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Program Installation Strategy for using SSD

Last response: in Storage
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March 22, 2012 6:20:52 PM

I started another thread on upgrading. But this is specific to SSD so I'm posting the question here.

I just installed a 128G Samsung 830 SSD and after installing Windows 7, I have a little over 100G left. Still have room for a lot of stuff but based on my past HD usage, 100G might be gone by Friday. ;)  I had a 400G drive that was 3/4 full and a 1T internal that was almost 1/3 full.

I don't even know if an installation strategy is necessary. But with SSD still not very large capacity, unless you want to pay big bucks, is it reasonable to consider which types of programs need to be in SSD and which can be in standard HDs.

1) Which kinds of programs are best suited for SSD vs. normal HD?
2) Do you think much about what kinds of programs you install on HD?
3) Should data files such be kept on SSD or standard HD?
4) When might it be important to keep data files on the SSD?

Mike
a b $ Windows 7
a b G Storage
March 22, 2012 6:35:59 PM

Hello,

To answer your questions:

1) Your Antivirus, games if you play any, any programs you want to open lightning quick.

2) Yes - only the programs I want to start up quickly.

3)Data files should be kept on the HDD. Keep data files like videos, images, sound on your HDD.

4) When might it be important? If you require a file that needs fast access - say if your doing some movie editing or raw image files that take up a lot of space - you can work on them then dump them on your HDD once done.
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March 22, 2012 6:47:39 PM

Is it just a matter of capacity hoarding? Or is there any lifetime issue to worry about, regarding access to SDD. I know they have finite write cycles but I'm guessing it's higher than I would ever exceed in any normal human usage. ;) 
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Related resources
a b $ Windows 7
a b G Storage
March 22, 2012 6:55:39 PM

MikeSD said:
Is it just a matter of capacity hoarding? Or is there any lifetime issue to worry about, regarding access to SDD. I know they have finite write cycles but I'm guessing it's higher than I would ever exceed in any normal human usage. ;) 


You generally shouldn't have to worry about your SSD. However a few things to keep in mind:

As your SSD drive is nearly full - you will notice dramatic performance drops. So it's a good idea to keep at least 10-20% of your drive free, minnimum 10% (around 12GB).

Did you disable hibernation? That takes up your SSD space depending on your RAM. If you have 8GB of ram - hibernation eats up 8GB of space.

Also take your page file off your SSD - that will help with reducing writes to your SSD. Keep your page file on your HDD.

SSD's do have a limited amount of write cycles - but you need to write many GB's worth of data for this to happen. Installing your OS and programs/games won't do much to the life cycle, unless you keep rebuilding your machine. Basically it would take a long time to see performance drops due to writing data. When that time comes...it's probably time to upgrade your computer anyways.
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March 22, 2012 7:01:11 PM

Quote:
Did you disable hibernation? That takes up your SSD space depending on your RAM. If you have 8GB of ram - hibernation eats up 8GB of space.


No I didn't. I'll do that tonight.

Quote:
Also take your page file off your SSD - that will help with reducing writes to your SSD. Keep your page file on your HDD


Interesting, I'd have thought the SSD would be the place for that, as there is a lot of swapping going on which would affect the speed of the system, making those swaps. I'm sure this is easy to do but I've never moved a swap file. Is that done in the control panel?

Something I did notice but haven't bothered to try and pin it down yet. I think I have heard some disactivity on my 2nd internal drive, when there should be nothing accessing it. It is only data files and I haven't installed any programs that need them. I guess it could be some background disc defrag going on that I was unaware of.
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a b $ Windows 7
a b G Storage
March 22, 2012 7:17:33 PM

MikeSD said:
Quote:
Did you disable hibernation? That takes up your SSD space depending on your RAM. If you have 8GB of ram - hibernation eats up 8GB of space.


No I didn't. I'll do that tonight.

Quote:
Also take your page file off your SSD - that will help with reducing writes to your SSD. Keep your page file on your HDD


Interesting, I'd have thought the SSD would be the place for that, as there is a lot of swapping going on which would affect the speed of the system, making those swaps. I'm sure this is easy to do but I've never moved a swap file. Is that done in the control panel?

Something I did notice but haven't bothered to try and pin it down yet. I think I have heard some disactivity on my 2nd internal drive, when there should be nothing accessing it. It is only data files and I haven't installed any programs that need them. I guess it could be some background disc defrag going on that I was unaware of.


Most of your system cache's needed files in the RAM anyways - so having the page file on your SSD won't do much.

To change your page file click on your start button then type in "View advanced system settings", click on the advanced tab, click on performance, now click on the advanced tab again - click on "Change" under "Virtual memory". I reccomend putting your page file on your HDD and set it to "System managed size".

