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SSD Partitioning GAFF - Please Help

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October 8, 2012 2:13:58 PM

Alright, I just finished my first build and everything works and I'm stoked. I go to install the OS on my boot SSD drive last night and I followed a guide that had me create one partition for the system reserve and didn't mention anthing else. After that I went ahead with the install and everything worked fine and Windows booted up very quickly and everything seems fine.

But this morning I woke up and thought, "Hey, shouldn't I have made another partition for just the OS install that was about 40GBs and then partitioned the remaining space for games as what not?"

ALso, this was my first OS install as well as build.

So, my questions are:
1. If i'm only using the SDD as a boot drive and maybe a game or two, and saving everything else to a separate HDD, do I need it partitioned differently?

2. If there is a need for another partition, can I do it now with the OS installed? Or, do i need to wipe it and od another install and make sure the partition is correct?

Please help, I'm new at this and don't want to go any further if I've screwed up already.

THanks!

More about : ssd partitioning gaff

a b G Storage
October 8, 2012 3:09:53 PM

Did you install windows when only the SSD was hooked up to the computer?
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October 8, 2012 3:24:36 PM

Yes, the HDD is still sitting in it's box. I wanted to get eveything running and the OS installed and stressed before I added the final parts.
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a b G Storage
October 8, 2012 3:27:13 PM

1) The less partitions the better. SSDs employ load leveling technologies, and partitioning a drive can force some partitions to wear unevenly. That is not to say that there are not times that you should have a separate partition (for SSD caching, or a restore partition), but as a general rule of thumb it keeps things much simpler to have a single partition per drive.

2) Yes, but within limits. You can try a utility such as Easus Partition Master, or DiskPart if you do not mind using a command prompt. If you have money to burn then I would highly suggest getting Accronis as it is awesome, and has better SSD support than other programs. Any of these CAN partition a drive after an OS has been installed, but with all of them there is a chance that it will screw things up and you will have to reinstall windows, but this is a relatively small chance these days compared to the 'old days' where it was literally a 50-50 chance.
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October 8, 2012 3:55:12 PM

CaedenV said:
1) The less partitions the better. SSDs employ load leveling technologies, and partitioning a drive can force some partitions to wear unevenly. That is not to say that there are not times that you should have a separate partition (for SSD caching, or a restore partition), but as a general rule of thumb it keeps things much simpler to have a single partition per drive.

2) Yes, but within limits. You can try a utility such as Easus Partition Master, or DiskPart if you do not mind using a command prompt. If you have money to burn then I would highly suggest getting Accronis as it is awesome, and has better SSD support than other programs. Any of these CAN partition a drive after an OS has been installed, but with all of them there is a chance that it will screw things up and you will have to reinstall windows, but this is a relatively small chance these days compared to the 'old days' where it was literally a 50-50 chance.



So, if I install nothing more than a game or two and nothing else on the SSD with the OS and leave about 30-40GBz free, I should get a fair amount of life out of my SSD and not have many problems, if I don't have a separate partition? What risks am I running if I leave the OS And whatever games I install on the same partition moving forward? is is going to just slow the boot time down in the future or ar there larger risks involved?
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a b G Storage
October 8, 2012 4:00:04 PM

For drive management setup I would try to follow a scheme something like this:

For the SSD:
1) SSD with your OS and programs, and small/commonly used documents (office documents, and music colleciton if it will fit). Typically this should be your single and only partition on the SSD.

2) If you have a particularly large SSD then set aside a 20-60GB partition on it for Intel RST drive caching for your HDD, this will give a read boost for your most commonly used files and programs on the HDD. However, I would only consider doing this if you have an SSD that is already large enough for all of your programs to begin with.


For the HDD:
1) I highly recommend having a RAID1 or RAID5 so that you have some data redundancy to help prevent data loss in the event of a drive failure

Please note that changing the mobo setting to RAID from AHCI typically requires a Windows reinstall. Also, changing between any RAID type (RAID1 to RAID5 for example) will lose all files on the RAID, so be sure to back up any any information before adding discs, or making changes to your RAID. typically you do not want to set up your RAID until you have all of the drives set up so that you will not need to make changes down the road. Making changes to the RAID array will not affect files on the SSD, it only erases data on the drives that are included on the array.

I set up a RAID1 on my system in order to support an older drive, and sure enough that drive died just 2 weeks ago. Thankfully it was in RAID, so there was no data loss, just slap in a new drive, rebuild the array, and all is well. the rebuild process was a pain and took a while, but it saved a ton of very important irreplaceable files that are not easily backed up to things like DVD due to their size (video editing projects).

2) A 250-500GB partition with an image of your SSD (after everything is set up, but not including files such as documents/audio/video files), and to be used as data recovery partition for all data stored on your SSD using either the Windows data recovery, or whatever other backup management that you prefer.

This should be that last physical partition as it does not need the performance of being on the edges of the platter.

3) A partition for all bulk storage files for things like movies, rendering space, and documents that you do not want on your SSD. Be sure to change the library or document folder locations for each of these within Windows so that you do not run into a space issue on accident on your SSD. This should be your largest partition.

this should be the 2nd physical partition and multimedia files do not require fast throughput and seek times that you want to keep your programs snappy and fast.

