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Old Sep 16, 2010, 03:25 AM   #1
ZAPPAR
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Partitioning Two 1-TB SATA HD's for a G5 DC Power Mac

I'm installing Two 1-TB 7200 RPM SATA Hitachi Enterprise drives into a G5 2.0 GHz Duel Core Power Mac with built in BT/AP, running OS 10.5.8.

I need to devise a logical partition scheme. I have never used a "Scratch / Media / Volume / Partition" scheme before.

MY IMMEDIATE AIM: I want the fastest internet connection possible, and I very much want to fire my Cable TV and Land Line Phone Companies.

I figure that learning how to download and retrieve various stuff from a "Media Volume" may help me facilitate these two ... life long ambitions.

Had two 250 GB Hitachi SATA's in a G3 333 (Gossamar Beige) for years using xpostfacto to run OS 10.4.11.

I filled just over 30 GB's on two 225 GB volumes in 7-years. The G5 is a veritable powerhouse in comparison ... Now I want to do something else!

My primary use for a computer till now has been writing. I use MS Word to write and download many PDF documents related to subjects I write about.

My habit has been to run two volumes with everything ... Systems, Apps, Utilities, and my documents installed on both.

I load the OS, Apps, Utilities, everything into my Primary Volume.

Then I use "SuperDuper" to create a mirror image of the Primary Volume on a Secondary Volume, where I can test new software and retrieve folders if Tech Tool Pro and Disk Warrior can't restore the Primary.

I'm buying a Mac Pro for my daughter in the near future. I figure it will facilitate her interests in graphic design and make downloading stuff like movies more viable.

I'll likely put these 1-TB drives into it ... but the thing is I don't exactly understand how to configure and utilize a "Media / Scratch" Volume.

Any guidance on logical schemes for partitioning these drives would be much appreciated.

Last edited by ZAPPAR; Sep 16, 2010 at 03:53 AM. Reason: want to change the title
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Old Sep 17, 2010, 10:42 PM   #2
disconap
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Just curious, but why do you need to set up these partitions? The way OSX functions, partition schemes for cache and the like tend to actually SLOW the drive, which in that system is still going to be your biggest bottleneck. It sounds like you're coming from the Linux world, where this stuff is a tad more complicated; put in the simplest terms, OSX tends to handle all of these issues virtually, including gradual background defragmentation, so unless it's really slow for what you're doing, it's pretty unnecessary IMO. However:

My advice would be to set up a RAID0 with the two drives. I run a RAID0 in my G5, currently 2X320gb drives, so worlds slower than your 1TBs. I think you'll be more than satisfied with that configuration...

(or if you require redundancy beyond what Time Machine can do, you can always do a RAID1)

If you truly want to do it this way, I'd say make an 80-100gb (and this is just based on my always LOVING to leave tons of space for the system, you can make it much, much smaller, like 15gb) partition for the system, then just move and link your user folder to the larger partition. Install all your software to the second (or both if you're paranoid) partition in your user/applications folder (main partition would be the main applications folder). Then use your second drive for files (and if you want, make a small partition, 50-100gb, for Time Machine). But really that's mostly unnecessary, 10.5.8 is pretty stable, I just have a Time Machine drive backing up my main system and I've never had a problem, and my box has been frankensteined over the years...

EDIT: if you need a scratch volume for software specific things (like Photoshop), you can just use the second disk, or partition it however you like, just be sure to use the top half (the outer area) of the drive for scratch, and keep working files off the drive entirely (i.e., on your main/system/app drive or some other drive). The lag happens when reads and writes are going to/coming from the same drive, and when they're coming from separate partitions it's even worse, as the heads have to cross that barrier and then come back, putting more wear on them and eating up more time. You can read up on setting up a scratch disc for Photoshop at Adobe.com, it's a good primer for scratch disc usage in general. But again, with OSX and a G5 or Intel, it's mostly academic, and I'd suggest just keeping it simple and letting the system do the work, the hardware and software can easily handle it.
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Last edited by disconap; Sep 17, 2010 at 11:03 PM.
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