Making new SSD my primary hard drive (New Rig)

Hi, I'verecently bought a new gaming system, it was customised by me and bought from PC Specialist, the spec are as follows:

COOLERMASTER CM690 MKII ADVANCED CASE
Overclocked Intel® Quad Core i7-3820 (3.6GHz @ max 4.6GHz)
Motherboard ASUS® SABERTOOTH X79: SOCKET 2011, R.O.G
Memory (RAM) 16GB KINGSTON HYPERX GENESIS QUAD-DDR3 1600MHz X.M.P
Graphics Card 3GB AMD RADEON™ HD7970
2TB WD CAVIAR BLACK WD2002FAEX, SATA 6 Gb/s, 64MB CACHE (7200rpm)
20GB INTEL® SSD 313 SERIES - SLC CACHE DRIVE FOR SYSTEM / 1st HDD
12x BLU-RAY RE-WRITER DRIVE, 16x DVD ±R/±RW
INTERNAL 52 IN 1 CARD READER (XD, MS, CF, SD, etc) + 1 x USB 2.0 PORT
CORSAIR 650W ENTHUSIAST SERIES™ TX650 V2-80 PLUS® BRONZE
INTEL CERTIFIED LIQUID CPU COOLER FOR SOCKET LG2011
ARCTIC MX-4 EXTREME THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY COMPOUND
NZXT Sentry 2 Fan Controller with 5 Fitted Case Fans
ASUS Xonar DS soundcard
DUAL-BAND WIRELESS 802.11N 450Mbps PCI-E CARD

Im not overly impressed with th SSD Caching so ive bought a Samsung 830 256gb SSD, its arriving tommorow.

Is there any way I can make the new SSD my primary hard drive without re-installing windows? I know I can clone my current drive onto the new SSD drive but unsure how to make it my primary hard disk drive.

Will my current 20gb SSD Caching drive interfere with anything? Or can I still use it in conjunction with the 2tb drive (2tb as my second hard disk) without any issues? Or should I disable it all together? I just thought I might still be able to use it to speed up the 2tb drive.

Any help would be greatly recieved

Many thanks

Eric
19 answers Last reply
More about making primary hard drive
  1. Anyone able to help? Got the new drive arriving tomorrow and im pretty clueless at the moment.

    Please help

    Many thanks

    Eric
  2. You can clone your current drive onto the new SSD drive, and make it your primary hard disk drive, but it is not the best thing to do.

    The best to do is to go for a fresh OS install into your Samsung 830, and keep your 20GB INTEL SSD for cache, leaving your 2TB WD CAVIAR BLACK for storage.
  3. jemm said:
    You can clone your current drive onto the new SSD drive, and make it your primary hard disk drive, but it is not the best thing to do.

    The best to do is to go for a fresh OS install into your Samsung 830, and keep your 20GB INTEL SSD for cache, leaving your 2TB WD CAVIAR BLACK for storage.


    Hi and thanks for the reply. So am I right in thinking I should power down pc and unplug, Install the new SSD (will it matter which slot it goes in?) and fresh install OS onto SSD, will this make the new SSD my primary hard drive? Or will it not actually matter which is the primary drive just as long as I get the OS onto SSD and take things from there?

    Apologies for all the questions and for my general lack of knowledge
  4. i have never had a problem cloning, works just fine. just plug the ssd into an open sata slot, do the clone. shut down after the clone and switch the sata cables on the old drive and the new ssd. you system will boot to the ssd without and further attention.

    one thing though, check out this site for optimizing windows on an ssd http://www.ghacks.net/2009/01/10/optimize-windows-for-solid-state-drives-usage/
  5. Just to chime in. Jemm is right, the best way is to do a fresh install of windows. There are a number of settings that windows uses by default when installing on a HDD that will slow down or make you SSD degrade quicker. Windows will set these automatically during the install based on which type of drive it is installing to and they are kinda a PITA to track down later to change them.

    As to keeping the 20GB SSD as cache. Only do that if you use it to cache the 2TB HHD not the Samsund SSD. There is absolutely no point in caching a SSD. In fact the Samsung is most likely faster than the intel SSD cache so it would probably slow things down.
  6. Yes, it really matter in which port to plug the SSDs.

    Your board has Intel and Marvell ports -- you want to use the Intel (brown), and NOT the Marvell (gray) -- then plug the HDD to an Intel SATA 3Gb/s port (black).

