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Is 2 hard drives better than 1?

by abcd3fg / April 24, 2006 3:04 AM PDT

Other than the obvious storage advantage, is it better to have 2 hard drives internal rather than just 1 hard drive with 2 partitions? I can either do 2 internal and 1 external or 1 internal and 2 external. I would personally rather have a 2nd external one, but if someone can give me a reason to have 2 internal hard drives I will consider it. The internals would be 1 250gb SATA (which I will partition into 2 parts) and 1 120gb IDE. So if I go for the single drive solution it would just be the 250gb SATA. Thanks!

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..aside from the obvious...
by jackintucson / April 24, 2006 3:57 AM PDT

you will have a working drive should the other fail. With proper backups, it's fairly simple to make the d: drive a c: drive until the other is replaced.

There is also a throughput advantage to two drives. Rather than have the heads looking for data and using Windows resources at the same time, you can see an improved seek time using two drive. This is especially true with multi-media operations.

and life goes on...

Jack

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I really like the idea of 2 hard disk drives and have ...
by VAPCMD / April 24, 2006 1:51 PM PDT

made it work for me and those I help since 2001. I sleep well Happy

First hard drive has two partitions ....
- 1 ...the OS and the Apps
- 2 ...all data, downloadsm updates, etc.,

Second hard drive also has two partitions....
- 1 small partition for a swap file
- 2 large partition for image files of both C: and D:

In the event C: becomes corrupt and cannot be quickly fixed...I just get out my Ghost floppy disk and restore C: from one of the images stored on the 2nd hard drive. If the first drive dies mechanically ...I get a new drive, install it and restore the inages again from the second hard drive. If the original HDD is still under warranty ...I send it back

To take it one step further...I copy images of drive C: and drive D: to an external HDD that I can keep safe in my desk at work. I also protect the system with a good UPS that prevent the unanticipated outages, data loss and potential corruption.

VAPCMD

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Thanks
by danielroner / June 4, 2010 6:52 PM PDT
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Extra Storage
by lizwilliams / April 27, 2006 7:54 PM PDT

I think so. I sometimes use my 2nd drive for programs I am not sure I am going to like or find too hard to use. I also have an extrnal hardrive which I use to store my photos and music, so as to save space on my main drives. When you think about it I am sure you could find a lot of uses for a 2nd hardrive.

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So your only copy of your photos and music is on ext HDD ?
by VAPCMD / April 27, 2006 10:27 PM PDT
In reply to: Extra Storage

You'd be a lot better proteced if you had the data on one of the internals with an extra copy on your external HDD.
For all intents and purposes...it sounds like you have 2 internal HDDs and one external HDD but ZERO backup ...is that right ? Have you read the posts in this forum re problems accessing external HDDs ? Scares me.

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Two Internal drives
by skycatcher / April 27, 2006 8:58 PM PDT

Putting together what previous people have said plus a bit more....

A partitioned drive still has the same amount of heads and is NOT two (or more) drives with their own heads. Add a second HDD and - FIRST JOB - put your Windows swapfile on there, use a 'fixed minimum' size of about twice the size of your RAM... this means that you have two drives working with separate heads, it will speed up Windows and also won't have to stop and increase the swap file size when it needs more space. Also try putting your Browser Temporary Files on the second drive and even your Temp Folders.

Ideally, you would use three separate drives... (1) for your OS and Programs, (2) for Data & Backups and (3) for Swap Files (virtual memory) and Temporary stuff. All three can move stuff at the same time instead of having one set of heads going crazy.

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How is it a backup if data and backup on the same drive ?
by VAPCMD / April 27, 2006 10:09 PM PDT
In reply to: Two Internal drives

I always use two internal HDDs (three including an external HDD for a second copy of my backup) and it's worked for me and those I help since 2001. I sleep well Happy

First hard drive has two partitions ....
- 1 ...the OS and the Apps
- 2 ...all data, downloadsm updates, etc.,

Second hard drive also has two partitions....
- 1 small partition for a swap file
- 2 large partition for image files of both C: and D:

In the event C: becomes corrupt and cannot be quickly fixed thru restore points or other...I get out my Ghost floppy disk and restore C: (the first physical hard drive) from one of the images stored on the 2nd physical hard drive. If the first drive dies mechanically ...I get a new drive, install it and restore the images again from the second hard drive. If the original HDD is still under warranty ...I send it back and put the warranty replacement on the shelf when it's replaced. Actually have several spare HDDs so the restore is very quick and as easy and painless as a drive failure can be.

