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Windows 7 Ultimate install on SSD and other questions

Last response: in Windows 7
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January 15, 2011 3:37:03 AM

Ok I am in the process of building a New Computer thread here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/302293-31-htpc-raid-b...
I had a few questions before I go ahead and preform a fresh Install of Windows 7 Ultimate.
My questions all deal with the RAID Setup, the SSD, and the motherboard.

1.) Windows 7 x86 or 64-bit? If I go to 64-bit will I still be able to use 32-bit programs (i.e. in a virtual mode or something like that?) Will my Windows XP machines be able to see the 64-bit Windows 7 Machine?

2.) I have one 64 GB Crucial SSD should I partition it a certain way for the OS install or is 64 GB plenty for the OS?

3.) The motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD If I create a RAID 10 in the ASUS Bios will I be able to see it in Windows 7?

a b $ Windows 7
January 15, 2011 3:51:44 AM

contro said:
If I go to 64-bit will I still be able to use 32-bit programs.
Absolutely. WoW (Windows on Windows) handles that.
Will my Windows XP machines be able to see the 64-bit Windows 7 Machine? Other networked machines don't usually care what OS your using. Mixed Win, Apple and Linux can co-exist nicely on a network.

64 GB SSD is fine for the OS and frequently used programs. Put the rest on the HDDs.

Is the SSD currently installed in the system?
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a b $ Windows 7
January 15, 2011 3:53:37 AM

1. There's only 2 versions of Windows 7 in each "family" - 32 bit and 64 bit. Most 32 bit programs till work....some don't but you can gain compatibility with "XP Mode"

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/products/fe...

XP mode is only is supported in Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate or Windows 7 Enterprise

2. 64 GB will get a bit tight. Using a small SSD requires being adept at where Windoze stores things by default and how to change those behaviors.

3. Consult your MoBo Manual.
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January 15, 2011 3:56:55 AM

WR2 said:
Absolutely. WoW (Windows on Windows) handles that.
Will my Windows XP machines be able to see the 64-bit Windows 7 Machine? Other networked machines don't usually care what OS your using. Mixed Win, Apple and Linux can co-exist nicely on a network.

64 GB SSD is fine for the OS and frequently used programs. Put the rest on the HDDs.

Is the SSD currently installed in the system?


I will be using this computer as a DLNA server and it will be connected to a monitor to view movies on and occasionally play some games I have some older games that I may play so if I go to install the 64-bit version will it affect me playing the older games of will Windows on Windows be able to handle that?

The SSD is not installed yet. I have most of the parts and can begin the install but I just want to make sure what version of Windows & Ultimate would be purfect for me to install.

I created a thread for what my build is here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/302293-31-htpc-raid-b...
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January 15, 2011 4:02:24 AM

JackNaylorPE said:
1. There's only 2 versions of Windows 7 in each "family" - 32 bit and 64 bit. Most 32 bit programs till work....some don't but you can gain compatibility with "XP Mode"

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/products/fe...

XP mode is only is supported in Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate or Windows 7 Enterprise

2. 64 GB will get a bit tight. Using a small SSD requires being adept at where Windoze stores things by default and how to change those behaviors.

3. Consult your MoBo Manual.


Ok I understand what you are saying.... I plan on storing everything on the RAID 10 array, minor installs on the 64 GB SSD. So If I do the XP Mode combatibility my major concern is will the virtualized environment be able to be run from the RAID 10 array and will it see the RAID 10 array?
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a b $ Windows 7
January 15, 2011 4:41:29 AM

You want to use the SSD as a boot drive but you're building a DLNA server that will almost never need to be booted?
Or are you shutting that thing down every night and when it's not in use?

Since you're starting from scratch with the SSD and HDDs installed at the same time as long as BIOS knows the SSD is the boot drive and the Win7 installs with the RAID array already built there shouldn't be any issues. To Windows that raid array is just another HDD attached to the system. It won't care if it's a single HDD or a multi-disk array.
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January 15, 2011 4:44:20 AM

WR2 said:
You want to use the SSD as a boot drive but you're building a DLNA server that will almost never need to be booted?
Or are you shutting that thing down every night and when it's not in use?

Since you're starting from scratch with the SSD and HDDs installed at the same time as long as BIOS knows the SSD is the boot drive and the Win7 installs with the RAID array already built there shouldn't be any issues. To Windows that raid array is just another HDD attached to the system. It won't care if it's a single HDD or a multi-disk array.


The computer will most likely be on 24/7 with occasional reboots for system updates/software installs.

