> I will make this as short as I can but I donít even know where to startÖ
> I purchased a Fantom Drives 1 TB GreenDrive and connected it to my
> laptop (HP Pavilion dv7 notebook with Vista 64) using an eSATA cable
> because it supposedly makes a major difference in transfer speeds. The
> drive is no faster than with a USB cable, so I googled to find info
> about slow eSATA transfers and read through a LOT of posts on different
> forums & now Iím more confused than ever! I found that I needed to
> format the drive to NTFS, so I did. I read that I need to create
> partitions (or that creating them will make things run faster) but I
> really donít know how to do that or why. THEN I read to use HD Tune to
> check the speed of the drive which tested at a maximum of 79 MB/sec. So
> I looked for more info on making it faster. Then I looked at my device
> manager and the hard drive isnít even listed on there. I have another
> external hard drive (a smaller one thatís a FAT32 that I am returning)
> connected up with a USB cable and that is listed but not the new one.
> The new one shows up when I open My Computer to save files but itís not
> in the device manager or the computer manager. Now I see all this stuff
> about checking BIOS & making sure all the settings are correct for eSATA
> on my laptop, which I know nothing about. So like I said, I donít even
> know where to start with my questions. I just want to know in laymanís
> terms (is there such a thing? Where I donít have to go from one
> Wikipedia definition to 15 more) how to connect the external hard drive
> to my laptop via eSATA and have it operate at the 300 MB/sec that itís
> supposed to. I also want to make sure itís formatted and set up to get
> the best/safest performance as well, though. Sorry for the book but my
> head is seriously spinning and I donít know what to do. Is there a
> forum for dummies like me to get simple information about these things?
> God I hope soÖÖ
> PLEASE HELP!?
There's a lot of marketing hype out there about TRANSFER RATES.
However the thing that most of the time limits disk access speed is arm
movement and rotational delay. Only after these two things have taken
place with the actual data transfer take place. The limited exception
to this is when the data is in the relatively small cache. A 16 meg
cache might sound big to some, but compared to a TERABYTE, it's a drop
in the bucket, so in most cases you're stuck with seek time and
rotational delay being the critical factors. And when these two things
have gotten you to the right spot on the disk, you've still got to
transfer the data into memory, which again is limited by the rotational
speed of the disk (usually 7200 RPM). So yes the TRANSFER RATE with
eSATA can be faster than USB, but the disk doesn't spin any faster
regardless, nor does the access arm (seeking) move any faster.
Now regarding NTFS, once you get above about 8 gig, using FAT32
becomes incredibly ineffecient, wasting more and more space because
"cluster" size increases until it can waste a ton of disk space to store
small amounts of stuff.
Finally partitioning. It does NOT speed things up. In fact if you
frequently access stuff across multiple partitions, you've got to move
the access arm further, slowing everything down. The main advantage to
partitioning is separation of things like software and data. This is
particularly convenient for things like backup/restore and reorgs. If
you keep all your software on C: and your data on say E:, then you can
backup your C: and reorg it relatively infrequently, since it doesn't
change as fast as your data. And when you back up or reorg your data,
you don't have to do it to your C: partition. It's very convenient, and
the backups and reorgs go faster (a tradeoff with the increased seek
time if you have to move between C: and E: frequently).
Clear as mud? Welcome to disk management! :-)