Disk layout recommendation

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  1. Posts : 9
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    Disk layout recommendation


    Hello
    I have 3 512GB NVMe drives and am trying to decide the best way to setup in a new build.
    Should I create a 1TB D drive or put all 3 512TB drives into a RAID0 group for a single 1.5TB C drive?

    My other PC has a 128GB SSD C drive and a 2TB D drive but I find it challenging to manage which data goes to which driver. Was thinking I could avoid that in this new build. Any issues with one big C drive to avoid the planning around putting data on a D drive?

    Also if I go with a C and D drive my C drive will be 1 512TB NVMe which is likely overkill for a C drive used as system files only.

    Appreciate your perspective on this.
    Thanks
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  2. Posts : 15,357
    Windows10
       #2

    If it was me, I would use personally use one drive as 50% C drive and 50% D drives, next one as E and final one as F.

    Spanning multiple drives as one drive makes life a lot more complicated in terms of backing up and restoring system images.

    I prefer to keep all data separate from C drive to keep a system image backup lean and mean as well. There are a number of tools to backup data drives eg File History Backup, any number of third party tools, or even simple manual copying using File Explorer.

    Raid 0 might be better in terms of performance but if one drive fails or gets corrupted, you lose all data on both drives. Raid 0 is really not worth it unless perhaps doing a lot of highly disk intensive activity.

    Backing up Raid drives is really critical of course. Raid 1 effectively mirrors drives - great for redundancy but halves online storage, and performance is not any better than simply using each drive individually.

    Of course, you should always have a backup of any chosen drive solution elsewhere (even Raid 1 cannot handle pc getting fried, flooded, stolen etc).

    IMHO, for only (3x0.5TB drives), Raid solutions are rather over the top and the minuses outweigh the pluses.

    Raid really come into their own on larger capacity drives eg 2x3+ TB drives are more natural for a Raid 1configuration, as filling a 3TB drive would take a fair bit of effort compared with filling a 0.5 TB drive.

    Of course, others here may disagree and put counter arguments which is fine. Only you can judge which is the right solution for you.

    Following is quite a good summary.

    RAID level 0, 1, 5, 6 and 10 | Advantage, disadvantage, use
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  3. Posts : 13,765
    Win10 Version 22H2 Pro and Home, Win11 Pro and Home
       #3

    I can only add, from experience, that numerous partitions can be difficult to manage, more so than simply using drives with the only required partition on them. The C:/Boot/System drive by default will have more than a couple of partitions, most quite small and done by the install of Windows. As with all arrangements of drives and their partitions it still is important to use a backup scheme or simply copy to an External drive against the day a drive fails or gets too infected for use.
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  4. Posts : 18,403
    Windows 11 Pro
       #4

    I agree with @cereberus. Keep it simple. If you want a data partition on Drive 0 in addition to the OS partition, then go for it. But I would leave all three drives separate from each other and use Drive 1 or Drive 2 to store a backup image of the OS partition on. I like to use folder junction links to actually store my data on my 1 TB HDD instead of the SSD. For example: mklink /j c:\users\John\Documents d:\John\Documents will create a junction that effectively "moves" my documents to my 1 TB HDD which is D: drive.

    Code:
    C:\Users\John>dir
     Volume in drive C is Windows 10 Pro
     Volume Serial Number is 9FFF-EBE0
    
