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asking another "related" question

Posted on 2011-09-08
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I have all the parts in now and getting ready to install the OS, Win7Pro 64 bit, oh Mommy, can hardly wait, this is going to be so stupid fast.  Ok, so, can you guys review for me any particular things I should do or not do with regard to installing on the OS on the 120GB SSD?  I am running the Corsair 120GB SSD as my drive for the OS and my trading/charting program. I plan on using a regular HD as my second drive and storing whatever there.  Should I let Win7 installer partitoin the SSD in whatever manner it wants?  Also, do I need to worry about the SSD filling up if I using the other drive as my main storage area?  I mean, will the day to day operation of the computer somehow fill up the SSD?  I am novice, please excuse the dumb questoins.  
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Question by:rodynetwork
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by:KGNickl
ID: 36507495
Just partition it like normal (using all the available space). Also, install all your programs on the SSD and anything that is executed.

 I would remove the old main HD and put in the SSD then install windows. Then put back in the old HD (if old IDE make sure to set it to slave and you might have to change a setting or so in the bios).

Stuff like documents, pictures, videos (might want to put on SSD) can just be stored on your original drive.

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by:klodefactor
ID: 36507514
Day to day operation of the OS won't fill the 120GB SSD, which is more than enough for the OS, its updates, user profiles, and installed programs.  Installed programs shouldn't cause problems if they're well behaved and let you specify where they should store their data.

Let Win7 partition the drive, but make some changes afterwards.  This is a consumer drive not an enterprise drive, so I wouldn't put the pagefile on it.  This will avoid needless writes to the SSD, which will shorten its life span.  If you have time on your hands you can move the user profiles to the traditional HD ("rotating rust" as a Sun Engineering calls it).

BTW I know that having the pagefile on a traditional HD is potentially slower, but you if you designed your system properly with enough RAM for your needs, the pagefile should generally not be busy, but just used to swap out idle applications.

--klodefactor
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Greg Hejl earned 167 total points
ID: 36507522
updates, program files will fill up your SSD.  no worries though, the OS shouldn't grow more than 30GB over the life of the computer.

accept the default partitions for the install.

i would be interested to know the windows experience score  - computer-right click- manage will bring up that window.

i would stick with MS security essentials for anti-virus - work well - set it and forget it.

run windows updates

how much RAM are you running?
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by:klodefactor
ID: 36507541
Updates and program files will not fill the SSD.  Whoops, I read further and I see you agreeing with me; sorry :-).

Greg Hejl: the info about AV is unrelated to the question, but one correction: I remember at least one comparison that put MS Security Essentials at the bottom of the heap for detecting and disinfecting.  After a 15-second search I didn't find the article again, so take that with a grain of salt.  Regardless, most AV software these days is set-and-forget.

--klodefactor
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by:Callandor
Callandor earned 167 total points
ID: 36507610
I would partition the drive into two: one for the OS, and the other for programs and data that you want to be as fast as possible.  The reason is backups: by segregating the OS, I can make the backup as small as possible and by the same token, restoring is a fast operation and does not require reinstalling programs from scratch.  I typically set aside 50GB for the OS, and the rest I would use as the second partition.  This is the age of malware, and sometimes you need to take the drastic step of a restore to recover from some of them.
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by:rodynetwork
ID: 36507666
Can an SSD be reformatted later, or is the problem that when it gets full nothing can be erased?  I guess what I am asking is, if I don't like the way I set it up, can I reformat and start over, or do I just have buy another SSD?

I am running 8GB ram to start.  Two sticks 4 GB each.

Regarding
"i would be interested to know the windows experience score  - computer-right click- manage will bring up that window."  I did this, but I don't see anything about the score. It brought up Computer Management.  Is "windows experience score" somewhere in there?  I don't see it.

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by:rodynetwork
ID: 36507681
What size is the OS on a typical Win7Pro 64 bit install?  
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by:Greg Hejl
ID: 36507747
a little under 20GB if I remember correctly

sorry - its control panel > performance information and tools
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by:garycase
garycase earned 166 total points
ID: 36507801
I have a VERY loaded Win7 Ultimate system, and there's 47GB used on my C: drive (which I've got set at 80GB).

A few random thoughts after reading the thread to this point ...

=>  Wtih a 120GB SSD, I'd make the OS partition 60GB and then make a 2nd partition with the rest of the drive for your data.    Note that when you do a clean install on this drive with Windows 7, you can create the 60GB partition and "tell" it to install there -- although the installer will likely make a 2nd 100MB partition at the start of the disk (this is fine).

