Jump to content
MSFN is made available via donations, subscriptions and advertising revenue. The use of ad-blocking software hurts the site. Please disable ad-blocking software or set an exception for MSFN. ×

More IDE slots under WIN98SE ?


Recommended Posts

This is both a Hardware and Software enquiry - so I thought I'd post here first, just in case anyone else has already been down this route ...

I have half a dozen 250Gb hard drives containing archived material, and I'd prefer to install them somewhere safe and be able to access them all together, rather than keep plugging them in one-at-a-time.

I have a spare Optiplex GX110 tower, and was thinking of turning it into a Network Storage box - my idea being to buy a cheap pata RAID card and use it in non-RAID mode to access 4 more IDE drives. 6 x IDE (plus a smaller boot drive) should be enough, and I would supplement the 12v supply if necessary.

Ok - from a Dell Bios and Win98 point-of-view - is what I'm proposing straightforward ? (I'm aware of the 48-bit LBA stuff - no problems with the 250Gb drives)

From a hardware point-of-view, is there anything to choose between the IT8212F, VT6410, or SIL0680A chipsets ? These seem to be the most commonly used in low-end RAID expansion cards ?

I could 'suck it and see' of course, but thought it might be more sensible to enquire of those with expertise in this field.

Regards

Colin

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a spare Optiplex GX110 tower, and was thinking of turning it into a Network Storage box - ....

So, in any case, you will have a bottle-neck in the network transfer, so actual speed of the PCI card should be irrelevant.

Even if you have a "Gigabit ethernet" network, it's speed will be slower than ATA100 (and very few hard disks, even if they "sport" ATA133 can actually reach ATA100 speed, they are more likely to be around the 40/50 Mb/s mark)

Have a look at this:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gigabit-ethernet-bandwidth,2321.html

And you have the PCI bus overhead, and what not (including the OS you will be running).

Being notoriously cheap :ph34r: I would go for anything you can get with the smallest price tag.

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply - yes, 'cheap' I understand ! I've got a few spare 10/100 LAN adapters in the drawer, and I'm sure 100 will prove adequate ...

There are two jobs to do - the biggest of them is to sort out the archives, which contain 15+ years of software, webpage, and document collecting (!)

Doing this will entail file-comparison and disk-to-disk transfers within the 'NAS box' so LAN speed won't be an issue.

Later on though, there will undoubtedly be the usual computer-to-computer data transfers, where speed would certainly be handy, but if it should become an issue, then I can always transfer a whole drive across using one of those cassette jobs - 'mobile racks' I think they're called ?

So - regarding chipsets - if I'm staying with non-RAID, would your guess be that these chipsets are pretty similar ? If I manage to clear-out a couple of drives, I'll probably use RAID-1 to store the really important stuff, but for now I just need the extra slots to access as many drives as possible - for the 'mega sort-out'.

Thanks for that Gigabit link btw - makes interesting reading.

'best,

Colin

Link to post
Share on other sites

Get yourself a Promise Ultra133 TX2 (or Ultra 100 TX2) card. It's one of the best cards ever made. It'll give you 2 IDE channels. Your mothereboard having 2 IDE channels, plus those 2 IDE channels from the Promise card will allow you to install up to 8 HDDs. That should be enough and those Promise cards are probably selling cheap nowadays on eBay ot the like.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Get yourself a Promise Ultra133 TX2 (or Ultra 100 TX2) card. It's one of the best cards ever made. It'll give you 2 IDE channels. Your mothereboard having 2 IDE channels, plus those 2 IDE channels from the Promise card will allow you to install up to 8 HDDs. That should be enough and those Promise cards are probably selling cheap nowadays on eBay ot the like.

Thanks - that was exactly what I was looking for - a recommendation from someone who understands these things.

Appreciated.

Colin

(who's living at the trailing edge of technology ...)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I always ask the client, What's your backup plan? Drives fail, especially when you need them not to. Anyway I would do this differently.

- Get a 2TB drive. (These have massive density so even the 5400 rpm disks are fast enough for most jobs).

- Copy the six drives to six root folders (one at a time naturally :-). Use something like a replicator or sync'er instead of plain copy so that you don't get an error in the middle of a multi-hour operation. If the drives are full the entire six drives will probably take at least a day (depending on CPU etc).

