View Full Version : Short Stroking Hard Drive Software.........
03-23-2009, 06:37 PM
Anyone here implemented this or know of a good procedure or software for short stroking a hard drive? I came across an article on it and it sounds like something that any simmer could benefit from.
04-09-2009, 06:12 AM
The simple answer is "partitions"...
Take a drive and split it into several partitions instead of using it as 1 big one.
As one big partition, files can be anywhere. so 2 data blocks may be physically stored at either end of the drive so the maximum read time is lost in the head traveling from one to read the other.
By splitting the drive into several partitions and mounting each one as a different drive letter, you still have access to all your storage space but all files within a given partition are forced to be placed physically closer together within each of those smaller spaces.
And now a rather complex example case: I have 5 hard disks installed in my PC and one external drive for backups...
1: 300 Gb (280 after formatting)
C:\ (30 Gb with about 8 Gb in use)
H:\ (70 Gb - Storage for VCDs - Virtual CD images)
W:\ (180 Gb - junk file storage)
2: 500 Gb (465 after formatting)
Z:\ (5 Gb swap - This partition does nothing but hold the swap file. This keeps it forced at the fastest part of the drive and it never fragments)
"C:\Temp" (5 Gb mounted off of the empty C:\Temp directory. I point my browser cache, Windows/Temp & User/Temp paths here)
"C:\Program Files2" (60 Gb - Mounted similar to "C:\Temp" All games get installed here except MS games (see below) )
D:\ (140 Gb incoming Video "scratch" space. Video files tend to get all fragmented while uploading them from my DVR so I upload them all here. Then I move them to other partitions for long term storage. Moving them is a quick and dirty way of defragging them almost for "free")
I:\ (155 Gb data files)
3: 500 Gb (465 after formatting)
Y:\ (465 Gb - Video2 - Long term video file storage)
4: 1 Tb (926 Gb after formatting)
S:\ (35 Gb - FSX Files - Similar to Archives (below) but dedicated storage for all FSX file downloads - scenery files are getting huge!)
X:\ (896 Gb - Video3 - Long term video file storage)
5: 500 Gb (465 after formatting)
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games" (90 Gb - mounted similar to "C:\Temp" above - dedicated partition for MS games EG: Pandora, Dungeon Siege, FXS, etc...)
E:\ (30 Gb - Archives - Every download from the internet along with digital receipts, install codes, etc... Install files + patches and stuff for all Utilities, games, etc...)
F:\ (10 Gb - Pics - All digital pictures I have taken with my camera(s) about 5-6000 of them from holidays, vacations, family gatherings, etc...)
G:\ (335 Gb Media - All non-video media files - MP3s, WAVs, MIDI, MODs and "small" video clips of no more than a minute or two - mostly funny stuff clips)
6: 1 Tb (926 Gb after formatting) EXTERNAL drive
Single partition used for Nortons Ghost backup images of all IMPORTANT files on the first 5 disks EG: C:\*, my Archives, my PICs, etc... Game installs and things that are recoverable from CD (while that may be annoying to do) are NOT backed up to the external Ghost disk.
Hm... Got carried away there. 15 partitions split across 5 drives.
But anyway, you get the idea. I split up disks for 2 reasons, data organization and/or short stroking the critical high traffic volumes like the dedicated SWAP partition.
Notice also that SWAP is shared with most games (which don't ever need it while root and the BIG swappy games like FSX are located on separate physical drives so as to not interfere with each others I/O requests and slow everything down.
I "try" to only have ONE "busy" partition located at the beginning of each physical disk and use the rest for lower priority "bulk" storage that is idle when the high priority partition is in use. EG: I'm NOT watching video at the same time as I'm running FSX so that the 1Tb drives large ram cache and sata controller is dedicated for FSXs files when I'm flying.
And, yes, I'm a Unix admin by trade. I loves me my disk partitions mounted in all kinds of crazy ways... ;)
500 Gb (465 after formatting)
That's what the disk companies would like you to think. It has nothing to do with formatting. You bought a 465GB disk off them, not a 500GB.
They advertise their size using 1kb = 1000 bytes, whereas a computer interprets 1kb as 1024 bytes.
Seems like a small difference, but if you do the maths, a 500GB drive works out to..... 465. A difference of 35GB.
(500*1000^3)/(1024)^3 = 465GB.
04-11-2009, 04:41 AM
You know, I actually knew that somewhere in the back of my head.
Dunno why I wrote it that way. Just a lazy brain the other night I guess. ;)
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