To take it one step further...I copy images of drive C: and drive D: to an external HDD that I can keep safe in my desk at work. I also protect the system with a good UPS that minimizes data loss and potential corruption from unanticipated outages, .

VAPCMD

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Two Hard Drives
by nomadd74 / April 28, 2006 2:41 PM PDT
In reply to: Two Internal drives

I have had two internal hard drives for about three years. However, I have not made full use of same. Originally, I was using W98se and decided to update to Home Edition XP. Before I did so I had another drive installed. My idea was to use the smaller drive 10gb for W98se and the larger drive 40gb for XP. Not having any experience with XP I thought I was being smart in case XP crashed, then I would have access through the separate drive to the internet.
I have never had XP crash and consequently never used my smaller drive with W98se. Also I discovered that I could not switch over from one hard drive to the other, without closing down and rebooting in the other drive.
Later I wanted to delete W98se and install a 2nd XP copy on the smaller drive. M/soft advised that I could not do this. Ever since I have not used my 2nd drive, even though I have updated my PC. I did think of using it for backups, but never seemed to get around to it, since it is just as easy to use floppies or discs.

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If I had a store-bought-system with one or two
by VAPCMD / April 30, 2006 3:56 AM PDT
In reply to: Two Hard Drives

restore CDs and minimum additional software and no data I cared about, drive corruption or failure wouldn't be a big deal.

However, since my PC is something built from components and I have a lot of software...it is very very time consuming to locate the original compact discs and the key codes, reinstall the OS, the drivers, the OS updates, all the appplications and their updates, reregister any of the SW (if required), etc., a complete rebuild from scratch is far far too time consuming and out of the question for me.

The imaging SW and images essentially replicate what the major mfgs do except I always have a good UPS, two hard drives, and additiional backup images on an external HDD. So I have the original data, complete images of the primary drive partitions (C: and D:) plus spare images on an external HDD. Makes for quick backups and restores should that become necessary.

VAPCMD

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how to get my two hard drives to work "together"
by B366ALIVE / August 4, 2007 9:20 AM PDT
In reply to: Two Internal drives

MY SECOND HD IS A 20GB & IT IS PARTICIONED. 15 ON ONE & 3 ON THE OTHER.I'M RUNNING XP WITH A 40GB FACTORY INSTALLED HD. [ HP 510C ]I WANT TO PUT MY SYSTEM ON ONE, MY PROGRAMS ON ONE , AND ALL MY MEDIA ON ANOTHER.AND HAVE THEM ALL WORK TOGETHER.....

IS THIS POSSIABLE????????PLEASE HELP.........THANKS

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Are 2 hard drives better than 1?
by edbrady / April 27, 2006 11:00 PM PDT

I use 2 hard drives. The C drive (40 gigs) holds only the operating system and programs that I use. The second drive (120 gigs) holds all my files.

I make updated images of the C drive in case I have a drive failure, and make copies of my personal/saved files from the D drive on CD-Rs.

I feel that, since the main drive is used constantly just to run the computer, it is more subject to eventual failure.

Just my way of doing things.

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Yes, 2 are better than one.
by UndrgrndTw2 / April 27, 2006 11:29 PM PDT

Obviously, 2 HDDs will give you more space, but the best thing is that if you store all your files and documents on the hard drive that DOESNT have windows, you run less of a chance of loosing your data if windows starts to do its stuff (failing, deleting rando files, uhh, causing fatal crashes...).

But, my favrot thing about 2 har drives is that if your doing video editing or 3D work, if you store all your media and prodject files on the harddrive that your system/app isnt installed on, it goes a whole lot faster.