I think I know what I need to do in order to have the SSD as a boot drive and the 4 X 2TB hard drives as the RAID array.
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a b $ Windows 7
January 15, 2011 4:59:30 AM

Older games on Win7. You'd have to take that issue up one game at a time. T

A well written 32bit game that avoids trying to address the hardware directly should run fine. Older 16bit games or 32bit games with dodgy programming that try to work directly with hardware probably won't run or will run but have issues or need some type of work-around or intervention to run.

If you find a game that won't run on Win7 and if the game is important to your family you can always setup a dual boot option or run that games on one of the XP machines you mentioned. And if you're willing to learn the in's and out's of the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit you can get almost anything to run.
I'm actually running a few old DOS games from time to time on my Win7 system. DOSBox project

Windows 7 Compatibility Center lists many games and compatibility status.
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a b $ Windows 7
January 15, 2011 5:05:01 AM

You could have saved the extra cost of the SSD boot drive for what you plan. It won't leverage your system performance to really justify the extra cost. On the other hand it won't hurt your system either.
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January 15, 2011 5:05:33 AM

WR2 said:
Older games on Win7. You'd have to take that issue up one game at a time. T

A well written 32bit game that avoids trying to address the hardware directly should run fine. Older 16bit games or 32bit games with dodgy programming that try to work directly with hardware probably won't run or will run but have issues or need some type of work-around or intervention to run.

If you find a game that won't run on Win7 and if the game is important to your family you can always setup a dual boot option or run that games on one of the XP machines you mentioned. And if you're willing to learn the in's and out's of the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit you can get almost anything to run.
I'm actually running a few old DOS games from time to time on my Win7 system. DOSBox project

Windows 7 Compatibility Center lists many games and compatibility status.


So in the end my final question is should I go with Windows 7 Ultimate x86 version or the 64-bit version?
Keep in mind I only have 4GB of RAM and will be running a AMD Athlon Quad Core processor.
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January 15, 2011 5:07:44 AM

WR2 said:
You could have saved the extra cost of the SSD boot drive for what you plan. It won't leverage your system performance to really justify the extra cost. On the other hand it won't hurt your system either.


Your right, on one hand I really don't need the SSD for movie playback and all, but on the other hand for games.... but the SSD does have a size limit..... I completely understand what you are saying I guess I didn't think the SSD implementation through all the way but like you said it doesn't hurt either.
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a b $ Windows 7
January 15, 2011 5:10:19 AM

Once you figure out what games you can't live without, and what the compatibility status of those games are you can make up your mind.
Are you getting an OEM copy of Win7? The retail copy has both 32bit and 64bit versions inside.
What is the cost of the OEM Win7 Ultimate and the retail version of Win7 Home Premium?
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a b $ Windows 7
January 15, 2011 5:12:10 AM

The SSD won't be a big issue either way. I don't figure you'll have the games installed on the SSD due to it's size.
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January 15, 2011 5:14:04 AM

WR2 said:
Once you figure out what games you can't live without, and what the compatibility status of those games are you can make up your mind.
Are you getting an OEM copy of Win7? The retail copy has both 32bit and 64bit versions inside.
What is the cost of the OEM Win7 Ultimate and the retail version of Win7 Home Premium?


I have Windows 7 Ultimate in my Possession bought it from a friend for a extremely generous price. It has both the x86 and 64-bit version.
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a b $ Windows 7
January 15, 2011 5:18:10 AM

OEM Win7 Ultimate = $180
Retail Win7 Home Premium $190
Retail Win7 Home Premium upgrade $110

Do you have a old retail copy of WinXP SP3 you can install on the new hardware to qualify for the Retail Home Premium upgrade?
The retail license lets you move the OS to a new system. The OEM version is locked to a single system.
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Best solution

a b $ Windows 7
January 15, 2011 5:20:07 AM

Then the price isnt an issue. And having both versions means it's a retail version too. Good news.

Without knowing what games you'll want to carry over I'm thinking install 64bit and work with the games that balk @ running on the new system to figure out a solution or run them on the older machines.
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January 15, 2011 5:23:37 AM

WR2 said:
Then the price isnt an issue. And having both versions means it's a retail version too. Good news.

Without knowing what games you'll want to carry over I'm thinking installed 64bit and work with the games that balk @ running on the new system to figure out a solution or run them on the older machines.


I have a couple older Windows XP SP3 systems so I think going with the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Ultimate will be my best choice.
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January 15, 2011 12:08:10 PM

Best answer selected by contro.
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