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  #1  
Old 03-03-2000, 09:38 AM
u4s u4s is offline
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Default Disk drive maintenance questions

I was wondering if anyone could provide info on how to clean up and maintain an external audio drive.

Here's the set up:
G4 Mac
18 gig cheetah external audio drive with six partitions (3 gigs each).

Space is getting a little tight so I need to start moving data off of the audio drive. I also would like to defrag/clean up some of the partitions as well. I have been regularly backing up on CDROM and to my system drive but I've never actually had to completely wipe the original files from my audio drive before, at least not for a work in progress, and am a little nervous about doing this (is this the general practice)?

Assuming I need to do this, is it possible (or advisable)to either format or defrag only one or two partitions of a multi partitioned drive without affecting the other partitions. I've also heard the term 'reinitialize' thrown around. Is this preferred over defragging and/or formatting? I have the FWB program. Is this enough or do I need Norton, etc?

Any other tips for drive maintenance?

Thanks a bunch,
Wally

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  #2  
Old 03-03-2000, 04:30 PM
Gary Stadler Gary Stadler is offline
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Default Re: Disk drive maintenance questions

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">quote:<HR>Originally posted by Gary Stadler:
The classic problem, not enough space!!

If you have backed up everything at least TWICE (Ie same data on two separate CD's, etc) then it' probably good enough to just trash the stuff in one of your partitions and go from there. The best way to back up would be to afford another cheetah and copy the info to it- in addition to backing up, it will automatically defragment files in the process of copying. So will trashing all the files in a partition and copying back from a CD, to a great extent. I'd be nervous too if its' a work in progress...if you have any xtra dollars at all, just get another drive- right now on ebay you can get 18 gig cheetahs for $200-300 bucks from a seller named "hdoutlet"..it's worth the dollars to NOT risc loosing data!!

Others will possibly argue, but I have NO place in my life for Norton...it has caused me MANY more problems than it ever fixed, and if it's needed, there's something really wrong with your way of doing things in the first place... Defragmenting is OK, but slow and somewhat dangerous...much better to copy to another drive, and when the data is verified safe, copy back. This is much more failsafe than moving data around on a single drive without backup....

Another tip, if you don't do this, start now... keep ALL of your system and applications on one physical drive, and ALL of your data on other drives. NOT just different partitions- use totally separate drives. This will insure the most bullet-proof operation, and if you ever have a crash it will, 99% of the time, affect only your system drive and not the data.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

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  #3  
Old 03-03-2000, 05:53 PM
generator generator is offline
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Default Re: Disk drive maintenance questions

If you do use Norton to defragment your drive, be sure to have Disk Warrior (Alsoft) handy.
I've had Major Screwed Up Directories using Norton...which were saved from oblivion, by rebuilding with Disk Warrior.
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  #4  
Old 03-05-2000, 12:18 AM
Jonny Atack Jonny Atack is offline
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Default Re: Disk drive maintenance questions

Couldn't agree more with Gary above.
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  #5  
Old 03-05-2000, 07:20 AM
[Benjamin] [Benjamin] is offline
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Default Re: Disk drive maintenance questions

It took me a while to work this out, so even if you all know theese procedures by heart, I figured it wont hurt to go over them again:
-Yes, as Gary sais, use a completely separate drive for system & applications, and not only for the reasons already noted, but also so you can freely initialize (format) your audio drive/s when backed up.

For backing up your sessions to CD I find this method safe & sound:
Make sure you've got an empty partition (or a partition from which you've not trashed anything since it was initialized. Open your session, if you're confident that you've got all you want from the session in the playlist, you can safely use the "selected unused" comando, and the "clear selected" commando, but choose REMOVE from session, not delete from disk. If you have playlists that are not used in the session, you may want to get rid of them aswell before running the above procedure. Now, use the "save session copy" command in the file menu (saving audiofiles and all, but not necesarily the root plugin settings, since they can take up quite a lot of space) Save the session copy to the clean partition. Close your session, BUT DON'T SAVE. Open the session copy, check that it's fine, back it up.
For the second backup (or CD backup) I suggest you use the compress files command to get rid of the unused audio in your regions/files. But don't use this command on the original, and don't chuck the original until you've verified that the "compressed copy" is fine. (As you probably already know, this is not data-compression, just getting rid of unused audio)

