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Win 7 SSD

Last response: in Windows 7
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November 7, 2009 7:09:41 PM

Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

I plan new Win 7 install on SSD Kingston 64Gb.
I would like advice on how to do this right the first time on this home builld.

1. How should I format the SSD and 1TB HD before loading Win 7?

2. Can I do it from the Win 7 install disk?

3. I am thinking of keeping Win 7 in a separate partiton so I can better manage the limited SSD space safely - specifically I would like the option to delete everything in the second partition. I suppose it depends on how closely I watch it and how large varios cache and page files are set up or run. I will have 4Gb RAM and I am not sure if I can specify page file size.

Is that partition a bad idea?

4. Any suggestions on Win 7 partiton size?

5. What other Win7 configuration changes should I make to optimize space and performance on SSD?
I will have 4Gb RAM and I am not sure if I can specify page file size.

6. What directories should I direct to the HD?

I know a lot will fit on the 64GB because my current Win XP is on Raptor 74GB and a lot if programs including OFFICE and many games share it OK with no partition.
I know I will have to clear games off occaionally because of space and It would be good to keep them on SSD on a separate partiton so I can safely wipe the whole extra partiton if I don't like the uninstall results.

Here is my new PC from Newegg $1060.
Case - Rosewill R5730
PS - Antec EA650
CPU - AMD Phenom II X3 720
MB - ASUS M4A79XTD
RAM - G.SKILLL Ripjaw 2X2GB DDR3 1600
VIDEO - HIS Radeon 5770 1GB
SSD - Kingston SNV225-S2 64GB SATA
HD - Seagate Barracuda 1TB SATA
DVD - Sony Optiarc SATA
Win 7 Home 64
Bluetooth - AZIO USB

Here is my rationale for picking this setup...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/viewbbcode.php?config...

Here are some other rambling thoughts about another build and version of windows...
Back in the Win 95 days I would backup files and format the c drive and reload windows to optimize performance. Now the software keys are a nightmare. Now simply do constant virus scanner, 3 types of spyware sweeps, clear everything our of MSCONFIG STARTUP, run registry cleanups, defrags and System Care to keep things running smoothly. Still some mysterious tasks like MSMPENG annoyingly rob CPU. I just go to task manager to kill that whenever my HD starts flashing... I hope Win 7 does not have all these mysterious CPU robbers. I will have extra cache and engines just in case now...

Oops. sorry honey. :o  . I went over budget by $360. Luv ya :hello:  .
(TIP: Tell her what you need after she puts down money on a trip to visit her out of state friends :)  )

More about : win ssd

a b $ Windows 7
November 7, 2009 8:12:22 PM

Installing Windows 7 on a SSD is just as easy as a normal HDD. Booting with the Windows 7 DVD choose custom install as this lets you choose which of your drives to use as the OS disk.

A Word of warning though - once oyu have installed windows 7 (or any other OS) make sure that page file is disabled on your SSD - this can over time cause serious performance drop offs and shorten the life of the drive. Flash memory has a limited number of read / write actions per memort cell. This wont be a problem in normal use by page files and automatic defrag can cause problems.
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a b $ Windows 7
November 7, 2009 8:15:21 PM

With only 64 Gigs, I probably would not partition it.

What I would do is leave your large HDD disconnected until you have completed your win 7 install.

Question - Which Kingston 64 Gig drive - Make sure it will support windows Trim command (does it use the same controller as the Intel 80 gig G2). If not, and you can not afford the 80 gig Intel G2, then look at the patriot torqx, or OCZ Vortex. Not as good as the Intel G2, but they DO support firmware upgrade and win 7 Trim Cmd.

DO NOT run Defrag on a SSD, Turn auto run off (win 7 should turn it off by default, but verify)

Some tips on using SSD:
Increase System Speed
Disable indexing
Description: Indexing creates and maintains a database of file attributes. This can lead to multiple small writes when creating/deleting/modifying files. Searching for files will still work.
Instructions: Start Menu -> Right-Click Computer -> Manage -> Services and Applications -> Services - > Right-Click Windows Search -> Startup type: Disabled -> OK

Disable defragmentation
Description: Defragmenting a hard disk's used space is only useful on mechanical disks with multi-millisecond latencies. Free-space defragmentation may be useful to SSDs, but this feature is not available in the default Windows Defragmenter.
Instructions: Start Menu -> Right-Click Computer -> Manage -> Services and Applications -> Services - > Right-Click Disk Defragmenter -> Startup type: Disabled -> OK

