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Migrating from RAID1 HDD to SSD (OS) + RAID1 HDD

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March 20, 2012 3:44:09 PM

I would love some help to make sure I'm looking at this correctly. I have my main office computer running smoothly with XP unless Photoshop is going, then it's slow and unreliable. I'm trying to go from my current setup to one running Win7 on SSD as smoothly as possible, and I feel like I'm missing something that's going to cause a long down time.

My current setup:

- 2 x 320GB SATA2 HDD in RAID 1 (mirroring) - the OS (XP Pro SP3, 32-bit) is installed on this array
- Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R motherboard - has 6 SATA Southbridge ports (3Gb/s) and 2 GSATA ports (3Gb/s) - the GSATA ports are currently disabled and the SATA ports are set to RAID
- 2 GB RAM (2x1GB PC3200)

My future setup:

- 1 x 120GB SSD SATA II (SanDisk Ultra SDSSDH-120G-G25), the OS (Win7 64-bit) would be installed here
- 2 x 320GB SATA2 HDD in RAID1, I would like to keep the above RAID array as is and just boot to the SSD. That way there is no copying files and such
- 8 GB RAM (4x2GB PC3200)

The process I *think* I should take:

1. Power off, disconnect the current RAID array, pop in RAM and run MemTest86 (ok, that's really 4 steps)
2. Set GSATA ports to AHCI <- Not sure this is necessary, maybe I just use one of the SATA ports that's set to RAID?
3. Connect SSD to GSATA2_0
4. Install Win7 on SSD, while leaving RAID HDD array unplugged
5. After Win7 installed/updated/stable, power-off, connect HDD RAID array
6. Everything works?! <- This step has me nervous

Questions:

1. If the 6xSouthbridge ports are set to RAID, can I install the SSD on one of those and still use TRIM? Or do I have to use the GSATA ports if I want TRIM? My user manual for the mobo is old and doesn't have any info for SSD or AHCI/RAID mix.
2. Should Windows 7 automatically detect the RAID 1 array drives, with full access to the files? I'm thinking once I reconnect those, I'll move My Documents to RAID1 and work out of that. Then the files I had before are already there
3. What do I need to do to "clean up" the RAID1 array when everything is set up. All I want is the stuff in My Documents, can I just delete everything else (including c:\Windows)?

Am I missing something? Should the process above work to get it up and running? Thanks all for any help!
a c 289 G Storage
March 21, 2012 3:55:56 PM

The process above should work. A single drive with the controllers set to RAID mode should be treated with AHCI. You will have to re-install all apps on the SSD, and re-point your storage to the RAID0 array. The RAID0 cleanup would consist of deleting the Windows and Program Files directories if you want to.

First: Backup everything to an internal drive first.

Second: With your issue, I would not do the classic installation that you describe, with the OS on the SSD and the data on the HDD. You specifically state that it's only when you are running Photoshop. Try attaching the SSD to your existing system as an empty volume. Then tweak Photoshop to use the empty volume as its scratch drive. Even better, copy your entire Photoshop project to the SSD.

Use the very-fast drive for the data that you need to move very-fast. There was a post on this with a link to Adobe's advice on the subject; I will look for it.
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March 21, 2012 6:37:27 PM

WyomingKnott said:
Try attaching the SSD to your existing system as an empty volume. Then tweak Photoshop to use the empty volume as its scratch drive. Even better, copy your entire Photoshop project to the SSD.


I never thought of that. Thanks for the advice, this could save me a LOT of time.
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a c 289 G Storage
March 21, 2012 8:02:51 PM

Yep. In my longer replies on SSD threads, I point out that there are exceptions where your OS is not what should go on it. Please let me know if this actually works.

Adobe has advice on optimizing speed that does mention SSD usage, but I could not find the thread with the link. You might poke around on Adobe, or google "SSD site:adobe.com"
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