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How to install programs / Hard Drive Setup
Old 27th August 2007
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Jonny5's Avatar

How to install programs / Hard Drive Setup

The hard drive that came with my computer is a 160gb hard drive that is partitioned into drives C: and D: and I have added a second 250gb hard drive that is partioned into G: and H: as well. C: holds all the programs D: is storage, G: is where I record audio tracks and H: is Storage as well. My question is where should I be storing programs and samples. I recently purchased NI Absynth and Battery 3. Upon installation, the programs automatically select the C: drive (as usual)to install on which is fine, but I dont have the disk space on that partition to hold the 12gb of samples that comes with Battery 3. Is it wise to put all the samples that come with a program on the D: portion of the same H.D. or on the H: portion of my second H.D. Where should these be loaded?

Old 27th August 2007
The actual samples should be on a physically different drive to where you'd record audio data. You should also leave space free on your boot drive/partition for virtual memory.

Old 27th August 2007
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Daedalus77's Avatar
A related question, then: Can the samples (like BFD samples) reside on the same drive as the applications (the boot drive), if the audio (sessions) drive is different? Say, as in the following scheme...

Drive 1: Applications, Samples (Boot)
Drive 2: Audio (Projects / Sessions)
Drive 3: Backup
Drive 4: Backup
Old 27th August 2007
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Jonny5's Avatar

program allocation

Great, so C: portion is the boot/applications and the D: portion of the same hard drive should contain all samples for programs like Battery/Synthogy Ivory/Kontakt/BFD, etc. Then the first and fastest partition of the second hard drive is where I would record fresh audio and just use the second partition of the second hard drive for storing projects and finished material etc.
How much virtual memory should there be and how can I check that?
Old 27th August 2007
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Pschelfh's Avatar
I have done mine like this :

Disk 1 partition C : Windows + virtual memory
Disk 1 partition D : Programs
Disk 2 partition E : Audio
Disk 2 partition F : Samples
External disk : backup

If you make some partitions, your data will be easier to manage and also a defrag will be much faster.

Normaly you should fix your virtual memory to twice your real memory, but I think that's redundant now that most people have at least 2 Gb.

I have 2 Gb and I have fixed my virtual memory at 2 Gb : Start -> Control Panel -> System -> Advanced -> Performance Settings -> Advanced -> Change Virtual Memory.

Old 28th August 2007
Gear Maniac
mwd's Avatar

You have 5 functions competing for your drive activity. OS/Apps/Audio/Samples/Pagefile.

Without diving too deeply into hard drive strategy with 2 drives I would recommend a good drive image program for backups and a partition managing program if you really want to tweak your drives.

I use Paragon for both and it works flawlessly however there are many solid programs out there. This would allow you to tweak your partition size as you figure things out and backup your drives if something goes south.

I would also recommend splitting your pagefile by setting a 1GB pagefile on each of your drives. That way you will page to the least active drive.

Nothing at all personal about your setup but it ain't gonna' zing until you add a couple more drives.

C: OS shortstroked on a 12GB partition balance of drive to inactive storage.
D: Apps shortstroked on 12GB partition balance of drive to inactive storage.
E: Audio
F: Samples
Pagefile split between D/E.
Old 29th August 2007
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Jonny5's Avatar

mwd, I might be a little confused. how many drives should I have in an ideal situation? I just have a small studio, so Im not full blown multi-tracking, but I do want things to "zing". How about if I would add a third hard drive and set everything up in the following manner:

Drive 1 - C:partition (O.S. / misc. apps that came with computer)
Drive 1 - D:partition (all programs ie:vst soft synths/samplers/plugins/photoshop,etc.)

Drive 2 - E:partition (all samples for programs ie:Battery/BFD/Synthogy)
Drive 2 - F:partition (Storage? / itunes library? / projects)

Drive 3 - External FireWire drive (all audio recorded)
Old 29th August 2007
Gear Maniac
mwd's Avatar

Ideal would be 4. But you could definitely "zing" with 3.

I have always found the best success by isolating the OS on it's own drive with the applications on a second drive. There are many reasons for this strategy but for now let's just say it's not necessary.

If you intend on keeping the OS and Apps on the same drive I would also keep them on the same partition to prevent head-bounce.
So in the ideal, money no object scenario using 4 drives, here is one example:

C: OS (12GB short-stroked partition with balance of drive as inactive storage)
D: Apps (12GB short-stroked partition with balance of drive as inactive storage)
E: Audio
F: Samples

But I believe you would also be fine using 3 drives. Here is an example maybe.

