1. Will my motherboard/specs support it?
2. Can anyone explain RAID in relation to this hard drive? I hear this tossed around a lot, and I read the FAQ but I am still a bit confused...
3. Besides the hard drive, what additional cables and stuff do I need to buy?
4. How do I transfer the OS from my current hard drive to the new one?
5. What else besides the OS is usually placed on the solid state drive? Internet browser I would imagine... or do people put almost all of their programs on the drive and use the other hard drive just for raw data?
1-Yes your motherboard will support it.
3-The same data and power cables as for your sata drives.
4-Make an image of your drive using a utility such as Acronis True Image, not free about $50US. On special at the moment $29.99 http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage...
A free one is Macrium Reflect Free Edition Drive Image, but I havn't tried it.
5-What you put on it, (or I would) is the programs that you use. Data files photos, music and videos can be put on the the second drive. You can fit a the OS and a lot of programs on a 64 GB drive ( that you actually use) Ones that you just want to try out can be installed on the second drive.
I've decided now I want to upgrade to Windows 7 and install it on the new hard drive. Do I buy the upgrade edition or the system builder? And do I still need to make an image of the drive or can I just install the OS on the SSD and copy and paste my programs over with a flash drive?
The upgrade eddition is a retail boxed set, but it does require a previous version to be on the pc. So yes, you would still need the image.
It has the advantage of having both 32 bit and 64 bit versions included in the box. So if you were to upgrade to the 32 bit version (assuming your current OS is 32 bit) you could do an inplace upgrade if you wished.
If you want to upgrade to the 64 bit version you would need to do a clean install, meaning that you would need to save your files and boot with the W7 disk.
For about the same amount of money you could get the OEM version and just do a clean install onto your new drive. That would be my suggestion as the easiest way for your situation.
But remember to choose 32 bit or 64 bit when ordering as you only get one or the other in OEM. As you already have 4 GB of ram 64 bit is the way to go.
If you leave your existing drives connected when installing W7 it will detect the previous instalation and create a dual boot menu for you at startup.
If you don't want this, discinnect your other drives before the install process.
If going from 32 bit -> 64 Bit you must do a clean install (With 32 bit you will only be able to use approx 3 gigs of your 4 gigs of memory)
You can use either the Upgrade, or the oem version. Do not do an image of vista - Win 7 will correctly align the partition for an SSD during a clean install - not sure if restoring an image file will. Another plus for win 7 is that it has the trim command, vista does not.
On Raid - For Trim cmd to work, the SSD needs to be installed as a AHCI drive (Bios setting).
For upgrade version - it is legal to do a clean install (AS LONG as you own the required XP/Vista operating system for THAT computer). Do not insert your Key during installation (you have upto 30 days). You just have to do some simple changes before activation. Will added what needs to be done after
To install using an upgrade install disk (Must Own a qualifing Operating system - Does not have to be installed).
Do a Clean Install, But DO NOT enter your Key
Go ahead and let windows 7 down load critical updates. Then:
Open regedit.exe with Start Menu Search and navigate to:
Easier - Just do a search for " MediaBootInstall"
Change MediaBootInstall from "1" to "0". (Double-click it and then enter 0 in the dialog that appears.)
Open the Start Menu again and type cmd in Start Menu search to display a shortcut to the Command Line utility. Right-click this shortcut and choose "Run as administrator." Handle the UAC prompt.
In the command line window, type: slmgr /rearm
Then tap ENTER and wait for the "Command completed successfully" dialog.
Then, close the command line window and reboot. When Windows 7 reboots, run the Activate Windows utility, type in your product key and activate windows.