Windows 10: Advice on setting up a new HDD for data (not OS)

  1.    23 Nov 2016 #1

    Advice on setting up a new HDD for data (not OS)

    Hey all,

    Purchased a WD Black 2 TB HDD today to replace my old drive. This drive is not for my OS but is used for data - photo's music, my documents, downloaded program installers etc and for system backups.

    I also run 2 SSD's - one 500GB for the OS and programs and one 250GB exclusively for Lockheed Martin's Prepar3D and associated add-on's. Both SSD's have plenty space on them.

    Question 1.
    What is the best way to set this new HDD up? I can "initialise" in Windows 10 Disk Management with either MBR or GPT partition. Which is better for my system? Anything else I should consider beyond this?

    Is there merit in splitting this HDD into two 1TB partitions? I don't really need two partitions but the data I will transfer to this new disk from my backup is about 700 GB - so not even half the 2 TB capacity of the disk.

    Bottom line - I am all about getting max performance (speed) out of my system.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    23 Nov 2016 #2

    1. Use GPT. MBR has a 2TB partition size limit and depending on how 2 TB is defined both for that partition limit and for the hard drive may mean you will lose a couple 100mb capacity if you do just one partition - not sure though. But there is no reason to not use GPT unless you are going to move that hard drive later to a system that is so old it does not support GPT.

    2. Multiple partitions has advantages and disadvantages. The closer, physically, files are stored to each other on the hard drive, the faster your access time will be. So, lets say you have a bunch of documents and spreadsheets that you are going to access and change frequently, and you also have an archive of movies that you only watch occasionally and you never access both the documents and the movies at the same time. Then it would make sense to do one partition for each, and put the movies partitions at the end of the drive, so the movie files would not get in the way of the documents and spreadsheet files. Also you could then schedule a whole partition backup of your documents and spreadsheets every week or daily if you wanted, and only backup the movies partition when you added a movie once a month or so.

    If you have two sets of files that you are going to access concurrently - lets say documents and photos - and lets say the document files contain and access the photo files frequently. Then having two partitions for the documents and for the photos would slow down access. Because the drive head would have to access the document file in the first partition and then skip over all the blank space on the drive between the end of the used space on the documents partition and the photos partition to get to the just the beginning of the photos partition, and then seek through part of that to get to the specific photo file. By having two partition you are intentionally adding blank physical the drive head must move over.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    23 Nov 2016 #3

    Perfect, thanks NavyLCDR. I will go with GPT and a single partition based on this info. Appreciate the good insight.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. Posts : 237
    Server 2012 R2 and Windows 10 x64 v1709
       23 Nov 2016 #4

    I keep two partitions for data as part of my backup strategy...
    • One partition containing my data that needs periodic backup
    • The other partition stores data files that don't need backup (e.g. movies and music I have copies of elsewhere). I don't really want to backup anything on this partition

    Saves data backup time and space.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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