Multiple SSD drives - organizing DAW

Hi all;

Just doing a computer rebuild. I have two SSD SATA drives - one 500GB and the other 1TB.

It used to be true that, for the sake of efficiency, that your audio files should be on a separate drive from your OS and Cubase.

When you have two SSD drives, is this still true, or would it be better practice using the second drive for backups from the first?


I highly recommend buying a cheap spinning drive and using that for backups. Like, they’re so cheap there really is no reason not to do that. Here in the US you’ll pay about $70 for 2TB, and you get more for your money as capacity increases (until it gets ridiculously high).

Granted, it seems prices may be a hair higher now than they were before the virus hit, but I really don’t think you’ll find a better solution.

Well, you could also do cloud-backups I suppose.

Either way I would probably use the smaller drive for the OS and software, and the larger drive for project files etc.

So it is still “best practice” to keep audio and Cubase on separate physical drives then?

With 1.5TB, I feel like I have loads of room to back stuff up to. It’s just a question of how to organize things.


Well, I really think you can look at this several ways. You can just “wing it” and see what happens. You can put some thought into it, and maybe that’s better than nothing. Or you could take it pretty seriously and give it a fair amount of thought and put a plan into place. I’ve had drive failures without backups, and even though the data wasn’t critical it was incredibly annoying.

So, think about what data you put where, and then consider a scenario where something fails.

Well, but you can’t back up your larger drive to your smaller drive. If you use 300GB of storage on your smaller system drive then you will only have 200GB of the 1TB backed up on it. And if you do that the system drive is full, might slow down, and you certainly have no space to install more software. So that’s a problem.

And vice versa you can obviously back up your system drive onto your larger drive. But the way it stands now you’re eating up potentially half that space. That could be fine of course, and you’re also likely to not use all 500GB of the system drive so you’re going to lose less than that one the larger one. But still, you don’t want to be in a situation where you add some software an all of a sudden your system drive takes up 420GB, but you only have 350 free on the other one… IF you want to back the system drive up that is.

Now also imagine that you end up with a drive failure. Your system drive fails. If you have “music data” (project files, audio files, samples etc) on that drive then not only did you just lose your OS and your system won’t boot, but you might not even be able to take that drive out and access your music data. So you lost “twice” as much as if you had things separately.

So yes, I would recommend keeping software and “data” separate.

I actually just checked again and on Amazon (US) I see an external USB drive with a 2TB capacity for $60. Backing up will initially be slow, but you’ll be safe.

Hey man - totally fair point. That’s probably the way to go.


Ordered an external drive that I’m going to look at connecting to our router that can be used as “family storage” on our network. 1TB on sale for $70.


My tip on using multiple drives is:

SSD 500GB for OS/Progs drive
2TB or larger (pending how much you do) 3.5" NAS 7200rpm Drive (RECORDING TO) all recording projects
2 TB or Larger 3.5" NAS 7200rpm Drive(pending how much Virtual Instruments you use, Drum Software, samplers, Kontakt Libraries,etc.) - STREAMING DRIVE
I have a SATA drive cage in the tower, for doing Drive Backups - and store clones in a safe.

Hold on: Why network-attached storage? And why spinners for both?

Also, the guy already bought the drives…(!)