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2 separate hard drives, really necessary?

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I'm in the process of building a new computer, and am wondering whether a separate hard drive for windows and another for my games (mainly fsx and fs9) is really necessary.Does it really speed up performance to a noticeable difference?Thanks,Alex

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oops, it pays to read other topics. The topic below about partitioning one drive seems to have somewhat answered my question.

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The extra drives do come in handy is backing up. I can never stress the importance of backing up one's data. You only need to get burned once to be reminded how important it is.

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>The extra drives do come in handy is backing up. I can never>stress the importance of backing up one's data. You only need>to get burned once to be reminded how important it is.Can't agree more there. Acronis backs up my system for me but I also have a second fresh install of FS archived on my second drive. With the essential patches and add-ons already installed for basic operation, if I run into a problem, I can just copy the folder over and voila', I'm back at the airport flying.So, is it necessary? No. Is it beneficial and desirable? Very much so.Regards,Jeff

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I have a drive purely dedicated to FSX.I wouldn't do it any other way now.Faster response, faster defrag and easier to manage.

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Jeff: Can you tell me how you do your backups? I have both Acronis True Image 11 and their partition manager software and I have 2 drives dedicated to back ups in addition to my primary flight sim drive. I'd like to have at least one complete image of my hard drive (more than one would be great) and then incremental backups of my data kept on a separate partition or drive, if necessary.I can't figure out how to make Acronis write the image without destroying the partition layout I've created -- no matter how I try to copy my drive, Acronis wipes out all partitions and data on the destination drive! And Acronis customer service is utterly useless unless I want to pay extra for their help ! :-(

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Hi Alex!Get one big hard drive. The biggest the better. Two hard drives will slow your performance. That's my experience,RegardsAbrupto

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thanks everyone for your help. So now my question is, to people who say separate the games on one drive, should the faster drive hold the operating system, or the games? i have a 750gb sata drive, and want a velociraptor. should the raptor hold the operating system, and the regular sata drive hold the games?Thanks

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How can two drives SLOW your performance? If you have a dedicated drive to FSX it makes no sense that your performance would be slower.There must have been something wrong with your setup.

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Thanks Glenn, But isn't the operating system accessed the most? All the drivers, windows files, etc. Just trying to figure out what needs the raptor

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I've been using a single 160 gb Raptor for the last few months on an XP Pro and Flight Sim dedicated homebuilt (specs below) and love the speed in which my comupter boots and my programs launch, and Flight Simulator has just run awesomely on the entire system. But performance wise with Flight Simulator, I've been told by more than one person in more than one place that it's not really the best gaming drive out there.I'm swapping out my Raptor tonight or tomorrow for a 500 gb with 32 mgb. of cache just to see if there's any performance boost while flying. If not the Raptor goes back --

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If you are running FSX, then the most access will be on the drive that contains FSX.Drivers aren't accessed during the game - They are already loaded into the system when you boot.

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I wouldn't call it "necessary"...but I would say, it's "nice".With hard drives so cheap these days, I tend to do it on my personal builds.RhettFS box: E8500 (@ 3.80 ghz), AC Freezer 7 Pro, ASUS P5E3 Premium, BFG 8800GTX 756 (nVidia 169 WHQL), 4gb DDR3 1600 Patriot Cas7 7-7-7-20 (2T), PC Power 750, WD 150gb 10000rpm Raptor, Seagate 500gb, Silverstone TJ09 case, Vista Ultimate 64ASX Client: AMD 3700+ (@ 2.6 ghz), 7800GT

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>Jeff: Can you tell me how you do your backups? I have both>Acronis True Image 11 and their partition manager software and>I have 2 drives dedicated to back ups in addition to my>primary flight sim drive. I'd like to have at least one>complete image of my hard drive (more than one would be great)>and then incremental backups of my data kept on a separate>partition or drive, if necessary.>>I can't figure out how to make Acronis write the image without>destroying the partition layout I've created -- no matter how>I try to copy my drive, Acronis wipes out all partitions and>data on the destination drive! And Acronis customer service>is utterly useless unless I want to pay extra for their help !> :-(Hi Chuck,Sure, I'm sort of a freak when it comes to backups now. First is Acronis' own secure zone which is that hidden partition that belongs only to Acronis. For this I do a monthly system state incremental. This is my deepsh*t button so to speak. When everything else goes to crap, I use this and I'll never have to lose more than a month. On my 500GB drive I have two backup locations. In one I do a daily system state backup (incremental), and the other I have a weekly full backup (also incremental). I don't partition my drives. For me, to partition a Raptor is akin to taking the engine out of a corvette and replacing it with one from a chevette. The way partitioning works, each one on the same drive will be slower than the last. Not to mention the fact that regardless of the number of partitions, you still have only one head to search, read, and write with. However,(stepping off my soapbox now :-violin :-lol) I know partitioning has its advantages under certain cicumstances. When you go through the setup for your backup, are you selecting all the partitions on the partitions selection page? On the bottom of that same page there is a checkbox to create the image sector by sector, is that checked? The only other thing I can think of is to use True Image and not Partition Manager to create your partitions. It could be that the two programs, though created by the same developer, may not work and play nicely with others. On the main Acronis screen, click on disk utilities and then Add New Disk. I don't know if you've tried the clone disk option on the same page. When you go through the Clone Disk wizard, there will be an option page that allows you to delete or keep the existing partitions. These are just some ideas after going through some of the different options and the manual. Alot of this stuff I haven't really explored but, I think I'm going to now. This really is a great program. It's already saved my bacon several times. I hope this helps. If not, let me know and we'll explore some other options.Best Regards,Jeff