     Directory of C:\Users\John
    
    01/21/2018  04:56 PM    <DIR>          .
    01/21/2018  04:56 PM    <DIR>          ..
    01/21/2018  04:56 PM    <DIR>          .android
    01/04/2018  08:15 PM    <DIR>          3D Objects
    01/04/2018  08:15 PM    <DIR>          Contacts
    02/11/2018  12:33 AM    <DIR>          Desktop
    12/04/2017  06:45 AM    <JUNCTION>     Documents [D:\John\Documents]
    12/04/2017  06:44 AM    <JUNCTION>     Downloads [D:\John\Downloads]
    01/28/2018  07:20 PM    <DIR>          Favorites
    01/04/2018  08:15 PM    <DIR>          Links
    12/04/2017  06:50 AM    <JUNCTION>     Music [D:\John\Music]
    05/22/2017  04:53 PM    <DIR>          OneDrive
    12/18/2017  08:19 PM    <DIR>          OpenVPN
    12/04/2017  06:49 AM    <JUNCTION>     Pictures [D:\John\Pictures]
    01/04/2018  08:15 PM    <DIR>          Saved Games
    01/04/2018  08:15 PM    <DIR>          Searches
    12/13/2017  08:18 PM    <DIR>          TempOpenVPN
    12/04/2017  06:46 AM    <JUNCTION>     Videos [D:\John\Videos]
                   0 File(s)              0 bytes
                  18 Dir(s)  283,091,079,168 bytes free
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  5. Posts : 1,099
    Win 10 pro Upgraded from 8.1
       #5

    Yes if it were my system I would use 1 for C: OS and programs. Raid 0 the other two for data D:. As mentioned earlier its good to keep your OS drive Image small for faster backups and recovery. Quality back programs will have no issue backing up the RAID Volume, restore would not be a problem once you figure out which SSD Failed and Replace I use Macrium Reflect and have no issues backing up or restoring RAID Volumes
    I have on of my business computers the one I use on the front counter and business accounting. I have my D: begin to fail it was WD Velocity Raptor 512GB. I just happen to have a 240 Intel 530 and Samsung 256 830 I put them in RAID 0 and restored the latest image I had of the failed Raptor. So I know it works
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  6. Posts : 983
    Windows 7/64 Professional
       #6

    Are you sure your mother board supports (3) M.2 NVMe drives at the same time?

    Jack
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  7. Posts : 4,224
    Windows 10
       #7

    Yes, the Asrock Taichi Z370 (I think the OP's Z320 must be a typo) supports 3 NVMe drives simultaneously, but each one eats one or two built-in SATA ports. With all three NVMe's in place, the OP would lose 5 SATA ports, leaving 1 of the Intels and both ASMedia SATA ports still available, if it works like my Asrock Extreme7+, which supports a similar configuration.
    HTH,
    --Ed--
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  8. Posts : 1,099
    Win 10 pro Upgraded from 8.1
       #8

    EdTittel said:
    Yes, the Asrock Taichi Z370 (I think the OP's Z320 must be a typo) supports 3 NVMe drives simultaneously, but each one eats one or two built-in SATA ports. With all three NVMe's in place, the OP would lose 5 SATA ports, leaving 1 of the Intels and both ASMedia SATA ports still available, if it works like my Asrock Extreme7+, which supports a similar configuration.
    HTH,
    --Ed--
    That's interesting that an m.2 PCIe NVME SSD would effect a SATA port at all. I could understand an M.2 PCIe SATA effecting SATA ports and controller??
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  9. Posts : 4,224
    Windows 10
       #9

    AFAIK, it's a matter of available data lanes. Apparently, the m.2 NVMe devices map to data lanes that would otherwise go to SATA ports if they weren't in use. One reason why some people prefer to use PCIe-attached (x4 or x8) NVMe devices anyway.
    --Ed--
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  10. Posts : 809
    Win10
       #10

    EdTittel said:
    AFAIK, it's a matter of available data lanes. Apparently, the m.2 NVMe devices map to data lanes that would otherwise go to SATA ports if they weren't in use. One reason why some people prefer to use PCIe-attached (x4 or x8) NVMe devices anyway.
    Just to confirm - on Intel systems the PCH has a certain number of HSIO ports that can be configured for use by PCIe, LAN, SATA, or USB. This per-PCIe lane mapping is fixed based on the chipset SKU - so, for this example, if you're using PCIe lanes [17..20] for NVMe then you can't use SATA ports 4-5. I don't know how AMD systems handle this.

    Disk layout recommendation-image.png
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