    Your Samsung 830 comes with a feature called Magician, which will do all the tweak for the hardware and software you need, so no worry.
  7. PMentior said:
    Just to chime in. Jemm is right, the best way is to do a fresh install of windows. There are a number of settings that windows uses by default when installing on a HDD that will slow down or make you SSD degrade quicker. Windows will set these automatically during the install based on which type of drive it is installing to and they are kinda a PITA to track down later to change them.

    As to keeping the 20GB SSD as cache. Only do that if you use it to cache the 2TB HHD not the Samsund SSD. There is absolutely no point in caching a SSD. In fact the Samsung is most likely faster than the intel SSD cache so it would probably slow things down.



    Hi yes I would leave the SSD cache to be used with the 2tb drive. But im unsure of what problems I will run into. Will I just connect the SSD and fresh install the OS onto it and things will work as normal?(obviously I will need to install all my drivers, games etc again, etc etc). Will the 2tb drive be wiped clean in the process of installing the OS onto the SSD? Just dont want to have 2 OS's if that's even possible. Does it matter which drive is my primary drive? Or is the primary drive selected by it having the OS installed on it? I know im sounding pretty stupid now but I am rather clueless and when buying the PC it outlines that the SSD caching would be used with your 1st Hard Disk, so no doubt its not going to be simple
  8. Step-by-step guide to setting up SSD caching http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?274398-Step-by-step-guide-to-setting-up-SSD-caching-on-Z68

    I still think it is a good idea to use you 20GB SSD for caching.

    Useful SSD Articles for Windows 7 Users http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/20821-63-useful-articles-windows-users
  9. jemm said:
    Step-by-step guide to setting up SSD caching http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?274398-Step-by-step-guide-to-setting-up-SSD-caching-on-Z68

    I still think it is a good idea to use you 20GB SSD for caching.

    Useful SSD Articles for Windows 7 Users http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/20821-63-useful-articles-windows-users



    Thank you very much for you help! One last question, once ive set the BIOS to RAID mode and when im reinstalling the OS will I delete the System Information from partition with the system info stored on it? Obviously I don't want to be deleting the other partitions though.

    Thanks again
  10. Which partition? The 20GB SSD or the HDD?

    How to Set Up Intel Smart Response SSD Caching Technology http://www.pcworld.com/article/248828/how_to_setup_intel_smart_response_ssd_caching_technology.html
  11. jemm is correct to recommend a"Clean" install. Also Correct in that you want the Samsung 830 on a sata III Intel port. ALSO IMPORTANT - disconnect HDD when doing the installation on the SSD!!

    You set the Boot priority in BIOS, for Multiple OS Hard drives.

    Normally for an SSD the Bios is set to AHCI, but since you have a SRT set up, your HDD controller is set to Raid. This in itself is not a problem, maybe just makes the installation allitle harder. Not sure if Windows 7 has a native raid driver (Do not confuse with setting up a raid0 or 1). If it does not you will need to use the OLD F6 - load a driver during installation (Select custom install and on page asking where to install there is a check box for "Have additional driver". NOTE Intel raid setting will use a intel AHCI driver for the SSD and the driver DOES support Win 7 Trim Cmd.

    When using a large SSD for OS + Programs the use of a caching SSD for the HDD may, or may not, show any performance advantage. SRT was developed as a "poor mans" alternative to a main OS SSD, Not so much for caching a purely Storage HDD. If you consistitly call the same files, yes it will improve thoes files load time. However for all other files it will acually slow performace (VERY Slightly). Reason, when a request is made for a file, it will first check the cache (wasted time if not there) before going to the HDD Bottom line here, I normally do not recommend setting one up; However, in your case, it is already set up. Excuse my spelling, it's getting late.

    PS - I'd keep the OS on the HDD for at least a week or two just to verify that all is well with the SSD - SHOULD BE, but Murphy is always around.
    To use this is really simple. Once OS is On the SSD, reconnect HDD. first power on, go into Bios and set Boot priority to SSD. Then If you need to boot to the OLD OS, just kit the Hot key during Post that brings up the Boot Menu and select the Old HDD (THIS does NOT change Boot priority). Hot key on Gigabyte MB is F12, Asroak it's F11, Not sure for Asus.
  12. RetiredChief said:
    jemm is correct to recommend a"Clean" install. Also Correct in that you want the Samsung 830 on a sata III Intel port. ALSO IMPORTANT - disconnect HDD when doing the installation on the SSD!!

