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Need help with figuring out SSD Caching.

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February 8, 2013 3:37:28 PM

Hey guys, I have a few questions about SSD caching on my system. I just built my own system a few days ago, and I wasn’t thinking before I started it up and installed the OS to a WD 1GB HDD. I also just installed a bunch of programs, and a few games on there as well. My question follows: Is there a way to install my 64GB SSD drive right now, and just use it for caching of my HDD? Or do I have to uninstall everything, and reset my motherboard to a raid format or ACHI or something? I am fairly new to the whole SSD caching thing, and have been doing some research about it.

From what I have seen it is worth the little bit of extra effort to do this. Also would I have to stall the OS onto the SSD as well for it to operate as a caching device for my main 1GB HDD? Lastly I’ve seen people on here talking about just installing the OS to the SSD and then using their HDD for everything else such as games would a 64GB SSD even be big enough to do this? Is this the same concept as caching a SSD to a HDD or something totally different? I do not really want to have to uninstall the OS if I can help it as I just installed it 2 days ago, and I think that would be a lot of work. Anyways any advice anyone can give me, and steps on how to actually do any of that would be greatly appreciated. I’ve looked all over and have seen conflicting reports on how good SSD caching is compared to actually having my OS on my SSD. Which one do you think is better? My MOBO is a Z77 Pro model so it can handle the caching as well.

More about : figuring ssd caching

a c 160 G Storage
February 8, 2013 3:50:38 PM

SSD caching is good for programs that are used often, but has a limited space and will slowly eject data that has not been accessed in a while if you change your usage pattern.

You can get windows and maybe a few smaller games onto a smaller ssd, just have to try not to overfill the SSD as it can cause performance issues.

You would have to make a regedit entry to swap from IDE mode to RAID mode if you want to activate SRT.

This should get you mode switched. Now you are NOT making an array in the Intel manager, you just need to be in RAID mode to enable SRT. your SSD will be erased, but the hard drive will not loose any data.

http://forums.tweaktown.com/asrock/48502-activating-rai...

Alternatively, if you want MORE control over the SSD setup, you would want windows and your most used(or more speed dependent) programs on the SSD. The you would want to move your documents and whatnot to the HDD. This can be done with the Location tab on most users folders or with a more involved trick.

http://lifehacker.com/5467758/move-the-users-directory-...
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a b G Storage
February 8, 2013 3:55:57 PM

Do it, if you only installed afew days ago no big deal, you'll have to reinstall the OS to get the full benefit of the SSD. Using it to install programs onto is OK but when windows is on there you will notice a huge difference in performance.
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a c 353 G Storage
February 8, 2013 4:04:23 PM

64 Gig SSD is on the "Small" side as an OS + Program drive, but doable.
To use as a OS + Program drive.
DO NOT clone, either re-install or Use Migration software.
For Miration.
If OS was installed to HDD with the BIOS set to IDE and Not to AHCI - fix that first.
Simple fix, See: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976

For migration the two programs I use:
Free trial 15 days - like only need once, EasyUS
http://www.easeus.com/?gclid=CKK0y9qjp7UCFexaMgodR2cA-w
Then, my favorite, but cost $18 is Ez-Gig (Recieved FREE with one of My SSDs. was EZ-Gig-II but upgrade to IV is free)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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February 8, 2013 4:11:16 PM

I forgot to mention that the SSD is not actually installed into my computer yet I have to do that tonight I am not sure if that makes a difference with the setup and steps of setting up caching. Also two things: if I decide to use my SSD for Windows itself and maybe a few games can it still be used as a caching device or will that concept go out the window in favor of having faster boot times with windows itself, and if I have to reinstall Windows onto the SSD and uninstall it from my HDD will I lose what I already have on my HDD such as games and programs? Is this a better process than caching the SSD to the HDD? If I decided to just use the SSD as a cache for my HDD do I need to install Windows on that as well or do I just plug it in and turn on, and change the modes in my BIOS to enable SRT?
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a c 160 G Storage
February 8, 2013 4:28:01 PM

If you reinstall windows to the SSD, programs should be reinstalled, copying or running programs from another drive can be hit or miss as some created registry entries on install.

You can generally install Steam over itself and keep all the games working.

Some games can just be run from other locations(mostly MMO games as the launcher will re add entries needed).

Almost all games/programs can be installed(if it is on the HDD, just rename the old folder first so you can copy the game back over it self AFTER the install), then copied over them selves to avoid needing to re-download updates/patches.

As for the Cache setup, while you can select a lower value then 64 gigabytes and use whats left. It is not always that good of an idea. SRT does just involve getting the registry entry fixed then switching to RAID(or SRT if that board has that as an option) then enabling it from the Intel Rapid Storage Manager from windows.

I have clones hard drives to SSD's without any negative effects(Easeus todo backup, but the partition had to be aligned and the BCD required a quick edit. so this is NOT the option for all users).
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a c 353 G Storage
February 8, 2013 4:48:36 PM

ONE of the recommendation for installing a OS to a SSD is that you first DISCONNECT all other HDDs. BIOS should be set to ahci
After you completing install of Windows on the SSD, you can reconnect your HDD.
When you first boot - go to bios and verify boot order is set to SSD.

Untill you delete windows on The HDD you can Daul boot either operating system by hitting the Hot key that brings up a boot menu (THIS does NOT change anything in BIOS). NOTE: you can JUST simply copy your "favorite's file from the HDD -> he SSD.
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February 8, 2013 5:22:19 PM

So do you guys think its worth it to install the OS to my SSD since its only a 64GB or is it better just to use it as a cache for my bigger 1TB drive? I mean if installing to my SSD is only going to save me seconds on some programs and boot up then that doesn't really matter to me. I would rather had a setup that is going to make my system as whole a little faster not just certain features. My main drive right now is WD 1TB 7200 RPM.
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a c 160 G Storage
February 8, 2013 5:32:17 PM

Even the cache will only make some things faster.

The choice is 100% yours, I have done both(SSD + 2TB WDC Black) and the SSD(2 x 256[non raid] gigabyte M4's and 1 Kingston 64gigabyte for Win8) only is noticeably better to me. But then again, in the end I went out and got bigger ssds. damn computer upgrade addiction.
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a c 353 G Storage
February 8, 2013 5:45:42 PM

LOL - yea they keep teasing with larger SSDs a lower cost.
My last 256 gig Samsung pro was less than my first curcial 128 gig SSD, or at least VERY close. I know that both my Crucial 256 gig M4 and Samsung 256 gig 830 were cheaper.
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