Disable Write Caching
Description: There is no cache on the SSD, so there are no benefits to write caching. There are conflicting reports on whether this gains speed or not.
Instructions: Start Menu -> Right-Click Computer -> Manage -> Device Manager -> Disk drives -> Right-Click STEC PATA -> Properties -> Policies Tab -> Uncheck Enable write caching -> OK

Configure Superfetch
Description: Frees up RAM by not preloading program files.
Instructions: On second glance, I would recommend leaving this one alone. However, there are some customizations that you can follow in the post below.

Free up extra drive space
Disable the Page File (Better Yet, set your virtual memory to your Mecanical HHD, NOTE I left some virtual memory ON)
Description: Eliminate writing memory to the SSD, free over 2GB of disk space. Warning - If you run out of memory the program you're using will crash.Instructions: Start Menu -> Right-Click Computer -> Properties -> Advanced System Settings -> Settings (Performance) -> Advanced Tab -> Change -> Uncheck Automatically manage -> No paging file -> Set -> OK -> Restart your computer
Alternatively, if you want to play it safer, you can set a custom size of 200MB min and max.

Disable System Restore
Description: Don't write backup copies of files when installing new programs or making system changes. Can free up between a few hundred MB to a couple GB. Warning - Although unlikely, if a driver installation corrupts your system, there won't be an automatic way to recover.
Instructions: Start Menu -> Right-Click Computer -> Properties -> Advanced System Settings -> System Protection Tab -> Configure -> Turn off system protection -> Delete -> OK

Disable Hibernate
Description: You may free up 1GB of space on the SSD if you have 1GB of memory, 2GB of space if you have 2GB memory. You will lose the hibernation feature which allows the equivalent of quick boots and shutdowns.
Instructions: Start Menu -> Type cmd -> Right-Click the cmd Icon -> Run as Administrator -> Type powercfg -h off -> Type exit
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Related resources
November 8, 2009 9:07:18 PM

I've got a 160GB Gen2 Intel SSD. It was just like installing Win7 on a mechanical drive, just do as a previous post suggested and disable auto-defrag. It is a little silly that Windows didn't do this automatically based on my two installs (Pro and Ultimate SKUs).

As for Superfetch, leave it on. There's far too many people concerned about it and it's nothing but a good thing. The cache flushes data as soon as Windows determines it needs some free memory. So, unless you just want to sit there and look at Resource Monitor's graph and feel good about all that memory you paid for not being used, just leave it alone. The only time I'd recommend disabling it is if you've got a set of annoyingly loud drives, since it makes for a noisy post boot experience; but we are talking SSD and that's not a concern here.

Indexing, paging, etc is fine. People neglect to understand most drives have very good wear levelling. So far, after about a month and a half of use, I've got about 500GB of total writes (according to the Intel Toolbox), which is less than four writes per cell out of 10,000 + whatever cells are in reserve. At this rate, the cells will discharge from age rather than too many writes. This is with the swap file, system restore, and indexing enabled.

I'd really recommend getting a larger SSD if you can swing it. Win7 is a beast. Ultimate is currently using 18GB in the C:\Windows folder.

I recall reading performance can degrade if you leave less than 20-30% free space on the drive. I've got nowhere near enough stuff on mine to worry with looking into that, but might be worth a Google if you plan on a small drive.

Also, Don't fall for RAID0 with two smaller SSDs. You will hate life when your write performance eventually degrades and you can't use TRIM to clean it up without going through a bunch of hoops and risking your data.

Anyway, just grab a drive and enjoy it. Don't let 'write phobia' ruin your experience!
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a b $ Windows 7
November 9, 2009 1:56:08 AM

Good advice from spoofedpacket.

I would not partition the SSD. One partition is easier to manage.

In the bios, I think you want to select AHCI, not IDE if you ever expect to use TRIM. Do not select RAID, even though it is will include AHCI because you will get intel drivers which do not support TRIM . You want the windows-7capable drivers.
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November 9, 2009 2:00:57 AM

Besides not defragmenting and stopping services like search, indexing etc. move the swap-file to another drive so you don't have unneccesary read/write actions on the SSD drive. Move your Temp and tmp folder to another drive and do the same with your admin-userprofile folders; pictures, download, music etc.

