Anyone experience hard drive activity like this?

Discussion in 'Computing' started by Arranger, Jan 26, 2003.

  1. Arranger

    Arranger Active Member

    Feb 2, 2002
    Home Page:
    I'm importing all my 24bit .wav files (14 songs times two to eight tracks each) into n-Track last night and playing them for the first time in a multitracker. This is FUN! The files were exported on CD from my Tascam 788 digital portastudio (standard .wav format with no compression.)

    I copied these hard drive archived .wav files into a seperate new directory to be used exclusively for the multitrack's manipulation. I figured I wouldn't disrupt my original files this way.

    The n-Track version is converting to 16bit (freeware version) and seems to be outputting well to simple desktop speakers running off the ASUS integrated SoundMax Audio. I'll have an Audiophile 24/96 and a proper pair of monitors in another month or so. Anyway....

    The majority of the songs played very well, but I noticed that while playing two of the songs, the hard drive got noisy and exibited alot of erratic activity during playback. It was like the drive had to do a slurry of seeks sporadically. So, I'm thinking that maybe when I copied them to the new directory they spanned a couple platters or just plain spanned poorly while they were written (I'm not too swift on hard drive activity, so I'm just thinking of reasons.)

    With this in mind, I decided to simply recopy the original archived .wavs into the same location in the multitracker's directory (hoping it would write in a different location on the hard disc) and you know, it worked. The two songs now play cleanly with natural hard drive access rates and limited noise.

    Can anyone shed light on what I'm fumbling with here? I'd surely like to know if I'm looking at a hard drive swap. I suppose a copy of Norton Ghost might go a long way for me right now.

    Thanks for the insight.

    Win XPpro, NTFS
    ASUS P4PE/Lan/SATA/Firewire
    P4 2.4/533
    512 Micron
    Matrox G550
    Maxtor 80GB 7200/8mb cache
    Yamaha CRW-F1 burner
    Simple Desktop speakers
    Integrated 16bit sound
    Lian-Li Case
  2. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Active Member

    Mar 19, 2001
    New Milford, CT USA
    Home Page:

    > the hard drive got noisy and exibited alot of erratic activity during playback ... I suppose a copy of Norton Ghost might go a long way <

    There are two issues to consider. Since moving the files reduced the drive activity, the problem was probably due to disk fragmentation. What you need is to defrag the hard drive. Norton Ghost is a great program, but defragmenting is not one of its talents.

    The other issue is you probably need to optimize your computer and Windows for audio recording. By default, many background tasks - like the file Indexing service - are running all the time. You need to disable these so the computer can give its full attention to audio tasks. My series in Keyboard magazine addresses all of these in great detail. Part 3 in the current issue of Keyboard explains optimizing Windows for audio. The first two parts explained all about partitions and using Ghost, and they are now on my Articles page:

  3. Arranger

    Arranger Active Member

    Feb 2, 2002
    Home Page:
    Thank you so much, Ethan. I will certainly follow your link and suggestions.

    I appreciate the prompt reply. I'll enjoy reading your literature.
  4. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Ethan is correct...fragmented!!! When you constantly write and read or add a bunch of new files to the drive it scatters them to any free space available on the platters and thus makes the reading of the files a liitle harder since they are scattered about.
    One of the cool things about XP is that Disk Keeper is actually implemented into it for the defragger! So, all you will need to do is really defrag the drive with the built in windows defragger! It's always recommended to defrag once you have installed fact usually recommended to defrag before and after installing applications and or files. Any drive for that matter.
    Norton's should be run off of the CD and not installed as well if you are going to use it. Norton disk doctor will help find corrupted paths and invalid file structures and will fix them for you. It's always a good thing to do!
    Also if you have not optimized your system like Ethan mentioned I would do so which will help greatly.
    I'm pretty sure you know this but I have a specific guide for XP optimizing.
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