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how to minimize hard drive writes

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm going to be using 4x 2gb 266x CF cards in RAID0 for a completely silent PC running windows XP. Its going to be used mainly for browsing the internet and writing up documents and other dumb stuff.

The problem with CF cards and other flash memory is that you can only write to each block a limited number of times before it dies on you (somewhere around 100,000 times). That sounds like a lot, but it quickly adds up. What I'm trying to do is minimize the writes to these cards so that they can last many, many years without being replaced while also increasing performance by fully taking advantage of the RAM.

I already figured of disabling the pagefile and making sure the stripe size is as small as possible so that the data gets distributed across the drives better. But I cant think of much more.

For example, are there any browsers that fully utilize RAM and don't keep any temporary files on your drive? Besides maybe cookies of course. How about some way to keep the drive as fragmented as possible so that writes arent concentrated to one area?

Any ideas would help a lot. Paying the high cost per gigabyte for these cards' silence isn't much of a problem for me if I only have to do it once, but replacing them every few months can become an issue.
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post #2 of 7
You can make a "silent PC" with standard hard drives without a bunch of fuss...I don't think it'd be wise to run XP on a system in 2008, with only 8 GB of hard drive space. That's just me though. I'm not sure much else you can do to minimize writing on the drive other than what you've said..don't do very much, disable cache, don't use your computer much. Seems to defeat the purpose though..Good luck in whatever you choose to do
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post #3 of 7
If you need Windows, XP will fit into 8GB far better than Vista will.

However, I would have to agree that you would be far better off with a standard harddrive. Many drives are quite quiet, and many of these can be made even quieter by editing their acoustic management settings with software from the manufacturer.

It's true that it won't be completely silent, but you sure won't hear it.
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post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blameless View Post
If you need Windows, XP will fit into 8GB far better than Vista will.

LMAO, that made me laugh...definitely true...
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post #5 of 7
Get atleast 3gb of ram, disable page file, since your on xp, everything should fit on the 3gb of ram
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
lol you guys are probably right about windows. How would I go about disabling the swap space with linux though? Just not create the partition when installing?

On second thought, would there be a way of installing linux to run kind of like a live CD (using a ramdrive), but then having it save all the settings and stuff on the disk when you shut down? If that is possible it would be great. I just have no idea how to go about doing it.

I don't mind going with a hard drive like you guys are suggesting, but I only want to do that as a last resort since the rest of the PC is going to be completely fanless - so even the quietest hard drive would be heard.
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post #7 of 7
i don't think Linux (i know Ubuntu doesn't) uses your swap space unless your ram is nearly full. I have never had Ubuntu using the swap space.

There will be one way to disable it though because it's Linux, so there is a way to do everything.
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