How best to use my 2x 80Gb HDDs?

  Muckleface 17:45 10 Oct 03

I am about to format my HDDs and reinstall windows and my backup files.

I previously used both HDDs in a RAID "stripe" setup, having one HDD on an IDE cable and the other on a Serial ATA cable but Ive had problems with RAID and dont want to risk loosing data.

So how best can I use my HDDs?

I was thinking of using them in RAID still but in a "mirror" setup so that if one HDD fails then I will still have the data on the other one.

Or I was thinking of just using them as indivdual disks on an IDE in a master/slave setup but to be honest I cant ever see that Im going to use anywhere near 160Gb in the forseable future so one disk will probably sit empty.

Or I could just use one HDD on an IDE cable and sell the other one/use the other one in a different machine.

Can anyone offer any advice/suggestion as to what THEY think I should do?

Thanks in advance.


  y_not 18:01 10 Oct 03

Sorry I don't know the answer but I am as interested as you cause I have two 80Gb HDD's sitting on the desk waiting for a rainy day to fit them!

My posting is so that I can follow/find the suggestions - hope you don't mind

Many thanks and good luck


  Djohn 18:10 10 Oct 03

Hope you don't mind me tagging on as well. I have recently bought two new 80 GB drives. They are installed as master and slave, but with only GB being used on one drive and the other sitting empty, I will follow your thread with interest. Regards. j.

  Big Elf 18:28 10 Oct 03

I use my 2 x 60GB drives as follows:
Windows XP on the C:\ drive with audio, data, photos, XP updates files etc. in their own folders which are then backed up to the D:\ drive on a daily basis using simple batch files.

I used Acronis TrueImage to back up the C:\ drive with an image of a freshly installed system and roughly once a week I take a fresh image which replaces the previous weeks image.

Following a catastrophic power supply failure which 'took out' both hard drives and the DVD drive I have now introduced an external 120GB USB 2.0 hard drive into the equation (and fitted in-line fuses to the internal drives). This external drive replicates the data and images on the D:\ drive. Paranoid I know but some of my data is irreplaceable.

By the way the TrueImage backup enabled me to return my system to its original state in less than 30 minutes after the failed hard drives were replaced.

  pj123 18:28 10 Oct 03

Like you say 160gb is a lot disk. But, as a suggestion I have an 80gb partitioned into 4, giving me C:, D:, E: and F:

The C: (main) has only got my operating system on it plus all my programmes. I am a musician and I have lots of music - my own recordings- which are stored on another partition. All my personal documents and other data are on the other two. That way if I ever have to reformat and reinstall I only have to do it to the C: drive and all my other stuff is still there. It is also backed up to CDs as well by the way. A few options for the other disk are: Clone everything off one to the other and keep it as a backup (in case), or like you suggest Sell it or Install it in another PC.

  Pidder 18:29 10 Oct 03

Don't know a lot about this but I have programs on my original 4 Gb drive and the other is formatted as two separate 20 Gb drives, used for (1) photos and (2) music. I find that this seems to speed up defragging the program drive. Anyone any better ideas?

  Mysticnas 18:31 10 Oct 03

is there an 80GbHDD sale on somewhere? i've got a 120Gb and a 40Gb both setup on IDE slave n master. 40Gb as master with OS on it.

Raid is meant to be faster. I've heard about raid being good and bad. Everyone seems to have a different opinion about it. Some say it's more secure and other say it's not secure at all! but one thing everyone knows is that it's faster!

  Jester2K II 18:33 10 Oct 03

Can i also suggest making a small 1 Gb partition for your swap file on the disk not carrying the OS and moving the Swap (Page) File there?

I use a 60 Gb main disk with a 20 Gb disk partition into a 1 Gb Swap File drive and a 19 Gb partition with a Backup of everything i ever need...

  Rayuk 18:38 10 Oct 03

If you are afraid of losing your data again you can use the 2nd drive as a back up for the first.
Using mirroring in raid isnt 100% secure as if your first drive goes belly up through corrupted files viruss etc the 2nd drive will also be the same.

You can always use the 2nd drive with a different os on it even Linux.

Make minimum 2 partitions on each disk so you can copy data onto both as backup for the other

  Wak 22:38 10 Oct 03

I have two hard drives. I use the master for everything ( running win 98SE) and use XXCOPY to clone everything from drive C:\, including all system files, programs and data files, to the Slave Drive D:\ once a week.
After cloning it all to Drive D:\, I clean up and defrag Drive C:\. If any problems then arise with drive C:\ it's a simple matter to clone drive D:\ back on to the Master Drive C:\.
A complete, quick and easy Restore System.
XXCOPY is an excellent FREE program from click here

  Muckleface 14:51 11 Oct 03


Ive connected up both of my 80Gb HDDs on one IDE cable in a master/slave setup.

They both show in the BIOS menu but when I get into Windows I only have access to one of the drives.

Ive looked in device manager and BOTH drives are there and are "working correctly" but like I say I only have access to one of them from My Computer.

I then shut down my PC and swapped the drive I think is broken with an old 8Gb drive that I had lying around. BIOS again detected both drives and this time I had access to both drives from Windows - all was how it should be, no problems at all!

This leads me to believe that one of my 80Gb drives is broken :(

Do you agree?

Many thanks in advance,


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