=>  I agree with keeping your data in the 2nd partition so you can easily restore the OS partition if ever needed without any impact on your data.    But I would NOT install your programs to the other partition -- you want those on the C: drive along with the OS.   Reason is simple:   If you DO have to restore the system, you won't have to reinstall all of your programs.

=>  60GB is plenty for the OS and won't be filled up with updates, etc.    I would also NOT move the page file to another disk (as suggested above).   Windows 7 is SSD-aware and implements TRIM very well, which eliminates the write degradation issues of previous generation SSDs.    Page file operations are one of the biggest performance advantages of SSDs, since these are all small reads/writes that are finished long before they would have even started with a rotating platter drive.

=>  MS Security Essentials is fine for your A/V needs.   No single A/V utility scores at the top in all comparisons/tests -- but MSE does very well and is very well integrated with Windows.     No matter what AV program you use, the best protection is to have a reasonably current image that you can restore from in the event of corruption.

=>  An SSD is just a disk drive -- albeit a very fast one.    You can reformat it;  restructure the partitions; etc. ==> anything you can do with any other drive.   If you decide you don't like the way you've got it set up, you can resize; move; delete & reformat partitions to restructure it as you like.

=>  The Windows Experience Index is computed by Windows 7.    Point to Computer; right-click; and select Properties.    You'll see a Window like the following (this is from a Core i7-2600k system I built recently).    The "Rating" on a just-built system may not be available -- if so, click on it, and then click on the prompt to calculate it (don't do anything on the system while it's computing it).




WEI---Final-Config-with-Vertex-3.jpg
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by:klodefactor
ID: 36507802
From the end-user perspective, an SSD is the same as a traditional HD.  Files can be created/modified/deleted, partitions can be created/deleted, the whole disk can be wiped with zeroes, etc.

--klodefactor
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by:klodefactor
ID: 36507832
garycase: I stand corrected, although I don't think TRIM alone is reason to put the pagefile on SSD.  More important is the proportion of reads vs writes for pagefile.sys.

I correctly realized that thrashing would mean a high level of activity on the SSD.  My mistake was in not stopping to think that ALMOST ALL of that activity is reads :-).  Supporting information here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/e7/archive/2009/05/05/support-and-q-a-for-solid-state-drives-and.aspx, which reports that pagefile.sys reads outnumber writes by roughly 40 to 1.

--klodefactor
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by:garycase
ID: 36507848
Thrashing is a complete non-issue on an SSD => there's no head to move :-)
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by:klodefactor
ID: 36507881
Of course thrashing isn't an issue.  As I said, my error was in not realizing that when pagefile.sys experiences a high level of activity, it's for reads, not writes.

If any file is "hot", and the activity is primarily writes to the same set of (file) blocks, I wouldn't put it on a consumer-grade SSD.  I know wear-leveling spreads the pain across all free blocks on the SSD.  But because I'm cheap and lazy, I want my SSDs to last forever.  That way I don't have to buy new ones, and so I don't have migrate data and/or reinstall :-).

--klodefactor
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by:noxcho
ID: 36508707
Just simply install the OS. You can later modify the partitions via Windows Disk Management.

Gary: I think you have a monstrous machine there =)) Such good Windows Experience report.
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by:rodynetwork
ID: 36509954
Gary and Callandor, thinking about this makes my head hurt, so forgive me for asking dense questions.  The idea of the OS on one partition with or without the programs is giving me brain lock. I think you are saying programs installed with the OS make it simple to restore from a mirror? vs installing the OS alone makes for smaller backup footprint and that is essentially the only difference?  In both cases, install the programs on the SSD, just comes down to whether I want them on the same partition as the OS?  I am going to start another "related question" to ask about mirroring or cloning or whatever it you guys use to restore from. Please answer the partitioning question here. I'll do the other question is a sec.
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by:Callandor
ID: 36510047
You can do either - when you install programs, you usually have the choice of location to install it.  Some programs load enormous data files in the same directory (games and photo editors, for example), and I prefer not to include them in the OS backup.  Restoring from a backup doesn't change the ability to run the program, even if it's on another drive, and I don't have to reinstall it.  On the other hand, Office doesn't give you any choice - it has to be in the Program Files directory.  I choose two partitions for rapid recovery - it only takes a few minutes.
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