I've got a home theater PC in my media room that I'm upgrading. My favorite online store had a great deal on the exact same RAM modules I built the PC with, so I picked up another pair. I was also interested in getting some more storage, so I got a new HD as well.
So the first question is, how much RAM can my OS handle? I'm running XP Home SP2. I originally had 2 x 1GB Corsair XMS modules, and just put in another pair, for 4GB total.
After booting up, I checked the System Properties and saw that it only showed 3GB. I figured I hadn't seated one properly, so I pulled them out, swapped spaces for good measure, then stuck them back in and booted up again. I noticed that they're all recognized during the POST (4,193,216K). So I started searching online. It seems like 32-bit Windows can handle 4GB, but I'm reading things about the /3GB switch, and other things, but I'm still don't completely understand what's going on.
So, do I have a whole 1GB of RAM that's unused, or is it being used, but just not showing up in the System Properties?
Next up is about partitioning hard drives. All of mine are WD Caviar 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb. There's a 250GB (21 months old), a 500GB (5 months old) and a brand new 640GB.
Are there any limits to partition size, and are there any reasons I'd want to allocate space in a particular way? I know the new drive is a 2 platter design that's supposed to have faster access times than the other two, so might that make a difference in booting, opening programs, etc? I was thinking of a layout something like the following: 80GB for OS/applications, 120GB for network filesharing, 100GB for storing backup disk images of all my computers, and then probably use the rest for media storage (DVR, downloads, DVD rips, etc.)
And as far as backups go, if I've got an image of my OS partition stored on a different partition or drive, a program like Acronis will be able to restore the system from that backup image in case something conks out, right?
So those are my questions. Sorry if they're a little convoluted. I'd appreciate any help. Thanks!