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Moving Windows to SSD - help please!

Last response: in Storage
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June 20, 2013 6:40:15 PM

Hey guys,

I'm investing in a small SSD soon (64gb Sandisk Ultra Plus - £42) which I'll be using to store Windows 7, as well as Adobe CS6 and Microsoft Office.

Now, I was thinking earlier, I still want to use my current HDD to store everything else, and since I'll be moving Windows to the SSD, I'll probably want to remove the Windows partition on the HDD - how would I do this?

I still have my Windows 7 disc, so installing to the SSD will be fine, but how would I go about removing the partition on the HDD? I'm hoping it won't need a complete format - there's too much stuff on there that would take hours to re-download.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated :) 

Thanks in advance.

More about : moving windows ssd

a c 817 G Storage
a c 574 $ Windows 7
June 20, 2013 6:49:00 PM

A 64GB SSD is iffy. Yes, it can be done, but you'll be dicking with free space forever.
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a b G Storage
a b $ Windows 7
June 20, 2013 6:51:07 PM

I'm a little puzzled when you say "Windows partition on the HDD." Is this drive split into multiple partitions, if so what else is on the one that has the Windows install. In that case you might just use a partitioning tool to nuke the Windows partition and keep the data partition.

Otherwise, it may not be necessary to delete the whole partition, but you can delete the Windows folder and Program Files and other stuff that no longer serves a purpose.

Also, when installing Windows on the new drive, disconnect the old drive. If the old drive is present when Windows is setting up the new installation it may re-use the small "system reserved" partition on the old HDD to store the boot files, so your SSD would not be bootable by itself. Then you can nuke the 100 MB System Reserved partition on the old HDD safely.
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June 20, 2013 6:57:19 PM

64gb is all I need, I hope. I have no interest in storing anything on the SSD other than what I've already mentioned :p 

And sorry, by Windows partition, I mean the "system reserved" partition, where I presume data for Windows resides.

I'm not overly knowledgeable on hard drives, so I apologise if I'm making no sense.
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a b G Storage
a b $ Windows 7
June 20, 2013 7:02:56 PM

The "System Reserved" partition is very small (100 MB) and is used for the boot files only. The Windows files themselves are all on the main C: partition.

Windows might re-use the old System Reserved partition on the HDD when you re-install on the SSD, which would mean the SSD would depend on the HDD to boot. TO prevent this, disconnect the HDD before you install to the SSD and re-connect when done. Then it will be safe to nuke the Sys res partition on the HDD without losing anything important. :) 
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June 20, 2013 7:10:08 PM

Ahhh, I understand now! I thought that the entire OS was installed in an inaccessible partition.

Thankyou kindly for clearing this up for me :D 

May I also ask - my 1.5tb drive only has a total of 1.36tb capacity. I know that a formatted drive will never have the full "advertised" capacity, but is 1.36tb right? Seems unusual that I've essentially lost 140gb of storage - that's more than an entire Hard Drive consisted of, back in 2005 or so. :lol: 
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a b G Storage
a b $ Windows 7
June 20, 2013 7:15:07 PM

JRAtk94 said:
Ahhh, I understand now! I thought that the entire OS was installed in an inaccessible partition.

Thankyou kindly for clearing this up for me :D 

May I also ask - my 1.5tb drive only has a total of 1.36tb capacity. I know that a formatted drive will never have the full "advertised" capacity, but is 1.36tb right? Seems unusual that I've essentially lost 140gb of storage - that's more than an entire Hard Drive consisted of, back in 2005 or so. :lol: 


Doing the math, that's the amount of space it should show. Windows counts in multiples of 1024 (a power of 2, specifically 2^10) but HDD makers use "proper" Metric units of multiples of 10

1,500,000,000,000 bytes /1024/1024/1024/1024 = 1.36.

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a c 817 G Storage
a c 574 $ Windows 7
June 20, 2013 7:18:34 PM

"Just Windows", 64GB is fine. Remember, you have to leave 10-15% free space for TRIM to do its thing. So that brings it down to 55ish GB.

Just CS6 and Office, OK. You'll want to tell CS6 to have your scratch file elsewhere.
I have a 128GB, Win8Pro, Lightroom 4, an earlier version of PS, PaintShop Pro, a bunch of other stuff (no games)....currently 52GB used. I'd be sweating it with a 64GB SSD.
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June 20, 2013 7:23:57 PM

SchizTech said:

Doing the math, that's the amount of space it should show. Windows counts in multiples of 1024 (a power of 2, specifically 2^10) but HDD makers use "proper" Metric units of multiples of 10

1,500,000,000,000 bytes /1024/1024/1024/1024 = 1.36.



