question about use of scratch drive

Discussion in 'Mac Help/Tips' started by Maclicious, Mar 4, 2003.

  1. Maclicious macrumors regular

    Maclicious

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle
    #1
    I've seen various people note that it is a good idea to use a 'scratch drive', or seperate firewire drive if making movies with iMovie or Final Cut Pro. Can someone explain to this newbie movie maker why this is a good idea? Thanks!!!
     
  2. strider42 macrumors 65816

    strider42

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    #2
    whether it be an external drive or a separate partition a scratch disk is a good idea.

    things like graphics and video programs especially, but also other programs, use scratch files. these are temporary files. By nature, they tend to be large and constantly change. Files like that tend to corrupt the directory pretty fast. Separating them will prevent that damage from affecting anything important. In essence, it gives you a disk you can just thrash, erase whenever you want. I also put my browser cache and downloads on my scratch partition, as they have similar qualities to scratch files (they change often and are temporary)

    There is also something ot be said for the disk not having to search all over the disk because the files got fragmented. by limiting where they can be the disk doesn't have to work as hard finding the file, potentially making some things faster.
     
  3. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
    Location:
    iowa
    #3
    files accessed from a separate disk are faster, because the OS is reading and writing to the disk, as is the program itself, and if your files are on a separate disk, that disk's read/write heads are devoted to the file you're working with. Having it on a separate disk also reduces fragmentation, which occurs when files are broken up because of high disk use. That's why partitions are still a good idea for scratch, even if you don't have an external or separate drive.

    I don't use FCP, but i have a separate FW disk that's partitioned into 4 disks, leaving the OS and *only* the OS on the internal HD... there's minimal fragmentation occurring, and the computer can simultanously use both read/write heads, rather than doing one thing at a time.

    did that make sense at all? :)
    pnw
     
  4. Maclicious thread starter macrumors regular

    Maclicious

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle
    #4
    Thanks, this is great! I appreciate the time.

    So, fragmentation, in and of itself is bad--anything new on the horizon as far as defragmentation software goes? I used to do this all the time in OS 9, but with the warnings I hear against Norton, am a little leery of using that program (which is what I used to use). Do you guys use any actual defragmentation software, or do you just periodically do clean installs on your system drive?
     
  5. FattyMembrane macrumors 6502a

    FattyMembrane

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2002
    Location:
    bat country
    #5
    drive10 and diskwarrior (classic but still works on HFS+) have defragmenters.

    now for a question of my own...
    i'm going to purchase a new internal hd (i'd get an external and have 2 but paying $100 for an enclosure is too much) and need some info on partitioning it. i'm planning on having 4 partitions (is this too many for a boot disk?), the os and applications, a backup partition, a partition for the swap file (supposedly it improves performance a bit), and a scratch partition. since i will not be storing anything other than the swap file on my "swap" partition, can i name it ".swap" and make invisible to the finder? also, would you recommend storing all of my apps on a separate partition from the os? thanks
     
  6. strider42 macrumors 65816

    strider42

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    #6
    I don't like norton, but its got by far the best defragmentation software out there. I prefer diskwarrior as a routine utility.

    frankly I don't even find fragmentation to be a major problem. macs handle it pretty well, and by partitioning the frequently changing items on the scratch disk, the rest of the drive stays pretty intact for the most part, particularly the OS, which has its own partition for the most part.
     

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