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Storage Changing to SSD

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by westham101, 10 May 2012.

  1. westham101

    westham101 MWN Gamer

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    Hi there,

    In the next few days I have decided that I am going to buy an SSD.
    I currently have a regular 500gb Sata hard drive partitioned at about 45gb for my operating system and the other larger partition is for games and other stuff.

    I was wondering a few things. How hard would it be too wipe the OS off of the 45gb partition so I can install the OS on the SSD I am planning on getting?

    Should I take the original hard drive out completely and install the SSD and put the OS on it, then once that is installed put the other hard drive in change the boot order to start through the
    SSD then wipe the other hard drive of the operating system?

    Last question is, will wiping that other partition with the operating system affect the games and programs installed on the other partition?

    Thanks,
    Westham101 :D
     
  2. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    Some programs will still be registered to your old OS and will not work independently if you re-install windows, so they may have to be re-installed, but if you re-install them to the same place they shouldn't overwrite existing folders etc, so saved games should still be safe. It's a good idea to back up before you do anything though... well... it's a good idea to back up anyway :)

    I would just install a fresh copy of Windows onto your SSD. Make sure your system is set to AHCI in BIOS before you do. That way you know everything is squeaky clean.

    However, if you're worried about losing anything, and if your rig is already using AHCI then you can actually just migrate your existing OS over to the SSD using Acronis or any other imaging or drive cloning program and everything should carry on as normal... but faster.

    Once your SSD is up and running, make sure you disable super fetch, disk defrag and indexing, and check your power scheme so that it NEVER turns off the hard drives, as TRIM and GC works in idle times, but if your drive powers down TRIM will not have sufficient time to do it's job.
     
  3. happysack

    happysack goodateverthinger

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    Yeh I would do a fresh install and install all stuff on Ssd, failing that I would image your is partition to the Ssd
     
  4. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    Well.. good point. How big is the SSD? If you have sufficient room, you could move some of the installed apps over to it if you start again. Favorite games etc. Windows on SSD is nice for boot times, but they really shine when you stick your installed apps on there. It's for this reason I went with a really big SSD.


    Don't forget to partition your SSD to leave some slack space for over provisioning.
     
  5. westham101

    westham101 MWN Gamer

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    Thanks for the advice it really helps!
    I am thinking of getting a 120gb one mainly because I don't have monstrous amounts of money I can spend lol. I am also upgradeing my graphics card and monitor at the same time.

    However you kind of lost me on the last paragraph lol. Not entirely sure what you meant by disable super fetch, disk defrag and indexing, and what TRIM/GC is. That's just me being a noob lol.

    But I think I will just end up doing an entire clean installation and wipe everything, just gives me a chance to start fresh, no biggy if I have to restart games I don't really mind ahaha.

    Last thing is, how would I go about wiping that hard drive after the SSD is all up and running?

    Thanks again,
    Westham101
     
  6. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    Basically, TRIM is Windows' way of controlling the SSD's garbage collection (GC) to inform the SSD to erase block of memory that are no longer used to help maintain drive speed. Without this the drive will eventually slow down as block of NAND memory are used and erased... TRIM basically flags unused blocks as empty... that's a basic answer... no doubt Pocket Demon will be along in a while to give you a comprehensive reply :)

    To check if TRIM is enabled after you install windows on your SSD go to a command prompt and type

    > fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify

    The result will be one of the following:-

    DisableDeleteNotify = 1 (Windows TRIM commands are disabled)
    DisableDeleteNotify = 0 (Windows TRIM commands are enabled)

    If it's not active type
    >fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 0

    You don't want indexing active because it does a great deal of reading from the drive, and also writing as it builds the index, and any excessive accessing of blocks will wear your drive out prematurely.. also, they're so fast, there's literally no need for Windows to build an index of the drive.

    Super fetch is the system in Windows that pre loads a lot of stuff to make them start faster, but again for the same reason, you don't want this active, as there will be a lot of unnecessary drive access, and there's no need because apps installed on a SSD launch so quickly anyway.

    Defrag off because you should never defrag a SSD. There's no need, as it's basically memory chips with true random access, so there is no speed advantage.... and again, defragging a SSD will mean a load of unnecessary reads and writes that will prematurely age the drive.

    To erase your main HDD... just do a complete format, not a quick format. I'm assuming you don't need a secure erase... there's no state secrets of illegal porn is there? :)


    To disable super fetch... I don't have time to do a great deal of typing right now, so here's a link

    http://www.addictivetips.com/windows-tips/disable-windows-7-superfetch/

    indexing....

    http://www.addictivetips.com/window...-of-your-local-drive-in-windows-xp-and-vista/

    defrag...

    http://www.serverninjas.com/how-to-disable-windows-disk-defragmenter-in-windows-7

    Your SSD software that comes with the drive may be able to disable these services for you.. I know the Samsung software does.
     
    Last edited: 10 May 2012
    PocketDemon and westham101 like this.
  7. westham101

    westham101 MWN Gamer

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    Hahaha no there is no porn on my pc :p

    And thanks for the information it is extremely helpful!

    Sorry for asking so many questions lol. But i have another one, would i just use a partition program to reformat it? Im guessing yes?
     
