Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Buying an SSD - a couple of questions

Last response: in Storage
Share
June 13, 2012 11:19:32 AM

Hey everyone,

I'm buying an SSD and I would really appreciate some direct answers on these questions. I'm not very technically competent, I've been trawling through threads and guides for ages but have just ended up more confused than when I started:

1) I have a copy of Windows 7 installed on my current hard drive. If I'm buying a new SSD, can I simply backup the existing hard drive, format it, and then use the same installation disk and install key to install Windows 7 to the SSD?

2) I don't need to have an OS installed on my hard drive that I'm using for extra storage space, right?

3) I've always been a bit bewildered by 'AHCI' and 'RAID', I will have a 1TB hard drive and a 128GB SSD operating together, do I need to worry about these options? What should it be set to?

Thank you very much.
a b G Storage
June 13, 2012 12:21:17 PM

1.) It depends on the license you purchased. OEM licenses can sometimes be problematic when you attempt to recycle the key. I have been successful in recycling my personal key. Was it pre-installed or did you purchase that as a full version from a retailer? Make sure you do not have the secondary hard drive connected when you're installing Windows, just the SSD so that it will not write any files to the secondary drive.

2.) Correct, you don't want to have an OS installed on your secondary storage drive. You will want to make sure it has been formatted because if it has a master boot record (part of operating system installation), it will confuse your computer. Wipe the secondary drive and you're good to go.

3.) RAID mode utilizes multiple hard drives depending on the RAID mode you select. For your purposes, you want to use AHCI mode so that it will use the SSD's onboard controller to maximize the speed of the drive. Also, buy the Samsung 830 from newegg right now, it's on sale for $90. Frickin ridiculous price:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
June 13, 2012 12:58:00 PM

game junky said:
1.) It depends on the license you purchased. OEM licenses can sometimes be problematic when you attempt to recycle the key. I have been successful in recycling my personal key. Was it pre-installed or did you purchase that as a full version from a retailer? Make sure you do not have the secondary hard drive connected when you're installing Windows, just the SSD so that it will not write any files to the secondary drive.

2.) Correct, you don't want to have an OS installed on your secondary storage drive. You will want to make sure it has been formatted because if it has a master boot record (part of operating system installation), it will confuse your computer. Wipe the secondary drive and you're good to go.

3.) RAID mode utilizes multiple hard drives depending on the RAID mode you select. For your purposes, you want to use AHCI mode so that it will use the SSD's onboard controller to maximize the speed of the drive. Also, buy the Samsung 830 from newegg right now, it's on sale for $90. Frickin ridiculous price:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Thanks so much! It was not pre-installed, I have windows 7 ultimate edition. It just so happens that I'm getting the Samsung 830 :) 
Related resources
a b G Storage
June 13, 2012 5:41:19 PM

Excellent choice - I use those in most of my laptop builds, they're very reliable and pretty quick for the cost. You can absolutely format that hard drive and re-use your Win7 Ultimate license on the SSD. You should be good to go, but make sure your HDD isn't connected when you install windows to the SSD so it won't accidentally write the MBR to the 1 TB drive.

a b $ Windows 7
a c 353 G Storage
June 13, 2012 6:09:08 PM

Just to clear up - Even if the Win 7 disk was OEM, no problem as he is not changing MB.
LOL But already SOLD OUT on 830s at NEW egg
And yes 830 is an excellent choice - have two of them, along with two Curcial M4s.

Do Not reformat your HDD right away,give it a few days to verify every think is Hunky dorry with SSD.

As game junky indicated, disconnect the HDD defore installing OS on SSD.
Verify/change bios HDD controller to AHCI before installing windows on SSD.

Once completed power off, connect HDD an power on.
Go into bios and set boot priority to SSD.
Most newer MBs allow you to hit a key during post that brings up a boot menu, so if you want to boot to old Operating system (HDD) you can. THIS does not cange boot priority, so if you reboot it will revert back to the SSD.

Anyways, Once you boot to the SSD, you can simply go to windows directory on the Old HDD and copy your Favorites over to the SSD along with orther files that where on the OS directory (ie files in "My Docs).

Small Cavet:
If windows was installed on your HDD with the Bios set to IDE mode, you should fix that prior to installing windows on the SSD. Just google "ide to ahci windows 7"
.. http://www.google.com/#hl=en&sclient=psy-ab&q=ide+to+ah...
a b G Storage
June 13, 2012 6:26:08 PM

Never format an SSD. Windows will take care of it.
a b G Storage
June 14, 2012 1:35:11 PM

RetiredChief said:
Just to clear up - Even if the Win 7 disk was OEM, no problem as he is not changing MB.
LOL But already SOLD OUT on 830s at NEW egg
And yes 830 is an excellent choice - have two of them, along with two Curcial M4s.

Do Not reformat your HDD right away,give it a few days to verify every think is Hunky dorry with SSD.

As game junky indicated, disconnect the HDD defore installing OS on SSD.
Verify/change bios HDD controller to AHCI before installing windows on SSD.

Once completed power off, connect HDD an power on.
Go into bios and set boot priority to SSD.
Most newer MBs allow you to hit a key during post that brings up a boot menu, so if you want to boot to old Operating system (HDD) you can. THIS does not cange boot priority, so if you reboot it will revert back to the SSD.

Anyways, Once you boot to the SSD, you can simply go to windows directory on the Old HDD and copy your Favorites over to the SSD along with orther files that where on the OS directory (ie files in "My Docs).

Small Cavet:
If windows was installed on your HDD with the Bios set to IDE mode, you should fix that prior to installing windows on the SSD. Just google "ide to ahci windows 7"
.. http://www.google.com/#hl=en&sclient=psy-ab&q=ide+to+ah...


Good point - should have mentioned BIOS settings. It's labeled a little differently on older MBs but most BIOS revisions have included an AHCI option. Let us know if you get snags.
!