Best way to set up new PC with SSD C:\ and second normal drive.

Posted on 2012-12-21
Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I'm setting up a new Dell i7 with a 128GB ssd. I'd like to put all the core programs that get used all the time on C for obvious speed reasons. But I'm thinking I'd like to put the huge chunks of business data - spreadsheets and documents on the second non-ssd drive. So I started out by making D:\users\username\Documents (and pictures and music and video) THen I linked those folders to the right library, made them the defaults save locations and deleted the C:\users\username\documents, video,music,pictures folders.

I also want to eliminate unnecessary read/writes to the ssd if possible to extend its life. AND I'm doing a Windows Easy Transfer from an older XP pc to this one. SO I want to make sure things all go to the right place.

I run across this article about moving the Users folder to the secondary drive:
But I'm not sure I want to move the WHOLE users folder to D. I want key programs like Quickbooks, Office and browsers to run off of C. If I move "USERS" folder to D, am I losing some performance because temp folders and appdata folders are on D now?

Botton line: What are the key folders I should be concerned about keeping on C for performance and those that should move to D to preserve SSD life?
Question by:RickNCN
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 38715169
thats exactly what i did; i have an intel 160 GB SSD for the OS and programs, and use a 1 TB drive for data
i connect ONLY the SSD, and install the OS and software (for performance)
then i connect the 1 TB drive for data
i leave the (empty) my documents on the SSD , and just copy the old contents to the extra drive
if you do that a couple of times per year - no worries

i hope this helps
LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 38715713
Nobus is giving a reasonable suggestion here. You do not need any type of data in my documents on ssd. Let it reside on normal hdd. And for this install os to ssd only and then make redirections. Plus during installing the programs you can select where to store them.

Author Comment

ID: 38721667
ok.... but you don't address the part of my question about moving the users folders to D as well. That link I posted suggests a way to create new users where the users folder is on the D instead of C drive. That reduces the drive read/writes for appdata and local settings folders. I don't know if I'm being clear on my question about moving different system folders to one drive or another based on performance or saving the life of the ssd.

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LVL 92

Assisted Solution

nobus earned 300 total points
ID: 38722896
you can redirect my documents To D, but i would not move the users folder, i keep it on C: for speed (you said : "That reduces the drive read/writes for appdata and local settings folders" - and that is just what the SSD is very fast about, so why in heavens name move it to a slower one?)

does this answer your question?
personally, i even keep my docs on the SSD - but the vast majority of my documents (the part that does not change often), i keep on the D: drive; this of course depends on the use you make of it

Author Comment

ID: 38744804
" so why in heavens name move it to a slower one?)"

well, the whole point I was trying to clarify and figure out is the balance between putting files you want fast access to on the ssd and files that get accessed a LOT and you DON'T need fast access to off the ssd. It's my understanding that SSDs get "worn out" by total read/writes eventually and that if you can minimize a lot of small, constant read/writes you increase the life of your SSD.

So I guess the question is all about whether all that is necessary - trying to be careful about which folders go on the SSD to increase PC performance but yet not kill the SSD prematurely. Is this business about killing the SSD just a bunch of crap? Are we talking a 3 year death? 8 yrs? more? Are those small/ constantly read/written files precisely the ones that will make my PC FAST by being on the SSD?

I don't know.  Maybe the question is unanswerable.
LVL 47

Assisted Solution

noxcho earned 200 total points
ID: 38744877
The normal aligned SSD drive has more than 10 years of lifecycle time according to the tests:
And normal HDD will probably have problems as well in this time. So your worries are false. Just install the OS on it and do reqular backups. There is no guarantee that the drive ssd or hdd will not fail. Just use it as is and do spend your nerve sells for worthless worries.
LVL 92

Accepted Solution

nobus earned 300 total points
ID: 38746318
>>  SSDs get "worn out" by total read/writes   <<  maybe that was true for the earliest models, but they have come a long way since, so no need to worry anymore

>>  Are those small/ constantly read/written files precisely the ones that will make my PC FAST by being on the SSD?    <<   they will certainly attribute a lot to the "feel" of your PC, since the access time is reduced to near zero

i know one thing : since i setup my PC with an SSD - it is MUCH faster, than any upgrade made it feel before!

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