, but he still makes the points for his suggestions. Obviously, most of us will not be doing a 16 drive RAID 50, or some of the other things he mentions. I find the article pretty scalable, so one can get tips on just 2 HDD's, or maybe 3.
Personally, I am a fan of having 3 physical HDD's, and setting them up similar to his suggestions. The workstation is a 6 HDD system, and its replacement will probably up that to 12, with the media drive being a RAID 0. About that time, I plan on adding HD shooting, so the faster media drive will likely benefit me.
Enjoy, and should you need any clarification, I'll either give it, or track Harm down for his take on it.
I've seen you mention a couple of times about using RAID 0 for media.
I think you have a lot more experience with these setups than I, so let me pick your brain a second.
Let's say I have (2) 500GB drives for media storage (and another being used for the O.S.)
Option 1: "Normal" installation. Drive 1 would be D:, drive 2 would be E: Total storage is 1TB. Some media goes on D:, some on E:.
Option 2: RAID 0. Drives 1 and 2 would appear as 1TB D:. All media goes on "D:".
My concern is the safety of my data.
With Option 1, my risk of catastrophic drive failure is pretty unlikely. In the event it actually happens I'd lose 500GB of data. With Option 2, if EITHER drive fails you lose the data on BOTH drives, so while my risk is still unlikely it's more likely than Option 1 PLUS I'd lose my entire 1TB of data.
Either option gives you the same total capacity, but RAID 0 seems like this deal with the Devil where you get faster performance (and can use a single drive letter), but the tradeoff is that you have an increased risk of losing all of your data instead of just a single drive's worth.
I know another advantage is that you can get more total capacity that is possible with a single drive. For example, using RAID 0 you could chain (6) 1TB drives to get a 6TB drive - and they don't make 6 TB drives. However, now my risk is even greater(!) plus I'm risking losing 6TB of data plus how on earth would you back up 6TB of data - all things that will not make me sleep well at night.
So, to me (and my rudimentary understanding) RAID 0 seems like kind of risky proposition. So I'm wondering what kind of performance gains a RAID 0 can give you, and if you think those gains offset the increased risk.
I know you can (and should) back up your data, but relying on backups never gives me warm fuzzies, either... too many times when I've had to get a backup only to find it's not there for whatever reason, and relying on backups to restore 1TB of data instead of 500GB seems more risky, as well.
(I didn't include RAID controller failure risk... didn't know what would happen... do you plug in a new controller and all is well, or maybe not...?)
What about RAID 5 instead? You'd sacrafice one drive's worth of storage, but gain performance, fault tolerance, and you'd have to have 2 drives fail simultaneously to lose any data, correct?
I would second Hunt's suggestion. Go at least 1 TB for your additional internal drive. I added a 500GB (which was large at the time) and it's filled up much faster than I ever thought, and that's even with archiving my projects (DV-AVI @ 13 GB/hr).
You'll never regret adding too much disk space; you may regret adding too little!
For external drives, if you plan on editing you'll want eSATA solution (it basically gives you internal SATA speeds for external drives) or FW800. If you're only going to use an external drive for scheduled backups of your internal drives, anything should be fine, just make sure it's big enough.
Or, if you have more than one computer on a network, you might want to consider a network storage drive. Western Digital makes a "World Edition" external drive that plugs into your router... B&H has the 1TB for $199, the 2TB for $329.
This would be my setup, but includes one more physical HDD:
Drive 0 - system and programs - C:\
Drives 1 & 2 - media files* and Page File, in RAID 0 striped array with first a RAID controller card, or on-board controller (second choice) - D:\
Drive 3 - Projects with Scratch Disks and Exports ** - E:\
* Because of the potential, that you point out, I would NOT store my original media files on this Array. Instead, I would have another internal, an external or a NAS drive. I would Copy the necessary Assets to my media Array for editing. This would be unless I was using an external FW-800, or eSATA, and transfering my Projects between computers.
Even without the RAID 0, I do similar on my workstation. The original Assets are never touched, except for Captures from tape, but I never overwrite a tape and store them. Should the Captured media become lost due to a failure of the media drive(s), I can always re-Capture.
** Some people like the performance of having a second RAID 0 for Exports. I guess that one can never have too much luxury, provided that they have the luxury of $.
