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I am about to install my first SSD and I have some questions

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May 26, 2011 11:11:11 PM

I currently have a raid 0 setup using two Samsung F3 drives. Can I install the ssd as a secondary drive and do a fresh install of windows without effecting my existing drives? In otherwords can I install the ssd as a second drive, install windows, and still have access to my raid drives?

I would like to do that so I can just drag and drop files over (like game profiles, downloaded software,etc) from the raid drives to the new ssd. Once I get everything switched over from the raid 0 drives I plan on reformatting them as a raid 1 setup for backup and storage.

I assume this can be done but I am nervous about chaning the drive type in the bios to ahci for the ssd then not being able to access the raid 0 drives.

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May 27, 2011 6:38:35 PM

Anyone???

From what I can tell from looking at the raid setup menu I should be able to just add the ssd drive and not make it part of a raid setup and it should work just fine. If I do that then I should be able to boot from either the ssd or my existing raid 0 hdd.

Is that correct?
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May 28, 2011 12:34:22 AM

Yes it should work. I have my SSD setup on AHCI. With 2 harddrives in RAID 0 for storage and games. But the way my motherboard works is my SATA ports 5 and 6 is apart from SATA 1,2,3,4. I use 5 and 6 for my HDD for raid 0 format. 1 for my SSD and 2 for my optical drive.

Another thing to note is, I did a fresh install on my SSD NOT in AHCI mode. I changed it to AHCI manually through the Win7 OS. By changing the registry. There are step by step instructions on how to do it if you google search it.
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June 1, 2011 10:52:55 PM

I finally got around to installing the ssd drive today. I would like to install windows on it and start using it. I am concerned as to what is going to happen once I install windows on it. Will I be able to pick which hard drive setup to boot from? I want to make sure before I do anything because I don't want to risk not being able to boot from my existing raid 0 hdd setup.

This is my first time trying a dual boot setup. I imagine the answer to this question would apply to a dual hdd or ssd setup as well. I searched on google for the answer but all I could find was information on installing two different operating systems for a dual boot setup. Xp and Win 7 for example.

Also, if the answer is yes just install windows on the new ssd and I will be able to boot from either drive setup, then what is the best way to go about installing windwows on the new ssd? Should I install it within windows or should I boot from the windows disk and install it that way?
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June 5, 2011 6:41:41 AM

Well since no one gave me an answer I decided to just try it and hope for the best. I disconnected my existing HDD and booted using just the new SSD. I went into the bios and changed the drive setting from raid to ahci. I just installed windows and I am currently installing all the updates/drivers/etc. When that is done I am going to reconnect my old HDD and disconnect the new SSD and change the setting in the bios back to raid. I am hoping that allows me to boot using the old HDD setup. If that is the case then I will be able to do some real world comparison of the old HDD raid 0 setup and the new SSD setup.
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June 5, 2011 7:17:49 AM

Since my keg still has beer in it I decided to keep on this tonight. lol

After I installed all the drivers and updates I timed from the first push of the power button to the first "sound" of windows loading. I got 37 seconds with the new ssd. Keep in mind that this is with the bare minium software installed and no tweaks done yet.

I then reconnected my existing HDD raid 0 setup and changed the bios back to raid. Unfortunately I don't seem to have an option of what setup to boot from. It automatically boots from the Raid 0 HDD setup. Why is that???

Anyway with the old HDD raid 0 array it takes 52 seconds from power on to the first windows sound. So the new SSD setup shaved about 15 seconds off of the inital boot time. Since my EVGA mobo takes @13 seconds to post that is not that bad.

So my next question is, is it possible to choose which drive setup to boot from without having to change the bios setting from raid to ahci?
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June 5, 2011 7:31:24 AM

I should have double checked before my last post. I can't leave all the drives connected and simply change the bios from RAID to AHCI. When I do that it freezes and say no OS installed. If I disconnect my old Raid drives and chage the bios to AHCI it boots just fine.

Is there a way to allow me to choose which setup to boot from without having to physically disconnect the drives?
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June 5, 2011 4:28:05 PM

Yes. In BIOS there is a boot priority menu.
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June 6, 2011 8:24:37 PM

In order to boot with all drives connceted I have to change the bios to either AHCI or Raid then change the boot order of the hard drives. This isn't a big deal but I was hoping for a simple prompt when the computer is first turned on where I could select which to boot from. I guess it isn't that simple unfortunately.
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a b G Storage
June 6, 2011 8:44:00 PM

Sorry, there aren't very many people on this forum, so answers may take a while. For instance, I haven't visited this forum in a few months.

with boot priority, you'll have to designate which is the bootable drive through either the main BIOS or through the BIOS config screen for the RAID controller. In my case, it was through the RAID controller.

Since you are already running RAID 0, you will probably have to go into the RAID controller setup to tell it which drive is bootable. I haven't seen any desktop system have a prompt for which drive to boot from a menu. I've seen it through the EFI of generic Itanium servers, but not desktop systems.
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June 6, 2011 9:13:08 PM

I do have to go into the bios and change the type of drive and the boot order but I can then boot from either drive setup.

Once I get everything installed on the SSD I plan on converting over my old HDD Raid 0 seup to a Raid 1 setup for program storage and backup. I really need to buy a newer larger capacity external drive then I wouldn't have had to bother trying to figure all this out. That will be next thing to buy, a 2tb external.
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June 7, 2011 12:09:20 AM

I recommend installing windows on the SSD with the other drives disconnected. Once installed, reconnect the other drives and they will work as before. You can set boot priority in BIOS, and F12 (usually) during boot. Your system may recognize a dual boot system and prompt you to choose a drive on every boot-up. In that case, remove your secondary drives from the boot list.
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