I've stripped my Patriot 32Gb SSD from all those things, and my machine boots to a functional Vista in approx. 10 seconds from power on. Vista is down to using only 750Mb ram and quite snappy :) 
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January 16, 2010 11:30:29 PM

chriscornell said:
Besides not defragmenting and stopping services like search, indexing etc. move the swap-file to another drive so you don't have unneccesary read/write actions on the SSD drive. Move your Temp and tmp folder to another drive and do the same with your admin-userprofile folders; pictures, download, music etc.

I've stripped my Patriot 32Gb SSD from all those things, and my machine boots to a functional Vista in approx. 10 seconds from power on. Vista is down to using only 750Mb ram and quite snappy :) 


So you left hibernation on for quick boots?
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a c 209 $ Windows 7
January 17, 2010 3:46:09 PM

One word of advice I'd mention is to disconnect ALL of your drives EXCEPT the SSD when you install Windows. Windows will try to create a "recovery partition" on a different drive than the OS drive. When you boot the system you're actually booting from the recovery partition which then goes ahead and loads windows from the OS drive. The idea is that it your OS drive gets corrupted then you can still boot the recovery partition in order to perform a repair.

Unfortunately it means that both drives need to work in order to boot Windows. I personally prefer that everything you need to boot the system be on one drive, so I install windows without any other drives connected. This way it creates the recovery partition on the same drive as Windows (the SSD, in this case).

I do periodic image backups of the OS drive so that if there's a problem it's an easy restore (using a recovery DVD) to get everything working again.
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January 18, 2010 8:19:12 AM

Good advice sminlal... So that's why I got a small system reserved partition (few mbytes) on my SSD when I installed win7 on my RAID O SSD (2*Corsair 64 mb.) drive this weekend. To be on the safe, I had disconnected all other drives during installation.

RetiredChief, and others who have participated in this thread,
Thank you for the valuable info you have given.
I'll go over them this evening.
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September 16, 2010 12:09:58 PM

I think this thread should be edited and made sticky, it contains valuable tips for guys newly jumping on the SSD bandwagon and it is the most comprehensive one I came across so far.
Thanks guys.
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December 16, 2012 4:32:57 AM

I just bought 2 Sandisk Extreme 240gb drives and am awaiting them in the mail. They are for two separate, nearly identical builds and the advice in this thread has been very informative. This single thread cut google searching and browsing time by AT LEAST an hour for me. Thank you kindly, good sirs :) 
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December 23, 2012 1:48:29 PM

I tried partitioning OS and ran into space hassles. Recommend single partition for simplicity. Keep only OS and frequently used or higher performance stuff on teh SSD. Keep an eye on free space before installing large new programs (GAMES!). Everything else even games run fast enough from the big slow drive.
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June 21, 2014 12:50:05 PM

sminlal said:
One word of advice I'd mention is to disconnect ALL of your drives EXCEPT the SSD when you install Windows. Windows will try to create a "recovery partition" on a different drive than the OS drive. When you boot the system you're actually booting from the recovery partition which then goes ahead and loads windows from the OS drive. The idea is that it your OS drive gets corrupted then you can still boot the recovery partition in order to perform a repair.

Unfortunately it means that both drives need to work in order to boot Windows. I personally prefer that everything you need to boot the system be on one drive, so I install windows without any other drives connected. This way it creates the recovery partition on the same drive as Windows (the SSD, in this case).
I do periodic image backups of the OS drive so that if there's a problem it's an easy restore (using a recovery DVD) to get everything working again.


That's interesting as you only get one chance to make the recovery partition and if it's on another drive and that drive fails you are just as stuffed any way, also if this is an OEM installation you won't even have the Windows DVD, however OEMs always use the same drive, I have never seen an OEM build with it anywhere else.
Removing all optional hardware is always good advice on any O/S, it prevents many issues, but two of the most annoying are Windows deciding to make one drive the boot and another one the system for no sensible reason, the other problem with doing a clean install and having extra hardware attached is it means your recovery files will have drivers for that hardware embedded in it, so if say you later change a graphics card, the restore image is useless as it has installed old drivers which could conflict and prevent your system working properly, I always install with the onboard video or a very basic card with with Windows drivers unless it is a specific gaming build.

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