locked
SATA or PATA (IDE) for the first drive RRS feed

  • Question

  •  

    I have read slightly conflicting reports regarding on what isbest for the first drive.  There is another thread that has just started discuissig the size of th efirst drive (i.e the system drive)

     

    There seems to be some agrement in that anyhtign less than 100Gb is too small as it cnat accept the data being transferred on the WHS system, but anyhtign over 500 GB confuses the software.

     

    As such 500 GB is being seen as the best of two evils and is the most sensible size drive.

     

    But should it be SATA or PATA?  There are reports that those who have re-alancing issues have resolved some of these via changing the first drive to PATA.

     

    So before I re-install, should I invest in a 500 PATA drive?

     

    Any comments?

     

    Adrian

    Tuesday, December 4, 2007 2:24 PM

Answers

  • First, you have a misconception that I'd like to straighten out. Large system disks don't "confuse" Windows Home Server. And while smaller system disks may hamper very large transfers, they won't cripple the system until you get down close to the minimum spec. (And even then, you may find that normal use of your server isn't impacted, just initial loading.)

    Microsoft recommends that you use your largest disk as your system disk. If that's a 1 TB disk, that is still the recommendation. Your system disk, if you have multiple disks, will be used for several things.
    • It will function as a "landing zone" for files copied to your server (the actual files get written to the secondary disks, but the tombstones start out as large as the file itself).
    • It can be used to store files in shares flagged for duplication, if there's no room for those files on other disks.
    • It can be used to store components of the backup database, if there is no room on other disks.
    That's all theory. In reality, you can make do perfectly well with a system disk that's smaller than other disks in your system, as long as it's "large enough" and there's plenty of free space in your storage pool. "Large enough" is a nebulous concept, but in general the system disk needs to be large enough to hold all the data you're likely to copy to WHS in a reasonable period of time (several hours to a day). For most people, I think that's in the range of 300-400 GB. (A 500 GB drive is in the "sweet spot" for price per GB today, so 500 GB is probably preferable.)

    As for the question of SATA vs. PATA, there's no real advantage to a SATA drive today. There's no consumer drive that can sustain a transfer rate high enough to saturate the PATA bus, and other issues will prevent you from seeing the full performance of either technology in a network file server. So choose whichever technology suits your needs.

    Tuesday, December 4, 2007 5:01 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi,

     

    In my opinion, I don't know that there is a consensus as to the best size for the primary drive.  Personally, I think the answer is no less than 160GB - 1TB.  It's purely a matter of budget and expandability.

     

    Although it could be true, I have never heard of 500GB primary drive confusing WHS.

     

    Also looking towards the future, I would not invest today's dollars in "mature" technology (PATA) and stick with the technology of the near future SATA.  I would tend to think that any issues that can be addressed by making the primary drive a PATA connection instead of SATA are MB hardware/BIOS/Driver issues or some strange interaction between the SATA and PATA controllers; not WHS. 

     

    This is one more reason that I believe that keeping the hardware as up to date (not bleeding edge) and simple as possible is beneficial in the long run.  I would personally avoid mixing SATA and PATA drive for this reason alone.

     

    I believe that taking the Ellis Island approach to building and supporting a WHS will only result in frequent visits to this forum and Microsoft support.

    Tuesday, December 4, 2007 2:44 PM
  • First, you have a misconception that I'd like to straighten out. Large system disks don't "confuse" Windows Home Server. And while smaller system disks may hamper very large transfers, they won't cripple the system until you get down close to the minimum spec. (And even then, you may find that normal use of your server isn't impacted, just initial loading.)

    Microsoft recommends that you use your largest disk as your system disk. If that's a 1 TB disk, that is still the recommendation. Your system disk, if you have multiple disks, will be used for several things.
    • It will function as a "landing zone" for files copied to your server (the actual files get written to the secondary disks, but the tombstones start out as large as the file itself).
    • It can be used to store files in shares flagged for duplication, if there's no room for those files on other disks.
    • It can be used to store components of the backup database, if there is no room on other disks.
    That's all theory. In reality, you can make do perfectly well with a system disk that's smaller than other disks in your system, as long as it's "large enough" and there's plenty of free space in your storage pool. "Large enough" is a nebulous concept, but in general the system disk needs to be large enough to hold all the data you're likely to copy to WHS in a reasonable period of time (several hours to a day). For most people, I think that's in the range of 300-400 GB. (A 500 GB drive is in the "sweet spot" for price per GB today, so 500 GB is probably preferable.)

    As for the question of SATA vs. PATA, there's no real advantage to a SATA drive today. There's no consumer drive that can sustain a transfer rate high enough to saturate the PATA bus, and other issues will prevent you from seeing the full performance of either technology in a network file server. So choose whichever technology suits your needs.

    Tuesday, December 4, 2007 5:01 PM
    Moderator
  •  

    Cheers Ken,

     

    I sort of knew what yousaid..

     

    But your style of explaining made it much easier to understand, if that makes sense, so I thnk you.

     

    To behonest, I might  re-install with a 500 GB PATA drive, if for no other reason than it frees up a SATA port for other uses.

     

    My aim for the WHS system is to act as both a back up system, a server and a NAS, hence why I chose a motherbaord wiith 10 SATA connections!!

     

    But I want to use two or three of these SATA as DVD ripped HDD...

     

    Adrian

    Tuesday, December 4, 2007 7:02 PM
  • I have a question related to this topic. Is it recommended you mix SATA and PATA drives in the same machine?

     

    The motherboard I'm going to use for my Home Server has 2 SATA ports and 1 IDE port. I plan on purchasing 2 SATA drives (in the 320-500GB range) and I already have a 250G IDE HD I'd like to make use of in this machine. If I put in the 250G as the master and my DVD drive as the slave on the IDE port and install the 2 SATA drives will this cause any conflcts? Any recommendation on which drive should be my primary?

    Wednesday, December 12, 2007 4:23 PM
  • I am runnning these drives

     

    160Gb PATA (system drive)

    250Gb SATA

    40Gb PATA (came with the machine)

     

    I have had no disk related issues with WHS so I know you can mix SATA and PATA.

     

    Hope this helps!

     

    DF2

    Thursday, December 13, 2007 1:54 AM
  • Thanks for the input. I figured as such but always good to know for sure.

     

    Thursday, December 13, 2007 2:22 AM