Separate partition for a scratch disc

SS
Posted By
Susan_S.
Dec 16, 2003
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1163
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15
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As my imac has suddenly started kernel panicking, Apple has advised me to reformat the hard drive and reinstall the OS….so I’m going to upgrade to 10.3 in the process

If I’m going to do that, I was considering rejigging the drive a bit – does anyone know whether there will be much of an advantage having a separate partition dedicated to a scratch disc for elements? And if so how big? (I have a 40Gb harddrive).

And are there any other good reasons to put stuff on separate partitions?

While I’ve done a reformat before, that was when my disc was not full of files…it’s a bit scarey – I think I’ve backed everything up…..

Susan S.

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PL
Paul_L_UK
Dec 16, 2003
Susan

Your scratch disk would be better on a second partition (or drive) You will only ever use it when your RAM is fully utilised. The place for the scratch disk is better kept clean, or un-used, so that read/writes are not constatly searching for niches to put themselves into.

On mine, I have an 80G main drive, and a 30G secondary. The scratch disk is set for the secondary, and the only thing on it is an image of the main drive, with the OS, drivers, major programmes and settings for ISP etc. This takes up about 17G, which leaves 13G of defragmented space (overkill, but hey!!!). If I ever have a problem, I can get a new hard drive fully configured in about an hour. It is something I would highly recommend. (Ghost or Powerquest Drive Image for Win, dunno for Mac, but I bet someone does)

I would not recommend more than two partitions, the second one being small, in your case (30/10 or 33/7). There have been cases where people have made one partition for their OS, one for programmes, one for files, etc etc. To me, makes life too hard. One for everything, and one for back-up/scratch, easy life.

Hope that give you some help, if only going to sleep reading it.

Paul
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Redmondite
Dec 16, 2003
Paul’s comments are right on as far as they go. Whether the scratch area is in the same partition or a separate partition on the same drive doesn’t affect the speed – you’re still dealing with a single drive.

If you’re looking for speed then you need a second physical drive. By putting in a second drive for your scratch area (and system virtual memory while you’re at it) you should see a fair speed increase. On IDE systems the drives should be on separate cables to give you the best throughput.

wrote in message
As my imac has suddenly started kernel panicking, Apple has advised me to
reformat the hard drive and reinstall the OS….so I’m going to upgrade to 10.3 in the process
If I’m going to do that, I was considering rejigging the drive a bit –
does anyone know whether there will be much of an advantage having a separate partition dedicated to a scratch disc for elements? And if so how big? (I have a 40Gb harddrive).
And are there any other good reasons to put stuff on separate partitions?
While I’ve done a reformat before, that was when my disc was not full of
files…it’s a bit scarey – I think I’ve backed everything up…..
Susan S.
CG
Chris_G_French
Dec 16, 2003
In message ,
writes
I would not recommend more than two partitions, the second one being small, in your case (30/10 or 33/7). There have been cases where people have made one partition for their OS, one for programmes, one for files, etc etc. To me, makes life too hard.

I find it makes life easier if I have such an arrangement 🙂

I have 3 partitions for OS’s (Win98, Win2k and Linux) – though Win98 hasn’t been booted for sometime now.

I also have partitions for data, and programs , and the swap file. I alos a have separate HDD for video.

Chris French
BB
Barbara_Brundage
Dec 17, 2003
Susan, it’s a trade-off. Your scratch disk would like a second partition and it’s also nice to have a back-up system lurking there somewhere just in case, but on the other hand, X likes as much room as it can get.
WE
Wendy_E_Williams
Dec 17, 2003
Susan,

We have a few partitions OS9, OSX plus three others and found it really useful when we had major problems with OS9. It made it easy to just wipe the partition and do a reinstall.

I agree with Barbara about the backups … we now use part of the LaCie drive for that but before we bought the LaCie we used yet another partiton.

