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Questions on setting up my SSD

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June 20, 2011 4:36:03 AM

Hey guys, I got my Crucial m4 in the mail yesterday, and I'm about to install Windows 7 on it. I haven't gotten my optical drive yet, so I'm going to boot off of a thumb drive. I've checked the forums here and elsewhere, but I'm still a bit confused as to how I should set up the SSD as my boot drive.

So, from what I understand:
1. Only hook up the SSD first
2. Do a regular install of Windows 7
3. Move the libraries to the secondary drive (HDD)
4. Do all the stuff in Tecmo34's guide
5. ???
6. Profit!

Is this the right way to go about it?

Also, when installing programs, I plan on putting Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, and Microsoft Office on the SSD. Is it a good idea to install things like Thunderbird, Firefox, Dropbox, and Norton on the SSD, or are those better suited for the HDD?

Thanks for your help!

More about : questions setting ssd

a c 415 G Storage
June 20, 2011 5:07:43 AM

You've got the steps right.

I'm still on Visual Studio 2008 and I have that, the MS-Office suite, Adobe Web Design CS4, Thunderbird, Firefox, and all my other software installed on the SSD. I also have my login profile on the SSD so that all of the Mozilla profiles and temporary internet files are on the SSD for speed. Right now about 75GB of my SSD is in use (it's capacity is 160GB).
a c 259 G Storage
June 20, 2011 5:19:22 AM

That's just about right.

First check for any BIOS updates for your motherboard. If there is one, you'll wind up using the flash drive to flash the BIOS. I did one this morning. Very easy to do. Just follow the motherboard manufacturer's instructions.

After you connect the ssd boot up and go straight into BIOS. Change the disk configuration from IDE to ACHI. While still in BIOS check the start-up configuration and make sure the ssd is listed as the boot drive. The ssd should already be listed as the BIOS should recognize it immediately. Finally, check the power management section

As soon as you have Windows and a web browser installed check to see if there are any motherboard chipset or SATA controller updates. I wound up downloading and installing both this morning.

Things have changed a bit since tecmo wrote that article a while back. There is a lot of new information available so he wrote a brand new article that Tom's Hardware published last week. You might want to take a look at it:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-performance-twe...

If you have enough room there is nothing wrong with installing software programs on your ssd. All of the software you mentioned should do well on the ssd. No problem.

Good Luck!
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June 20, 2011 5:57:31 AM

Ah, gotcha. Another question, though: with things like the temporary files of Firefox and all the e-mails in Thunderbird, won't the write cycles of the SSD get torn through fairly quickly? Or does it not work that way?
June 20, 2011 4:33:24 PM

vergil777 said:
Ah, gotcha. Another question, though: with things like the temporary files of Firefox and all the e-mails in Thunderbird, won't the write cycles of the SSD get torn through fairly quickly? Or does it not work that way?

personally, i wouldn't worry too much about the # of write cycles unless you are super heavy on it,, the newer SSDs with Trim are protected alot better than the older ones just because trim makes less info write to the drive..and as JohnnyLucky said,, make sure your BIOS is up to date and ACHI is enabled. It is a huge pain in the butt to change it back over after windows is installed.

Also I don't know if you have Intel or AMD, but I suggest heavily not to use Windows ACHI drivers, go to respective website and get Intel Storage Matrix manager or AMD ACHI drivers (may be listed as RAID Driver, the ACHI driver will be in there as well) - i found issues with sleep, etc,, not readily noticeable, however it does end up showing its head. my drive speeds appear to be better now, too

PS when you install Windows, disconnect all other drives as windows has a habit of putting the Boot loader on a random hard drive, usually not the one you want. After install, add your other drives.

a c 259 G Storage
June 20, 2011 5:33:02 PM

^5 +1 what monkeysweat said!
a c 415 G Storage
June 20, 2011 7:03:20 PM

On the system I described in my post above I'm averaging about 5GB of writes per day. Since my 160GB Intel X-25M G2 is supposed to be able to last "at least" 5 years at a write rate of 20GB/day, this means my drive should have a life expectancy of around 20 years. I expect it to be obsolete long before that.

And that's with temporary Internet files, etc. on the drive.
a b G Storage
June 21, 2011 3:45:59 AM

sminlal said:
You've got the steps right.

I'm still on Visual Studio 2008 and I have that, the MS-Office suite, Adobe Web Design CS4, Thunderbird, Firefox, and all my other software installed on the SSD. I also have my login profile on the SSD so that all of the Mozilla profiles and temporary internet files are on the SSD for speed. Right now about 75GB of my SSD is in use (it's capacity is 160GB).


Haha sminlal, I have all those same programs except visual studio 2010 (express edition though) and no adobe web design. :) . Oh yeah and Im at 16.8GB out of 80GB on my x25-m. All my big apps go on my hdd, like sims/games. and all my saves, downloads, caches, temps are on my HDD.
a c 415 G Storage
June 21, 2011 6:46:20 AM

blackhawk1928 said:
I have all those same programs except visual studio 2010 (express edition though)
I don't know how VS2010 Express fares, but I've found several operations such as searching the help system or bringing up project properties way, way faster in VS2008 when it's installed on the SSD.
a b G Storage
June 21, 2011 10:11:22 AM

Don't fill your drive too full - if you make your drive too full, it will wear out the spare space too quickly. I haven't seen a good rule of thumb, but I reckon it's wise to keep it under 80% full, maybe even less.

If you are not going to care too much about how fast it loads, put it on hard disk.
a b G Storage
June 21, 2011 5:00:07 PM

sminlal said:
I don't know how VS2010 Express fares, but I've found several operations such as searching the help system or bringing up project properties way, way faster in VS2008 when it's installed on the SSD.


Well I never had it installed on an HDD so I have nothing to compare, but I know that its fast. It compiles extremely quick, but I'm not sure if thats the SSD or CPU. Either way, SSD makes everything faster/snappier from my experience, it just makes your computer feel more powerful. Best purchase I've ever made for PC.
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