Best Way to Set-up 2 Harddrives for Photos Files??

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by PeterH, Sep 13, 2003.

  1. PeterH

    PeterH Guest

    I have a P4 2.53GHz PC with 512 RAM and a single 80Gb WD (8Mb) 7200
    harddrive with O/S XP Pro.
    In the near future I intend buying a prosumer digital camera and have
    therefore bought a second harddrive identical to the one I already
    have installed. This is to allow extra volume for photos.
    My question is what is the best way to configure the extra drive?
    I can see the benefit of RAID 0 for the extra speed however this
    set-up will mean losing all the data on the existing HD and having to
    re-instal all software - not my preference.
    RAID 1 will only be good for backup but not for extra storage.
    The other option is to have either spanned or dynamic volume. If I
    understand this correctly it will allow the addition of another HD
    without losing any existing data.
    I don't think I will need the extra speed of the RAID 0 to manipulate
    photos etc.
    I do have a reasonably fast PC and I want this setup to be as
    foolproof as possible.
    I like the idea of the spanned volume but am unsure how easy this is
    to do.
    What is your opinion and how easy is it to setup the spanned or
    dynamic volume between the 2 harddrives?
    Or is there a foolproof way to setup RAID 0 without the loss of data?
    At present the existing harddrive is partitioned as follows:
    Drive C: 12Gb - O/S and software
    Drive D: 63Gb - data

    Also what effect will the spanning setup have on the existing
    partitions? Is there still a risk of data loss no matter which way I


    PeterH, Sep 13, 2003
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  2. PeterH

    Markeau Guest

    I would not do spanning or dynamic. I would add the new drive as an
    ntfs volume (and if you have not already done so convert your c: and
    d: to ntfs unless you need fat32 for backward compatibility) ... and
    for ease of use, if you want on d: you can create a folder that points
    to the whole new drive e: using the MOUNTVOL command (see Start > Help
    and Support for more info). Then in the future I would add a very
    large (ie, 200GB) USB2 or 1394 drive to backup your data plus store
    drive images of c: (to do the latter I use Drive Image 7 which images
    while still in XP).
    Markeau, Sep 13, 2003
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  3. PeterH

    Mark N Guest

    The best method for a computer system for image and video manipulation
    without dataloss issues is probably a raid 5 configuration. However this is
    not the cheapest as at least 4 drives are required (basically 3/4 of your
    drives are striped as in a raid 0 with the remaining 1/4 as parity data for
    recovery). Adaptec do a raid 5 PCI card (model no. 2400 i think) which is
    microprocessor controlled (sweet!) but is expensive. Highpoint cards also
    support raid 5 but rely on the computers CPU to control it.

    I have 2 western digital 80Mb hard drives in a raid 0 and am very pleased
    with it. So long as you dont repeatedly knock your computer, drop it out of
    windows etc, the WD drives should run for ages. I also have a another compy
    which i use for downloading which acts as a backup for my main PC.

    As for getting the raid card to work with XP. In the case of my adaptec 1200
    card, on installation of XP when it says 'do you wish to install third party
    raid or scsi controllers press f7' (or something like that), you will need
    to because XP did not recognise my card properly. Also you need to setup in
    the BIOS that your raid card is the first boot device.

    With a raid PCI card you will have ide0 free. So why not just buy another HD
    as a temporary backup until you backup things onto DVD... Or just buy a DVD
    drive for IDE 0 ;-)

    Really, i see computers as being temporary data storage devices. Tape
    drives, DVD etc is more for long term storage.

    Hope some of my random babblings have helped, Mark
    Mark N, Sep 13, 2003
  4. You are making this WAY too hard. Put the second drive in, format as
    FAT32 or NTFS and put pictures on it. I have all my pictures on one
    hard drive. I don't keep anything else on the drive, only my pictures.

    Make sure you have a backup of some kind, an external firewire or USB2
    drive will do just fine for this so that you have a copy of the pictures
    that is NOT HOOKED to your computer all the time. Even better the
    backup should not be stored in your house.

    RAID is all fine and dandy until your house burns down and your whole
    computer is trashed. The only good backup is one that's NOT in your house.
    Andrew McDonald, Sep 13, 2003
  5. PeterH

    Jeff Shoaf Guest

    RAID 5 requires only 3 drives (but it can work with more). Parity data is
    stored on each drive that creates redundancy so that if any one drive
    goes out, no data is lost. The parity data uses up one disk's worth of
    space so if you have three 80 GB drives set up as a RAID 5 array, the
    array can only hold 160 GB of "your" data. In addition to data
    redundancy, RAID 5 gives you a performance boost on data reads since you
    basically have three or more drives reading in parallel. You get a slight
    performance degradation on data writes since the parity data has to be

    RAID 0 has no data redundancy. If any drive goes out, you lose all of
    your data. It's used primarily for get performance increases - other
    things being equal (data transfer speeds, disk speed, etc.), two 80 GB
    drives set up as RAID 0 will perform faster on both reads and writes than
    one 160 GB drive in _most_ applications since the two drives are running
    in parallel.

    The cheapest way to get an on-line backup is RAID 1, which is just drive
    mirroring. It requires two drives, preferably the same model and
    capacity. Whenever data is written to one disk, it is also written to the
    "mirror" drive. The two disks end up with the same data, so if one disk
    goes down, you have an on-line hot backup of all your data up to the
    moment the other disk crashed.

    There's other RAID configurations (RAID 2, RAID 0+1, RAID 5+0, etc.) but
    they require more disks and/or more complicated setups.

    RAID 5 generally gets you the most "bang for the buck" and is used for
    most non-clustered file and database servers. It is a little more
    complicated to configure than RAID 0 or RAID 1 and requires a minimum of
    three drives.