    You set the Boot priority in BIOS, for Multiple OS Hard drives.

    Normally for an SSD the Bios is set to AHCI, but since you have a SRT set up, your HDD controller is set to Raid. This in itself is not a problem, maybe just makes the installation allitle harder. Not sure if Windows 7 has a native raid driver (Do not confuse with setting up a raid0 or 1). If it does not you will need to use the OLD F6 - load a driver during installation (Select custom install and on page asking where to install there is a check box for "Have additional driver". NOTE Intel raid setting will use a intel AHCI driver for the SSD and the driver DOES support Win 7 Trim Cmd.

    When using a large SSD for OS + Programs the use of a caching SSD for the HDD may, or may not, show any performance advantage. SRT was developed as a "poor mans" alternative to a main OS SSD, Not so much for caching a purely Storage HDD. If you consistitly call the same files, yes it will improve thoes files load time. However for all other files it will acually slow performace (VERY Slightly). Reason, when a request is made for a file, it will first check the cache (wasted time if not there) before going to the HDD Bottom line here, I normally do not recommend setting one up; However, in your case, it is already set up. Excuse my spelling, it's getting late.

    PS - I'd keep the OS on the HDD for at least a week or two just to verify that all is well with the SSD - SHOULD BE, but Murphy is always around.
    To use this is really simple. Once OS is On the SSD, reconnect HDD. first power on, go into Bios and set Boot priority to SSD. Then If you need to boot to the OLD OS, just kit the Hot key during Post that brings up the Boot Menu and select the Old HDD (THIS does NOT change Boot priority). Hot key on Gigabyte MB is F12, Asroak it's F11, Not sure for Asus.


    Hi and thanks for the detailed reply! My sata controller is currently set to AHCI, I had to do a clean install of windows the first day I recieved my new RIG as I had a faulty GPU (now new GPU sent and working correctly). The SSD caching device does not show in "My Computer" but does show on boot and in the RST programm it says its functiong normally. I seem to have both Marvell Controller and Intell C600 controllers in "Devive manager" under storage devices possibly due to me installing drivers from the motherboard CD. Shold I uninstall the Marvell controller? Due to this new info does your above statment change? Surly they wouldnt have connected the SSD through Marvell in the PC Specialist depot.

    I really appriciate you taking the time to reply in such detail as I am somewhat of a novice
  13. Forget about Marvell as I have already told you -- use Intel ports only.
  14. 1) Marvel SATA III (6) Ports. Use only if you run out of Intel SATA III ports, and then only for a SATA III HDD. If unused, first delete driver in Device manager, then 2nd reboot and enter bios and disable. If needed at a latter date then you can re-enable.
    .. For a OS + Program SSD, Marvel port is not as good as the Intel Sata III port - as jemm stated. OK for a sata III HDD.
    .. A SATA III HDD attached to intel sata III port ONLY if you have empy Intel SATA III port. Reason SATA III HDDs are a marketing tool, they DO NOT perform any better on SATA III verse on a SATA II port. The only performance benefit is in the Burst speed, NOT sustained performance. My take here is that a SATA III HDD is a waste of a "GOOD" Intel sata III port.

    If you look at the Link jemm provided (on setting up SRT), for it to function correctly they The HDD and the caching SSD the Bios must be set to Raid, not AHCI. If it is performing correctly (SRT), then you should see a noticable decrease in loading the OS. The time from "start loading the OS" to when you open the first program should be around 15->20 sec. (Can not count Post time).

    Since you are getting a 256 gig SSD, that should be more than enough for programs (Plus games). Typically win 7 + programs (excluding games) will take about 35 gigs. 256 gig SSD = 256 - about 18 gigs (Manuf -> real formated size) - 15% (36 gigs) that must be left free so that Trim, Garbage collector (GC) and wear leaveling can work their magic to keep the SSD performance near manuf specs) = 202 gigs 206 - 35 gigs for OS and Non game programs leaves approx 170 gigs for all your games.

    This is me, others may disagree, But I would simplify life and forget SRT. SRT works great as intended. But when you add the OS + program drive the HDD becomes nothing more than a storage drive which SRT was not really set up for. You KNOW what files that you have generated that you use most often.