When initializing/formatting disks, DO NOT USE the low level formatting option. Digi sais no to this aswell. It can reduce life-length on disks. Normally, quick initialize is fine, but if you need to get heavy on a disk, initialize it with apples disktool 1.7.3 or higher, select "zero all data" in the formatting options, but, again, not the low-level format option. You only use low-level formatting if you are changing disk-allocation system (like moving a disk from mac to unix). Then just write new drivers with FWB (3 or higher) for the audio disk/s However, I don't recomend FWB for system/application disks, use the apple utility for that. And a last important note when initializing disks: Don't initialize all the space on a disk, always leave a couple hundred K or more free, in case you need to write a new driver/update your driver without initializing partitions. I tend to leave 2mb or so free, to be safe.

About defragging: Don't, there's no need, and it's a hazardous process. Defragging the system/application volume/s at times can be a good idea, but not the audio-drive/s. If you want optimum performance, you should never delete any files on the volume your working on. Do as I described above for backup, and under normal circumstances you'd be able to carry out a project without running out of workspace anyway, at least if you keep up with your house cleaning duties from time to time. And once you've got the session copies backed up, you can just empty the work-partition - throwing it all in the waste is actually enough, but from time to time it's a good idea to empty all partitions on a disk, and reinitializing it.

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  #6  
Old 03-06-2000, 05:34 AM
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Will Russell Will Russell is offline
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Default Re: Disk drive maintenance questions

I'm not trying to be a jerk here, but it sounds to me like you don't really have a backup system in place. CDs just don't cut it. IMHO you need to take backup seriously and get some sort of tape backup system. Do an incremental backup to 2 different tape sets after every session. This way, you can initialize the drive and restore the files, which will be de-fragmented when they are restored.

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  #7  
Old 03-06-2000, 08:31 AM
Gary Stadler Gary Stadler is offline
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Default Re: Disk drive maintenance questions

Agreed, Will, CD's are tough candidates if you have a LOT of data...but tape is so frigging slow! Lately I got myself a 50 gig cheetah...I simply back to it every day- it's fast...and when the project is over, I stick it on a different machine altogether and let it take it's time to write Dat tapes...but if you don't have massive amounts of data, or are using CD's for backup of the system drive which oughta not be over 650mb anyway, they're fine. I certianly agree about two copies though, which my cheetah scheme will not do.
Interesting though- in all my years I've NEVER had a data drive corrupted...I've had the bearings give out once which killed the drive, and a self-inflicted failure when I forced the power plug into one backwards (duh!!) but otherwise, NEVER any data lost on an "audio data-only" drive...I'd be curious if anyone else out there has lost any audio data but ***ONLY*** people who keep audio separpate drives from the system/apps....
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  #8  
Old 03-06-2000, 10:54 AM
u4s u4s is offline
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Default Re: Disk drive maintenance questions

Thanks for the advice. One follow up. . .

can you initialize one partition on a multi-partition drive without initializing the others or do you have to do the whole drive at the same time? If you can do this, is it advisable?

-Wally
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  #9  
Old 03-09-2000, 06:01 PM
Steve Rosenthal Steve Rosenthal is offline
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Default Re: Disk drive maintenance questions

Speer,

Low-level formatting won't necessarily reduce the life of the drive -- I think that's a misunderstanding. It is risky in that a power loss during a low-level format can render the drive brain-dead. (I've had it happen on a couple of occasions. Bad news.)

That having been said, low-level formatting is generally unnecessary. True, if you have bad blocks it's the only way to reallocate them. However, if your drive is producing bad blocks, it almost always indicates impending catastrophic failure (head crash, bad media, servo tracking failure, etc.) and means you should replace the drive.

This information comes from Seagate, Quantum, IBM, and Avid Storage Engineering.

Hope this clears things up.



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