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  1. #1
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    Adding an SSD to a DIY desktop - SO MANY Questions !!! Help ? !!

    Hi all -

    Not really sure what forum this ought to be in (mods, please help!), but adding an SSD seems like a fun and useful thing to try to my DIY Win 7 x64 desktop. Currently I have a primary HDD Drive C:, and another HDD (E I use for back-up (Acronis B&R). Not in RAID.

    I will clean install Wiin 7 x64 on the SSD, obviously. I'm preparing a slip-streamed disk for Win 7 so I can avoid all those updates.

    BUT !!! -- i have many questions !

    - What goes on the SSD besides the OS ?
    I know it's up to me, but I want to use the SSD speed to its best advantage. Wouldn't that mean having a few programs on the SSD in addition to the OS ?
    ... So which app's/ programs do you folks have on your SSD's ?
    And how large an SSD do you use to accommodate that ? Is a 120/128 GB SSD adequate, or is one around 250GB a better idea ?

    - What do I do when I add new data/ Programs that I DON'T want to go on the SSD ... How do I tell Windows and the 3rd party download mgr to put stuff on the HDD instead of the SSD?

    - Even more important - how do I tell Windows 7 where to find programs, when the Win7 OS is on the SSD but the programs are on the HDD ?
    Can I make the Start Menu on the new SSD OS install find programs on the other drive ? How ?

    - Configuring Libraries - I know "Libraries" are not the locations of the files, just place-holders, more or less. Anyway, I'm guessing that the OS on the SSD needs to be told where the current Libraries are, on the HDD? How ?

    - Do I leave the Win 7 OS on the "old" HDD, so that Libraries stay intact there ? Gut says absolutely, but someone else said to delete the old OS from the HDD that now will be storage, so I thought I'd ask.

    - What else am I going to run into and have to answer so the SSD and old HDD Play Nice with each other ?

    - Drive letter assignment - it might not matter a lot, but would I be well-served by assigning C to the new SSD OS (etc) drive, and naming the current HDD that I'll use for storage and for programs that don't benefit from a speed bonus with a new letter ?

    Lots of Q's, and a million thanks to this group !!!

    Michael

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
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    Since you're going for a clean install on the SSD with W7, it's easy, it should become the C: drive by default, size big enough to accommodate OS and all programs (for some I only need 128 gig others with games need 256 gigs of room).
    After the install you can move your user account [data] folders to a different drive, libraries will be automatically adjusted along with the move to point to the new locations.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Michael,

    Ok let's dig in.

    First since you'll be doing a clean install you will also have to re-install all of your programs. There is no way for windows to "find" the programs on your old disk.

    When you install programs you can put them where ever you want and the Registry will know where they are so you just need to decide what you want where.

    As for leaving Windows on the old drive you could but personally I'd kill it and actually I'd reformat the entire drive and start it clean.

    As to size I use a 128Gb SSD on my Desktop computer with a 1Tb HDD as my "Data" drive. Actually it is partitioned so one partition has the swap file (not used much since I have 12Gb of Ram) and the other partition is the "Data" drive. I use the approved method of moving the Documents file to this drive.

    As to drive letters the clean install will automatically assign C: to the SSD, actually I'd do the OS install w/o the old drive connected to insure no interference then connect it once the OS is installed. I have my "Data" partition set to G: - just a personal preference.

    HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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    +1 for FUN. That's exactly how I have mine set up on a 60GB SSD and I still have 25GB free.

    cheers, Paul

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  7. #5
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    120/128GB should be fine, 240-256GB is better = faster writes. Frequently used programs and data should reside on the SSD, long-term storage/infrequently used data and programs can be stored/installed to the HDD(s). Try to keep upwards of 25% of the SSD free for longevity (similar to the ratio to keep free on HDDs to keep good performance).

    Install the SSD on an Intel SATA connection on the motherboard, if you don't have Intel, then try to set Windows to use the standard MS SATA drivers for that SATA chipset = TRIM will then be enabled and it will probably be faster than the original driver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek View Post
    As to drive letters the clean install will automatically assign C: to the SSD, actually I'd do the OS install w/o the old drive connected to insure no interference then connect it once the OS is installed. I have my "Data" partition set to G: - just a personal preference.

    HTH
    I agree -- I always unplug all drives except for the Windows drive whenever I do a clean install of Windows, then reconnect them after Windows is installed. In this way, Windows is ALWAYS on drive C.

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  11. #7
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Of course you can clean install if you want too, but, this may work as well...

    1. Make an image of your current OS with one of the many popular drive imaging applications out there.
    *Have the image created to an external drive of adequate size.
    *Use intelligent sector copy (this mean NOT sector by sector image copy)
    2. Ensure the new drive is SATA 3.0 compatible. (faster SSD than SATA 2.0)
    *When you are ready to restore the image, turn off the computer, disconnect the old drive, connect the new drive
    to the SATA 3.0 motherboard port, boot with the imaging software's boot disk (you will need to create one), then
    restore the image to the new drive.
    (prior to booting with the imaging boot disk you may want to boot to BIOS to ensure drive is recognized)

    Ensure TRIM is active.

