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Questions about adding an SSD

Last response: in Storage
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October 23, 2011 3:56:13 AM

That is, using an SSD as the main drive, and an HDD as storage.

1. Since I mainly use this for media, are games installed to the SSD? Wouldn't it run out of room pretty fast since some games take up so much space?

2. Is there any way to copy Windows 7 from the HDD to the SSD without reinstalling everything?

3. Whether you had the HDD completely filled, or completely empty, would it affect computer performance at all? Or only on files run through the HDD?

Thanks.

More about : questions adding ssd

October 24, 2011 3:21:30 AM

it is possible to successfully install games directly to an external HDD. and it works just like it does as if you installed it to your main internal drive. even with no OS on the ext HDD you can even leave the games on it and reinstall your OS on the main Drive and the games still work. just install as usual but select the ext HDD and directory as the destination. I have only tested that with Linux, however.

as far as performance the ext HDD merely stores the hard copy of the game. it is the OS on the main drive and your PC hardware that handles the rest so performance still depends on the system and is not necessarily "bogged down' by how full the ext HDD is. I say this from experience and is my opinion.

yes, it is possible to move windows 7 from one drive to another but you will have to research that yourself. just Google the same key words until you find the right step by step.

cheers
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October 24, 2011 1:16:29 PM

1) Frame rates will not be affected by running off an SSD vs. HDD, but game loads and level loads will. Loading from the SSD is faster. Will it run out of room? Depends on how big an SSD you have!

2) While this can be done, I recommend against it for two reasons. First, an HDD install cloned to SSD will not be optimised to run on an SSD. Some issues are 4K alignment, caching (not much point in read-ahead caching on an SSD), and the fact that all your games would have to be moved to the SSD since you are not doing a clean install which would allow you to put them somewhere else.

3) A completely filled HDD will probaby be highly fragmented, which will slow down reading. And, of course, you can't write to it. It would only affect access to the files on the HDD; access to the SSD would completely ignore the state of the HDD.


ERLY_CUYLERS: Are the two misspellings in the alphabet deliberate? What is their significance? (b for g; no n)
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October 24, 2011 11:51:45 PM

you would have to watch the show, it's an inside joke. :whistle: 
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October 25, 2011 1:52:03 AM

So if copying Windows 7 from the HDD to the SSD isn't a good idea, then can I just leave the HDD as it currently is, and install Windows 7 again on the SSD, or does it not work like that?
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October 26, 2011 4:20:45 AM

WyomingKnott said:
1) Frame rates will not be affected by running off an SSD vs. HDD, but game loads and level loads will. Loading from the SSD is faster. Will it run out of room? Depends on how big an SSD you have!

2) While this can be done, I recommend against it for two reasons. First, an HDD install cloned to SSD will not be optimised to run on an SSD. Some issues are 4K alignment, caching (not much point in read-ahead caching on an SSD), and the fact that all your games would have to be moved to the SSD since you are not doing a clean install which would allow you to put them somewhere else.

3) A completely filled HDD will probaby be highly fragmented, which will slow down reading. And, of course, you can't write to it. It would only affect access to the files on the HDD; access to the SSD would completely ignore the state of the HDD.


ERLY_CUYLERS: Are the two misspellings in the alphabet deliberate? What is their significance? (b for g; no n)


^+1!!!
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October 26, 2011 1:01:09 PM

wanderer said:
So if copying Windows 7 from the HDD to the SSD isn't a good idea, then can I just leave the HDD as it currently is, and install Windows 7 again on the SSD, or does it not work like that?

You can, but there are a couple of things that you should know in advance.

Make an external backup of your existing drive first, just in case anything goes wrong during the installation and re-pointing (below) process.

You must disconnect all existing drives (well, some would say all bootable drives) from the system when installing Win7. Otherwise, the installation procedure will see the bootloader on your old drive and not make the SSD bootable. Otherwise, your system will seem to work fine, but will not boot if the "data" drive is not present.

After basic configuration on the SSD alone, re-connect your HDD. Most games or other software installed in the old OS will need to be re-installed in the new one; very few can be run from their old install directories without registry entries or files copied to the /windows directory tree. Of course, those that do run without that are superior, but they are few and far between.

Find articles (here on Tom's) about the best way to set up an SSD. To my mind, the most important is to have the motherboard controller set to AHCI mode before starting the install.

I personally do image backups of the OS at various points during the installation. If something goes belly-up, I can restore that backup instead of starting the process all over again.

Remember to re-point your My Documents and My Everything Else to the old drive, unless you want certain files on the faster SSD. When you re-point, Win7 can preserve the current contents of the target directories.

Good luck and have fun.
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October 26, 2011 2:41:08 PM

There's an article here on Toms that indicates that when configuring an SSD you should do various registry tweaks and Windows configurations, but some people would argue that all you need to do is turn AHCI on in the BIOS and go to the Windows Experience Index and run it. Apparently doing so will configure Windows for you SSD. However, you can find the Toms article here:

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

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