Ahh, that's alright then :p  thanks!
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June 20, 2013 7:26:27 PM

USAFRet said:
"Just Windows", 64GB is fine. Remember, you have to leave 10-15% free space for TRIM to do its thing. So that brings it down to 55ish GB.

Just CS6 and Office, OK. You'll want to tell CS6 to have your scratch file elsewhere.
I have a 128GB, Win8Pro, Lightroom 4, an earlier version of PS, PaintShop Pro, a bunch of other stuff (no games)....currently 52GB used. I'd be sweating it with a 64GB SSD.


Is the scratch file drive based then? I always thought it was on the RAM. I'm learning quite a lot today :lol:  May I ask what "TRIM" is?

I can probably keep Office on the HDD if necessary, I suppose start-up isn't too slow from HDD. CS6 can take a while though, which is why I wanted to install to SSD :p 
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a b G Storage
a b $ Windows 7
June 20, 2013 7:30:05 PM

TRIM is a command used with SSDs, to tell the controller that certain blocks can be re-written to after files are deleted. It helps prevent used blocks from piling up in the controller. Over time this helps keep the drive running at peak capacity (performance may degrade if TRIM is not used). Windows 7 and 8 support it, earlier versions of Windows do not.
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June 20, 2013 7:33:35 PM

SchizTech said:
TRIM is a command used with SSDs, to tell the controller that certain blocks can be re-written to after files are deleted. It helps prevent used blocks from piling up in the controller. Over time this helps keep the drive running at peak capacity (performance may degrade if TRIM is not used). Windows 7 and 8 support it, earlier versions of Windows do not.


Thankyou. I have Windows 7, so I'll be sure to enable this :) 
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a c 817 G Storage
a c 574 $ Windows 7
June 20, 2013 7:53:04 PM

JRAtk94 said:
SchizTech said:
TRIM is a command used with SSDs, to tell the controller that certain blocks can be re-written to after files are deleted. It helps prevent used blocks from piling up in the controller. Over time this helps keep the drive running at peak capacity (performance may degrade if TRIM is not used). Windows 7 and 8 support it, earlier versions of Windows do not.


Thankyou. I have Windows 7, so I'll be sure to enable this :) 


Also:
Turn off hibernation
Reduce the pagefile size to Max/Min 1024MB
Probably turn off restore points (they build up after a while)
Change your browser(s) default download to somewhere else
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June 20, 2013 8:15:19 PM

USAFRet said:

Also:
Turn off hibernation
Reduce the pagefile size to Max/Min 1024MB
Probably turn off restore points (they build up after a while)
Change your browser(s) default download to somewhere else


I've already disabled hibernation, reduced the pagefile and disabled restore points :) 

As for changing default download, where exactly should I change it to?
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a b G Storage
a b $ Windows 7
June 20, 2013 8:17:21 PM

JRAtk94 said:
USAFRet said:

Also:
Turn off hibernation
Reduce the pagefile size to Max/Min 1024MB
Probably turn off restore points (they build up after a while)
Change your browser(s) default download to somewhere else


I've already disabled hibernation, reduced the pagefile and disabled restore points :) 

As for changing default download, where exactly should I change it to?


Move your default libraries to the storage HDD. Go into the Windows properties and set the default locations to store the My Documents, Pictures, Music, Video, Downloads folders off the SSD onto the HDD.
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June 20, 2013 8:21:51 PM

Ahh right, I see what you mean.

I'll do that when it arrives then :) 

I think that pretty much concludes my predicament, so thank you both for your help - you've been superb.

Take care, gents.
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a c 817 G Storage
a c 574 $ Windows 7
June 20, 2013 8:22:52 PM

JRAtk94 said:
USAFRet said:

Also:
Turn off hibernation
Reduce the pagefile size to Max/Min 1024MB
Probably turn off restore points (they build up after a while)
Change your browser(s) default download to somewhere else


I've already disabled hibernation, reduced the pagefile and disabled restore points :) 

As for changing default download, where exactly should I change it to?


In whatever browser you use, there is the option to designate a different 'download location'. Do that.
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