I reccomend going through this excellent toms guide:

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

It will show you how to disable hibernation.
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March 22, 2012 8:38:50 PM

I'm going to have to take some time and read that guide. The first thing I noticed was about "turning" the page file "off" not moving it. I didn't see anything about moving it to another HDD. I'll take another look when I get home tonight.

Thanks,
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a b $ Windows 7
a b G Storage
March 22, 2012 8:44:15 PM

MikeSD said:
I'm going to have to take some time and read that guide. The first thing I noticed was about "turning" the page file "off" not moving it. I didn't see anything about moving it to another HDD. I'll take another look when I get home tonight.

Thanks,


It's a good idea to read the article throughly so you understand what your doing. It really does help a lot. I didn't learn all of my stuff from not reading :)  . I try to read as many hardware articles as possible to keep up on this kind of stuff.

Yes you can turn it off. However like I mentioned - it's better to keep your page file off your SSD. If you don't have a page file anywhere (and not even on your extra HDD) it may cause problems with windows/programs trying to use more ram - which might get filled up so it would get confused and probably cause a BSOD.

Basically it's a good idea not to completely turning off your page file from all of your drives - leave a page file at least on one of the HDD's.
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March 22, 2012 10:42:51 PM

Let me ask a question about the article, regarding switching to AHCI.

I just checked and apparently, I'm not in AHCI mode. Clearly, I want to be. The article on switching this points to the Microsoft support site. But there is the very scary warning about the error that can come up.

They give the steps to fix the error, apparently after the problem occurs. But in my case, I haven't had the problem.

Quote:
Error message when you start a Windows 7 or Windows Vista-based computer after you change the SATA mode of the boot drive: "STOP 0x0000007B INACCESSABLE_BOOT_DEVICE"


1) Does clicking the "Fix it" link and running that program, make it so I can just switch to the AHCI, or is it just to recover from the error? It's not clear in the article, if this can be used before making the change.

2) Then they also say that you can put the fixit program on a memory stick, for fixing a computer that has the problem.

So, my question is this:

1) I have Windows 7 installed already.
2) Apparently it's not in AHCI mode.
3) I want to change it to AHCI mode.
4) I do NOT currently experience the non-boot problem described, as I have not changed the BIOS yet
5) Can I first run this fixit program from microsoft, which enables the drivers I guess
6) Then, change the bios to AHCI
7) And not have any problem?

I'd like to avoid creating the problem then having to fix it, if that is possible.

Update: Upon further reading, the manual fix looks more straight forward.

Quote:
1.Exit all Windows-based programs.
2.Click Start, type regedit in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.
3.If you receive the User Account Control dialog box, click Continue.
4.Locate and then click one of the following registry subkeys:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Msahci


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\IastorV

5.In the right pane, right-click Start in the Name column, and then click Modify.
6.In the Value data box, type 0, and then click OK.
7.On the File menu, click Exit to close Registry Editor.


I have gone through this process, except for the final step of changing and saving the "0" value, just to see how it goes. Seems straight forward.

From the text, it would seem that if I flip that that msahci data bit to "0", I can then reboot and go into the BIOS and make the change, then reboot again and I'm good to go.

Have I understood that correctly? :D 
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March 23, 2012 2:19:44 AM

This sort of sucks. I just went into BIOS to see how to change to AHCI and I don't seem to have any options for doing that. I have choices of RAID, non-RAID and a S.M.A.R.T. choice.

The odd thing is that I see there are 64 bit AHCI drivers for the Gateway 5424, which is what my system started out as. Seems odd there would be drivers, if the system doesn't allow AHCI selection. More reading... ;) 
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a b $ Windows 7
a b G Storage
March 23, 2012 12:50:10 PM


Quote:
From the text, it would seem that if I flip that that msahci data bit to "0", I can then reboot and go into the BIOS and make the change, then reboot again and I'm good to go.

Have I understood that correctly? :D 


Yes you got it.

MikeSD said:
This sort of sucks. I just went into BIOS to see how to change to AHCI and I don't seem to
have any options for doing that. I have choices of RAID, non-RAID and a S.M.A.R.T. choice.

The odd thing is that I see there are 64 bit AHCI drivers for the Gateway 5424, which is what my system started out as. Seems odd there would be drivers, if the system doesn't allow AHCI selection. More reading... ;) 


I believe your RAID option carries over AHCI - even though you don't have to use RAID.

What option is it set to currently?

I am not 100% entirely sure on this, as you have a Gateway computer. I also don't want to give the advice of switching it to AHCI and into RAID mode in your BIOS and finding out it doesn't work - that would leave you with possibly hours of rebuilding.

However - what's there to lose? If you switch to AHCI - you will definately get a performance boost. Let me/us here at Toms know how it goes!
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