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Do I need a dedicated HW PC?

Buying or building computers for Hauptwerk, recommendations, troubleshooting computer hardware issues.

Do I need a dedicated HW PC?

Postby amosgold » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:13 pm

From reading other posts, I'm gleaning that some users own a PC dedicated to Hauptwerk only?

My current PC is multi-purpose, used heavily for Hauptwerk, for work (many large files, instensive disk and application use), and for PC gaming; there are a lot of peripherals and software installed.

The pattern I'm stuck in lately is that, after about a couple months, my PC begins having disk read/write errors, at first requiring a lot of restarts, then ultimately requiring a clean install of Win 7 Pro each time. (I've replaced the HD twice; that hasn't fixed it.)

I just did another fresh install of Win 7 Pro tonight, my third or fourth time in the past year or so.

I haven't installed any devices or programs yet; do you think I would have better stability if I installed only HW on this PC, and bought another PC for work/gaming? Thanks in advance if anyone can help!
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Re: Do I need a dedicated HW PC?

Postby engrssc » Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:53 am

The answer to your question is no if you are satisfied with the present situation. And yes if you want a reliable VPO. Many of us go even further in that our dedicated to Hauptwerk only computer never connects (directly) to the Internet. By that I mean we very careful as to what is loaded into our H/W computers not wanting any misc programs running in the background to interrupt the H/W software.

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Re: Do I need a dedicated HW PC?

Postby josq » Thu Aug 02, 2018 4:48 am

My understanding is that, if a high-end audio program such as Hauptwerk and another program (including e.g. virus scanners) place a high demand on the processors, audio interruptions and other latency problems are likely to occur. So for reliability it could be best not to run other programs simultaneously.

However, I suspect read/write errors have another cause, perhaps some sections of your RAM or SSD memory are corrupted? People with more PC expertise probably can give you some advise in this case.
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Re: Do I need a dedicated HW PC?

Postby IainStinson » Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:25 am

If you are experiencing disk I/O errors you should check your drives using the appropriate diagnostics. Many PCs include such diagnostics which you can run from the BIOS. As a simple test you could try the Windows disk checking facilities accessible from the properties option when you right click a hard drive in file explorer choosing the most thorough / intensive test. Whilst these are not comprehensive as the diagnostics they may give some indication of a problem. SSDs often have specific diagnostics.

You should have good backups of your data always and before running diagnostics.

As to having a dedicated machine, the key issue is to ensure that when you run HW, only those programs and system tasks which are essential to running HW are running at the same time. Unfortunately a number of applications also install software which they either need to run or which speeds up their startup and some of this can get in the way of HW by periodically demanding processor time and it is this which causes

Good luck.

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Re: Do I need a dedicated HW PC?

Postby RichardW » Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:43 am

I agree with Iain. You really need to fix the disk problems first.

Having said that, I did employ another alternative when I first started using Hauptwerk. I made my system dual boot. So I effectively had two computers running on one set of hardware. Only one at a time, though. One just ran Hauptwerk and the other ran everything else. That way I could stop any general settings changes from interfering with my Hauptwerk set up and any Hauptwerk-specific settings from interfering with my other work.

This does have the downside that you need to restart the computer when you want to start Hauptwerk. I used that until I "needed" to run a bigger sample set and so required a bigger computer. At that point I added a second PC specifically for Hauptwerk.

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Re: Do I need a dedicated HW PC?

Postby amosgold » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:48 am

Thank you all for your helpful replies!

I also suspect a bad hard drive, though I recently replaced it. Disk diagnostics show no errors, but that does not rule out faulty hardware.

I will try replacing the drive again, then perhaps a dual-boot system.

Many thanks for your time and expertise, all!
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