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 Post subject: what size SSD to upgrade system?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:07 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:45 am
Posts: 16
I have a system I built in 2011 which consists of:
Asus p8P67 MB
Intel i7-2600K @3.4 ghz
16g ram
1 tb WD HD (85% full)
Win 7 pro
msi gtx 560ti graphics

I have a ton of programs on the HD (I do animation, video editing and music recording) and the
computer is getting slower and slower (bootup takes at least 5 minutes, shut down takes forever)
I can't afford to build a new system so was wondering what size SSD I could put in this system
to help speed things up. I'm thinking 256 or 512 but not sure. My windows experience index
is 5.9 which is the primary hd number. All other numbers are 7.7 and 7.9 so the hd is my
bottleneck. I would like to put only OS and programs on SSD and all data/documents, etc on
the other drive. Is this possible? I would not want to save anything to the SSD. My thought is
to try and squeeze one more year out of this system if possible. Any help appreciated.

Thanks,
Bill


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 Post subject: Re: what size SSD to upgrade system?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:28 am 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5052
Is it possible to upgrade to an SSD? Of course! But given your case and I have a feeling you single-partitioned your hard drive, a simple migration is going to be a pain in the ass.

In order to make this as painless as possible, you would need a 1TB SSD so you can do a simple clone over to it. But those things cost like $400 and since this is about storage, I'd cringe at the missed opportunity to get a smaller SSD and say a 4TB hard drive (which would still cost less!). The best option, in my opinion, is to get an SSD and reinstall your entire system on that. This solves two problems: migrating from a 1TB drive to a smaller SSD and your system bootup/shutdown. I have more reason to believe your system may just be rampant with stuff that you're not aware of (background tasks? Loading programs you don't need on startup?).

Also, don't worry about losing your program settings! As long as you don't touch your HDD while you set up everything on the SSD, and assuming you use the same exact user name on the new install, you can copy and paste the C:\Users\[username]\AppData folder on your HDD to your SSD and most of your program settings will remain intact. A little trick most people don't know about ;) (although I would recommend only shipping stuff piecemeal... most cleanup tools don't touch the AppData folder and it can get filled with crap you may not need or use).

As for what size... 250/256GB should be good enough. Install the OS and key, commonly used programs on it. Storing documents, music, videos, and pictures on a SSD is not worthwhile (because these are low bandwidth files which to you at 120MB/s and 500MB/s would open up instantly anyway) and in some cases may even make things worse if you're editing them often. Think of an SSD more of a WORM (Write Once, Read Many) drive than a traditional HDD. Other programs you use occasionally and... so far in my opinion many games, keep those on the hard drive.

Once you have everything setup and you're satisfied, start nuking the old stuff on the HDD. I would recommend a reformat, but you need a backup drive for that.

If you do want to migrate to an SSD without reinstalling, you would need to shrink your C:\ partition to the smallest it can get and get an SSD that can hold that + 1GB. The reason is... well migrating isn't as simple as cloning the hard drive partition. But once you're ready, you have to do the following:
  1. Go to Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Configuration -> Storage -> Local Storage (I think... ). This should pull up the hard disk manager thingy.
  2. Add a 200MB partition on the SSD, format it as NTFS and give it a drive letter of S:\
  3. Right click on the partition and mark it as Active
  4. Clone the Windows partition on the HDD to the SSD (You have to use a cloning tool like EaseUS Partition Magic or something. You cannot just copy and paste).
  5. Open up command prompt as an Administrator
  6. Execute the following command
    Code:
    Bcdboot [Letter of Windows Partition on SSD]:\Windows /s S:. Bcdboot
  7. Reboot and attempt to boot from the SSD.


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 Post subject: Re: what size SSD to upgrade system?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:12 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:45 am
Posts: 16
Hey LatiosXT,
Thanks for the awesome information.

I have a few follow up questions. as far as the startup stuff going on, how do I change that? And what about the processes under task manager? How do I know what I can stop or not?

In order to shrink down C:/ I think I would have to move my Documents folder to another drive. How do I do that and tell all my programs to default save to the new drive?

I also have a brand new WD 1tb blue drive. I must have done something wrong, because it has no drive letter and says it has RAW file format. Nothing I do in 'manage drives' will allow me to change drive letter (it has none) or even to fomat it (I wanted NTFS). I own Acronis true image but that doesn't give me any options either. Is this drive a paper weight now?


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 Post subject: Re: what size SSD to upgrade system?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:47 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5052
Billro wrote:
as far as the startup stuff going on, how do I change that? And what about the processes under task manager? How do I know what I can stop or not?

If you open up the Run command (Win+R) and put in "msconfig" and then go to the startup tab. Disable things you know you won't need at launch, and do play around with it, you can always revert back. If you go in the Services tab and check "Hide all Microsoft services", you can find a few things in there that may not need to be on.

As far as processes in the task manager, it's safe to say anything under your username should be fine to kill. You can always right click on the process and select "Open file location" to make sure it's not in the Windows directory (and probably something important).

Quote:
In order to shrink down C:/ I think I would have to move my Documents folder to another drive. How do I do that and tell all my programs to default save to the new drive?

Assuming everything saves to one of your folders in your user folder, you can right click on that folder, select properties, and go to he "Change Location" tab. If you're like me with two accounts (one admin, one standard) or more, this will prevent other users from accessing the new folder. A way around this is symbolic links.

Quote:
I also have a brand new WD 1tb blue drive. I must have done something wrong, because it has no drive letter and says it has RAW file format. Nothing I do in 'manage drives' will allow me to change drive letter (it has none) or even to fomat it (I wanted NTFS). I own Acronis true image but that doesn't give me any options either. Is this drive a paper weight now?

Did you go to Control Panel -> Administrative tools -> Storage -> Disk Management? All else fails you can try to get your hands dirty with DISKPART in the command line or using TestDisk.


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