Setting up new SSD

Discussion in 'hardware' started by djg05, Jul 27, 2013.

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  1. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    I am totally ignorant about SSD's. Is it the same as just putting in a new HD or do you have to go further setting it up? Is the controller on board.

    I will be fitting it to an ASUS M5 A97 EVO rev 1, running Win 7/8/64
     
  2. 0strodamus

    0strodamus Registered Member

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    Installing an SSD hardware-wise is the same as installing any HDD. The form factor is smaller than a 3.5" drive, so you may need an adapter bracket. If you are using Windows 7 to partition the SSD, it will take care of properly aligning it for you. There are some tips here, but you don't have to follow all of them. Have fun with your new drive!
     
  3. SirDrexl

    SirDrexl Registered Member

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    I don't think there's that much to say about setting up a SSD. When I first got mine, I was careful about limiting writes by moving the browser cache and temp folders to a HDD, disabling logging tasks, etc. There are even complicated schemes like moving the entire Users folder, which I think defeats the purpose a bit. I believe many of those "tweaks" are overly paranoid about limiting writes.

    I've since "relaxed" and just used it as a normal drive for the most part. If you're concerned about writes you could just leave some space; I don't mean to make the partition smaller, but just don't fill it with data so there are extra cells to use up.

    A few things though:

    1. Make sure the partition is aligned properly. As said above, Windows 7 (maybe Vista did this as well, I'm not sure) and up will handle this automatically if you install a fresh copy of the OS and let it partition the drive during the setup.

    2. Don't defragment the drive, as it adds unnecessary writes for no performance gain. Also, if I'm not mistaken, it doesn't even work because the drive will place data where it wants due to wear-leveling anyway. If you have a hard drive in the same system, leave defrag enabled but make sure it's scheduled to never run for the SSD. Windows should set this up automatically, but I don't know if it does if you migrate an existing installation rather than install a new one.

    3. Don't repeatedly run disk benchmarks, as they can do a lot of writing in a short time.

    4. Disable hibernation, if you don't use it. The file is 3/4 the size of your RAM, which can use up a lot of space.

    That's about it, AFAIK. If you have a HDD, you may get suggestions to separate your applications, but I'd leave them on the SSD unless you have something that takes a ton of space. Most people should have room for things like web browsers, an office suite, media players, etc.

    Of course you'll want to move your document folders (My Docs, My Videos, My Music, etc.) off the SSD or just store the files elsewhere, but I'd do that even with just a HDD.
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Same here.

    http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/18629-user-folders-change-default-location.html

    In step 7, I just change C to D and press OK, Yes, Yes. Wait for the Properties window to auto close. (D: drive is my data drive)
     
  5. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    Thanks to you All for the information.

    I have always for many years kept the O/S separate from Temp, Data, Programs etc. But see there are a few other things that will need to be changed.

    What I am not sure about is installing the o/s, Win 8/64. I was going to install if from CD so that it sets up the hidden partition correctly, and then retrieve my clean image from Active@ so as not to have to re-install all my programs again. But I see from what you have said that I will lose the setup for the SSD. Is there a work around for this?

    Another point is that I quite often re-image my system drive as a way of getting rid of unwanted programs, but I don't know if this will effect the life of the drive, or am I being driven into paranoia.
     
  6. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    David,

    You don't need to install Windows. Just restore the image to the SSD. Can you post a screenshot of Disk management so I can check for gotchas.

    Paranoia. I restore a few times a month.
     
  7. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Why? I see no reason to move those folders or files off of the SSD - unless you are running out of disk space on the SSD.

    It should be noted that many new computers only use SSDs. And that is likely to happen more and more as SSD prices continue to fall. This is especially true for portable devices where size, weight, and power consumption all favor the SSD.

    And BTW, I have seen some suggest to move the Page File off the SSD. Bad advice as SSDs are ideally suited for Page Files (see SSD FAQs, Should the pagefile be placed on SSDs?).
     
  8. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    Thanks Brian

    I have sent you a PM
     
  9. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    Thanks for your input. I just prefer to keep those files off the system disk.
     
  10. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    And there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, for years on ALL my personal builds, I ONLY put Windows and hardware drivers on C. Everything else goes on D (including a backup image of C).

    I did that for data security (from HW failures, not badguys) but also because in the old days you did get a little performance boost with two drive R/W heads accessing data at once (assuming separate drives and not separate partitions on the same drive). But with today's faster drives with much larger buffers, any performance advantage gained using two drives is not an issue for the vast majority of users.

    I made the comment in response to the suggestion that implied you should move those folders off. Today, there is no real reason, other than as you suggest - you prefer it that way.

    There is one advantage to having all your programs installed off the system drive and that is that it forces you to select the "custom" install option so you can select the install location on the 2nd drive. By using the custom install option, you are also (or should be - if properly coded) prompted to opt-out of extra fluff (toolbars, download managers, other programs, browser add-ons) we don't want and don't need on our systems the software developers try to foist on us.

    While EVERYONE should ALWAYS choose the custom install options to opt-out of that extra fecal matter, even if they only have one drive and one partition, sadly many don't - then wonder why their systems don't run as well as they used to. :(
     
  11. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    I thought that you were stating that as a general rule.

    I like to keep the system drive small, it also means that it can be a sacrificial drive as I can easily restore it if anything clobbers it. Also it is a quick way of uninstalling programs and prevent a build up in the registry.

    As for custom installs I just have to change the drive letter and accept the rest.
     
