Portable Hard Drives Acceptable?

Hi, I have a 7200RPM drive in my laptop (320GB) but its pretty full already so I want to get a portable hard drive that is USB 3 or eSata. Im thinking Seagate GoFlex Portable drive (1TB) or WD Essentials Passport (1TB). I dont think these are 7200RPM drives (specs on these portable drives seem to always be in MB/sec rather than RPMs so it gets confusing) so I dont know if these would be fast enough for what I want to do. But if I have no choice but to get one of these as my secondary drive, how would you recommend I setup the partitions among the internal drive and this USB/eSata drive for optimal use? Record to internal and put all samples on the portable drive?

Any help or clarifications on this topic would be greatly appreciated…

To power any 7200rpm external drive from USB, you will need to use two ports. The drive should come with a cable with a dual plug.

If you can run the drive with only the main USB plug in, then the drive is probably 5400rpm. A real cheap one may even be 4200rpm, which is really not suitable for DAW use.

However, if you have an eSata connection, then it allow using the external drive as if it was an internal one.

If you are using lots of samples, then only put the samples on the external drive and the project files on the internal one. Use the SAME partition as the OS as then head movements will be the least. Using separate partitions on the one drive at the same time just forces the heads to travel more, possibly requiring larger buffers to ensure no crackles.

If you are not using all the external drive for samples, then make one partition that is just a bit bigger than all your samples (called ‘partial stroking’). This will ensure that the heads travel the least. As I wrote above, do not use the other partition (on the sample drive) at the same time, though it is OK to use at other times for your general computer data, or even project backups.

Hi, Folks!

Metrosuperstar, if you’ve already filled up a 320 GB internal laptop drive, I’d strongly suggest a backup drive to prevent loss of data (and hard work!) ASAP! :open_mouth:

Especially when spinning (assuming it’s not an SSD), sometimes a minor jolt can render an HDU completely useless, even in a laptop! So it’s a very good idea when using non-SSD, mechanical drives, to keep them stationary and not move them until they are shut down and stop spinning to prevent damage and data loss!

And, if you’re like most folks, you realize the need for backup AFTER a critical drive has crashed and burned (I know, 'cause that’s part of the reason I’m bald! :smiley: )

Hope this helps!

OK, so Im reorganizing my drives. My internal drive with OS (320BG 7200RPM) will have the project files, the Cubase program, Windows OS, etc all in that same partition. Now, Im assuming that by project files, this includes the audio files. These will be written to the internal drive (the one I just described, because when creating a project, I believe that Cubase creates by default audio subfolder in that location). Is this correct? No need to change anything here?

The external drive, probably a 5400RPM connected via eSATA will be used, if I understand correctly, for installing sound banks (samples).

So my question is…when I install VST instruments…where do I install them? There’s .dlls and then there’s the sound libraries themselves…

I wouldn’t go for the 5,400 RPM drive. I’d call and ask specifically the RPM if it’s not listed.