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What are the possibilities with an SSD hard drive?

Posted on 2011-09-27
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have an Intel SSD drive which I have cloned my hard drive to and now swapped it. It works fine, and I have read how I can improve it's performance.  My problem is the size limitation, and the problem with how long it will last if I keep reading and writing to it. So it looks like the solution is to use the drive as a boot drive and use another drive for programs, and documents to some degree, but I have no idea how to do that. I looked around a litle for clues, but most articles were about making it run faster etc, or just installing windows on it instead of cloning. Is there any way I can clone first then configure it to use another drive for my documents, and temp folders etc? How configurable is this?  I'm thinking I could edit the registry and change the default locations of files, then copy them over. I suppose I could try this, and if it crashes, just start over, but I hate the idea of re-writing everything over and over again. Is this how it's done? Is there any utilities that help with this process? Do I really need to just install windows 7 clean if all I want to do is change the location of some of the folders?
Question by:harmono
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Accepted Solution

CyrRei88 earned 1200 total points
ID: 36713757

The main advantage from SSD hard drives is their speed. So you would want to keep Windows and all the programs (if possible. Otherwise the programs you use most) on the SSD.

You don't have to edit the registry to change the location of the folders.
You can change the location of the main folders (Pictures, Music, Documents,etc) really easy.

Here is how:

1. Navigate to: C:\Users\<Your Username>
2. Right-click on one of these folders and select properties:

- Documents
- Music
- Pictures
- Downloads
- Favorites

3. Now select the Location tab
4. Enter the path of the folder you want to save the files in or click Find Target to select a folder
5. Now click on Move, and Windows will copy all the files to the new folder

Now whenever you put a file in Documents for instance, it will write them to the new location

Let me know if you got any question

Author Comment

ID: 36713829
Thanks. Ok, so now that looks easy, but what about those install files that get bigger and bigger (sorry i forgot what those are called) the windows update files. Can I do the same with those? I'm assuming that windows is going to need to know the location, but from what you are saying I can chose a location and it will follow that. I'm just making sure I understand this.
These files I think are off the windows folder. I'm not at home so I can't look at them. I was using this utility that shows where all my files are and my two biggest culprits were the documents folder with the music on it, and this other folder that had all these install files that I think the windows update uses, and the restore points are saved at. Will that solution work for those too? If so I'm really happy about that. Now I can get a super fast small hard drive the Velociraptor drive and use that for my documents. If I could do that I would basically have enough space for my programs, but would use another drive for the documents.  
Oh I had another question.  Are there really cheap really small SSD drives available that are not really crucial that I could use to store things like my documents? I'm thinking if I just keep backing up my documents to an external drive I could use another 32 GIG SSD drive for that. It seems like I could allocate different drives for different things.

Expert Comment

ID: 36714273
As far as I know, it's not possible  to change the path of the Windows update files, since they are stored on the operating system drive.

But you can actually delete the Windows Update files. But be aware, that you will not be able to uninstall Windows updates after you delete these files. So you should probably leave on the computer for a bit and see if the system runs stable. If all runs smooth you can delete them.

Before you delete the update files, you can also delete the Service Pack 1 backup files to make more space:

1. Go to start and type cmd
2. Right click on cmd.exe and select Run as Administrator
3. Now type the following command: dism /online /cleanup-image /spsuperseded

The windows Service Pack 1 backup files should now be removed.

Here is how you delete the  regular Windows update backup files:

First you have to turn of the Update Service

1. Go to Start and type services.msc
2. Now double-click on the Windows Update service and click on Stop
3. In the Windows Explorer navigate to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download
4. Now delete all the files and folders in there.
5. Go to your desktop and empty the trash

This will delete your Windows Update backup files.

Another thing you can do to save disk space is delete old System Restore Points and reduce the size of future System Restore Points.

This is how:

1. Go to your Desktop and right-click on the Computer icon and select Properties
2. On the left hand side click on System Protection
3. Now click on Configure and then on the Delete button
4. You can make the size of future restore points smaller. I would suggest you set it to about 1GB

There are cheaper SSD drives, but I advise against buying them, since they are significantly slower then good SSD drives, but still more expensive then normal hard drives. You can buy pretty fast HD drives for a fraction of the price.

So if I were you, I would keep the OS and Programs on the SSD and all Documents and Pictures on the HDD drive.
Defragment your HDD drive frequently, to keep it fast.

Let me know if you have other questions
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LVL 70

Assisted Solution

garycase earned 600 total points
ID: 36714458
There's no concern with modern SSDs r.e. reading & writing to it.    The degradation of the previous generation SSDs is not an issue with any drive that supports TRIM as long as it's used on an OS that supports the TRIM function (Windows 7 fully supports this).

You absolutely want to keep your page file, temp files, etc. on the SSD -- that's where you get a major portion of the improved performance.    In addition, keep both the OS and your programs there, so OS functions and program loads are as fast as possible.    As for other data -- it depends on how much space you have available ... if you are space-limited then you can easily relocate various system folders [Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos, etc.] to keep those on another drive (as outlined above).
LVL 93

Assisted Solution

nobus earned 200 total points
ID: 36714942
i agree with Garycase;  see also "There's a reason Intel's new SLC SSDs are marketed toward datacenter users. Extremely long lifespan, very good reliability" from : http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=611769

but this is a bit scary :  http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2011/05/the-hot-crazy-solid-state-drive-scale.html

Author Comment

ID: 36719902
Yes I've read about the crashes. I saw that they have a warranty. I definitely will need to backup my data. I'm thinking of getting a Velociraptor then cloning to the Velociraptor as a backup, and use another partition for my documents.  This is not a business machine and I don't have alot of important documents, just MP3's and pictures. I just want a fast computer.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 36719934
Very important question could involve saving $$$. Thanks for the straight talk.

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