badtz

Reformatting and Reinstalling OS the best way: higher STR on the disc?

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When you format a HD and install an OS, where does the OS begin writing to on the HD?

Does it write on the outer perimeter of the platter, or the interior and work its way out?

Does it write on all of the platters at once, or does it skip to the next platter AFTER the first platter is full?

Would formatting first, then installing ensure the fastest speed for the OS, since an upgrade might fragment the OS files all over the place?

thanks :) hope these questions make sense :P

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Win XP and I'm sure Vista too optimises the OS's disk location to ensure the fastest performance. Do you ever notice your hard disk just spinning randomly for long periods of time even when you are doing no work? Thats probably optimisation taking place. The files that are accessed the most are written to the faster outer sectors.

I've also been told that you can also make partition your hard disk to make the OS run faster. C: always be created on the faster outer sectors. This is refuted by some in this forum, who say Windows XP will optimise itself anyway, and excessive partitioning can actually slow things down... I don't know who to believe...

Edited by student

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Does HDs start writing to the outer part of the platter first and make it's way in? Or the other way around? And which part is the faster part? (i assume the outer part)

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If I'm not mistaken, the outside of the platter is the fastest for sequential transfer rates.

However, the inside of the platter is fastest for access time -- so if you have a lot of small little OS files, or frequently-accessed swap file, etc -- the inside is the fastest. It depends on how you're using the computer, most of all.

If I'm wrong, someone please correct me.

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Guest 888
If I'm not mistaken, the outside of the platter is the fastest for sequential transfer rates.

However, the inside of the platter is fastest for access time -- so if you have a lot of small little OS files, or frequently-accessed swap file, etc -- the inside is the fastest. It depends on how you're using the computer, most of all.

If I'm wrong, someone please correct me.

Yes, outer tracks are the fastest (for STR), they're approx 2 times faster than inner tracks. And the outer edge is just where by default the installation also starts (also the first partition).

About access time there's no difference if it is performed on outer or inner tracks - the width of the track is always the same and skipping N tracks results the same time in both cases... Also the latency is the same in both edges.

Access times depend primarily on the skipping width (number of tracks to be skipped).

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If OS installation starts on the outer platter, would STR speeds make it perform any "snappier"?

My question stems from the fact that OS X has an "archive and install" option, and when it does this I'm afraid the newer OS X install will become fragmented all over the place (thus affecting system performance).

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so by default, things are written to the outer sectors and make its way to the inner sectors before it goes to the next platter?

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Guest 888
so by default, things are written to the outer sectors and make its way to the inner sectors before it goes to the next platter?

No, the heads are constantly switching (between all of the platters and plattersides) after every some few tracks read.

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so by default, things are written to the outer sectors and make its way to the inner sectors before it goes to the next platter?

No, the heads are constantly switching (between all of the platters and plattersides) after every some few tracks read.

So, you never know exactly where your data was written to?

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You won't notice the difference... Just defrag once in a while.

I'm more curious from a technical perspective what's going on [out of curiosity]

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