View Full Version : Tips & Tricks: Protection Against Crash Disk

02 February 2006, 12:41 AM
Hi all,

I've read that one member of this forum, SaraD, has just lost his OFDW work because of a disk crash.

So here are a few tips that could help you, I think.

- It's preferable to buy two middle size disk (2X80GB for ex) than one big disk (1X160GB), because there are less chances to have two disk crashing at the same time than one.
- If you can afford it, buy a backup program that will automatically duplicate the files of the first disk on the second one, at a defined time (8pm, the end of a working day for ex.)

- keep you disk clean and fast, by making several partitions on your disk :
1/ On PC, one partition for the system and programs : Windows needs to be regularly reinstalled, so if you have reserved a special partition for it, you 'll just have to format it and reinstall, without touching to your others datas, placed in another partition.
1bis/ on MAC, install MacOs on two different partitions : you'll be able to boot on one in order to repair the other more easily.
2/ On PC, one partition for the swap (2GB) : when the computer has not enough RAM, he simulates it by frequently accessing to the disk. You can tell him to simulate this memory (to "swap") on a particular partition, empty, in order to preserve your datas. (otherwise swapping fragments the files, and will slow the disk performances.)
3/ one or several partitions for the other datas.

- defragment your disk regularly with appropriate softwares, and it will last longer, will be more efficient. For MAC, don't use Norton tools for that, it has very bad reputation on mac.

If you have your own tips and trick, please write them so that everyone is protected against evil crash disk !

02 February 2006, 03:11 AM
Hey Arctis,

Thanks! That's very useful! :cool:

Cheers, :)


02 February 2006, 08:35 AM
There's one thing so obvious that it might be a good idea to mention it...:D

hard disks are built in dust-free environments for a reason: the read/write head of a harddisk is so close to the disk itself that a single grain of dust between the two elements would completely destroy the harddisk (I am not even sure it has enough space in there...)

This means: strong reverbaration while the computer is switched off can make the read/write head dig a pit into the harddisk. Where the pit is, data can neither be written nor read anymore.

But when the computer runs and the harddisk is turning (at a mad speed) slanting, skewing or sloping the PC as a whole will unbalance this turning disk and the read/write head will scratch a nice circular line into the harddisk.

So, while you might have figured out already that it's a bad idea to throw the PC box into its place you should keep in mind it's also a bad idea to examine its underside or skewing it while it's running.

And back up, goddammit!

02 February 2006, 11:36 AM
Thanks for the tips!
I was wondering, can anyone recommend any good defraging software for Windows? I recently cleaned up space on my two disks (it's recommended to have atleast 25% free space before defragging) and it's been a loooong while since I did it last time :D

02 February 2006, 11:44 AM
I was wondering, can anyone recommend any good defraging software for Windows?


what's wrong with the one included in win?...:D
right-click the harddisk symbol and find the defrag option - it did the job for me.

I don't know about other software for doing this, frankly, but as long as you do it regularly it will be ok with this one, I guess. If you do it for the first time in a year, though, prepare for a loooong waiting time, ... several hours with todays biiiig harddisks.

the following sessions will be shorter, however.

02 February 2006, 05:57 PM
i have both Linux (Ubuntu) and windows installed on my computer. i made an image of a fresh install of windows when in ubuntu, so if anything happens, i just wipe that partition, and restore the image.

saves those several hours needed to reinstall xp.

02 February 2006, 11:13 PM

I had a bit of giggle while reading your post, dude you just described my setup exactly, the only thing I do different is that I don't defragmentate, I've lost data to defragmentation before so instead I burn out the data drive to CD/DVD-ROM and format the swap and data partitions, completely resetting the data-allocation-tablets producing the cleanest possible drives. the program drive usually last for decades because of the low level of traffic on it so I don't bother fiddling with that.

The setup that Arctis describes works extremely well, I've used a similar one of years now and have yet to see one that is better.

Does every one know how to set up scratch disk for their favorite software or do we need a tutorial on that?

Cheers David René.

05 May 2006, 08:00 PM

what's wrong with the one included in win?...:D
right-click the harddisk symbol and find the defrag option - it did the job for me.

The problem with the windows one is that it does not defrag the whole of the disk. It ignores some files like the hibernation file and apparently it does not defragment the windows swap file.

Even norten speed disk is a much better choice for windows users.


Hardisk ageing

hardisks are damaged by being warmed up and cooled down. The expansion and then contraction of the metal is one of the reasons for death.

Basicly, if you leave your computer on all day without a restart, you have a much better chance than if you restart every hour or so.

Its also worth noting that even if your computer goes up in flames there are specialist companies that can recover your work for around £100. Just depends on how badley you want it.

This is also a life saver. its windows on a disk.
Also check out knoppix linux..

Hope that helps someone


05 May 2006, 06:30 AM
"apparently it does not defragment the windows swap file."

I have experience with multiple disk defrag programs for various versions of Windows, and have yet to come across any that defrags the swap file. Unless the defrag process runs when Windows is not running, the swap file will be locked as "file in use" and not subject to defrag.

05 May 2006, 11:44 PM
If you really wanted to go the wall with this, on both protecting and performing, you'd have some obscene setup like this:

(1) Application/OS Drive. Nothing else should be on here.
(2) Data drives. Just like Arctis says, redundant data on both parts. Be it RAID 1 or backup software doing it.
(1) Swap file/Scratch/Temp files Drive. The "seperated swap file" only really shows improvement if it's on a seperate disk. If your OS/App and work files are also on the same drive as the swap file, the head still has to bounce back and forth.

Absurd? Almost. Absurd would be a swap drive setup as Raid 0. And no, I don't do this. Anything important I have gets filed off onto a DVD+R :P

06 June 2006, 03:38 PM
hey i use perfect disk and i recomemnded for its ability to move files in the order you use them but it becomes annoying when its messes with ur shortcuts...nways i was wondering how to set up a scratch disk 4 like photoshop and such..i dont even know what it means...and also my teacher says that after a hardrive is filled over 50% it slows down ur system..nways i have a laptop wicth i run my games i can play on the go.but after my teacher said that i keep all my games on a external.nways is that trueif not wats the maximum that can be filled before it slows down?

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