new build advice: HD formatting, files system, part's etc?

By Row1
Oct 31, 2007
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Hello-
    any advice out there?

    The parts have arrived so I am abt to do a new build
    (asus msn-sli deluxe, amd 5200, crucial 2gb, WD raptor 36gb, wd caviar 250, gigabyte geforce 7300).

    This is not a gaming computer. I am trying to build it quiet, fast, and stable. The most demanding task will be desktop publishing while having a few programs open, such as Acrobat, Photoshop, Pagemaker.

    I am going to put operating system (winXP) and programs on the 36GB raptor, to keep those together, and so they open fast. Data will be on the second drive - partly to make data backup easier, and to keep from fragmenting the OS and programs. This should help speed and stability.

    Any advice on setting up the hard drives? -partitions, file format? etc.? I want to do that right before I load WinXP. The most important goal will be stability, so if there is a strategy such as larger sectors to reduce read/writes on the FAT, etc., please give me your ideas. Thanks! -Row1
  2. Blind Dragon

    Blind Dragon TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,048

    Move the Pagefile off the disk that holds your system and boot partitions to another fast and dedicated hard disk.

    Format the partition where the page file is placed with NTFS and a 4kb cluster size (which is in fact the default setting for an NTFS partition).

    Have the initial size be at least 1.5 times bigger than the amount of physical RAM.

    Make its initial size as big as the maximum size
  3. Row1

    Row1 TechSpot Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 353   +8

    pagefile on 2nd partition of 1st disc?

    hello, blind dragon. hey, how can you read this if you are blind?
    anyway -
    can i put 2 partitions on the 1st drive, and have te pagefile be on the 2nd partition of the first drive?

    i am pretty sure this 2nd drive won't be "d" cuz "d" would be the first partition on the 2nd physical drive. thx!
  4. Blind Dragon

    Blind Dragon TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,048

    Yes, but you shouldn't create page files on multiple partitions on the same hard drive. This set-up degrades system performance significantly, the disk arm of the hard drive is forced to swing back and forth across the disk rather than being able to stay in the general area of the single page file. Using another partition on the same SYSTEM or DATA HD will not improve your system's performance at all. To do that you'll need a separate fast HD, preferably connected to a different controller.

    So check to see which HD is faster and that is where you should put your pagefile. Windows 2000/XP/2003 automatically selects the fastest drive to page memory to.

    Are you using a RAID-0 array?
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,411   +281

    Are you sure? Maybe its just concidence, but every multiple drive system I've ever put Windows on has had the pagefile put on C by default.
  6. Row1

    Row1 TechSpot Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 353   +8

    no RAID

    hello- thanks -
    i am building this for my father, and one of the aspects of 'stability' that i need to work with is keeping things kind of simple for him or repair people, or phone-tech-support from internet company, etc.

    so i have decided to not do raid.

    i also considered doing ssd drive, but again, i can just forecast (from experience) that he or the repair people would get mixed up.

    the 2nd, storage hard drive has pretty good performance specs. maybe i will get page drive on the 2nd disc.

    what about a flash drive for pagefile? I could attach to normal usb that i could tie up inside the case. what risk for failure would there be?

    -anyway: thanks for your help so far. i have these strategic reasons for not getting too elaborate, such as deciding to not have raid, deciding to not have ssd drive, etc.

    please keep the ideas coming , cuz they help me a lot.
  7. Blind Dragon

    Blind Dragon TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,048

    Like I said then move the Pagefile off the disk that holds your system and boot partitions to another fast and dedicated hard disk because using another partition on the same SYSTEM or DATA HD will not improve your system's performance at all. But you need to leave a small amount on C: see link and quote below


    That is only if you put the page file on multiple drives

    You just reminded of something that I had read so I went and looked it up
    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/alistair.nichol/articles/xpvm.htm

    ***The slowest aspect of getting at a file on a hard disk is in head movement (‘seeking’). If you have only one physical drive then the file is best left where the heads are most likely to be, so where most activity is going on — on drive C:. If you have a second physical drive, it is in principle better to put the file there, because it is then less likely that the heads will have moved away from it. If, though, you have a modern large size of RAM, actual traffic on the file is likely to be low, even if programs are rolled out to it, inactive, so the point becomes an academic one. If you do put the file elsewhere, you should leave a small amount on C: — an initial size of 2MB with a Maximum of 50 is suitable — so it can be used in emergency. Without this, the system is inclined to ignore the settings and either have no page file at all (and complain) or make a very large one indeed on C:***
  8. Row1

    Row1 TechSpot Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 353   +8

    pagefile link helps. but is it current?

    the link to the discussion of pagefile size and placement helps a lot.
    but is that old info? i will have 2 gb RAM - much more in line with current machines than the examples at that webpage.

    what is a current pagefile size suggestion: 2gb up to ?10gb?
  9. Blind Dragon

    Blind Dragon TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,048

    the best way to do it is run your most graphically advance program, open task manager (ctrl alt del), and look at the performance tab

    bottom left corner it says commit charge section look at peak. That tells you the maximum size pagefile that you needed at that time. There is a better way to do it over a weak period which I'm sure you can look up.

    General rule of thumb says that your pagefile should be

    initial size = 2mb <-not GB
    maximum = 50mb <-not GB
    for your C: drive

    on your other physical drive
    initial size = 1.5 X 2gig RAM = 3.5 GB
    maximum size 3.0 X 2gig RAM = 6.0 GB
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.


Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...


Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.