General discussion

Windows XP: Partition or Not

I am looking for a good deal of advice. I am planning on a new PC and was thinking of making a RAID 0 array from 2 disks (200GB SATA Maxtor drives).

I have an IDE drive (80GB and with 8mb cache). I was going to use this for Windows, swap file and my documents.

The 400GB RAID was for applications, music, etc. Nothing of absolute value. Everything I wanted to keep would be backed up to CDs / DVDs

The questions are:
1. Would I receive any benefit to putting Windows on the RAID 0 Drive as far as speed and load times or it is best to keep windows on a separate drive so the PC can read applications from 1 drive and the swap file from another simultaneously?

2. I know the danger of data loss with RAID 0, but I have never had a drive crash on me - ever. How often does this occur?

3. Are there any real problems with getting SATA drives and IDE drives to work on the same motherboard?


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Just my opinion

You may benefit some in the way of performance with the setup you mentioned but 400 gigs is a lot of space for the OS and apps. You will need to be very diligent in backing up any data to guarantee it's safety. Loading the drive with music will eventually begin to slow it down. If I were you, I'd devide the RAID set and put the OS and apps on a more reasonably sized partition. I'd get software to capture an image of the basics and put it aside so it can be used for fast disaster recovery. Rebuilding the OS and apps can be time consuming even if you have all the disks needed. And, no, SATA and IDE can coexist well on the same MB. Keep in mind that interaction between the two will cause the speed to be limited to that of the slowest device. RAID 0 will improve HD disk access processes only. HDs will die or get corrupt....and it's a matter of when and not if. When this will occur is not predictable. A warranty is no indication of drive life...just a promise to replace it if defects occur during that period.

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Windows XP: Partition or Not

I'm taking part of my answer from Steve H reply. You have 2 huge S-ATA HDDs. I would configure them RAID 1+0. Eliminates the need to continually backup. Then, mirror your OS to the IDE HDD. I have had 3 HDD failures in 6 years. Doesn't seem terrible but I have hundreds of files that go back 12 years or more and I've been able to restore them from my backups on my second HDD. I have always run a 2 HDD system and it has saved my butt many times but backups are a pain.

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