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Topic: New to the world of SSDs; got some OS questions

Last response: in Storage
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August 18, 2010 7:44:29 PM

Hello Tom's Hardware Forum goers! Glad to be among you!

A friend of mine recently sold me his 32 gig Patriot SSD, simply because he was upgrading, for only $40. I figured I really couldn't beat that price anywhere, and I'd love to use this drive as a boot drive. However, I do have some nagging questions about the best way to handle this.

First of all, 32 gigs is enough for Windows 7 64-bit Home Basic, correct? I mean, my friend was initially using it as a boot drive for Vista, so I'm sure the slimmed down Windows 7 should have few issues. Still, I've heard some things about moving/shrinking the pagefile, and some other things to save space on the SSD. Is this something I should look into, and how do I go about it?

My current set up contains a 500 gig Caviar Black holding my OS, music, and some games, and a 300 gig Velociraptor that currently only has Starcraft II installed on it. What is the best way to make my new SSD the boot drive? Can I just install Windows 7 on the new SSD, make it my primary boot device, and then delete it from my Caviar Black? Does Windows 7 allow itself to be installed on 2 different drives connected to the same motherboard, or does it freak out? (I should note that I have an OEM copy of 7, if this affects anything.) I thought about the possibility of cloning my drive to avoid a new installation, but this presents some issues; namely, since my SSD is only 32 gigs, there's really no way for me to image the whole drive onto it. Also, I've heard that a new installation of Windows 7 is warranted on SSDs so the alignment is correct and it can be optimized.

Essentially, any insight you tech gurus could provide me with pertaining to installing Windows 7 on a new SSD with minimal hassle would be MUCH appreciated. Thank you!

My setup:

Haf 932
Samsung PX2370 Monitor
Corsair 950W PSU
GTX 260 (soon to be 470)
6 gigs Corsair XMS RAM
i7 920 running @ 3.6 Ghz
P6t Deluxe
500 Gb Caviar Black
300 Gb Velociraptor
32 Gb Patriot Warp SSD (not yet installed)
a b $ Windows 7
a b G Storage
August 18, 2010 8:26:28 PM

I would disconnect all other drives then install 7 then reconnect the other drives. I would not worry about the page file.
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a c 209 $ Windows 7
a c 415 G Storage
August 19, 2010 1:52:12 AM

^+1. If you don't disconnect the other drives when you install then you'll end up with recovery files going onto one of them and that will be your boot drive (it boots to the recovery partition first and then loads the OS from the OS drive).
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August 19, 2010 11:06:47 AM

windows 7 profession 64-bit took up something like 15GB of my 60GB SSD so that shouldn't even be a problem. and yeah, like the others said, disconnect all storage devices and store your OS on it. if it has enough space, try get sc2 (or any game you play often) on it as well - your load times will be EXTREMELY fast.

once that is done, connect your old drives and enter bios, just to make sure it's booting off your SSD (i had some issues at this stage, it wouldnt even allow me to select my SSD as 2nd 3rd or 4th boot device priority even though it was being read. you can get around this by just swapping what port number you're using on your motherboard) and voila! you will have windows on your caviar still though taking up space whilst doing nothing, but i wouldnt format that drive incase your ssd decides to take a dump
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August 19, 2010 2:20:15 PM

Okay, thank you guys very much for your help! Thanks for the tip about disconnecting my other drives; I wouldn't have considered that. Also, I think you're right about just leaving Windows on my Caviar. 20 gigs really isn't worth reformatting for, and then I'll always have that drive as a backup boot drive in case something goes wonky. Even more so than that, it saves me the time and effort of reinstalling all my programs, games, and apps again.

I guess I'm just surprised that I won't run into any issues by having the same copy of Windows installed on 2 drives hooked up to the same mobo. Are you guys sure that I won't be told that the CD Key is in use, and Windows is not genuine or something? Or, even if that happens, will a quick call to Microsoft fix the problem, provided I tell them what I'm attempting to do?
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a c 209 $ Windows 7
a c 415 G Storage
August 19, 2010 3:54:01 PM

If you have the retail version of Windows 7 you shouldn't have any problems re-using the same key as long as you don't boot back and forth between the old and new copies.
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