3) a partition for your program files that do not fit on your SSD. This typically does not need to be large, as you should purchase an SSD that can fit your OS and most of your games. This should just be for overflow.

this should be the primary and first physical partition to ensure the fastest read/write/seek times for your programs. This is an artificial way of short-stroking the drive to ensure that programs will always receive maximum and consistent performance.


As always, be careful when partitioning drives. I cannot tell you how often I have screwed stuff up with partitions, and I know what I am doing. It is just far to easy to go on auto pilot and then partition the wrong drives, or destroy data on accident.
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a b G Storage
October 8, 2012 4:05:01 PM

mrloafy said:
So, if I install nothing more than a game or two and nothing else on the SSD with the OS and leave about 30-40GBz free, I should get a fair amount of life out of my SSD and not have many problems, if I don't have a separate partition? What risks am I running if I leave the OS And whatever games I install on the same partition moving forward? is is going to just slow the boot time down in the future or ar there larger risks involved?

If you have a single partiton there are less risks. SSDs are glorified RAM, so there is no speed penalty to having a lot of files on the drive (well, unless the drive is full to the brim, I would still not fill an SSD past the 80% mark, the same as a HDD just for other reasons).

On a HDD the best performance is at the beginning of the drive, where as on an SSD you get the same speed throughout the entire drive, and a ridiculously fast access time no matter where the data is stored. No slower boot times, no weird load leveling issues, no nothing. It is just the way SSDs are meant to be run.
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October 8, 2012 4:14:11 PM

Best answer selected by mrloafy.
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October 8, 2012 4:23:01 PM

CaedenV said:
For drive management setup I would try to follow a scheme something like this:

For the SSD:
1) SSD with your OS and programs, and small/commonly used documents (office documents, and music colleciton if it will fit). Typically this should be your single and only partition on the SSD.

2) If you have a particularly large SSD then set aside a 20-60GB partition on it for Intel RST drive caching for your HDD, this will give a read boost for your most commonly used files and programs on the HDD. However, I would only consider doing this if you have an SSD that is already large enough for all of your programs to begin with.


For the HDD:
1) I highly recommend having a RAID1 or RAID5 so that you have some data redundancy to help prevent data loss in the event of a drive failure

Please note that changing the mobo setting to RAID from AHCI typically requires a Windows reinstall. Also, changing between any RAID type (RAID1 to RAID5 for example) will lose all files on the RAID, so be sure to back up any any information before adding discs, or making changes to your RAID. typically you do not want to set up your RAID until you have all of the drives set up so that you will not need to make changes down the road. Making changes to the RAID array will not affect files on the SSD, it only erases data on the drives that are included on the array.

I set up a RAID1 on my system in order to support an older drive, and sure enough that drive died just 2 weeks ago. Thankfully it was in RAID, so there was no data loss, just slap in a new drive, rebuild the array, and all is well. the rebuild process was a pain and took a while, but it saved a ton of very important irreplaceable files that are not easily backed up to things like DVD due to their size (video editing projects).

2) A 250-500GB partition with an image of your SSD (after everything is set up, but not including files such as documents/audio/video files), and to be used as data recovery partition for all data stored on your SSD using either the Windows data recovery, or whatever other backup management that you prefer.

This should be that last physical partition as it does not need the performance of being on the edges of the platter.

3) A partition for all bulk storage files for things like movies, rendering space, and documents that you do not want on your SSD. Be sure to change the library or document folder locations for each of these within Windows so that you do not run into a space issue on accident on your SSD. This should be your largest partition.

this should be the 2nd physical partition and multimedia files do not require fast throughput and seek times that you want to keep your programs snappy and fast.

3) a partition for your program files that do not fit on your SSD. This typically does not need to be large, as you should purchase an SSD that can fit your OS and most of your games. This should just be for overflow.

this should be the primary and first physical partition to ensure the fastest read/write/seek times for your programs. This is an artificial way of short-stroking the drive to ensure that programs will always receive maximum and consistent performance.


As always, be careful when partitioning drives. I cannot tell you how often I have screwed stuff up with partitions, and I know what I am doing. It is just far to easy to go on auto pilot and then partition the wrong drives, or destroy data on accident.



Great answer! Thank you.

So, I think I will leave it alone the way it is.

You've given me a new question though. So, I don't use a lot of HD space on any of my home computers, never have since I don't save movies or large files on them, mainly use them for games and net streaming.

So, if i go out and grab another HDD, i'm thinking 2 500GBs and put them in raid 1, i set a partition that saves and image of my SSD boot drive? Is that a single time image of the intial install or would it be a living image and updated as I used the system down the road?

I'm sure this is elementary to you, but I'm new to this, obviously.

Thanks!
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a b G Storage
October 9, 2012 12:51:54 AM

you could do it that way, or you can set it in another machine (if you happen to have one laying around), and have it (and images of the rest of your computers) on a NAS so that even if your computer blows up you will have it on another machine.

Typically you want an image the way you want everything after a fresh reinstall, and then keep a 2nd image that you update preiodically. Personally I have not done much in the way of immages on my own machine because my hardware and software configurations change too much, but if you are a normal user it can make system recovery so much easier if you do it this way.

Also, when I do make images I tend to only grab the OS and programs. Files I tend to copy/paste or sync through a service so that they are more easily accessible (though Win8 allows you to mount an image file now, which is super handy!). But doing images sans-documents makes for smaller files and faster redeploys, just be sure to have a different system set up for file backup.
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