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New Computer Built...just given SSD

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April 16, 2011 5:22:36 AM

Hey folks,
I have only some experience building. This is my second machine, the first was long-overdue for an upgrade. So I decided not to invest in a SSD, and opted to reformat a 7200 1TB disc that I had, and added a brand new 1TB 7200... Well lo and behold, after everything is set up and running perfectly, my wife buys me (as a gift) a 120gig vertex 2... UGH! What do I do? I've never done any sort of RAID config before and certainly haven't messed with SSD... I can't wait to install it but... how to go about it?? I read so many conflicting views. If someone could point me in the right direction, I would be grateful. Thanks!

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April 16, 2011 6:15:49 AM

Hello, I hope my own experiences in this area may be of some assistance. I transitioned to using SSD as my root drive(s) last summer and have no regrets. Your only possible complication is getting it configured as such IF you try to clone your present root {or "C:"} drive to it and the existing primary partition of your hard drive {source} exceeds the capacity of the SSD capacity {target}. This is not a major hassle however as there are workarounds to it. You could simply install the SSD and start from scratch in reinstalling your OS and other assorted programs. OR, you can use a number of third party programs that get the job done. I personally used Acronis True Image for my own drives by making an image file of my existing OS and the using the same program to fit that image file to the SSD target drive. The only factor in this method is to ensure that your image file is smaller than the total capacity of the SSD drive. There are other programs out there but I have personally only used Acronis in my own experience. Most conventional drive cloning programs {last I checked a few months ago} will balk at copying from a larger to a smaller drive/partition...but this may have changed since. Good luck and enjoy your new SSD!

Also, I am including a link which discusses a number of alternative and options that may be of use to you:

http://superuser.com/questions/99211/free-way-to-clone-...[/b]
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a b G Storage
April 16, 2011 6:42:57 AM

I'll play devil's advocate and suggest doing a fresh install on the SSD and keeping the big drives for data storage and some programs.
The problem with SSD's is they run out of real estate fairly quickly. You can't put everything on there, but you don't need to. Install the OS, then pick and choose which priority apps you want on there, such as web browsers, email, and your favorite most used applications. For the most part, larger applications will run fine on your mechanical drives. I have a few select games on my SSD, mostly strategy titles that suffer from long load times. My guess is you have a lot of programs loaded on the 1TB drive(s) that may not be neccessary on the SSD.

As long as you install windows in AHCI mode, you shouldn't have any issues with it as far as maintenance goes. Trim does everything you need, you'll want to run the optimizer once a week but that's it. Its really not difficult at all, and OCZ has great forums for getting the most out of you SSD.

I say install it today! You will notice an immediate and tangible benefit.
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April 16, 2011 7:23:14 AM

Thanks guys, for both answers. I've been reading all night and frankly, my head hurts. LOL. As far as I can tell, the general consensus is to fresh-install win7 on the ssd with a few of my games... but im not sure about things like photoshop/illustrator CS5? they're picky as it is and I use them both often. Mixed opinions about where to put them. I have disc images taken (even from old stuff on dead builds, lol, little paranoid??) so I can always pull stuff... I guess there would be no benefit to RAID0 on the other two drives right? considering it wouldn't come close to the vertex... ugh it's too late to think about all this. :) 
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a c 297 G Storage
April 16, 2011 8:37:53 AM

^5 +1 what buzznut said.

A clean install is preferred to cloning.
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April 16, 2011 6:40:27 PM

Buzznut is right, unless you are using much less than 120GB right now, in which case I would clone it for less hassle.
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April 17, 2011 9:05:06 AM

Best answer selected by nopressure0.
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a c 115 G Storage
April 17, 2011 2:24:19 PM

Well, I'd have 2 answers depending on how ya 1st set up the machine. Been in the exact same situation several times.... where I or potential user wants to add a SSD later.

1. When setting up HD, put OS on it's own small partition. Last gaming build for example (2TB) went:

C:\OS (64 GB)
D:\Games (Balance of Drive)
E:\Programs (64 GB)
F:\Data (128 GB)

2. Reset user file location to F:\Users

3. Now when SSD comes along, unplug the HD and install Windows.

4. Repeat Step 2

Now user boots to the SSD normally but entering BIOS allows Boot to HD which allows an image restore to the SSD if OS somehow gets fudged.

If ya haven't set up the HD beforehand as above with an OS boot drive, if ya haven't installed programs or data (or willing uninstall them) shrink the HD partition and proceed as above.

If you got a bunch of stuff on there already, ya choices are:

a) wipe the drive and do what Buzz said
b) wipe the drive and do the above
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