Hope that helpped,
Chris

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two hard drives
by BrianO5 / April 27, 2006 11:37 PM PDT

When i first pushased my PC i stored a lot of information on it the i could not replace, the something went wrong with the hard drive and i lost the lot, two drives are all right if you want space and a copy of important documents, but you can also store these on data disc's, which is the best option antway, if you know how to do it, i would now only use a second hard drive as a back-up.

L Clark

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Two Hard drives
by BrianO5 / April 27, 2006 11:44 PM PDT
In reply to: two hard drives

Remember this. The more you add to your PC you more presure on the single moter that is powering the PC and fans, get yourself a good hard drive with about 80 GB of space and save your important documents, whatever to disc. DONOT OVERLOAD YOUR PC, IT ONLY LEADS TO TROUBLE AND MORE EXPENCE.

L Clark

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YES!
by andrewrm / April 28, 2006 2:25 AM PDT

I use my first hard drive to install programs and the OS/boot etc.

I use the second drive to store my important data such as tax records, mp3s, pictures etc. So if the first drive becomes corrupted by viruses etc I have the vital data on a drive that hopefully will survive an disaster. I also use a portable usb drive to dump all the data to in case the entire system fries!

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are two hard drives better than one
by bobmac15 / April 28, 2006 4:32 AM PDT

I have learned my lesson on using a second internal hard drive, for if you lose #1 drive, and it has to be formatted, you find you have also lost the partitions on both #1 and #2, causing a headache to get everything back in operation. You do not lose the partitions on externals, for they are recognized when the operating system is reinstalled.

I use one internal drive for programs and operating system, and use external USB drives for storage of data. I also use a 250GB external drive solely for the backup program itself, and the backup file storage. With the backup program installed on this drive, it provides a self-contained restoration system. Backups are stored on this drive, using a separate folder for each lettered drive.

I use another, separate, external drive partition for storing the raw program files used on the computer. This puts all of the programs available for use with only a couple of clicks instead of having to chase down disks.

Any confidential information that is stored on a drive that can be disconnected at will ensures safe storage, and safe from the danger of corruption from outside sources.

One more thing I have discovered, I do not use external drives that do not have an internal fan for cooling. No installed fan means a lot shorter drive life, .due to heat buildup.

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Agree to disagree
by VAPCMD / April 28, 2006 11:56 AM PDT

Sorry I've never ever lost a second HDD or access to it when the first one failed or hiccuped. Perhaps that's because I image the replacement drive from an image of the original first drive. And that's important because my sceond HDD has the restore images for both partitions of the first drive. Very fast for creating image backups (or restores) of drive 0 partition 1 (OS and all apps) and drive 0 partition 2 (data).

Also have 4 external USB drives ...3 are in Adaptec aluminum enclosures and the other is in a larger enclosure from Bytecc with a fan. The number of posts seen here is a little alarming but considering the images on my my externals are all just copies, it wouldn;t end the world.

"I have learned my lesson on using a second internal hard drive, for if you lose #1 drive, and it has to be formatted, you find you have also lost the partitions on both #1 and #2, causing a headache to get everything back in operation. You do not lose the partitions on externals, for they are recognized when the operating system is reinstalled."

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(NT) (NT) Yes!!!
by fhl7849 / April 28, 2006 5:24 AM PDT
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Two drives better than one?
by LeeC / April 29, 2006 7:57 AM PDT

Two drives are better than one if you like to experiment with other operating systems like Linux. You can load SUSE Linux on the second drive and have Linux look like the first drive that boots the computer. The Linux drive waits for an intercept to boot Linux if none it starts Windows. ALL the Linux boot, operating system and programs are on the Linux drive. If you run into trouble with your Linux system, just change the computer to boot off the original drive using either the hardware links on the Windows drive or the BIOS start up. Presto you're back to a pure windows system without the grief of disentangling the Linus OS from the Windows OS. Lots of time saved - insurance policy.

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But two isn't always better than one if the drives
by VAPCMD / April 30, 2006 4:16 AM PDT

aren't set up or used to your advantage.

Maybe I misread the post but I thought one poster indicated having three HDDs but all the data AND the backup was on the same HDD.

