Choosing a Hard Disk

The disk that contains your computer’s operating system is called the startup disk or boot disk. In addition to the operating system, the startup disk also stores your applications (such as Final Cut Pro), your application preferences, system settings, and documents. Because the files on the startup disk are your most critical data, maintaining the startup disk is vital.

Because digital media (especially high data rate video) makes your disks work harder, you should use dedicated disks for capturing and playing back your digital video and other media files. Consider your media disks as storage units that work long, hard hours, while your startup disk keeps your system properly organized. If a disk is going to malfunction, it’s better if your critical data is separate from your replaceable media files.

Depending on what kind of computer you are using, you may be able to use internal and external hard disks to store your media files. Each has benefits and drawbacks.

Internal Disks
  • May be less expensive because they don’t have external cases or require their own power supplies

  • Are inside your computer, causing less noise

  • Are limited by the expansion capabilities of your computer and the heat buildup they cause

Warning: Heat buildup in your computer can result in dropped frames during capture and playback and can ultimately cause the failure of one or more disk drives. Consult the documentation that came with your computer for information about the maximum number of internal drives that can be installed.

External Disks
  • Let you easily switch between projects by switching disks connected to the computer

  • Let you move a project quickly from one computer system to another in a different location

  • May be more expensive because of external cases and power supplies

  • May be noisy