    Macrium Reflect Free
    Macrium Reflect USB Rescue Options
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
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  13. #8
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    This is ALL GREAT stuff !!!!! I am SO glad to get your help and ideas !!!!
    and i think i even understand what you've said.
    well, mostly ... Satrow (Hi Satrow !!! ) and RetiredGeek (Hi to you too) are saying somewhat different things, and I would LOVE to be clear:

    RGeek said to re-install all programs on the new SSD, while Satrow said Infrequently used programs can be left (stored/ installed) on the HDD. is there a way i would be able to run programs left on the HDD ?

    and CLiNT (Hi , CLiNT !! ), I really like your idea, but I'm not sure how to do what you described.
    i'm not familiar with "intelligent sector copy" - is that done using Win 7's own imaging option ?
    BTW, i have Acronis B&R with the Boot disk, so i understand and can do what you're suggesting for the rest of the steps. but Intelligent Sector - where's that from ?

    if that does what i think it might, it looks like i might be able to have all programs and the OS on a 256 or so GB SSD. Current Drive C: Used space on the HDD is a little more than that now, and of course that includes the data/ Libraries.
    so ... hmmmm ... i wonder ... is there a way to leave data out of a copy/ image, and only copy everything else ?

    again, thanks to all !

    Michael

  14. #9
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    If software is installed to a different drive/partition, it can still be run as normal.

    "intelligent sector copy" (used by Macrium and others, naming may differ) = does not copy files that will be automatically recreated at first boot of the imaged drive (like the page and hibernate files = multiple GBs) = saves storage space, boosts transfer speed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigpygme View Post
    RGeek said to re-install all programs on the new SSD, while Satrow said Infrequently used programs can be left (stored/ installed) on the HDD. is there a way i would be able to run programs left on the HDD ?
    Negative, unless they are a special sort of program that does not get installed, often referred to as portable versions.

    and CLiNT (Hi , CLiNT !! ), I really like your idea, but I'm not sure how to do what you described.
    i'm not familiar with "intelligent sector copy" - is that done using Win 7's own imaging option ?
    BTW, i have Acronis B&R with the Boot disk, so i understand and can do what you're suggesting for the rest of the steps. but Intelligent Sector - where's that from ?
    Most imaging programs use intelligent sector copy by default and one usually needs to specify sector by sector image otherwise.

    if that does what i think it might, it looks like i might be able to have all programs and the OS on a 256 or so GB SSD. Current Drive C: Used space on the HDD is a little more than that now, and of course that includes the data/ Libraries.
    so ... hmmmm ... i wonder ... is there a way to leave data out of a copy/ image, and only copy everything else ?

    again, thanks to all !
    No, one would just image/clone everything over and then move the data off or move the data ahead of time if there isn't enough room on the destination drive and then establish the user accounts to the location of the data. Using My Pictures for instance, you can move the photos to a folder called My Pictures on what is going to be the data drive and then after the OS is relocated and working, move the location of your My Pictures folder on the OS to the My Pictures folder where the pictures are and it will reconnect everything seamlessly.
    Last edited by RetiredGeek; 2013-10-23 at 18:42. Reason: Fixed opening quote tags.

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  18. #11
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    This has been SO useful - i can't thank you all enough !!

    One more area - I have the info on RT 7 Lite, and how to use it to create a slipstreamed Win 7 disk. There is an option to add DRIVERS - but which drivers would i want to add, if any? i suppose the Display Driver, right ? What else would you recommend i look at ?

    How, or what files, do i add ? am i looking at adding .dll files, or ... ???

    Any thoughts you have are VERY welcome !!!!!! thanks so much ... Michael

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    might you know anything about Acronis' language, Satrow ? I'm using their enterprise version, Backup and Restore with Universal Restore (which accommodates hardware changes) ...

    i'll look into it here, too. Thank you,, Satrow !!

    By the way, i just ordered the SSD - i decided to go big with the Samsung 840 250 GB. $152 and FS at PCM.com.

    thx to all, Michael
    Last edited by bigpygme; 2013-10-27 at 13:13.

  20. #13
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Sorry, Michael, I'm not anywhere near current with Acronis software, you may find better support (or some ready made answers) from those Loungers who frequent the Maintenance section.

    Once Windows and the latest hardware drivers are installed, use the Samsung Magician software to fine tune the SSD/OS settings after checking for a firmware update.

  21. #14
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    To all,

    PMFJI, but I noticed no one has discussed changing the BIOS from IDE to AHCI before installing the new drive. Is this indeed germane to this discussion?

    Zig

  22. #15
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Zig,

    You bet it is...Nice Catch!
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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