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Depends...
by pcguru4u / April 29, 2006 9:40 PM PDT

Two internal HDD can be configured in many different ways w/multiple partitions or whatever you like. You can use the 2nd drive as a backup to the original, as additional storage or if your mobo supports set as RAID 0 or 1 depending on whether you want redundancy or performance. (but both drives really must be the same size for the RAID options)
This will require power from the current PSU inside the case, which if not adequate (350 watts+/-) can lead to problems.
An external HDD uses a separate power source so is not a system strain, but you can't use an external/internal as a RAID setup. It will however be useful for either storage or backup.
It really depends on what your needs are.

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Amen....especially for folks using RAID 0 with no
by VAPCMD / April 30, 2006 4:24 AM PDT
In reply to: Depends...

backup and one dead drive.

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2 hard drives
by dillon45 / May 7, 2006 5:14 PM PDT

ABSOLUTELY for several reasons 1 it is a lot easier if yiu have to reformat and reinstal windows you can transfer programmes etc to the second drive and saves yiu reinstalling dzens of them 2 you have an easy backup option 3you can keep the second drive for separate category programs such as graphics or games etc ther are other options to suit your own system of course but these are must haves would not be without one makes life so much easier

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if I understand corrrectly...
by livingbreeze / February 14, 2007 12:10 AM PST
In reply to: 2 hard drives

This is related to the topic. I recently bought a second internal drive. The old drive (40GB) I want to use for my OS and applications and the second drive (160 GB) I want to partition into two volumes, one for the image of C (what size should I make that partition?) and the other for data, updates, video, audio, and so forth. Is there ever a problem relate to using imaging software, or is it as easy as imaging C onto the second drive and if C later becomes corrupted, I take the image and copy it back to the reformatted original drive? I realize I will need a backup for my data partition, so I'd like to know how unsafe that data is since it is sitting there on my second drive where the OS and system files are not, and since both drives are Western Digital, WD has there own software for copying a drive to another should that drive start to show signs of wear. What am I not understanding? Please help!

David

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I hope someone answers on this OLD thread...
by livingbreeze / February 14, 2007 1:40 AM PST

I just realized this thread is quite a few months old, I hope there is still a few people that might pop in and read my previous post.

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Hmm if I understand your proposed config,
by VAPCMD / February 17, 2007 12:41 AM PST

you would lose all your data if the 2nd HDD (the 160GB) dies mechanically ...right ? I don't see that as an acceptable solution or even a 'backup'.

I (always) use two drives and set them up like this

Internal HDD 1.

Partition 1 (40GBs) OS and APPs
Partition 2 (80GBs) All DATA ....PICs downloads, drivers, etc.
All application are set to default driectories on Part 2
Internal HDD 2.

Partition 1 (5GBs) Pagefile for Win
Partition 2 (195GBs) Ghost Images of Drive 1 Part 1 and Part 2
Usually keep at least 2 versions of the image
files... the last one and the one before it

In addition...the image files on drive 2, part 2 are copied to an external HDD.

So ... I have the original data on drive 1 part 2, an image of the entire part 2 and a copy of that same image on an external HDD.

Backups and restores (if necessary) are prettty quick and easy. And because the OS-APPs are on one partition and the data on the same drive but different partition...I can do restores to C: (drive 1 part 1) any time without affecting data/information on data partition.

That's my approach and it's served me plus others well over the years. I sleep well.

VAPCMD

PS...A good UPS is another way to protect your system, minimize data loss and prevent corruption.

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yes, you understood and told me what I needed to know...
by livingbreeze / February 18, 2007 4:06 AM PST

Internal HDD 1.

Partition 1 (40GBs) OS and APPs
Partition 2 (80GBs) All DATA ....PICs downloads, drivers, etc.
All application are set to default driectories on Part 2
Internal HDD 2.

Partition 1 (5GBs) Pagefile for Win
Partition 2 (195GBs) Ghost Images of Drive 1 Part 1 and Part 2
Usually keep at least 2 versions of the image
files... the last one and the one before it

In addition...the image files on drive 2, part 2 are copied to an external HDD.

My setup was only an attempt to save money...but would leave me with no back up of ALL my data files, as you have well pointed out.

