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How should I install an mSATA drive on my laptop?

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July 10, 2012 7:02:11 AM

I just purchased this laptop:

MSI GE60

I haven't installed anything on it yet (just got the shipment from Newegg today). The system currently has a 750GB HDD which I will keep in the system and install this mSATA SSD (which the laptop mobo has the capability for):

Mushkin Enhanced Atlas mSATA

How would you all advise installing the mSATA?

A few question:

1. Should I do a clean install of Windows or clone my current HDD? Does it make a difference? I would like to maximize the SSDs speed. Obviously I don't need the bloatware on the system, but there are a couple of MSI programs that I would like to keep as well as the drivers. But I guess I could reinstall them.


2. I plan to install Mac OSX 10.8 when it comes out in a couple of weeks. As the SSD is 120GB, I was thinking I could keep the Windows partition around 80GB and the Mac OSX partition around 40GB. I will primarily be gaming on the Windows side and doing music production/DJing stuff on the Mac side.

Should I partition the SSD right when I install Windows onto it or wait until Mountain Lion comes out? Will partitioning effect performance at all?

3. Similar question: I would like to partition my 750GB HDD into 3 partitions. One for Windows, one for Mac OSX, and one for sharing files between the two. Will I need to use FAT32 on the third partition to be able to share files between both OSs? I think I will only want to share mp3 files, so I don't think I will ever need to go above 4gb.


4. Are there any specific concerns/things I need to do when installing an mSATA drive?

EDIT 5: I would like to keep my recovery partition. Will I need to migrate this over separately?

Any advice would be appreciated. Please let me know if I'm missing anything. I basically want to enjoy SSD speeds on both Windows and Mac.

Thanks.
July 10, 2012 7:29:29 AM

Dereck47 said:
mSATA SSDs have to be connected to a mSATA port.

Does your User Manual indicate that your notebook has a mSATA port?

The spec sheet on MSI's website does not mention mSATA.
Here's the link: http://www.msimobile.com/level3_productpage.aspx?id=362


I was going to check the motherboard but I don't have a small enough screwdriver. I was planning on doing the install tomorrow at work. But I can see through the vents a large print that says "SSD" as well as half of what looks like an mSATA connector.

There is a bit of a debate online on whether or not the system actually has one, but videos on youtube show that the GE70 at least has one.

I'm not sure why MSI hasn't made it explicit that the system has an mSATA connector.
Related resources
July 10, 2012 8:44:43 AM

Dereck47 said:
The GE series do not have mSATA ports, only the GT series.

http://www.msi.com/product/nb/GT60-0ND.html#/?div=Overv...


I'm sorry, but did you read my last post?

Here is a pic of the GE60's mobo:

http://notebookspec.com/web/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/...[image]

I can clear this up tomorrow when I open my case. I can already see the white "SSD" printed on the mobo through the exhaust vents. " alt="" class="imgLz frmImg " />
July 10, 2012 6:18:55 PM

Bump...
a b D Laptop
a c 812 G Storage
July 10, 2012 11:11:23 PM

theres no screwholes to mount it, one wrong bump and....
Make sure you insultate and secure the drive somehow.
July 11, 2012 1:37:30 AM

Wow this thread has been super helpful... :ange: 

As an update: I installed the mSATA drive today. The motherboard does in fact have a mSATA connector. The Mushkin drive did not come with a screw, which I knew it wouldn't ahead of time. There are two screw holes on the top corners of the drive and I screwed in one of them to the motherboard which also had a place to screw it into. I read somewhere that someone had to remove some connector on the motherboard to make room for the mSATA SSD, but I did not have this problem. It does rub up against a plug that is enclosed in some nylonish material, but I'm sure it's fine.

I removed the stock hard drive in the process to ensure that no boot files could accidentally install on it. After I did a fresh install of Windows I reinstalled the stock hard drive. I am currently in the process of updating Windows and then I will tweak a few more settings on the laptop.

I am getting around 12 second boot up times so far! I haven't even finished tweaking, though I did delete the hibernation file already. I can't wait to finish up and bench the Mushkin drive.

As far the the stock HDD goes... I deleted the partitions as well as the Windows recovery partition. I've left the MSI recovery partition for now. I still need to create three partitions, one for PC, one for Mac, and one for PC and Mac.
!