Well, the dialog here has taken me into new technical arena's. I can clearly see based on the collected experience noted here that more storage is definitely the battle cry of anyone editing anything that moves. Add in HD and its easy to see how you get into the range of 1TB storage, sophisticated RAID arrays, and more. Again I'm not in most of your leagues but want to expand my capacity enough to do a lot more than I am currently involved in.
In that light, although you have reccomended several Seagate drives's, what's the take on the Western Digital Caviar Green SATA drives that supposedly reserve power usage. You have also not been high on USB and the lower speed Firewire connectivity for speed reasons but I have a firewire slot on my case and was initially looking at the WD My Book Home Edition that provides a FW400 connection. Again, this is too slow for your needs but would it suffice as a back up solution where I am going.
Then, as I think about how these drives would interact. If I am getting all this right. My original drive would have all that it now has but I would transfer the My Documents folder or those parts of it which currently hold my pictures, video clips, and any edited programs to the second internal drive. And then use the external to back up the whole works. Just how this is all actually "set up" step by step I'll leave for later as I'm sure that there are protocols for installing and getting the computer to recognize everything. Now I just want to get it mapped out so I understand what does what and where. And make sure that what I get is compatible with my system.
I initially thought that I might only have the ability to add on one more internal harddrive but I sent a query to HP to check that out. Considering your advice on speed if I could run another internal at SATA speeds that could be a good direction to go and be neater to boot.
Again I appreciate all the comments and advice. TT
what's the take on the Western Digital Caviar Green SATA drives that supposedly reserve power usage.
WD makes good drives. If you are doing any NLE work, the "green" drives sacrifice a good deal of performance. I would not use these in my systems. I want performance and stability at the top of my list.
To me, it's like saying that a case with fewer fans is more "green" than mine, where every possible opening is filled with a high capacity fan. Yes, the other will use less power, but at the expense of heat build up.
Yes, unfortunately video eats up disk space like nothing else. But you've definitely done the right thing in trying to plan ahead.
My advice would be to not worry about RAID at this point. RAID - in all it's various combinations - can provide you with capacity, performance, fault tolerance, etc., but you can certainly build a nice NLE system without it, too.
If you're going to use an external drive for backup, a FW400 would probably be sufficient. It's really only if you're using your external drives for directly editing that you'd need the FW800 or eSATA speed.
Also, another thought. If you HP will only allow one more drive but you want to add more, you might want to look at the eSATA cards on the market. Many times, the eSATA cards will have internal SATA ports as well, so you could add another internal drive (assuming you have the physical space) as well as an external drive. Alternatively, you can get eSATA cards with multiple ports so you could add 2, 3, or 4 external drives - at internal speeds. Heck, they even have 4-port eSATA RAID cards.
Assuming you go with an additional internal drive and an external FW400 drive, your "interaction" thoughts are right on the money. Original drive = operating system and programs (e.g. Premiere, MS Office, whatever), new internal drive (1TB+) would be for data (pictures, video, etc.). External backup for both drives - or at least the data drive.
If you go with an eSATA card, that kind of gives you more options since you can add yet *another* internal drive and/or an external drive that acts like an internal, but also involves more $$$.
But whatever you choose, don't worry... there's plenty of helpful people here on the forums to help you out!
Good point. I didn't know that performance would be so affected. Since you brought up heat. I've seen a variety of fans in conjuction with the searches that I have been doing for internal drives. How/from where do you draw power when you add one to the inside of your case? Might as well go the full run if I'm going inside there to add stuff....TT
A good power supply will have plenty of fan "pigtails." Be sure to oversize your powersupply, as an NLE computer will end up having far more equipment running off of it. Most companies put in the minimum and when one addes, say an additional HDD, or DVD burner (2 is nice, and I mix the brands, as some just do better with some discs, than others), one ends up overloading the power supply and the next thing they'll notice is rebooting when Rendering, Exporting.
Harm makes some power supply recs. in his articles.
Thanks for the insights.
One my system I recently switched two One TB hard drives from eSATA to USB 2 as there seemed to be a problem having the eSATA connections stay on line. When I made the change over, I noticed a loose cable and that may have been the problem. So you've motivated me to try the eSATA again. Some of my problem in my question earlier today may have been transfer speed related.
Here's some comments regarding the addition of external HDDs, particularly eSATA.