    For example, both my 2 desktops have 2 SSDs and one or two HDDs. The one SSD is used as a OS + program program drive and the 2nd SSD I put all the MY files that I most often use. IE I have some spreadsheets that I edit quite frequently ( One for my IRAs, On to track My income and one to track the mpg for my care). Thes files I put on the 2nd SSD. With a SRT setup when I do some other work they may be bumped out of the cache. I also moved My Documents folder from OS SSD to my 2nd SSD, and the 2nd SSD is also a good place to put your Temp file(s).
    Bottom Line is You may be better off with a 256 Gig OS + Program driv, a small SSD (your Intel 330 as a WORK drive and a Storage HDD all under AHCI.

    I m not a gamer, but I do do some video encoding. I periodically convert a number of DVDs and Blu-ray disk to a smaller file size to play later on my tablet or laptop. Just finished converting 14 Movies and storing them on a Thumbdrive (for laptop) and a SD card for play back on my tablet. Earilier this year I converted 24 movies an stock on a 64 gig thumbdrive. DVD movies consit of 4->6 1 gig files and a Blue ray uses a single 13->35 gig file. Converted file size: For ipad 2.2 gigs per movie, for laptop and my new Asus TF700 file size runs from about 2 gigs -> 4 gigs per movie. SRT would be absolutley worthless to me for this.

    Hope this helps, But your call on using SRT with a storage HDD + a Large OS SSD.
  15. Added (You may already have researced, but just incase):
    A little on setting up your new SSD:
    1) for HDD or SSD, take control of your swap file (virtual memory) by setting the min and max to the same size. With 16 gigs of ram this can be very large typically 1.5 x Ram or approx 24 gigs - OUCH). You have 16 gigs of ram so swap file is of very limited value. some recommend deleting it, myself as a precaution, I do not delete but set the min and max to 1024 mb. Reason there a a few programs that will not run if they find NO swap file. With a 2nd SSD I set "C" drive 2nd SSD.

    2) disable hibernation. This is a hidden file that will rob you of up to approx 16 gigs of space (equal to size of Ram). Of little benifit if OS is on SSD.

    3) Take control of restore points. Over time this can grow to a large size, 300 mbs per point. either disable or set ax size that it can take. Don't think this can be moved to HDD. Just 10 restore pints = 3 Gigs of lost space.
    .. Instead of restore points, USE win 7 back up to create an image of your Boot SSD. This is much better protection. Restore points are of little value if you can not boot to OS. However with this image file you can recover by simply restoring from this image, NO more re-install windows, Wait for a ton of windows updates, re-install all drivers and programs. Just pop in the "repair disk" (windows will prompt you to make once image file is completed) or as I do just pop in the Windows installation disk, select repair, then restore from image - Walla Bam Thank you Ma_, 10 to 15 mins latter you boot to exactly what the system was when the image was created.
    NOTE. I stick the image on the internal HDD PLUS back it up (copy to) to an external Drive.

    4) optional, Move My docs folder from C to D, Internet temp files to D, and all down loads go to D. In my case D is my 2nd SSD.
  16. All went well (Clean Install to SSD), makes a ridiculous improvement in boot times! Fantastic.

    Oh and the HDD and the SSD Caching were (and still are) hooked up to the Marvell ports by PC Specialist (I thought they would have used the Intel ports TBH).

    Ive took your advice "RetiredChief" not bothered about setting up the Caching to the HDD.

    Thanks to you both Jemm & RetiredChief

    Your help has been spot on
  17. I think you still can just unplug, then plug them to the Intel port -- I am sure there will be a difference.

    Have you installed the Samsung Magician? It can do the hardware and OS tweaks for you, to include trim, etc.
  18. jemm said:
    I think you still can just unplug, then plug them to the Intel port -- I am sure there will be a difference.

    Have you installed the Samsung Magician? It can do the hardware and OS tweaks for you, to include trim, etc.


    Hi Jemm yeah I may do that, also I'm pretty sure the caching has actually set itself up through Marvell and is functioning (I wasn't going to bother setting it up but its done it itself so that cant be bad ha) it doesn't come up in my computer but on reboot it shows the 20gb ssd as functioning with the HDD so I shall just leave it be for the time being.

    Yeah I read what you said about the Magician program and I installed it straight away, seems a nice bit of software and easy to use.

    Not sure how I can thank you both or give you rep, im new to this forum
  19. Thank you for you feedback -- now you can enjoy a more powerful performance in your PC, so enjoy!
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