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RE: Computer hard drive and file storage server questions.

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Comments below.


> - Scott Maxwell [mailto:smaxwell(--nospam--at)engin.umich.edu] wrote:
>
> Regarding partitioning, the primary reason (at least that I know of) for
> partitioning a drive (other than the fact that some versions of OSs and
> BIOSs cannot handle larger drives OR having multiple OSs installed) is an
> issue of wasting space. 

Primary=True, Only=False.  And, yes, this affects file systems other than
DOS and Windows 9x.  However, Bill is correct in saying that block sizes are
a non-issue for the new file systems.  One of the other reasons for
partitioning is compartmentalizing your system.  I prefer to run 4
partitions, one each for OS, Data, Programs, and Swap.  There are several
advantages to this.  First, if one part gets corrupted then there is a small
probability that it will affect the entire hard drive.  So, when the Windows
Registry decides to tank and I need to reinstall Windows, I can wipe drive C
and reinstall afresh without worrying about losing data.  (I long for the
pre-Registry days, then I didn't have reinstall programs either.)  Second,
you can adjust the sizes to suit.  I usually run a small (relatively)
partition for OS and Swap; Programs get the largest chunk and data the rest,
usually a medium size chunk.  Third, separate partitions allow other OS's
and/or other computers to share the data.  Basically, you don't have to
worry about another user or OS corrupting the OS and swap partitions.  This
is especially useful on multi-boot machines or in networks.  I share drive D
(data) across the network but drive C and F is never shared.  Fourth, yes
there is a noticeable, albeit small, performance improvement.  For some file
systems this is because of the blocks, for ALL systems it is because each
drive then has a smaller corresponding "database" of files to handle.  Yes,
Dennis, partitioned drives do operate more efficiently.

> I don't believe that if will affect the speed other than it 
> might make it
> easier for you to defrag stuff on a regular basis, which 
> means that you
> are more likely to be willing to do that.

See above.  Also, I rarely defrag the programs drive because it doesn't see
the kind of changes that fragment a drive.  I never defrag the swap.  I
never defrag OS's other than Windows.  The data is then the only thing to
defrag and I can do that often because it's only 25% of the entire drive.

> I cannot really speak to the benefits of more RAM on a 
> Windoze platform.

256M will help Win98.  WinME will use up to a 1G, IIRC.

> All that old DOS crap (sorry, Roger...not that I like Windoze much 
> better) should be gone from XP.  Of course, there
> tons of other things as to why I WON'T be upgrading to XP 
> anytime soon.

Actually, XP and all of the NT line do not use ANY DOS code in the base OS.
They have some in the "MSDOS command prompt" for compatibility only.  All of
the NT's will use as much memory as you give it.

Mark Jones
Jacobs Engineering

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