    RAID 1 is probably the most pratical and easiest RAID configuration to
    set up for use that also gives data redundancy. It's used because it's
    relatively cheap, doesn't degrade performance, and provides data
    redundancy in case of a single disk failing.

    If your data is important, it's also important to do regular backups to
    another medium (tape, CD, DVD, etc.) or, at a minimum, to another PC
    (preferably off-site) since it's not unheard of for a PC's power supply
    to fail and take out the PC's hard drives. If all of the drives in your
    PC get wiped out by an outside event (fire, flood, power surge) or other
    component failure, no RAID configuration will be of much help.

    Along the same vein, it's important to have your PC on some sort of power
    line surge supressor or, preferably, a UPS to prevent inadvertant system
    crashes and data corruptions due to power fluctuations or failure.

    While having a dedicated hardware RAID controller provides the best
    performance, many operating systems can do software RAID that will
    provide you with data redundancy at some performance penalty. Windows
    2000 (Pro and server) and Linux both have this capability; I'd be
    surprised if Windows XP Pro does not.
    Jeff Shoaf, Sep 13, 2003
  6. PeterH

    Tom Guest

    Most photo manipulation benefits from more memory, not necessarily faster
    drive access, so a RAID 0 configuation would not he the most effective use
    of your drive assets. Since the other RAID configurations just prevent loss
    of data from hard drive failures, and in my experience drive failures are
    not everyday occurances, multiple external drives and religious habits
    backup between drives give me more storage for my money.

    Firewire and USB 2.0 have made the "plug and play" system of external drive
    storage practical. For 200 bucks or less you can get an external 120GB
    drive (with enclosure) that will use either technology. Just plug the
    things in and away you go. I have three 120GB drives and two 80GB drives
    conected for data storage and they work just fine.

    My internal drives are a 120GB and an 80GB on and IDE interface. I keep
    system files and programs on one and the temp files and PhotoShop scratch
    disk on the other.

    The data is backed up, of course, across more than one external drive.
    Makes recovery MUCH easier. If my computer lost its magic smoke tomorrow, I
    could be back at work with all data intact by merely plugging the drives
    into my other computer.

    Tom, Sep 13, 2003
  7. Well you probably want to format it for NTFS instead of FAT32, since Windows
    2000/XP doesn't like formating disks higher than 32 gigabytes as FAT32. You
    can format it as FAT32 with 3rd party tools like Partition Magic:;en-us;314463

    If you want it to look like one partition you will need to do some appropriate
    magic, but if you just install it, the system will mount it as the next disk
    volume (usually D:).
    Michael Meissner, Sep 14, 2003
  8. I would not do raid 0 and two disks. If one fails, all information is lost,
    doubling the error risk. I would go for Raid 5 with at least three (better:
    five) disks. Here one may fail and _no_ information is lost, drastically
    reducing the error risk.


    -Michael Schnell, Krefeld, Germany,
    Michael Schnell, Sep 14, 2003
  9. PeterH

    Ed Ruf Guest

    Don't forget, beside the advantage of NTFS in 2000/XP, you have easy
    control over how the partitions get mounted as disk volumes.
    Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 ()
    See images taken with my CP-990 and 5700 at
    Ed Ruf, Sep 14, 2003
  10. PeterH

    HRosita Guest


    I have two firewire Western Digital drives to complement my 160 GB C:\ drive.
    One WD drive is 80 GB (came formated as FAT32. I use it for system backup.
    The other drive, 120 GB (came formated as FAT32) I use for storing music,
    DVD's, etc.

    Both drives are 7200 RPM, are plug and play.
    It addition to backing up the C: drive, I archive the "keeper" pictures on
    brand name CD's, with a contact sheet printed from Irfanview folded in the
    jewel case.
    I also keep a copy of the contact sheet in a 3 ring binder in a protector shee
    with comments in the back. This way I can tell at a glance what is on a
    particular CD and go directly to the jewel case.
    HRosita, Sep 14, 2003
  11. PeterH

    Eric Gisin Guest

    Failure has nothing to do with driving the drives too hard.

    What happens is the drives seek together, each drawing a 2A pulse at 12V.
    Power supply noise causes bad sectors. The drive's vibrations are in sync,
    also causing bad sectors if they are mounted in a drive bay together.

    | Don't consider RAID unless you have a real burning need for it, you
    | shorten the life of an IDE drive which is not designed for sustained
    | burst that RAID can impose on the drives.
    | I have seen some posts that say IDE drives lives are shorted by up to
    | half and that you may invalidate the warranty of some manufacturers by
    | using it in a environment it's not designed for. RAID 1 Mirroring does a
    | *exact* duplicate of all data on the drive if one drive gets corrupted
    | then the whole lot does.
    | If you go RAID then the only real option is to go SCSI and pay the
    | premium for this (Basically blank cheque time).
    Eric Gisin, Sep 15, 2003
  12. PeterH

    El Kapitano Guest

    Why not use SATA RAID with something like the western digital Raptor
    Enterprise SATA drives, 5 year warranty and designed for RAID applications.

    El Kapitano, Sep 15, 2003
  13. Just make sure you back it up! :)
    Andrew McDonald, Sep 16, 2003
  14. PeterH

    ArtKramr Guest

    ubject: Re: Best Way to Set-up 2 Harddrives for Photos Files??

    Wouldn't it be better to install a CD burner and save to CD rather than a
    second hard drive?

    Arthur Kramer
    344th BG 494th BS
    England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany
    Visit my WW II B-26 website at:
    ArtKramr, Sep 16, 2003
  15. PeterH

    Eric Gisin Guest

    Very funny. Ever spent an evening swaping CD-R into a drive?

    | Wouldn't it be better to install a CD burner and save to CD rather than a
    | second hard drive?
    Eric Gisin, Sep 16, 2003
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