- Store the six drives, this is your temporary backup.

- Process, sort, de-dupe or whatever needs to be done with the data on the 2TB (having all the data on one partition in folders makes searching, copying, de-duping, and comparing a lot easier) and then defrag the completed disk..

- Get another 2TB and clone, image, or copy the first one to it. This new drive (or the original 2TB if you prefer) is your new permanent backup. The other is the live mass storage. Do incremental backups to it periodically.

- The six drives are now free to be wiped and formatted for other use. They're getting rarer by the moment and are great as boot drives for various OS's. If you were near me I would trade you a 2TB for the six 250GB's. (*** Well in normal times anyway).

Six individual drives taxes the power supply, is a cabling mess, is a waste of power and increases the risk of a failure sixfold without any of the performance or data integrity benefits of RAID. Cooling is a major concern if they are in a computer case because the drives and cables displace a lot of previously empty space, block air flow and add heat to the total. Hard drives and data are the most important thing you own (everything else is a replaceable commodity) so I treat them like gold. Personally I always cut the front bottom of cases open and put a 120mm fan right on the hard drives. Six of them would require two fans in front and at least one more in back so that their hot air isn't blown onto the CPU, chipset and videocard.

I just noticed that this is on a Win9x thread. So I should add that IMHO this procedure really should be done on an XP+ computer with NTFS for less headaches with large copy operations and other weird errors. Now I believe the guys here have figured out a way to do 2TB on FAT32, but if they haven't, you could always use an XP+ computer for the massive storage and crossover ethernet for NAS to the Win9x box (pretty sure this will work). Or even easier is to walk the files back and forth to Win9x with a USB thumbdrive when necessary.

*** Of course there is the little problem of HDD prices tripling in recent weeks. So unless I had some spare 2TB drives, what I would do is wait until next year! I was getting them as low as $69 until Thanksgiving, now they are $200+. :realmad:

Link to post
Share on other sites

@CharlotteTheHarlot:

What replicator or sync'er would you recommend? Thanks for the advice.. looks like a great idea. I finally got around to reading this thread as the title is quite misleading, and I'm in a similar situation as the OP, having accumulated numerous HDDs over the years with a lot of old archived data I'd like to consolidate and organize better. The HDDs are all partitioned with different partition sizes and attributes and I never quite figured out how to sort through all the issues involved.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks dencorso. I've heard of that program but have never used it. I'll check it out, even though it kinda sounds like pr0n. :)

And by the term "root folders", I presume one means folders residing in the root directory. I'm still trying to think through how to handle the numerous partitions contained in the HDDs.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I always ask the client, What's your backup plan?

And, with all due respect ;), you completely fail to listen to his/her requests.

What you suggested (BTW containing a lot of "common sense" :thumbup ) are UNrelated to the question.

Now, OP may have asked the "wrong" question allright :w00t:, but your answer - again very senseful - is to ANOTHER question. :ph34r:

Carpenter's comparison:

Q. How do I nail some plywood to close a broken window?

A. You put the plywood on the wall, than you place on it a nail with point on the plank and head facing you, then you hit the nail head with a hammer several times until the nail is fully inseerted in the plank and wall, repeat for a few more nails..

Your answer:

So you want to build a wall.

For this you will need cement, sand, a mixer, and a few blocks ......

Cement block walls are safer than plywood.

jaclaz

P.S.: you can get the cement blocks for very lttle (and some masonry advice :whistle: ) from this guy on Craigslist ;):

http://www.collegeslackers.com/pictures/craigslist_cement_blocks

Link to post
Share on other sites
Get yourself a Promise Ultra133 TX2 (or Ultra 100 TX2) card. It's one of the best cards ever made.
What makes this one better than others? (This links to my "which IDE chip" thread: )
Link to post
Share on other sites

Reliability. Good drivers for 9x/ME still available from their site. And powered by Promise PDC20268 and following chips. Promise was the best manufacturer of IDE add-on cards since the beginnings. And they remain on the razor-edge of storage technology to this day.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I always ask the client, What's your backup plan?

And, with all due respect ;), you completely fail to listen to his/her requests.

What you suggested (BTW containing a lot of "common sense" :thumbup ) are UNrelated to the question.

