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Hard Drive Configuration

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Ok listen to this. I have a 74GB 10,000 rpm raptor. Listening to the advice of many articles, test results, and magazines, I have chosen not to get two of these, as the performance gain doesn't justify the price. So here is my dillema. I want to dual boot linux and windows. And I want to use the raptor to have my os files and commonly used programs. I want to have a second hard drive to put my less commonly used stuff on. I know I will probably divide the raptor into 2, and use fat32 on the 2nd, drive so I can access it from linux and windows easily.

So here are my questions, what drive do you guys suggest for the second drive, and what do you suggest the best configuration is?

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As you use your second disk for storage I would advise you the biggest 7200rpm harddisk you budget can buy. (Probably about 160Gb.)

Take care though that some manufacturers produce workstation disks and server disks. The server disks cost usually only a few dollars more but have longer lifespan. (look for warranty and MBF-values). The serverdisks usually have 8Mb cache instead of 2Mb. I always recommend a server-disk.

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Well I always use 1 drive per OS and de-activate the unused drives in the bios (I now have 6 harddrives in my computer).

The partitioning you suggest seems fine to me but there might be some problems that XP might see the swap drive as being corrupt. (They use a similar filingsystem). I had some serious issues using Fat32 in partitions bigger than 54Gb. So you might want to avoid that.

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There is no need for the fat32 partition, as latest linux 2.6.x kernel supports read/write for NTFS volumes. You may have to recompile your kernel to add this support depending on your distro. I have never had any trouble with swap partition.

I have 120 GB maxtor with two 40 gb NTFS partitions, one 35 GB ext3 partition and one 5 gb linux swap.

I suggest NOT installing linux bootloader to MBR of XP disk... Install it to Boot sector of Linux partition and call it from NT boot menu.

I can elaborate if this is not clear.

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I have a Wester Dig WD800JB-00FMA0 ATA 133 80 Gig I got for around $80.00 just after Christmas last year. There were some reports that a number of the WD drives came dead or failed. Mine has worked perfect. Note: I was very careful to use the WD utility to partition the drive initially but that was it. I then let XP do the rest. I am normally partial to SCSI because of their flexability and if you want to spend the money their speed. As it was in the beginning rotating media is still the slowest link in the chain. The other consideraton you need to add is that some gear works better that others with whatever motherboard you have. Regardless of the standards, manufacturers decide on a design, and all designs have their pros and cons, and some matches bring out the best and the others don't. Putting a PC together from scratch used to be easy but with the speeds, thermal issues and silicon being pushed to its limits it's a wonder the stuff works at all. Anyway I digress. I have personally found that if I do the required effort on the front end my computing life is much easier.

“The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.”

- Tacitus (A.D. 55?-130?)

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