I have 4 eSATA drives and the system is pretty stable. The potential problem with most external drives is that they tend to "fall asleep" if not used for awhile (not sure of time maybe 10 mins). I've had the best luck in eliminating this problem using the newer Seagate XT eSATA drives. You first connect the Seagate via USB2 and configure the energy saving features to be disabled so the drive never shuts down. Then when you connect the drive via eSATA there should be no problem. However, if you're confident that once you start a project that will not let the drive rest more than a few minutes once it is "awake" you should be OK even with the WD drives which don't seem to allow turning off energy saving.
I installed an Addonics 4 port eSATA card in a pci slot, and it works fine. However, make sure that you get the right driver because the disk that comes with it may not have the ideal driver for your system. Go online and find the list of available drivers for the chip on the Addonics card and try to get one that seems to be best suited for your OS and whether Raid or not. You may need to get some tech support from Addonics for a procedure for "flashing" another driver to the eSATA card if appropriate. I could probably dig my info but it may confuse the issue since the technical specifics usually change with time.
Also, it is best to leave the drives connected the same way all the time as the computer tends to get "confused" otherwise. I found that if I left the drives connected to the same ports and left them on as opposed to doing hot plugging, I got better results with eSATA.
Also, depending on your system, your computer may not boot with too many drives connected at bootup. Mine will boot with 7 drives (3 internal and 4 eSATA drives) but an eighth USB2 drive has to wait until Windows is booted to logon before being powered or else the computer "times out" and will stall in the boot sequence. Once Windows is booted you should be able to add more drives if necessary. But, again I recommend that the eSATA drives be treated as part of the system and always booted up regularly for the most stable and consistent performance. I've had this way for over a year. It was frustrating at first but I learned. Once in awhile, maybe once a month, one or two externat drives will fail to connect during the boot which you will notice right away because the boot process slows to a crawl. If it happens, just be patient because doing a forced shutdown leads to more problems. Give it time and upon boot up, if one or more of the eSATA drives are not recognized, just power down and do another cold boot. Consistency and patience is required with the eSATA drives. They are somewhat faster than USB2 drives.
Hope this helps.
I've been away from my editing for awhile since I'm currently a full-time college student taking all computer related courses
Its taken me some time to run down what I can and can't do with my particular HP Pavilion Desktop, Model a1610n, running on Athelon Dual processors with Windows XP. I just upgraded RAM to the max 4GB(3.5actual). It's also running with a 250GB internal hard drive and after reading all of the above I set out to find a combination to expand my hard drive capacity, the original topic of this string.
I just completed a query with HP and was informed that the maximum internal drive size recommended is 500GB, either swapping out the 250 for a 500 or adding another 250. If I were to try to go any higher it would affect boot up and performance speed.
I was further informed that the maximum recommended for external storage is 1TB, that could be in multiple drives but totalling no more than 1TB. These external drives should be connected via USB,1394 Firewire, or Personal Media cards/drives, which I am assuming are the SDcards or flash drives, which I have slots for as well. Since almost all of your comments indicated that USB, or even Firewire is not the best solution for editing this was not a great bit of news.
Then the following puzzled me even more, based on your collective earlier comments. Although I have two available PCI slots I was informed that they were only for either sound or graphics cards, and that I could not operate an external drive from the PCI buss, via an eSATA card. Does this sound right?
This model is running Media Center 3 and I would have thought that at least some of the best of your reccomendations could have been implemented. Again I'd appreciate any of your thoughts on this.
Right now it looks like I need to start thinking about upgrading the whole computer with a much closer eye to editing, media storage and backup..TT
I don't want to say the HP folks don't know what they're talking about... but I've NEVER heard of anything like what they are saying. Either they have built one truly bizarre (and limited) PC or they've been smoking something funny.
Virtually nothing of what they said makes any sense.
However, in the very unlikely scenario that they've creating some FrankenBox that doesn't work like every other PC on the planet... if you *do* buy a 1TB HD, eSATA PCI card, and 1TB external drive, and none of it works... that would doubly suck because not only would you be out the $$$, but you'd be forced to make a choice between living with a relatively underpowered NLE machine or spending even more $$$ to get a new machine.
I honestly don't know what to tell you. Nothing in your machine's specs or any normal understanding of PC components would justify what HP has said. On the other hand, it *is* their reps discussing their machine, so who knows? You might want to contact their tech support a few more times... sometimes you just get a rep that doesn't know what they are talking about.
