I've never tinkered around with installing several hardrives before. I've built two computers, and each time I've only had to use one hardrive.
With the new SSDs and Win7 fast approaching, I'm excited at the opportunity to boot up and play games fast; however, I'm not excited about paying an arm and a leg for storing my, ahem, extensive media collection. I think what I want to do is what people refer to as having my SDD as a "bootable drive". Can someone correct my reasoning?
- When I buy my new SDD, I plug that one into my SATA port, plug my existing HDD into 2nd SATA port, then in BIOS put bootable drive to the SDD device
- should ask me to format, install windows 7 (when the winsows 7 cd is in my optical driev) - right?
- install windows 7, and those games I want to see a performance increase
- all my files should still automatically appear in a "d:\" drive right (ie, old existing HDD)? I can access this hardrive and its files no problem without having to set up anything (eg, controllers in BIOS)?
Any comments would be appreciated...I guess I could tinker around with this myself as I have another old HDD and I could play with the two - however my mid-size case is a mess of wires and tangles and barely holding my 285gtx - it's chaos in there and takes way too much effort to change anything.
Anyways, everything you've written sounds good. Just make sure to select the correct drive when installing Windows! Also, expect your old hard disk to be a bottle neck for your SSD, especially when your doing SSD-HDD transfers.
It's better in general to connect only the primary OS drive
when you are installing Windows.
After Windows is fully installed, Plug-and-Play logic
makes it very easy to connect additional drives.
There is just one important decision which should
be made BEFORE running Windows Setup:
For motherboards with an integrated Intel chipset,
Intel recommends enabling RAID mode on your
main SATA ports, even if you opt for Just a Bunch
Of Disks aka JBOD or non-RAID.
The reason for this is the way disks are initialized
when choosing "Standard IDE", "AHCI" or "RAID"
in your BIOS.
Switching device drivers from Standard IDE to AHCI
is possible, but switching from either to RAID mode
requires a session with the integrated Option ROM
and re-installing Windows with RAID mode enabled
in the BIOS.
And, with XP the F6 option must be invoked
and the ICHxR driver "iastor.sys" etc. must be ready
on a floppy disk. I don't know what has changed
with Windows 7 in this regard, but the necessary
drivers must be installed during Windows Setup.
Summary: Intel recommends that RAID mode be
enabled in the BIOS before Windows Setup is
run the first time, even if all drives will operate
in non-RAID or JBOD mode initially. We agree
with this recommendation because it makes
adding RAID array(s) much easier later on,
i.e. by eliminating the need to re-install the OS.