Wendy
SS
Susan_S.
Dec 18, 2003
I’ve ended up with two partitions – a small one for the scratch disc, with everything else on the other. And on the Lacie I’ve split it into two, one to back up the imac drive and one for other storage – stuff I can easily replace (MP3s mainly) or things that are backed up on CD. The combination of new OS and the scratch partition seem to have perked Elements up a little.

Susan S.
JG
Julio_Guerra
Dec 18, 2003
I am going to setup a second Hard Drive – 80gig. I will use it for music files (My kid is getting an mp3 player for Christmas) I will want to dedicate another partition on the second drive for Elements scratch disk. What is the "right" amount of space to allocate for the scratch disk? Thanks
Julio
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Ray
Dec 18, 2003
Julio,

In my opinion (I may be wrong), I don’t believe partionning the second hard drive will help boost the performance, since putting your scratch disk on this other drive is already the best thing to do. The best thing is to keep Windows’ and Elements’ temporary space (scratch files / swap files) on another disk, that is what you’ll be doing. Save yourself the trouble, don’t partition 🙂

Ray
R
Redmondite
Dec 18, 2003
A separate partition on the second drive will make it easier to keep the temp files from fragmenting (which hurts performance) but the best reason to isolate them to their own partition is that you can delete any straglers without running the risk of deleting valuable files.

If you do go with a single partition just watch your free space and defrag weekly (or more often).

PS: My gut guess is to leave yourself at least 4 GB. If you tend to open more than one or two big images at once then go to 8 or 12 GB. In my case I once had two reasonablly large files (60-110 mb TIFF’s) open and ran out of temp disk space with over 3.5 GB of (initially) free space.

wrote in message
I am going to setup a second Hard Drive – 80gig. I will use it for music
files (My kid is getting an mp3 player for Christmas) I will want to dedicate another partition on the second drive for Elements scratch disk. What is the "right" amount of space to allocate for the scratch disk? Thanks
Julio
SS
Susan_S.
Dec 18, 2003
Ray – on a Mac there is no defrag tool included on the OS. So one possible reason for keeping the scrach disc on a separate partition like that is to avoid it getting fragmented (if you don’t want to pay out for a third party utility). I believe Elements prefers the scratch space all in one lump… I’ve read on the mac forums that Panther performs defragging on the fly for smaller files (less than 20Mb) so maybe it’s not really necessary – but I’m not sure whether this is true.

Susan S.
SS
Susan_S.
Dec 18, 2003
I guess the other issue is can I use my fire wire drive as a scratch disc (well I know I can – the question is is it any better than using a partition on my imac’s own hard drive?)

I suppose trying it and seeing if there is any difference might be the way to go!

Susan S.
BB
brent_bertram
Dec 18, 2003
Susan,
I suspect that your firewire drive is slower than your internal drive, so might be a poor choice for a scratch disk. That is the case , at least, for my system ( a Win2k box ) using a USB2.0 external hard drive. It’s speed is not up to the standard of my internal drives. I also heartily subscribe to your belief that one major value of a dedicated scratch disk partition is the fragmentation issue. The dedicated partition is always pristine <G> .

🙂

Brent
BB
Barbara_Brundage
Dec 18, 2003
Susan, if you are using Panther now, that automatically defrags all files 20MB or smaller, so fragmentation shouldn’t be an issue unless you are working with lots of REALLY big files.
SS
Susan_S.
Dec 18, 2003
Barbara – that’s good -I don’t have a *lot* of big files…..I don’t do digital video for example, but I do have quite a few largish psds – some of my multilayered image files are well over 20mb…particulalry mulitlayered full size panoramas. I know that since I reformatted my drive the internal discdrive has stopped making those horrible crunchng "where on earth are those files i’m looking for?" noises so it probably was pretty fragmented running 10.1 for two years.

It does seem a small scratch disc only partition probably isn’t really necessary with 10.3, but won’t hurt (given I’ve already put it there, have quite a lot of available space and don’t plan to reformat for a while if I can help it!)

Susan S.
R
Ray
Dec 19, 2003
I agree with Brent on this one : an external drive might be slower, and consequently, slowing Elements.

Ray

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