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View Full Version : Filling Up a Hard Drive...


Joe The Dude
01-05-2006, 07:56 PM
My setup:
(OS Drive).........37.2GB, 7200 RPM, ATA/133...[Primary Motherboard IDE] [Master]
(DVD Rips).........298GB, 7200 RPM, SATA........[Motherboard SATA 0 Port]
(BTV Captures)...298GB, 7200 RPM, SATA........[Motherboard SATA 1 Port]

I'm running Windows XP Home with SP2.

Basicly, my question is how much free space (%) should I maintain on each Hard Drive?

merrypig
01-05-2006, 08:21 PM
1GB seems to be a nice buffer in my experience.

If you plan to defragment frequently, you might benefit from keeping more space free to allow for juggling files around during the process.

Otherwise, just keep enough free to keep up with your recordings, or let btv purge old ones.

Joe The Dude
01-06-2006, 01:21 AM
Thanks!
I'll be sure to keep at least 1GB of free space on each drive.
:thumbsup:

For those who are curious, I use PerfectDisk Live as my defragger, and it usualy takes between 1 and 3 hours to defrag my DVD Rips drive when I have about 10GB of free space.
Of course, once it took around 14 hours, but it was VERY fragmented at that time...
:wow:

wpappas
01-06-2006, 05:15 AM
try this you might find intersting for big storage at low cost and i have 4 drives with 200 movies

http://www.serverelements.com/

queonda
01-06-2006, 05:37 PM
try this you might find intersting for big storage at low cost and i have 4 drives with 200 movies

http://www.serverelements.com/

wpappas, I don't get it. you keep pushing naslite. What does this give ya, which a freeware can't do for free?

wpappas
01-17-2006, 05:07 AM
im only giving an idea, i payed for my program and it works fine didnt know if anyone else knew about naslite.
there are people out here that dont know about it, i get no kickbacks or deals
I just thought i was helping if you get your stuff for free good
just trying to help the ones that dont know about it

merrypig
01-17-2006, 12:40 PM
wpappas; actually I hadn't heard of it - and am quite grateful for your mentioning it. It looks interesting - I've a bunch of old hw sitting around I might put to good use :)

Mamba
01-17-2006, 12:57 PM
>actually I hadn't heard of it

And it's not like it's expensive...don't need it myself, but seems like a good deal if it works as advertised. Some names for those "freeware" alternatives could also be useful, providing they can be vouched for.

Rich A
01-17-2006, 12:59 PM
In the business world we often recommend that you should have at least 1/4 of the drive available as free space. Of course that goes back some time when hard drives were 10 GB max etc. :wow: But I still maintain that 1/4 drive free space (especially when using the drive for mainly large files) is best. For example a 200 GB drive never exceeding 150 GB will work pretty fast, not need defragging as often and when doing defrag, will complete the defrag faster. Defragging involves moving fragmented files around temporaily until it can create a freed up continous block to write them to. If you have a lot of empty (scratch) space on the drive, this has a overall effect on the defrag speed, completing the task in less time.

A one Gigabyte maximum overhead space isn't anywhere near enough if some of the files are HD type where one hour shows equal 8 GB. Even the standard DVD mpeg quality captures will result in 2 to 3 GB per hour.

As the drive fills, if you always keep that 50 GB free (for a 200 GB drive) you'll always have a large free space to write to. As files are purged, typically the amount of a single file (analog 3 GB, digital 8 GB) is going to free up large amount of space. This will allow your defrag to work quicker, and in fact if you don't do a lot of small file writing to that drive, might even eliminate the need to defrag to maybe a few times a year if at all.

That has been my "hands-on" experience anyway.

merrypig
01-17-2006, 01:05 PM
unfortunately, not all OS's reuse 'used' space as it becomes free. Instead they work their way around the entire disk and then start reusing it. The down side is that this means fragmentation will ultimately always occur even if you have 50GB free all the time.

Rich A
01-17-2006, 02:35 PM
unfortunately, not all OS's reuse 'used' space as it becomes free. Instead they work their way around the entire disk and then start reusing it. The down side is that this means fragmentation will ultimately always occur even if you have 50GB free all the time.