I'd be curious what other people have to say about this... anybody ever heard of these kinds of limitations?
Does. Not. Compute.
Boy, I am with Ed on this one. I have never heard of such, and have been building machines from the 286 days. Now, I have never owned an HP computer, but it would seem odd to me if what they told you was correct.
As Ed says, I would escalate this to a "higher authority," and see if these limitations are, in fact, correct, or just someone with no knowledge of expanding an existing system.
You might also want to drop in on any HP fora, as I'm sure they have some, and ask in the appropriate one(s), what others have done to expand their computers. I'd state the model and the specs, just to be as sure as is possible that you get the right info.
Good luck, and please do report back with what you find out.
This is typically what happens when tech support is outsourced to places where the language barrier leaves alot to be desire.
Couple that with the crap shoot you encounter when you connect to someone and there job is not true tech support, but there ability to screen the caller, then decide if a true technical person needs to be engaged.
I've owned HP boxes for years and they are just as upgradeable any other PC on the planet.
If you keep within the specs of what's possible for your hardware and resident Operating System, HP boxes are no better (or worst) than any other vendor.
I don't have eSata drives at this stage, nor PCI based eSata, but I do have 1.5T USB externals, and things work just as advertised.
Who ever you were talking to needs to go back and hit the books (or find a new line of work)...
Well then, I'm glad that the collective opinion is similar to mine in that I just can't believe it! Even with my limited experience and understanding of how all these things interact. When I opened the box to install memory there were several unused cables clustered together with white plugs marked P3-4 and 5 plus a black plug. There was also a ribbon cable with an extra plug between its connection to the DVD burner and the mother board. So it seems that there is room and provision for quite a bit of expansion of some type.
I found all this out via an online chat with a supposed technician. His name was "Jake", polite, but clearly not super proficient in the language although he seemed to understand my questions after some clarification on my part. I repeated all of what I wanted to do at the end several times reviewing my understanding of his response. There were several points where he asked for time to verify things, a couple of minutes or so. I used this chat to check out the memory possibilities and in the course of the conversation found that I was dealing with a tech in India. That nothwithstanding they should have access to the same references from HP no matter where they were located. I know that most of the CS and Tech support is outsourced these days by everybody.
I'll give it another go and see what happens......More to come.....TT
Your best bet may be to visit the HP Tech Forums as suggested in an above post, they are broken out into various areas of expertise.
For example, here is the the Forum on Hardware:
If it happened on an HP box, chances are you'll find it here, or someone will surely show you the way...
Hello again. I'm back after having had several more encounters with HP tech support and exchanges on the HP Hardware Forum.
Once again I have an HP Pavilion Desktop, Model a1610n, (Product # RC652AA-ABA, Serial # CNH6348FK), running Windows XP Media Center Service Pack 3, I recently, sucessfully, upgraded my RAM memory to its maximum of 4GB (3.5 actual), with some assistance from this forum. I'm now back on the trail of the best way to increase HD capacity.
After three encounters with HP they pretty much insist that this model can only accept a maximum of 500GB of internal HD capacity, either adding another 250 or swapping the existing 250 for a 500. Any attempt to go higer will slow things down noticably. The HP forum came back in disagreement saying that the MB doesn't really know the size of the drive and sort of debunked the HP assesment. I'm afraid I simply don't know enough to even discuss this on a technical level. I just don't want to buy something only to find out I'm taking backward steps instead of forward.
HP offered another suggestion which was to utilize the available 5.25" and 3.5" open bays to run Plug-In Personal or Pocket media drives. Some of you have indicated that you make use of these plug in drives as well. These however, would be connected via USB 2.0. At least in my case. The other obvious direction is to utilize completely external drives that plug in via the extra USB ports I have several as well as a 1394 Firewire 400 port.
Again my initial approach, based on advice from here, was to use the internal 250GB for OS and Programs, add a new internal for Media files, and an external for backup of the whole works. It seems that I can still do this but at a reduced level of HD capacity and processing from what I had hoped. I wanted to add another 750GB for the media files. If I keep this computer, that apparently will have to be no more than another 250GB.
As for the external backup, I can install an eSATA PCI card but it will go against the 500GB motherboard maximum HD that it will support. So it apprears if i maximize my internal HD capacity anything else will have to run USB or Firewire.
