Over the weekend I repartitioned, formatted and reloaded Windows and the ten million programs on my 160GB C: drive. I was down to 2GB free space and the machine was dog slow. Paranoid about my data? Who? Me? I’ve redone at least 30 machines in this way before. But it’s always been other peoples’ data! Though I have a second 160GB hard drive with backups, it was all of my writing and music that I would be wiping out and the ten ga-jillion VSTs and VSTis that I have littering my plugins folder.
I bought one of those USB hard drive cases and a 500GB Seagate drive at my favorite independent computer store, GigaTech (formerly Macrotronics). It only cost me 125 bucks and I can slap in a terabyte drive when the price comes down a bit.
I decided on one of these case-and-HD combos also because if you bust the case of a dedicated external drive, you void the warranty, so you can’t, for instance, pop it out and load it as a slave in your machine to speed up data transfer.
Holy crap… copying, verifying and trashing all my hard work was a tough task. It took a while to reload all the essentials. But I’m back up and running at normal speed now. My little 3.4GHz P4 with 2GB of RAM just flies! The next upgrade will be to a dual or quad core and if Acid Pro ever comes out with a 64bit version, I’ll load’er up with a big chunk more than (the 32bit limit of) 3GB of RAM. My only real requirement of this machine is that it last me till high-gigabyte SSDs come down in price and I can get an “instant on” 64bit laptop. That’ll be, minimum, 2011, I figure.