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Idea for installing Windows 7 on an SSD array

Last response: in Storage
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December 1, 2010 2:43:14 PM

I've got a pair of Vertex2's in raid0. A quick benchmark shows they are performing up to scratch at ~510 read/write. I've got an existing 1Tb HDD with windows 7 pro installed on it's own small 40Gb partition.

I want to install W7 on the SSDs, of course, but if I do this the "normal way", ie; from the dvd, the performance of the drive will be degraded due to the massive number of small writes & unpacking and what not that comes with installing.

My idea is to clone the 40Gb OS partition from the HDD onto the raid - thus the data is written sequentially, and thus there shouldn't be any (hardly any) degradation. A secondary benefit is that I would get to keep all the countless updates & modifications that I've made to W7 since I first got it (W7 just let's you do so much :D ). [the stripe size is 64kb, the block size is 4kb, same as the HDD]

I think there could be a problem though - that windows 7 is "fixed" to the drive somehow, and that by moving it to a different one I'll face compatibility issues, and performance losses anyway. I don't know if this is the case, as I've never moved windows in this fashion.

I'd like to know what you SSD experts think. Is this viable? Is there an even better way? How do I do this?

Side question (since as you are already here):
If I wanted to secure erase an array of SSDs (in the interests of starting over, restoring performance, etc), how would I do it? Would I have to break apart the array first?

PS: I know of Intel's rapid storage driver, which supposedly passes the TRIM command even through an array (some say, others say it doesn't), I haven't tried it yet so I don't know, so that's why it's not a part of my idea.

Thanks in advance.
December 1, 2010 6:15:57 PM

Thanks for the advice. I'll sub to OCZ forums, but I am still hoping someone can help me here.

Now that I think about it, this is more of a Windows issue.
a c 209 $ Windows 7
a c 415 G Storage
January 11, 2011 4:40:17 PM

> My idea is to clone the 40Gb OS partition from the HDD onto the raid - thus the data is written sequentially, and thus there shouldn't be any (hardly any) degradation.

The files will be fragmented when they're written to the hard drive and when you clone them to the SSD they'll still be fragmented (because it's a clone, right?) - so I'm not sure that you'll really solve anything by doing it this way. Of course fragmentation is much less of an issue on an SSD because of it's much faster access time.


> I think there could be a problem though - that windows 7 is "fixed" to the drive somehow, and that by moving it to a different one I'll face compatibility issues, and performance losses anyway.

I cloned an HDD partition to an SSD using Windows' built-in "System Image" backup and restore. The system worked just fine, although I just did it as a test and didn't keep if for any length of time. The biggest issue would be that Windows would have configured itself for HDD operation and not SSD operation, so you'd manually have to tweak it to do things like turning off disk defragmentation on the OS drive.


> PS: I know of Intel's rapid storage driver, which supposedly passes the TRIM command even through an array (some say, others say it doesn't)

The storage driver passes TRIM to non-RAID volumes when the chipset is configured for RAID. The intent is to let you TRIM a non-RAID OS SSD used in a system with RAID data drives. See: http://techreport.com/discussions.x/18653
a b $ Windows 7
a c 353 G Storage
January 12, 2011 2:54:31 PM

I would do the fresh Install, Not the clone method.
I cloned my Intel SSD to a Phoenix pro SSD. The drivers were incorrect and I had sub par performance and ended up re-installing windows + programs to correct.

In addition to (1) Tweek to registry and (2) Incorrect driver issues, you may also have a partition alignment problem.

Recommend (1) disconnect current HDD. Install SSD and load windows + programs. Then Reconnect HDD. Until you are satisfied eveything is "Good to Go" with the SSD you will be able to Dual boot to SSD, or HDD ( just select the Key (on mine F12) during Post to select which drive to boot to. Delete operating system on HDD only after you are satisfied everything is working on SSD.

Note, maybe I'm lucky but I've used Raid) on all my systems since 2000 and never a failure. Only stop using raid 0 for my boot drive when I got SSD. While raid0 does increase the probabilities of a failure, it does not mean you will have one. SSDs should be less prone to a failure.
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