Any final thougts on all this would be appreciated and then I'll go off and plan next steps. Thanks in advance for your patience and expertise.....TT
Here's my approach on Projects and Drive utilization:
I'm usually working in serial mode, that is one Project at a time (on rare occassions I might have two or more in progress). When I'm finshed with a Project I move it off System.
I use USB External Drives for active Project backups, and for storing inactive Projects.
I have only one (1) very fast Internal Hard Drive (2x500 in a Raid 0 configuration).
When a Project is active, it's created on my Internal Drive, and will stay there till completed, then it's off to the external. If I need to revisit it later, I either work on it in place, or move it to my internal for speed purposes.
If you decide to add another 250 gig internal, as a Data Drive, that is more than enough space to work a few reasonable sized projects at any given time.
Then you just move Projects on and off the Externals as you please.
USB Storage is cheap, $100 bucks gets 1 terabyte of pretty fast storage...
(Stop giving yourself a migrane on what you can, or can't add to internal storage. Life is too short...)
After three encounters with HP they pretty much insist that this model can only accept a maximum of 500GB of internal HD capacity, either adding another 250 or swapping the existing 250 for a 500.
If they insist, then it must be a limitation of the BIOS in you system. I'd watch carefully at bootup, and jot down (quickly) the BIOS make (something like Award) and the number. You should be able to get this from Control Panel>System>Hardware>Device Manager too.
Go to that maker's site and check out the limitations of their BIOS. HP might well be correct on this.
God I love how practical you guys are in the trenches of the real world of just getting it done. Yes, I am over thinking this thing. It happens when I get into the details too far for my own good. Thanks for your instant feedback and for the patience with the less technically blessed among us. I'm getting close to the final solution here for my needs..........besides I'm running out of Aspirin....TT
In the old days, Technical Service was a different sort of thing. I spent many hours on the telephone with some wonderful technicians, and tried to learn from those experiences. Now, TS means someone in a country (or Galaxy) far, far away. They have a script, and it only has two entries:
1.) reinstall the software
If HP TS is saying "no," every time, and different techs are saying the same "no," then they all have the same script, or there is some, not so obvious reason for the "no." A limitation of the BIOS is about all that I can come up with. Well, there is one more, but not THAT likely in this day and age. A power supply only has so much power that it can feed to a system and only so many connections to do so. If the powersupply is so undersized, that a few more HDD's cannot be powered from it, that would be a limitation too. However, most good mfgr's, oversize enough on the power supply to allow for some expansion. Since I either build, or have built, my computers, I spec. monster power supplies, since I add a lot of fans, HDD's, hefty vid-cards with heavy-duty cooling, and the like. I also come from a civil engineering background, two lifetimes ago, so I over design everything. The last bridge that I designed on the Mississippi Gulf Coast has withstood hurricanes Betsy, Camille and Katrina, when everything around it was wiped out. Now, three times there was no road to either side of that bridge, but it is still functioning perfectly.
If you have a good computer shop nearby, I'd pay them to take a look at your box and see what they think about additional HDD's. It might be as simple as a couple of screws, maybe a new connection cable and a pig-tail from the power supply. Or - maybe not, as HP says.
I think that I have come to the point where I need to make a move. I don't have a shop that I know and trust, but I'll see if I can locate one. My son also hs some friends that are very computer savvy but they are not around the corner anymore. They might be a resource too. The last time I went to a shop for my daughter it turned into a costly affair, probably because I didn't know enough to interact intelligently. Now I think I could ask some questions and begin to understand some of the answers.
I've seen some really inexpensive 250GB drives that I could install just to get started on this two drive organization and then backup through the USB ports. If it comes to pass that I can increase the internal capacity I can upgrade a second time. I got this computer in the fall of 06 so the possibility that I might even go to a more robust model might be a more economical path as well. I guess it depends on how deeply I get into the editing.
I can tell you though that my experience in this forum and to a certain extent the HP one have helped me immensely to understand things more clearly.
With the price of HDD's falling, you can probably do quite well.
Fry's (Western US retailer) had a 1TB ATA-300 internal with full installation kit on sale a week, or so ago, for US$89.00. At this moment, I cannot recall if it was a Seagate, or a Western Digital. Of course one would need to spec. a drive to fit with their system. For instance, if they needed a SATA II, and that was the only controller that they had, the ATA-300 would not be viable.
Please update the thread with your choices and how well they work out.
Now ----- Go make that movie!