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External Hard Drives

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Squaysh, May 17, 2004.

  1. Squaysh

    Squaysh Guest

    I would just like to know everyone's thoughts on external hard drives. Which ones have you used? how well have they have operated? how well have they NOT operated? etc... I would appreciate any advice at all in this department because it's new to me and i know very little. I am looking at the LaCie 250GB, Firewire 800, 7200rpm, 8MB buffer. I appreciate it and take care.
  2. nuclearmoon

    nuclearmoon Guest

    Good choice! My only advice is to partition it, but I'm sure that will be everyone's advice........
  3. Squaysh

    Squaysh Guest

    By partition do you mean using only one drive during operation? How would i do this?
  4. nuclearmoon

    nuclearmoon Guest

    In Windows or Mac OS you can create virtual walls in a drive to make your system think one big drive is actually two or three, etc.. This can vastly improve performance. For instance:
    You buy this big drive and split it into 4 partitions--
    1.(62.5g) System software, DAW software
    2.(62.5g) Audio #1
    3.(62.5g) Audio #2
    4.(62.5) Samples
    ....or really any variation like this. It will help your OS run faster since it has less files to scan through, it will help your DAW run faster for the same reasons.......will help increase track count....yadayada. You can see now why this is useful, eh?
    Of course, remember, due to the use of bits vs. bytes your drive will format to a smaller number than the manufacturer specifies. in other words your 250Gb HDD will actually come out to 225~240Gb. So plan your partitions after accordingly.

    Happy Recording!
  5. kinetic

    kinetic Guest

    Can you explain what use you intend to use the drive for?

    I have recently purchased a 250Gig Maxtor (Raptor I think) 7200rpm 8 Meg buffer, and an external drive case which has optional external power, USB2 and firewire interfaces.

    I purchased this drive to save images of my system and other partitions on my two systems (one is XP and the other is 98SE). For this I partitioned the drive with an NTFS partion for the XP system and a number of FAT 32 partitions for my 98SE system.

    The first thing I noticed is how slow the data transfers were compared to drives attached on the SATA or IDE buses (naturally). Sure they were big files, but still slow. For this reason I personally would only recommend external drives for data backups rather than actual realtime use on a system.

    Hope this helps
  6. Squaysh

    Squaysh Guest

    I will be using the hard drive in conjunction with my PowerBook 1GHz. I plan to use it during recording and for general storage.
  7. kinetic

    kinetic Guest

    Unless you are recording minimal audio, I would be wary of the performance of an external drive for streaming live audio. The drive itself is not the problem, the interface, USB or Firewire is - it may not be fast enough for this application. But then I have no direct experience with this, so I could be wrong.

    Anyone else?

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