Upgrade Internal HD to faster

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Steve Freides, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. Curious as to option to get myself to a faster hard drive without having
    to do an OS (XP/SP2) reinstall. I've got a Dell OptiPlex GX-270 - had 1
    gb of RAM, now have 3 gb, but it still spends a lot of its time chewing
    on its hard drive. The drive has a 30 meg utility partition on it from
    Dell, and the rest is NTFS and drive C:

    I've heard about programs like Norton Ghost which allow a drive image to
    be made but I've never used this program or any like it.

    I have a FireWire card in my machine, and I just bought a 150 gb
    external drive to use for audio recording with ProTools. I'd consider
    adding another if that would help my cause, e.g., if moving some things
    there might make my computer feel faster. I've also got an external USB
    drive attached to the machine that I periodically use to back up
    important files. The addition of the external drives has, thus far, no
    impact on my machine's performance that I can notice.

    Thanks in advance.

    Steve Freides, Apr 3, 2008
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  2. Steve Freides

    htnakirs Guest

    Ensure that the system is virus or malware free. These can needlessly
    access hard disk.
    You can try disabling the swap file entirely.
    You can try defragmenting the drive.
    Check the task manager to see which applications are running and using
    how much resources. Too many background applications can bog down the
    Probably, 3GB is overkill (check taskmanager to see how much of
    physical RAM is really being used). Check online for more info on how
    much RAM is too much.
    Norton Ghost is used to create a copy of the existing drive/partition.
    If the existing installation is not upto mark, Ghost is the last thing
    you need.
    A single partition is ill advised, if the hard disk is massive, and
    the files being stored are mostly small - as is the case with system
    files. You should consider breaking it up into a few more drives,
    leaving the largest drive for media files, and the smallest for the
    program/system drive - about 20 GB (personal view only). For resizing
    the drive, you can try resizing utilities. Probably Ghost now also
    includes such utilities. Acronis partition manager is another utility.

    Adding external drives will not speed up the system unless it is used
    to free up space on the internal drive.
    htnakirs, Apr 3, 2008
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  3. Steve Freides

    ded Guest

    A google groper...
    That is at least one good suggestion you made.....
    What? If you had suggested resize or customize the swap file, I probably
    would've let that go, though that is not adviseable, but disable the swap
    file! Sheer lunacy....
    Stating the obvious but nothing wrong with those suggestions....
    Absolute nonsense, 3gb of RAM is ideal with XP, there can never be
    too much RAM, but as XP will only address upto approx 3.5gb of RAM
    and then the all-important swap file kicks in.....
    3gb is perfect for XP and do NOT disable the swap file!

    And ghost is customiseable, and if you read the OP's actual post
    then Ghost or Acronis would be ideal for teh task....
    ded, Apr 3, 2008
  4. It's fine. I run one application, in the background most of the time,
    that must run on my PC, that's a disk and memory hog. Nothing I can do
    about it - I will spare you the details. It's fine, it's stable, but a
    faster hard disk helps me cause, I'm pretty sure.
    Do I want to adjust the size of the swap file now that I've gone from 1
    gb to 3 gb of RAM? Mine is Custom, 1536 mb, 3072 mb max. That's how it
    came from Dell and I've never changed it.
    Yes, obvious. Windows almost never wants me to defrag even though I
    check regularly, and even when it says I don't need to, I still do it
    every once in a while, just to be sure.
    Right. So we're back to my original question - is there a good (read:
    reliable) way to deal with Ghosting a drive and yet ...

    accomodating Dell's utility partition

    not messing up my OS and all my installed applications

    Steve Freides, Apr 3, 2008
  5. Steve Freides

    ded Guest

    We don't know anything about your existing HDD or it's speed,
    so as an assumed example, if your current drive is at the low end
    of the speed scale at 5400rpm and you opt for a 10000rpm drive,
    then obviously there is a measureably speed increase and theoretically
    there should be a speed up in read/write operations etc, though it's
    a moot point as to if you will see a discernable increase in the end
    result. So another example would be if you were using demanding
    applications such as video editing/production etc, the obvious perk
    would be driver updates, the increased RAM you've installed and
    software patches etc. For a "speed" increase a replacement internal
    faster HDD though technically it should add efficiency, it would be
    the last option on my list.
    If you want to increase the speed and capacity of the primary HDD
    on which you have the OS installed (and hope for discernable speed
    increase), and copy back over an image of your existing installation
    and the Dell utilities partition, then both Ghost and Acronis are perfect
    for the task, and both have full online tutorials, from connecting the
    new HDD as slave on same channel, copying/back-up image, configuring
    BIOS - boot sequence etc, reconfiguring new HDD as primary etc.
    Imaging software will do exactly as you require.
    ded, Apr 3, 2008
  6. Most of my problem, I think, is that Windoze simply swaps out to disk a
    lot given the applications I use, and a faster disk will help the OS the
    most because it's the OS that's my issue - at least that's my take on
    it. It even takes a long time to load Outlook or Outlook Express, both
    of which I use, because of the size of my data files. Anything that
    makes the disk faster should make subject operation here faster - again,
    that's my take on this one.

    I've been down too many roads with Symantec to ever want to buy anything
    of theirs again if there's an alternative, so I will probably give
    Acronis a try after doing a bit more work to see what speed drive I
    actually have and what I can get to replace it.

    Thanks for your help.

    Steve Freides, Apr 3, 2008
  7. Good advice and good points on all counts - thank you. I will check w/
    Dell about the MB support for RAID 0. I've used that in SCSI network
    servers with good results. (Going SCSI would also make things better
    but I don't know that I want to mess _that_ much with a 4 year old

    Steve Freides, Apr 7, 2008
  8. Steve Freides

    Hp Guest

    You MIGHT explore the specs on your computer, if the motherboard
    can support RAID, then there is a way to get much faster Disk
    input/output via a specific RAID configureation.
    Since you are already thinking about some form of harddrive upgrade
    having 2 equal harddrives in a RAID 0 achieves transfer speeds
    approximatley twice as fast as only using a SINGLE drive.
    Alternatly, having an internal drive that mainly is for only your
    programs and swap file, and a second drive for all the working files
    that you mess with, music, data, movies, pictures, can ease the I/O
    activity that you are presently struggleing with.

    RAID 0: RAID 0 distributes data across several discs in a way
    which gives improved speed and full capacity, but all data on
    all disks is lost if any one disk fails.
    To be pedantically accurate the name should be AID 0:
    the array is not Redundant.

    Steve Freides wrote:
    Hp, Apr 7, 2008
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