Not Gonna’ Rebuild My Hard Disk This Time ‘Round

As I face the upcoming release of Visual Studio 2010, I am contemplating a machine cleanup. It’s been six months, my drives tend to gather a lot of junk.

And I’ve rejected the notion of rebuilding my drive. It takes time I don’t have, and far worse, it’s scary and I’m trying to remove scary things from my life. It’s scary because it means I have to lean out on my safety line. My safety line is my backups, and yes I make sure the knot looks good. But my Dad once leaned out on a safety line in a tree stand and, well, let’s just say we’re glad he’s still here.

So, the options as I see it are what I really want – a new T400s, with dual monitor support, multi-touch, solid state 256Gb drive, etc. Well, OK, let’s get real I don’t have a spare 3 grand, and my mechanic says I need a new car – what’s with that?

The option I can live with is a new 320GB 7200RPM drive for my current T400. That’s $120 bucks. I’ll slide my current drive (same specs), into the ultra bay thingee where I yanked out the DVD (who needs a DVD?), slide the six month old drive into a SATA USB enclosure I also just ordered, and live happily ever after. When I did this six months ago, it was to finally move up from my 5400RPM drive. This time, it’s

just to save some time and hassle.

There’s a catch though. It’s a bigger waste/carbon load on the planet. Thus, I need to ride my bike to the gym every day (well, every day I go) from now until the snow flies to earn back my karma points.

Anyway, with the Visual Studio 2010 launch a few weeks away, you should decide now if you’re going to cycle drives or rebuild your drive in time to get it ordered.

And yes, I’m working on a bluegrass song with the title of this post.

5 thoughts on “Not Gonna’ Rebuild My Hard Disk This Time ‘Round”

  1. I’ve been mostly working with VMs the past couple of years. I create a baseline VM, deploy it, then install VS and what not. When I have to rebuild, I simply redeploy the baseline. I’ve got several baselines, include baselines with VS already installed.

    I don’t know if that solves the disk usage issue, since I need to have some seriously large hard drives to keep all the images (and my other stuff).

    I’ve been meaning to look into this type of setup with virtual hard drives and win 7 to get “real” (non-virtual) performance. Maybe one of your other readers can comment on this…

  2. Peter,

    I run my life on laptops because I’m such a hobo traveling around, so I run pretty close to minimum acceptable performance. My past experience with VM’s has always been to push me beyond what I could put up with. Thus, I’ve never joined the VM train. I have heard they’ve gotten better regarding memory usage/performance, but I still don’t have much confidence that I’ll be happy inside two gigs. Maybe I’ll get that T400s one day.



  3. Kathleen,

    I was in a similar spot with respect to virtual machines on my laptop until I got an SSD. Now my compiles in the VM are as fast or faster as the compiles on the metal used to be.

    Luckily, like you, I have a Toshiba that can take a 2nd hard drive, so I managed to get by with an 80 GB Intel SSD and put my old 200 GB HD in the secondary bay for all the “unimportant” stuff. (Documents, music, etc).

    They are expensive, but the time and hassle it has saved me is quickly paying for itself.



  4. Ben,

    That’s great to hear. I have both a hard drive and a memory problem, and can’t fix the memory problem (4Gb) without a big system upgrade, so I’m holding out a bit to get the SSD with a new box. I know i could move an SSD, but I’m dreaming of the 256Gb coming down in price. Although I seriously considered a 128SSD when I did this upgrade.

    How much memory do you have in your Toshiba?


  5. If you boot to your VHD from Windows 7, you don’t have a perf issue. That’s where the betas of VS2010 have been going for me. So much easier than carrying a second laptop or drive!

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