My Promise EX8350 should arrive any day now, at which point I'll rebuild my PC from scratch. I've 4x Western Digital Caviar 320 GB SATA II drives to plug into it, in a RAID 5 config giving 960 GB usable space, most of which will be in a large network file share. I'll also keep a 60 GB and a 100 GB IDE drive plugged in (to the motherboard's IDE controller - no RAID). Other specs below FYI.
I need to install WinXP both 32 and 64 bit editions (although I've got 64 bit drivers for all my components, some of the software my company uses won't run on the 64 bit edition), so they'll be on two partitions.
What I'm stuck on is whether to create the two OS partitions on the EX8350 RAID drive, or on the separate 100 GB IDE drive. Obviously installing on the EX8350 is going to give faster access, making booting up, accessing the swap file and just about everything else faster.
What I'm nervous about with this is that having to reformat & reinstall Windows periodically is inevitable, I probably end up doing this about every 1-2 years. In 2 years time when I need to reinstall the OSes, I really don't want to have to touch the main 800ish GB partition on the EX8350. But if I delete the two OS partitions, won't WinXP setup then recognize the 800ish GB partition as the C: drive and subsequently screw up the installation because the 800ish GB partition is on a later part of the drive (where would it put boot.ini? on the existing C: drive, which wouldn't be the first partition on the disk (doesn't boot.ini always have to be on the first partition) or on the new D: drive (doesn't boot.ini always have to be on C:?), the whole thing just sounds a mess)
Alternatives I can think of are to either a) install the OSes on the 100 GB IDE drive (I don't care about fault tolerance of the OSes, if they die I just slap in another drive and reinstall... all my data will be safe on the RAID drive). or create the 800 GB partition first as C:, so it has boot.ini on it and will be at the start of the drive, and then WinXP 32-bit will be on D: and WinXP 64-bit will be on E:?
Thanks for any comments/suggestions
MB: Asus A8N-E
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3000+
RAM: 768 MB
GFX: BFGTech 7900 GTX OC 512mb
Edited by Implode, 23 January 2007 - 10:54 AM.