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I've just bought a new PC and given it one of Hitachi's "Ultrastar" 300Gb 15k RPM SAS drives: it gives very nice performance.But my previous PC had 2x15k SCSI drives configured as a RAID 0 and dedicated to FSX, with a third fast drive (also SCSI: SAS actually) for the operating system. Loading times for FSX were definitely faster back then.Incidentally, I meant to re-use my old SCSI RAID in my new PC, but unfortunately the case size of my new PC is too small for them (the graphics card comes too close to the drive cage). I improvised by leaving them loose in the case - and one of them promptly burnt out (literally: little puff of smoke and everything). I hadn't appreciated how hot those 15k babies get without proper spacing: expensive mistake.For backups: you might want to think about using external HDs for these, just in case something really nasty happens inside your case (such as a fire in one of your SCSI drives, for example ...)Tim

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One thing to keep in mind with all these 10K+ drives: For FS, they will OnLy speed up the First FS program load and the First flight load after a fresh boot. After that, Vista does some magic and the FS program and subsequent repeat flights will load in < 10 secs - regardless of the drive installed - . These Raptors and SCSIs provide No in-game performance benefit under any circumstances. The 7200 RPMers are entirely capable of keeping up with any FS in-game data feed requirement.If one is looking for a FS performance increase, it's a LoT of $$$ to shave off a smidgen, - OnLy - , from the first post-boot FS program load, then initial flight load. Seems to me anyway.The best bet is to put everything on one drive and back it up to a second drive. In this case, simplicity really is the best answer. Use a modern defragger to keep FS on the outer rim of the boot drive. Actually, Vista (some flavors) comes with an Arconis like image maker. I use it to make a full disk image onto a second drive as my full, boot drive backup. I also keep my docs folder backed up separately on that same second drive . . . (and then a rewritable DVD of the most critical docs stuff in a fireproof safe!)

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Thanks, Jeff. I just imaged my Raptor to the new Seagate 7200 with 32 mg. cache using Acronis, and I'll give it another shot early next week --traveling on business right now. I didn't fully understand a couple of things: the value of the Secure Zone, and the actual proficiency of the "My Computer" back up option. You've made those things much clearer.I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks for taking the time to reply Jeff.

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My understanding was that the Acronis Secure Zone was a bootable partition created on the boot drive. That secure zone also had the Acronis recovery program. If the boot disk's normal partition failed to boot, the drive would boot from the secure zone partition. Once running, the Acronis software could restore the disk's boot partition from an image that had been stored on that same boot partition (or, where else could the image be for this single drive solution? The secure zone partition is quite small). But I'm guessing here. Is this right? I've never used it.I Have used acronis to make manual and automated images to a second drive. The automated incremental (or difference) backup ended up filling my second drive To The Brim in only several days. The additional auto backups were way too big and simply stacked up. I tried the "retain # of backsup" options, but there was no holding it back. It worked fine for a single, manual backup, but clearing out the mess the incremental backup method always left was always a pain. *Tried Norton Ghost too. Same basic problem. I finally gave up and went with the simpler Vista feature. Vista's image function simply makes a whole drive image to a second drive. A newer image cleanly over writes the old one. No "folder size creep." To recover, boot from Vista's DVD and select recover from the tools menu.

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Acronis can do the exact same thing through their imaging tool, and I don't have to depend on cagey Microsoft. Besides I don't have Vista and I'm not likely to in the very near future.What I would ultimately like to do is store several images on one drive, but that may not be possible. Sorry Sam, not sure why you're getting the disk creep issue -- I don't see that at all with True Image 11. Also, I now have 2 drives dedicated for back ups -- 700 and 500 gig.

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Hi,there is a "law" that says "never argue with any software made by Microsoft". The default installation of FSX is C drive. As a very simple explanation, if you change the drive FSX will always search for C drive in first place. That's why it will slow your performance.RegardsAbrupto

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i'm confused, MS or not, my software seems to know where its installed and doesn't scan the c: drive everytime it wants to find a file.did you delete your registry ?

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Alex:I've been running FS9 on my new Seagate 500 gb with 32 mgb cache for a couple of days now and I THINK I get less blurries and better texture loading than I was with the Raptor.In any event, if I were to redo my build today knowing what I know now, I would forego the expense of the smaller Raptor and spend my money on a larger hard drive. The 160 gb. Raptor cost me about $170 USD, the 500 gb. Seagate $80. Programs load faster on the Raptor, but the large drive cache on the Seagate seems to induce better all around performance.Either way, though, I think you're going to be happy with what you end up with.

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>Hi,>>there is a "law" that says "never argue with any software made>by Microsoft". The default installation of FSX is C drive. As>a very simple explanation, if you change the drive FSX will>always search for C drive in first place. That's why it will>slow your performance.>>Regards>AbruptoThis is most certainly NOT true...As for 'slow performance', a simple scan of a log output froma utility like Filemon.exe will show that there are FAR more searchesperformed by FSX within it's own directory for files that never existed.For instance, FSX will ALWAYS look for "sim.cfg" before it looks for"aircraft.cfg" when loading an aircraft. It will look for a folder with the name of a gauge it is trying to load before looking for a "cab" file. There are dozens of other instances.In spite of these 'illogical' searches, they don't slow FSX noticeably. Paul

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