  8. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    If it's not your boot drive, which it's not in your case, you can format it directly from Windows. open My Computer, right click the drive, select format, and deselect Quick Format. It will basically erase the drive... it's slow though. A quick format will do the same job but the data is actually still there, so if there isn't a security reason for erasing the drive, a quick format will make it behave as if it is completely empty.
     
  9. westham101

    westham101 MWN Gamer

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    Thanks Pookey you're info was extremely helpful!
    I should be good to go now :)

    Cheers! :D
     
  10. PocketDemon

    PocketDemon What's a Dremel?

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    Your explanation of trim is pretty good... :)

    ...although the sentence -

    "Without this the drive will eventually slow down as block of NAND memory are used and erased..."

    - is factually incorrect, as what trim helps a function of GC to do *is* erase blocks more efficiently - which maintains speeds.


    To properly correct your explanation (hopefully without getting too technical - though some of my alterations are word choices) would give something like -

    "Basically, TRIM is Windows' way of enhancing the SSD's garbage collection (GC) to inform the SSD that pages of nand are no longer used. This can improve the GC's ability to both 'block combine' (moving pages from 2 or more partially 'dirty' blocks into a new one) & pre-erase whole blocks to help maintain drive speed - nand can be written to as pages but only erased as blocks.

    Without this, if there is not enough idle time for GC to do it by itself, the drive will eventually slow down considerably as more & more pages & blocks of nand hold redundant ('dirty') data but remain unerased... TRIM basically flags unused pages as containing redundant data & helps it to be done more efficiently... that's a basic answer..."​


    Yeah, it can get quite complicated explaining the detail, but that'll mostly do - other than to note that, whilst GC does the same things on all SSDs, it does not operate identically...

    ...so (esp) a Sandforce based SSD, Vertex 4 & Samsung 830 have *much* better GC (in terms of maintaining speeds without trim being available/enabled) than, for example, a Crucial M4...



    Otherwise, whilst it can be worthwhile double checking that defrag's turned off (for the SSD) & trim's turned on...

    (having checked the first few times, i know it always is with my kit so i don't bother... ...but it's always worth it for the first couple of installs with a new setup/SSD/OS just in case there's some issue)​
    ...the two important things are -

    1. to alter the power settings so that the HDDs never turn off - otherwise you won't have enough idle time for GC.

    2. &, after installing the latest drivers for your mobo, run the "windows experience index" - as this sets stuff up some registry settings automatically for the SSD...

    (well, 2 'should' automatically disable Superfetch, Prefetch, etc for you)


    Oh, & most people disable hibernation to give more usable space.


    i then personally wouldn't overly bother with any other tweaks you may find on t'internet - they tend to be of marginal benefit (mostly dating from when there was poorer understanding of longevity) & the most important things are done in 2 above; for example -

    - the index is stored, by default, on the boot drive - now, whilst there's no gain to indexing the SSD itself as they are so quick, the fear was that indexing at all would write so much that any SSD would die quickly... This wasn't the case &, if you don't index HDDs that you regularly search, it can be painfully slow to do so...

    - Or, going back, there was the idea of either disabling the pagefile or moving it to a HDD - again fear of too many writes.

    [NB whilst there's no gain to having a fixed sized pagefile on a SSD, something akin to a 400-8000 one on the SSD can be a good range for most machines... ...or you can just leave it as it is. Up to you.]​
     
  11. BioSniper

    BioSniper Minimodder

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    Minor thread hijack here as I changed to a Crucial M4 128GB yesterday.
    Which drive is recommended also? MSAHCI or mainboard chipset? (I'm using a P67)
    I see varying/conflicting answers regarding which is better around the web with some saying that MSAHCI doesn't properly support TRM?
     
  12. PocketDemon

    PocketDemon What's a Dremel?

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    i don't know where you'd have heard that the default msahci driver in Win7 doesn't generally support trim (assuming the controller & SSD do)...

    ...but, assuming you're using the 6Gb/s intel controller, using the latest irst driver will normally be faster.
     
  13. BioSniper

    BioSniper Minimodder

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    OK, I'll install the Intel driver thenas I am indeed using a 6Gb port.
    Just general googling over drivers for msahci, said that it didn't support it which I thought was odd anyway.

    My google-fu clearly is fail these days!
     
  14. PocketDemon

    PocketDemon What's a Dremel?

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    i was slightly unclear - i meant using an intel controller as opposed to a (shonky) Marvell or something one... ...many P67s have both.


    More generally, i'm not saying that the msahci drivers are a 'magical cure all' - if the controller (or SSD) doesn't support trim then you're not going to get trim by using them...

    (& this 'might' be where googling came unstuck)

    ...but it's suggested that, for something like the nForce chipsets/nVidia controllers where it's simply that nVidia gave up, the msahci drivers provide trim on them (with Win7).
     
  15. BioSniper

    BioSniper Minimodder

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    Ah right ok.
    Well its a Crucial M4 so does support TRIM and the board is:
    http://uk.msi.com/product/mb/P67A-GD53--B3-.html

    I did run AS SSD benchmarks and hitting around 500MB/s Read etc, and looks very in-line with all the other benchmarks I've seen so I guess, if it isn't broke, don't fix it with the drivers side of things especially as the MS ones do correctly support TRIM
     
  16. PocketDemon

    PocketDemon What's a Dremel?

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    Fair enough - you only have an intel controller so that makes things very simple...

    My P67 board, for example, has a pair of additional shonky Marvell 6Gb/s ports as well.
     

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