C: OS/Apps (same 30GB short-stroked partition with balance of drive as inactive storage)
D: Samples
E: Audio

On your drive 3 go straight for eSATA.
Why penalize yourself when it cost the same as firewire or USB?
Old 30th August 2007
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Jonny5's Avatar

Well, I think Im just going to keep it pretty much like I have it, but just add an external hard drive and put all the samples on the external. My computer is a few years old, so I dont think I can support eSata drives. Since I have an internal drive to record audio to, then that would be the fastest. Its already partitioned so 25% (the fastest outer edge) will be allocated for audio recording. Since I dont have the room on hard drive 1 for samples and I dont want "head bounce" from the samples on the same drive but different partition....and I cant put them on the "audio" drive. Heres how its going to go..........

Drive 1 - C:partition (Boot/O.S./Apps./softsynths/plugins)
D:partition (Storage /photos/misc.garbage/anything not used while recording)

Drive 2 - E:partition (audio recording)
F:partition (project storage / itunes/anything not used while recording)

Drive 3 - External FireWire hard drive (all samples for BFD/Battery/Synthogy,etc.)

Sound good? My only concern now is the C: drive and if there is enough room on it. I believe the size is about 13gb and I think there is 5gb left. D: portion is like 140gb or something. I should be ok. You say these drive image programs like Paragon allow you to re-size the partition without loosing any data or re-formating the hard drive?
Old 31st August 2007
Gear Maniac
mwd's Avatar

I think you will be fine. A couple of ideas for you. eSATA is easy even on old boxes. If you have a PCI expansion slot free you can have eSATA. Plug in a 10 or 15 dollar card get a 35 dollar external enclosure and the drive of your choice.

The difference is Firewire tapping out at about 45 MB/sec whereas eSATA will hit double that transfer rate. In other words it will match or even outperform your internal drives.

Paragon Drive Backup is one program and Partition Manager is another. Drive Backup makes the images in case something screws up (which in about 4 years I have never had happen). Partition Manager will allow partition resizing on the fly while maintaining your data. You can even change the cluster sizes and maintain your data (if you ever get into some RAID stuff). Both programs are well worth the money and are not that pricey. They have corporate pro versions and personal versions. I have found the personal versions work fine.
Old 10th September 2007
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Jonny5's Avatar

O.k. MWD, I think I got it all worked out except now I'm worried about the virtual memory situation. Im running 2gb of memory (2048mb) Checked my current settings and The only page file I have is on C: and is set to custom min.768-max.1536.

From what Ive read, Microsoft says the page file should not be on same drive as system files which seems odd. Then I read you should keep it on most active portion of drive....

What should I set it at? Should I choose "system managed size" on C: and G:?
Old 10th September 2007
I've always used my system drive... ??

Initial 2046
Max 4092

Set Performance Options in Windows XP - Windows XP Tips and Tweaks on Tune XP

Old 11th September 2007
Gear Maniac
mwd's Avatar

DW here are a couple of theories for you. Yes Microsoft suggest, if possible, to move your pagefile from C: drive and put it on another drive. This will increase performance as your OS (C is your most (frequently) active drive and is not competing with your pages.

For 2GB I recommend a split. Min.1024 Max.1024 on 2 other drives besides C: for a total of 2048

Here is my setup as just a sample for you:
C: OS (no pagefile)
D: Apps (1024 pagefile)
E: Audio (1024 pagefile)

XP will page to the least active drive. So if I'm doing music I am paging from App drive. If I'm doing general computing I page to Audio drive or whichever is least active.

Neither of which conflict from C.

Understand these are the most minor of fine tune tweaks and definitely not something to worry about.

You have a pagefile and that is whats important.
You have plenty of memory so the importance of the pagefile diminishes... BUT it doesn't go away.
With todays computers and memory sizes "system managed memory works fine" and also pagefile on C is fine.
The above suggestions are micro-tweaks.
Old 11th September 2007
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Jonny5's Avatar

Sounds good, I just left the page file as it was on C: and selected "system managed size" on G: portion of second HD. It states that the recommended is 3070mb. and currently allocated is 2815mb. I guess that will do it....

Thanks mwd and everyone for your input.....
Old 8th January 2015
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It's good to realize (OP) that with a partitioned drive there is still only one head working across 2 partitions this is not at all (speed wise) that same as using 2 or more drives
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