SSD HDD MSATA Configuration Dell Alienware


I am waiting on the arrival of an Alienware MX18 R2 with a 64 GB MSATA and 1 TB 5400 RPM HDD. It also runs Win 7 Ultimate with 32 GB of ram. It is a new replacement for my last Alienware that had "issues." I decided to purchase a 240 GB SSD Sandisk Extreme. I ordered it separately and should have it in time for my initial set-up on the new computer. My problem is that I do not know how to best set up/install everything so that I can take advantage of the SSD, MSATA, and the HDD storage. I do not remember if the HDD will come pre-loaded from Dell. What steps do I take to load the OS on the SSD and use the HDD as storage so that I can receive maximum speed? I am not a gamer but am into Graphics and Video creation and editing. I am also a heavy user of Office. I am a college student and will put heavy use into web-based material, PDF's, and lots of data storage. I would appreciate a possible step-by-step. The Alienware will come with utilities that may help.
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  1. Well since your MSATA SSD is only 64GB, you are gunna want to load the OS onto that, it it hasn't already been preloaded.

    Then, you want to plug in the SSD into a sata port (preferably Sata III) and format that via device manager.

    With this setup, you can have all your OS stuff on the MSATA, your graphics editing and video stuff, and maybe a few games on your SSD, and the rest of your stuff on the HDD. This is generally how most multi drive systems are set up
  2. Thank you for your advice. Do I need to take out HDD before installing the OS to the MSATA? Will the 64 GB MSATA be able to hold the OS for Win 7 Ultimate? Then, do I install and format the SSD before adding and formatting the HDD?
    I have read through a lot of posts that talk about problems when leaving the HDD in the system when setting up the SSD. I've also read about changes in the registry that will be needed in order to direct programs to be installed on the HDD. It seems there are different approaches. My goal is for my programs to load as quickly as possible. I am especially interested in the Paintshop Pro Video and Photo bundle loading in a reasonable amount of time. That and a quick boot. Especially since it appears that I should not be using "hibernate" with the SSD drive.

    Thank you again for your input.

  3. You don't need to remove anything when you install the OS, just make sure that you are installing to the 64GB MSATA drive. Then just mount the two other drives as storage.

    Download the programs you want to load fast onto the SSD and the rest of your stuff on the HDD.

    As for changing directories, this is only when you have already installed programs on another device, and want everything on a new drive. Since this is a new PC, just be aware when you are downloading things where exactly you are downloading it to. Most programs come with a selection option that tells the program where to download. Just know what letter you assigned each drive and you should be set.
  4. Thank you!

    That makes perfect sense.

    Thank you for your help with this,

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