If I needed to copy the image of HDD 1 part 1 back to HDD 1 part 1, would I encounter any problem as a result of keeping the Pagefile for Win on HDD 2 part 1?

If I also understand, having the third external drive is virtually a risk free backup, since that drive does not get used unless it is being updated, meaning it is least likely to fail mechanically. However, I don't understand the risk to the second internal drive failing mechanically other than the fact that it is accessed often enough due to the Pagingfile being present there. Nonetheless, your reply is greatly appreciated and as I mentioned, told me what I needed to know, time to spend a little extra money for peace of mind in regards to securing my data and recovering my system (rather than the undesirable re-install, get updates, re-install applications and drivers, and ad nauseum...). Oh, and did I forget to mention, I would have lost ALL my DATA!!! Thanks again, great help!

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Save money but have no backup ? At the cost today's HDDs
by VAPCMD / February 19, 2007 4:53 AM PST

that probably doesn't make economic sense unless your time and the data is of no value. I install two internals to make image creation and restores fast, easy and something I'm likely to do.

RE: "If I needed to copy the image of HDD 1 part 1 back to HDD 1 part 1, would I encounter any problem as a result of keeping the Pagefile for Win on HDD 2 part 1?"

Answer: Let me put it this way, I've never had a problem when I've done an image restore to drive C: and the swapfile was on another drive or partition.

RE: " If I also understand, having the third external drive is virtually a risk free backup, since that drive does not get used unless it is being updated, meaning it is least likely to fail mechanically. However, I don't understand the risk to the second internal drive failing mechanically other than the fact that it is accessed often enough due to the Pagingfile being present there.

With the OS/APPS and data from HDD 1 captured as images on an second internal HDD and copies of those images on an external HDD, the risk of loss is miniscule. The only risk of loss I see is if the house burns down while I've got the external backup at home. Either of the internal could die but the biggest risk is lightening that could take them both internals out...but I've still got the exteranl that's only plugged in and running when in use. The other thing is I want to get back up and running as quckily as possible if HDD 1 fails or hiccups...I don't want to spend hours and hours locating OS and application CDs, serial numbers, HW driver disks, application prefernces and then run patches and updates. If it dies I can replace it and restore all of it...the OS/APP and DATA images in under thiry minutes. You just can't possibly put everything back as previously configured with all preference and favorites in less time and then for many or most, it would only restore what what most had originally when they bought there Dell or Gateway.

Hope this helps.

VAPCMD

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re: Hope this helps.
by livingbreeze / February 19, 2007 5:59 AM PST

Perfectly! Just the solution I was looking for, restoring a system in 30 mins or less with no data loss, we're on the same page as far as that goes and you've helped me understand what I need to do to avoid the hassle of restoring a system in say what, 3hrs. or more? Not only that, but I can soon restore the system to exactly what would be lost, once I have the second drive and the imaging software (planning to go with Acronis). Never want to go through that again and believe me, I've done it more than a few times. Luckily, for the time being, I have my personal files currently on DVDs (which I have to sift through, wasting more time, just to find a file or two because I could never get them organized the way I want them).

Thank you very much, you've been a great help!

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VAPCMD - hope your still reading - I have a question...
by livingbreeze / March 11, 2007 9:36 PM PDT

"Internal HDD 1.

Partition 1 (40GBs) OS and APPs
Partition 2 (80GBs) All DATA ....PICs downloads, drivers, etc.
All application are set to default driectories on Part 2
Internal HDD 2.

Partition 1 (5GBs) Pagefile for Win
Partition 2 (195GBs) Ghost Images of Drive 1 Part 1 and Part 2
Usually keep at least 2 versions of the image
files... the last one and the one before it"

Above you mentioned "all applications set to default directories on Part 2" (Internal HDD 1). I'm not aware that all applications give the option of choosing their default directories, some or many create their own default directories and use them without any user control (such a game I've been playing). Is there a work-around solution? I like the idea, but it does not appear to be possible with some programs. At the same time, I don't like programs that don't give me control of where they put my data.

The question is, "How do I get these programs to put data where I want them to?"

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