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I have a 1TB hard disk, and it has three platters.

If I make three partition on each platter (where partitions C:, F:, and I: will be on the starting part of each platter) and I install as follows:

  • OS and some software on C:
  • Games on F:
  • Various other graphics software on I:

will this improve starting time of OS, games and graphics software because each platter has their own r/w head?

Am I right or do hard disks work in different manner?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

While you are right, they do have their own read head, they are all attached to the same read arm and move together not independently.

Here is a picture of the arm:

enter image description here

You would be better off using a good drive with a 7200 RPM or better and a large cache for the OS and using the big 1TB drive for other stuff.

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this information was useful. thanks.. –  kaykay Mar 25 '11 at 1:28

Something you may want to look in to is call short stroking

excerpt from Tom's Hardware - Accelerate Your Hard Drive By Short Stroking

Short stroking aims to minimize performance-eating head repositioning delays by reducing the number of tracks used per hard drive. In a simple example, a terabyte hard drive (1,000 GB) may be based on three platters with 333 GB storage capacity each. If we were to use only 10% of the storage medium, starting with the outer sectors of the drive (which provide the best performance), the hard drive would have to deal with significantly fewer head movements.

The result of short stroking is always significantly reduced capacity. In this example, the terabyte drive would be limited to 33 GB per platter and hence only offer a total capacity of 100 GB. But the result should be noticeably shorter access times and much improved I/O performance, as the drive can operate with a minimum amount of physical activity.

The main idea is to partition the hard drive and only use the outer portions of the platters to reduce seek times.

I use this on my os hard drive, and use the remainder of the hdd for data storage that is not accessed often. This may not work as well for you if you plan on using data from the whole drive often, but it may be something to look into.

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Is this the point of that 32GB 'switch' drives used to have back in the day? –  skub Mar 25 '11 at 1:46

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