Which hard drive should be larger?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by nanobyte, May 25, 2010.

  1. nanobyte

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    May 26, 2004
    I'm looking to install a new internal hard drive in my computer. My original master hard drive has only half of what was approximately 26.8 Gigs left and the slave (which bascially has nothing stored on it) only has 45 Gigs. My new hard drive is 1terabyte. Should I make it the slave or the master? Which is generally larger or should be larger the master or slave hard drive?
  2. SgtWookie


    Jul 17, 2007
    I would use the new drive for your primary master.

    Keep in mind that magnetic media has a typical service life of about 5 years.

    I partitioned my drive several ways; I have a partition that's used exclusively for virtual memory aka the swap file, another partition for temporary files and web browser cache, and yet another partition that I use for downloads. It's also handy to have a small 2gig partition set aside for creating CD/DVD images.

    By keeping my swap file and temp files on alternate partitions, my drive doesn't get fragmented very quickly. Clean-up is simple; just delete everything on those "scratch" drives.

    Keep in mind that if you do create multiple partions on a drive, and you have multiple HDD's installed, the physical drives will intermix with the logical partitions.

    For example, if you have three partitions on a drive declared the primary master, and the other two drives just have a single partition, they would mount something like:
    C: primary master, logical partition 0
    D: primary slave, partition 0
    E: secondary, partition 0
    F: primary master, logical partiton 1
    G: primary master, logical partition 2
    Don't let this confuse you.

    Seagate has a nice utility program for setting up drives and copying images from your old drives. I think you have to have a Seagate drive installed to use it though; prove me wrong and try it.

    Remember to back everything up.
  3. Markd77

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    I'd be tempted to use the new drive as the master, copy the current drive to the new one so all your files are there and then take the current drive out and keep it in a drawer so you have a working system as a backup if (when) the new hard drive fails.
  4. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    In addition to what Seagate offers, there is a freeware hard drive copy app called XXcopy that works very well after you figure out how to get it set up.
  5. nanobyte

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    May 26, 2004
    Some people are suggesting to me to make the Master hard drive the smaller one (just for the operating system) and make the larger hard drive the slave and dump everything else there.
  6. flat5

    Active Member

    Nov 13, 2008
    That works too, and is very simple.
    How old is the master?
    You might backup all important data to a folder(s) on the new drive and also put the data on the drive you are replacing since it is almost empty.

    I like the idea of making a partition on the new drive for temp files.
  7. dpeterson3

    New Member

    Oct 9, 2009
    What OS are you using?

    If it is windows, I would put everything on one drive because Windows doesn't like it when stuff gets moved around.

    If it is a *nix distro (Linux, FreeBDS, Mac, etc) then what ever way you fell comfortable would work just fine. A lot of people will use the small drive for the OS and put their home directory on the large drive so that if the OS dies or needs to be reinstalled for some reason, they don't have to worry about their data.

    just my $0.02 worth
  8. davebee

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 22, 2008
    (The city of Los Angeles actually came out against the terms "master" and "slave" as being culturally insensitive.)

    If you have 13 gigs free on your current master, and 45 gigs available on your slave, then what did you get another drive for? Do you actually need it, or are you building up your computer as a hobby?

    If you have hundreds of gigs of data, which is easy to accumulate with movies or music, then it would be good to have a large separate data drive. But aside from that, I don't think it really makes much difference. If your data is important enough to back up then you can back it up from any drive configuration; if a drive fails, then you need to rebuild the system no matter what the configuration.

    But in general, I agree that you should configure one drive, probably the smaller, for your operating system and program installation area and put user data onto the other drive.

    I've tried partitioning drives to try to manage disk space better but it usually caused more problems than it fixed - too many times I ran into the case where I needed more disk space in one partition, when there was plenty of unused disk space but it was dedicated to another partition.