Yes, but 50 gb of free space will speed up defragging greatly for one thing.

As far as access times go, it's not JUST the fragmented drive that slows things down. It's the SIZE of the fragmented files and fragmented free space that is more important. That is to say how much the drive has to seek to find enough free space to write a new file. If you are writing and deleting small files THEN your fragmentation is going to consist of many small blocks. BUT if you write and remove large files only then instead of the drive having to spread out it's writing over 50 or more small blocks .. it only has to seek to a few. Which is going to write faster? A 1 GB file spread over 100-10 MB blocks thus seeking 100 times, or a 1 GB file writing over 2-50 GB blocks thus seeking only twice?


The problem most people have is that the drive being used is often the same physical drive as the op. system or it has lots of other smaller files written to it as well. Ie. showsqueezed files, and other system files. Most probably don't know that a portion of each drive in XP can be (and usually is) dedicated for a certain amount to be used for swap file (virtual memory) That should be turned OFF for the show storage drive. As well as drive indexing.

The result is a drive that always has plenty free space even when all areas of the drive have been written to, and because of the large size of the shows being deleted, you will have more large empty continuous areas to write to.

Set the drive geometry to it's optimum for large file handling. Turn off all Windows management for that drive, including Virus scanning, virtual drive, and indexing. Use that dedicated drive solely for large show file storage. Keep it 1/4 empty.

Then you can forget about defragging or speed limitations

BTW, I have found that those 1 K or so smart chapter files don't amount to much as far as slowing things down.

lowenbotten
01-25-2006, 04:39 PM
>actually I hadn't heard of it

And it's not like it's expensive...don't need it myself, but seems like a good deal if it works as advertised. Some names for those "freeware" alternatives could also be useful, providing they can be vouched for.

What are some freeware alternatives to naslite (that are also reliable)?

Vladi
01-25-2006, 06:22 PM
Set the drive geometry to it's optimum for large file handling.
Rich, can you elaborate on this?

HomeyFour
01-25-2006, 06:40 PM
Rich is referring to cluster size. In Windows, you'll want to use an NTFS partition with 64k cluster sizes for maximum performance in BTV.

Vladi
01-25-2006, 06:50 PM
Rich is referring to cluster size. In Windows, you'll want to use an NTFS partition with 64k cluster sizes for maximum performance in BTV.
Right. My storage drive is with 64K cluster size and this is where BTV is writing/reading. My OS drive is the default 4K cluster size and BTV is installed there.
What do other people have as a cluster size on their OS drive?

vogelap
01-25-2006, 08:40 PM
What are some freeware alternatives to naslite (that are also reliable)?
The only one I know of is FreeNAS.org. It's free and I've never used it. I evaluated it for my needs, but found NASlite to be ideal.

Rich A
01-26-2006, 11:13 AM
Yup, what the guys said. 64 is a good figure for a drive where you will be writing large continuous files.

As for the OS and swap file drive I just use the standard that pops up. (4k?)

To really have an optimal system, I am setting up my latest version of the ever-evolving HTPC this way.

C: is the system drive. (no swap file here) Indexing turned off

D: is the temp/buffer and Windows swap file drive. This is the only drive where the swap file exists.

E: is an external 4-drive RAID 0 array. Currently running only 2 drives at 250 GB each for a 1/2 TB storage. Again this is the largest cluster size. They are SATA II drives (SATA I would be fine) Moving them out of the HTPC box reduces the load both electrically and thermally from the HTPC box. I tried running the HTPC with all four drives in it. With three tuner/capture cards and a good video card, there was a LOT of heat build up. By moving the two raided drives to their own external box, average heat in the HTPC dropped 10 degrees C.

Soon to follow with be a new Drive F: Which will be the hot swap removable Sata drive that will be used to store my series' archives.

And my drive R: is the DVD ROM drive.

In this configuration things run nice and cool, and I was actually able to reduce fan speeds on both the external box and HTPC which made things even quieter.