Saturday, September 10, 2005

Part 4 - Storage

The next part in 10 Steps to Understanding Car Computers is selecting the storage medium for your computer. Computers store your data, operating system, and music on a hard drive. The disk drive in desktop computers is 3.5 inches while laptop hard drives are only 2.5 inches. Besides being smaller, laptop hard drives are designed more durable under high G forces. Some people have problems with 3.5" drives dying when using them in a car setting because of the strong vibrations. For this reason, many long time carpc enthusiast use only 2.5" drives.

Personally, I use a 3.5" drive because I had an extra one when building the car computer. Even if I didn't, I still would have because the it is a lot cheaper per GB of storage. I have been using the same drive in my carpc for over a year now and I have not had any problems with it.

Other people have started using compact flash, and other solid state media, for holding the windows install. Then the music files are stored on the hard drive. The hope in doing this is that the windows files be written to the flash card all the time never get messed up. They also want to minimize boot up times. I think that it is too expensive of a road to take for most people, including myself.


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