Guilty as charged ( and thank you for the critique :rolleyes: )

I had thought about a single sentence preface, perhaps: "this is off-topic to the OP question but perhaps it will help others ...", but didn't do it. (sigh) My bad. Alas only one person ( you ) so far thought it was - inappropriate. I'll try harder next time.

Anyway, the point is that there are multiple ways of doing things as you full well know. Others read these threads and might like to consider alternatives.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@CharlotteTheHarlot:

What replicator or sync'er would you recommend? Thanks for the advice.. looks like a great idea. I finally got around to reading this thread as the title is quite misleading, and I'm in a similar situation as the OP, having accumulated numerous HDDs over the years with a lot of old archived data I'd like to consolidate and organize better. The HDDs are all partitioned with different partition sizes and attributes and I never quite figured out how to sort through all the issues involved.

Root Folders What I meant here was something like this (if the 2TB was D:) ...

+ Drive C:

+ Drive D:

- (Folder) Disk-1

- (Folder) Disk-2

- (Folder) Disk-3

- (Folder) Disk-4

- (Folder) Disk-5

- (Folder) Disk-6

Note that the folders (off the root) with short compact names helps keeps the 'path' field in results windows small and manageable. You could just use 1, 2, 3 .... How cluttered the results will look depends upon the subdirectories below these root folders that were copied from the original paths on the source disks. But keeping them short on the front-end helps, as opposed to root folders called 'Game_Backups_Seagate_250' or whatever.

The single partition means you can just use D: in dialogs for search/compare/dupe and whatever. I wasn't sure if the OP was going to do all that, but I always do and find it easier to target one disk.

Realize that the sorting/de-duping process can be (depending upon what you are doing) extraordinarily CPU intensive. Diff'ing folders with GB of files has to rank up there with processing video effects on movies. Especially if there are ZIPs, ISO's sound files and games wads and other large beasts. I always use the *fastest* computer that is available for this kind of work! The HDD is never the bottleneck here IMHO, at least not on the 2TB ones.

Software for COPYing. Well there are many GUI based replicators/mergers/synchronizers out there, here is a list of some of the ones I think are very nice. Keep in mind that there may well be a hundred more that I never heard of.

* This is the one I use. KarenWare :: Replicator by Karen Kenworthy (older versions from WinMag aka Windows Magazine rest in peace). It is very lightweight and uses a plain text file for the jobs. Many times simple is just better. Win9x freeware.

* If you happen to already use PowerDesk (originally from Mijenix then OnTrack then V Communications and now Avanquest), you should have the PowerDesk Folder-Synchronizer built in. It is adequate. Versions 6 and earlier were Win9x, and versions 7 and 8 are WinXP+ (well, actually parts of v7 work in Win9x but it s a major hack and not worth the effort because they added nothing of substance). All versions are shareware.

* This one is very good and is also lightweight. Shirouzu Hiroaki :: FastCopy. Win9x Freeware.

* GrigSoft :: Synchronize-It!. Win9x Shareware.

* Scooter Software :: Beyond-Compare. Win9x Shareware (not sure about newer versions on Win9x).

* Funduc Software :: Directory Toolkit and File Merge Express. Win9x Shareware.

* Glenn Alcott :: Directory Compare. Win9x Shareware.

* Jam Software :: SmartBackup. From the guys that make the excellent TreeSize. WinXP+ Shareware.

* Centered Systems :: SecondCopy. WinXP+ Shareware.

Please note that some of those 'Win9x' may have been recently updated in which case they probably are now XP/Vista/7 only.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Somewhat Off-Topic:

The WD2001FASS (Caviar Black) is one of the only 2TB HDDs available that uses 512 bytes sectors and is SATA 300, jumperable to SATA 150, so it's viable for older boards having just SATA 150 support or for those SATA -> IDE converters, being thus a good recommendation for Win 9x/ME machines. However, they must be bought with due care, because there's also the more widely available The WD2001FAEX (Caviar Black), which also is 512 bytes sectored, but has a SATA 600 interface, being jumperable to SATA 300, but not to SATA150, so unusable by older motherboards. More info: WD Caviar Black specs.

And beware of both WD and Seagate "green" HDDs, for all those > 1 TB are 4 kiB sectored.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...