Adding a second hard drive for audio

Hi, I’ve been reading alot lately on setting up a dedicated audio workstation and almost everyone recommends having two hard drives installed; 1 for programs and the other for audio files.
I’m considering doing this but am not sure it’s possible with my current pc. I’ve noticed that my power supply doesn’t have any available connectors left on it. Would I need to get a new power supply as well or is there some kind of adapter/extension cable I can get? Just want to make sure before I make any hardware upgrades. :) Thanks all.

Hi n-newb:
There’s plenty of clever computer/DAW guys up here, and around this Board… I shouldn’t even be on their turf, replying to your post…

But being the guy I am… I’ll get in their way… lol… :p

You’re going in the right direction… You’ll probably get questions thrown at you… Like… Check your Power Supply… See if you can find out some specs, printed on it… The beefier-the-better… Mabey, at least a 350 watt rateing… if-not-higher… You probably have a CD Burner… mabey even a DVD Burner, as well…

There are a couple of “Camps” regarding how to “Wire-them -Up”. Some will say, install the drives on the Primary IDE Port as primary and secondary Drives. Some will say Install the drives on different IDE Ports… as Both being Primary Drives … each on their own IDE Port…

However, if they are on the same IDE Port … the drives should have the same DMA Rateing… That way… the drives will be “Matched” e.g. They will have the identical DATA Through-Put spec… If not… the drives will have the speed of the “lowest” Data Through-Put Speed… Both Drives should have a rateing of at least 7200rpm disk speed and have 8 meg. of Buffer/Cashe… The Main Board and BIOS Set-up should be able to recogionize Drives, with these rateings… If they don’t you might-as-well start at “Square-One” and build a new computer… The MainBoard should be able to accept nice “Matched” RAM of at least 512 meg… If not… more-or higher… Mabey 1 gig… The RAM is good for doing Editing and running Plug-ins, and all…

At least… those are some of the issues I would look at when Upgrading your DAW… The REAL computer Guys up here will set us both, on the right Path…

You’re looking at getting into a nice DAW Upgrade Project…
:;): :O

Bill…

Eyup!

What Bill said…
If you have a modern rig and fast hard drives it seems less important to put your audio drive on the second IDE channel as a master.
As for power supplies, I would suspect that if you have no spare connectors then it would be wise to upgrade. Be careful of fan noise though!

Steve

Can you tell us more about your computer, i.e., the motherboard, what drives are in it now, how old it is, etc? You will need a new power supply to add an internal drive but that might not be the best route if you have an older computer because alot has changed. You might considering getting an external drive.

Hi guys, thanks for the replies.

Bill, alot of what you said went right over my head :laugh:
I’ll have to read into that as I’m not much of a techy. I appreciate the information.

My computer has an Asus A7N8XE - Dexluxe NForce 2 motherboard. The power supply is an Antec True Blue 480W. The hard drive is Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 120 GB. It’s probably a few years old now. I was hoping I wouldn’t need to get a new power supply. Maybe I’ll just keep the current config for now.

Hi n-newb:
That Power supply sounds just fine. IMO… However, I’m not sure about What “Camp” you’re in… I find myself in the Intel Camp… If your processor is an AMD, well then some of the other guys up here may be able to help you with your choices and decissions, regarding what you may have to consider when adding-and-upgrading… to your set-up… I’m stuck with intel P-111’s ASUS mainboards and just poor working everything… to do with Audio DAW’ing… I have an Intel P-4. but I find I’m not much better off with that machine… All I know is, I know when the set-up I have is not doing what I want it to do, when I’m doing something and I can’t persuade the set-up… to do it…

I worked with a guy… His favourite saying was… Anything I hate is… Something I don’t like… :O :p

There’s lots of "Catch 22’s when you’re around this DAW stuff… One is… The moment you “Flash-Up” your new set-up… It’s outta Date…

I have a perfect relationship with my set-up… It works perfectlly, when I’m playing with it… When I wantta get Creative/Serious and put it to work… It don’t do what I want it to… ??? :O Why would that BE?? :p I feed it everyday…

Bill…

I think I actually have the same board and power supply and I JUST got my A+ certification two days ago so I’ll chime in :)
Your board is a pretty good board and I don’t think it needs to be replaced quite yet .

I’m surprised you don’t have any available connectors, if you really don’t, and you have two optical drives (cd/dvd roms) EACH using one power connector, you may wish to get a “y” adapter for the power supply 4 pin molex connecter and hook up the cd/dvd to each end of the y adapter, and use the newly “open” connector for an additional harddrive. Your wattage should be pretty good so I wouldn’t worry about that.

As for the IDE placement… If you plan on placing both drives on the same IDE channel (you have two channels/connectors-each with two connectors on the cable for a total of four IDE devices) You will want to find drives with identical DMA ratings as mentioned above. For example, get two UDMA 133’s or 100’s, or whatever. IF they are different, you will only go as fast as the slowest one. (your harddrive is a UDMA 133 as far as I can see)

If you place them on two DIFFERENT channels, set each drive as master, and place your cd/dvd roms as slaves. You’ll be able to run at full speed, UNLESS you’re using the optical drives at the same time, in which case you’ll run at the speed of your optical drive. But in most cases they will be sitting idle. In this scenario you could get a BETTER harddrive than your first one in case your first one is not that good and still run them both at full speed.

Be aware that SOMETIMES your IDE devices won’t like each other. In which case you’ll need to switch them around a little until they work, or worse case scenario, replace something so they play nice. I’m not sure of the specs or your current drive, but you may want to just get an identical drive for simplification.
If I’m not mistaken your board can do SATA, so you may wish to look into a SATA hard drive due to its 150MB/sec speed and plus you don’t have to fuss with the IDE stuff.

Now maybe some people with more experience can chime in on the best formatting,partioning, and cluster size for his new drive.

It also seems strange to me that you have no more power cables left on that power supply. That board is not for sale now so I couldn’t find out much about it. I was just curious what drives it took, ATA100, 133 or 150?