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How exactly do I setup my SSD+HDD?

Tags:
  • SSD
  • Crucial
  • Hard Drives
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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April 27, 2012 7:57:28 AM

I just bought a Crucial M4 64GB SSD my first ever SSD ever, but I'm confused on how I setup my SSD with my HDD. I'm fairly new to building computers if I could get some help that would be awesome.

More about : setup ssd hdd

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April 27, 2012 8:33:48 AM

It depends on your current setup and your intentions.

64 GB is slightly on the small side for a boot drive with your applications but its doable.

If you have an Intel z68 or z77 motherboard they support something called Intel SRT (Smart Response Technology) which can use a max of 64GB SSD. If you have a mobo that supports SRT, I suggest you use it. Its easy to setup without reinstalling windows or migrating everything basically the SSD becomes a dedicated cache for the HDD and as far as your system is concerned it doesn't even know the SSD is there but the performance of your HDD will be drastically improved over time. Anyway this is only possible/useful if you have a mobo that supports it.

If you want to use your SSD as a boot disk for your OS and apps there are two options:
1) Perform a clean install of Windows and required Apps to your SSD and use the HDD as a secondary data storage device.
2) Migrate your existing Windows installation and apps to your SSD and once you test your new SSD as a boot drive, use the HDD as a secondary data storage device.

In order to accomplish 2 you must meet two requirements and obtain one piece of software: You must have had AHCI mode enabled in the BIOS when you initially installed Windows on the HDD. If not - you are most likely out of luck and need to do a clean install anyway. You also must be able to fit the drive you want to migrate onto the 64GB SSD. This might require partitioning the HDD and moving data to a second partition whilst cleaning up the boot partition by uninstalling unnecessary applications etc eventually isolating a boot partition that you can migrate to the 64GB SSD.

In order to perform a migration you will need a software that can do it. intel SSD's come with this software free but you can also purchase it.

http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage...

If you can I highly reccomend using SRT, if SRT is not available I reccomend a clean install on the SSD but if you absoultey cannot do a clean install as a last resort you can try the data migration.

A 64GB SSD is great for SRT but if you don't have SRT or what to use the drive as a boot drive 120GB is much more convenient.
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April 27, 2012 9:27:40 AM

Best answer selected by KennyIZaG.
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April 27, 2012 9:29:42 AM

geogolem said:
It depends on your current setup and your intentions.

64 GB is slightly on the small side for a boot drive with your applications but its doable.

If you have an Intel z68 or z77 motherboard they support something called Intel SRT (Smart Response Technology) which can use a max of 64GB SSD. If you have a mobo that supports SRT, I suggest you use it. Its easy to setup without reinstalling windows or migrating everything basically the SSD becomes a dedicated cache for the HDD and as far as your system is concerned it doesn't even know the SSD is there but the performance of your HDD will be drastically improved over time. Anyway this is only possible/useful if you have a mobo that supports it.

If you want to use your SSD as a boot disk for your OS and apps there are two options:
1) Perform a clean install of Windows and required Apps to your SSD and use the HDD as a secondary data storage device.
2) Migrate your existing Windows installation and apps to your SSD and once you test your new SSD as a boot drive, use the HDD as a secondary data storage device.

In order to accomplish 2 you must meet two requirements and obtain one piece of software: You must have had AHCI mode enabled in the BIOS when you initially installed Windows on the HDD. If not - you are most likely out of luck and need to do a clean install anyway. You also must be able to fit the drive you want to migrate onto the 64GB SSD. This might require partitioning the HDD and moving data to a second partition whilst cleaning up the boot partition by uninstalling unnecessary applications etc eventually isolating a boot partition that you can migrate to the 64GB SSD.

In order to perform a migration you will need a software that can do it. intel SSD's come with this software free but you can also purchase it.

http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage...

If you can I highly reccomend using SRT, if SRT is not available I reccomend a clean install on the SSD but if you absoultey cannot do a clean install as a last resort you can try the data migration.

A 64GB SSD is great for SRT but if you don't have SRT or what to use the drive as a boot drive 120GB is much more convenient.


I do have a Z68 mobo! I appreciate all your help I understood completely, but what about the terms Raid 0 that many talk about any insight on that?
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April 27, 2012 10:11:33 AM

RAID 0 has nothing really to do with SSD's (although I guess you could have multiple SSD's in a RAID 0 configuration).

RAID 0 is when you take multiple identical HDD's (or SSD's) and treat them as 1 complete HDD that has a capacity that is the sum of the HDD's. This increases performance since now the multiple HDD's can function in parallel thus increasing the bandwidth. More drives in the array means higher bandwidth, but greater risk of data loss. The problem with this is that if one drive fails all the data is lost because the effective drive requires all the drives to function as a whole. There are ways around this by introducing other RAID configurations into the mix which can create redundancies, mirroring or parity for error correction and recovery.

RAID 0 is useless for SSD because usually higher capacity SSD's will perform better than 2 smaller SSD's in a RAID 0 configuration. You are better off buying a 128GB SSD then two 64GB SSD's and configuring them in RAID 0. For HDD's this is a different story. The only useful form of RAID when it comes to SSD's would be something like RAID 1 where identical data is written simultaneously two to drives. If one fails, you still have access to all the data since it was an exact copy.

Check out more about RAID at the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID#Standard_levels

With just 1 SSD and 1HDD I wouldn't worry about RAID. With a 64GB SSD the best option is to use Intel SRT in which case the OS will only see one disk which is the HDD.
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April 27, 2012 10:14:58 AM

In order to use an SSD with Intel SRT the SATA controller needs to be set to RAID mode from within the BIOS.

In order to use an SSD for other purposes the SATA controller needs to be set to AHCI mode.

Once you have installed Windows with either AHCI or RAID mode enabled on the SATA controller you cannot change it without a full reinstall of Windows. During the Windows installation the driver is installed accordingly and cannot be changed.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/248828/how_to_set_up_int...
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April 28, 2012 8:46:59 AM

geogolem said:
In order to use an SSD with Intel SRT the SATA controller needs to be set to RAID mode from within the BIOS.

In order to use an SSD for other purposes the SATA controller needs to be set to AHCI mode.

Once you have installed Windows with either AHCI or RAID mode enabled on the SATA controller you cannot change it without a full reinstall of Windows. During the Windows installation the driver is installed accordingly and cannot be changed.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/248828/how_to_set_up_int...


Thank you so much for your help, I really appreciate you taking the time to help me out in detail!
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