  12. ZeroDay

    ZeroDay Registered Member

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    So when setting up a new ssd it's best to install all programs to the old hard drive? or would that mean running the programs would be no faster because the program is still on the hd as opposed to the ssd? Sorry for the silly question I'm just a bit confused. When I get my ssd I was planning on installing windows and my programs to the ssd but storing all my personal data on my old hard drive.
     
  13. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    As I have been reading about SSD's, I have seen mention of also installing a UPS. It seems they are more susceptible than spinners. Being out in the sticks losing power or brownouts are not uncommon. Telephone line got struck by lightning last year which gave me an excuse to update my computer.

    Didn't really want to spend any more at the moment.

    I checked my computer with a wattmeter and was surprised how little it took. At no point does it exceed 140 w, so maybe I can get away with a small UPS.
     
  14. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    I was thinking of getting a 128 SSD and splitting it so that the system is on one half and the programs on the other. All data will remain on the HD's. Most of my files are small and easy to load.
     
  15. Triple Helix

    Triple Helix Webroot Product Advisor

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    Hi Bill,

    How much Pagefile should someone use as I have 16GB of 1333Mhz DDR3 RAM and if I go with the standard + 1.5 I'm not going to run 24GB Pagefile I have 1GB pagefile on each 240GB SSD so I have 2GB total.

    TIA,

    Daniel
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
  16. ZeroDay

    ZeroDay Registered Member

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    Yeah partitioning the ssd makes more sense to me than having my programs on the hard drive, but all this ssd stuff is new to me.
     
  17. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I am. As a general rule, there is no problem installing everything on the boot drive - as the vast majority of Windows users do.

    I am also saying as general rule, everyone should always select the custom install option (even if they always select the default install location) so they can opt-out of junk bundled with the program you want.

    No shame in asking questions. The silly (or stupid) question is the one not asked.

    Any file or program will be loaded faster from an SSD. How you set it up depends on how much space you have - especially free space as Windows needs lots of free space to operate in.

    For me, I see no reason for hard drives anymore (if budget allows) except maybe for music or video files, backup files, or the like.

    Again, I say don't worry about it and just let Window manage it. It knows how. Remember, the page file expands and contracts as needed. Just because Windows says the PF is 24Gb, that does not mean 24Gb will be consumed full time.

    If you really want to customize the PF to meet your specific needs, you need to become an expert on how Windows manages virtual memory. And the only one I know is Mark Russinovich. If you want to learn, then you might start here.

    The problem with only 1Gb Page File is it is not enough to hold a dump file.

    I would not partition a 128Gb SSD. It is too small to start.
     
  18. ZeroDay

    ZeroDay Registered Member

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    I was thinking of purchasing a 120gb ssd just to start me off and just installing windows and my programs on it, would you say that a 120gb would be too small for that?
     
  19. aladdin

    aladdin Registered Member

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    It would be perfect size and for $80, it is ain't bad.

    Best regards,

    Mohamed
     
  20. aladdin

    aladdin Registered Member

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    Hi Bill,

    Perfect size.

    Best regards,

    Mohamed
     
  21. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    Could you elaborate on that please. My Win 8 system currently consumes
    25GB in a 51GB partition.
     
  22. ZeroDay

    ZeroDay Registered Member

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    Thanks Mohamed. I keep looking at them and thinking about going for a 256gb but my hard drive is 500gb and that's what will be holding my data, not that I store a lot of data if I'm honest. Windows and all my programs are currently taking up 33gb on the C partition so that would still leave me 87gb of the 120gb ssd I'd imagine that's plenty free space for windows.
     
  23. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I think that is too small for Windows and your programs. But you have not said what programs you use so I can only go by me. I note my current 64-bit Windows7 SP1 on this machine consumes nearly 50Gb (which includes drivers, downloaded updates, the PF, hiberfil.sys (for hybrid sleep mode), and those programs that refuse to install anywhere but on the boot drive (like MSE and Belarc).

    My D drive contains all my downloaded programs, installed programs, and my data files (except music) and consume another 45Gb.

    That will grow as updates and patches are downloaded and installed. I note my 64-bit Windows 8 consumes 37Gb.

    The problem is, I remember when 40Mb (that's mega) was "more than you will ever need!" Not true.

    Before long, 500Mb was more than you will ever need. Then it 6Gb drives, then 40Gb drives, then 100, 500 and 1Tb drives. Now 4Tb drives are out there and folks are filling them up.

    I think you should determine what size drive you will need 3 or 4 years down the road, then double, or triple that value and hope that is enough.

    I think 256Gb SSDs represent the right balance between price and capacity today.

    You might check out Toms Hardware Best SSDs for the Money, July 2013.
     
  24. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    I acknowledge what you say but each runs there machine differently. I regularly clean out Win upgrades - I always have an image to fall back on. In fact that is where most of my storage is taken up with a history of images over time. I see that after using XP for many years that it is only taking 10GB.

    I usually cycle my HD's and reckon to replace them after 3 years. I gradually place them in less strenuous positions.

    So each to his own - I reckon 128 will be sufficient for now and the price for that is within reach. But thanks anyway for your thoughts.
     
  25. ZeroDay

    ZeroDay Registered Member

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    My current windows 8 x64 fully updated and with all my software consumes 33gb, I don't use any large programs, mainly just my security suite (CIS) and a few other small softwares. So If I'm only using 33gb on a 120gb ssd that would leave me 87gb, that's enough surely? I'll just add that I'm just going to buy the 120gb ssd to get me into the ssd world quickly and before the years out I'll be purchasing one with a veiw to it lasting a few years.
     
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