cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Master and Slave - are there any rules?

N/A

Master and Slave - are there any rules?

Being only vaguely PC literate I've just completed what to me was a fairly stressfull (although event free) procedure of replacing my 60Gb hard drive with a faster and bigger (120 Gb) master, and keeping my 60Gb drive as a slave. All is well. The master HDD has Windows ME on it and will be used for all programme files, whilst the slave is formatted with no OS present and purely in place to hold data.

I've done this largely intuitively :roll: and have a few questions that I would very much appreciate some help with:

Are there any rules of thumb, or common sense, about which disk to have as the master and which as the slave. I've assumed that the larger, faster disk should be the master - is this crazy talk?

I've read a few things about disk partitioning. Do I need to partition either or both of my drives, and if so what are the benefits?

Thanks.
14 REPLIES
N/A

Master and Slave - are there any rules?

There is no rule that says your faster or larger disk needs to be the master disk. The master disk is controlled by a number of factors; jumper settings on each hard disk, bios configuration and finally which Ide cable you use. The rest is common sense, nothing more.

Partitioning your hard disk is no longer the issue that it used to be since XP and ME can cope with much larger capacity drives. However the amount you can store on the drive is governered to some degree by the size of the partition and whether your drive is formatted to Fat16, Fat32 or NTFS.

Also If you format your entire drive as one single partition, you will find you can store less than if you had two partitions of equal size on the drive.

Personally, I'd create 3 partitions on your 160 GB drive, one for Win ME, the second for your data and finally one, just large enough for your swap/page file.
You might need to check if ME will allow you to specify the location of your swap file.

Hope this makes some sense, if not I'll try and explain it better and in more depth.

Cheers,

Aaron
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,181
Thanks: 19
Fixes: 2
Registered: 31-07-2007

Master and Slave - are there any rules?

Master/Slave IDE ports are more an issue for CD/DVD writers. Most have to be in the master position, so have to occupy the Second IDE's master port as the First IDE Master should be your Windows HDD. But in general it doesn't really matter just for 2 HDD's.
Unvalued customer since 2001 funding cheap internet for others / DSL/Fibre house move 24 month regrade from 8th May 2017
N/A

Master and Slave

Thanks both for your replies (thatwas very quick!).

Gadgetboy - I'm a little embarassed to ask this but....what is a swap file and why would I want a separate partition for it? Shockedops: And while I'm asking - what is the best way to partition my drives - fdisk looks pretty straightforward?
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,181
Thanks: 19
Fixes: 2
Registered: 31-07-2007

Master and Slave - are there any rules?

Partioning in general makes windows faster because the windows partion doesn't get fragmented as quickly against having everything just on one partion/HDD.

Fdisk is ok for partioning if your happy with it, but would recommend you get the trial version of Partion Magic simply as its easy to use.

The swap file is the HDD file that windows makes when it runs out of physical ram and needs to use another medium to store information for processing. So its best if you create a 750mb or 1gig partion just for it and set windows to use a 500mb or 750mb fixed size swap file aka virtual memory in that partion only. Usually its in the root of C: so eventually slows windows down hence giving its own partion.

As for games and applications same reason as for the Swap file, they use the HDD more than windows will so slow it down if installed in C: So best to have a seperate partion for each.

Windows needs about 6 gig too 10gig for its partion depending on the windows version. So then split the rest of the HDD in to what you think Applications ; Games ; Storage; Swap file will need
Unvalued customer since 2001 funding cheap internet for others / DSL/Fibre house move 24 month regrade from 8th May 2017
N/A

Master and Slave - are there any rules?

Just out of interest, how does a fixed size swap file in C:\ slow Windows down?

I've always assumed that as long as the size is fixed (min size = max size) there's no fragmentation involved and therefore no loss of performance.
N/A

Master and Slave - are there any rules?

Using a min/max size for swap does not prevent fragmentation, it only reduces it.

This reserves a portion of the disk MAX size, for the specific purpose of swap. No other files can be stored there.

However, will all the reads and writes made to swap, the swap area itself can become fragmented, especialy after it has been running some time, or performing a lot of memory intensive applications/multitasking.
N/A

Master and Slave - are there any rules?

Ah, right. But in that case the location is neither here nor there, provided its on the fastest disk. Internal fragmentation will occur wherever the swap file is.

It was the effect of relocating the swap file (assuming it was a fixed size) away from C:\ that I did not understand.
N/A

Master and Slave - are there any rules?

To help avoid defragmentation of the swap file, set both the max and min to the same size. Best to set it to 1.5 x your physically ram.
N/A

Master and Slave - are there any rules?

This will still cause fragmentation of the swap file.

Using a minimum and max allows for it to dynamicly resize and free swaped memory of the fly. When load is low, it can ditch some of the old data.

This is very good on a average system.

However, with min/max the same, ther eis nothing to dynamicly free, and after a period of inactivity, swap will still need to free some space to grab some.
N/A

Master and Slave - are there any rules?

I read somewhere that it was better to set both to the same and rougly 1.5 times your physical ram. Since the swap file was cleared of old data, every time it need to use it.

If 1.5 will do for the max setting, what should be the min?
N/A

Master and Slave - are there any rules?

I've read the same about the 1.5 times ram size, although I use the Windows "recommended" value in the dialog where you change it, which I think is the same.

The main benefit I'm aware of with min = max is you never get the situation where Windows is unable to allocate virtual memory, which would lock up the machine.

Regarding internal fragmentation of the swap file, I assume this is cleared with a reboot. Potential file fragmentation with different min / max values will persist until a defrag utility is run.
willow147
Grafter
Posts: 97
Registered: 12-08-2007

Master and Slave - are there any rules?

Also, wouldn't it be better to place the swap file on a different drive altogther, instead of a different partition on the same drive.

That way the swap file has different read heads so there will be no contention with the read heads for you main os/applications drive.
N/A

Master and Slave - are there any rules?

Yes, it would.

Cut it would need to be on the secondry Bus.

As primary master and slave share the primary bus, they share the same data bottlenecks. So to keep two seperate data transfers, you need to seperate them.

That is only fo the reaons they say you should have a CD writter on a different BUS to the source drive.
N/A

Master and Slave - are there any rules?

swap files are pointless if you have more than a gig of ram Smiley cos they usualy are about 700meg - 1 gig in size and just increase wear on ur drive due to read / write ing increase.

also

you may want to set ur smaller drive as ur OS drive, and use the large disk as the storage, that way ur 60 gig stays "empty" of clutter and thus windows will boot faster.