Best way to install and use new SSD

ArtG2521
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I just bought a SAMSUNG 840 EVO MZ-7TE500BW 2.5" 500GB SATA III TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD).  I have a Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 Mobo, 8GBs of RAM, nVidia 660ti vid card, AMD Phenom quad core CPU, Corsair 880 watt PSU, etc.  

I want to know the best suggestions to install this great SSD.  I definitely want to install the OS (Win 7 Professional) on it and for sure my games.  The rest I can store on my 2 TB HDD.  But what is the best way to do this?  Right now everything is on my 2TB HDD of which I have used a little over 1TB.  Cloning the drive to the SSD I guess would not work since the SSD is only 500 GB.  Or is there a way to do this?

Another choice would be to just start from scratch and install each program, one at a time.  In this case, if I wanted to install, lets say MS Office to the HDD and NOT the SSD, do I simply tell it to install to a different folder on the HDD, say with the name, "Program Files X" and then install things to the SSD to the normal folder "Program Files (x86)" ?  Or is there a better way to do this??
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DavidPresident
Top Expert 2010
Commented:
A SSD excels at random I/O.  As such, put the O/S, scratch files, indexes, swap, and whatever content changes a lot on the SSD.   Large files that you load once or always read sequentially belong on the rust drive.

Why not repartition the 2TB HDD into a 500GB and a 1.5TB, and move things around so that the 500GB partition is what you want to eventually be the new O/S.   Then you can do a bare metal backup from the mechanical drive 500GB and restore on the SSD.  

If it all works OK, then blow away the 500GB.  If it doesn't, then you still have the 500GB partition on the 2TB drive and you can adjust things until it is perfect, and try again.

Author

Commented:
dlethe, I know what you are talking about, but I'm not experienced enough to do the things you suggest and I do not want to accidentally bork my HDD by making a mistake.  Unless I have an easy walkthrough on this, I may have to go for an easier and safer way to do this.
DavidPresident
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Fair enough ... unfortunately it is impractical to walk somebody through this step-by-step.  Every app is a little different. Heck, I couldn't walk myself through doing this all on my own machine until I run through it once.

So heed my advice.  Your situation cries out for step #0.  Purchasing an online backup product or another 2TB HDD that you can use for backup.  Remember 100% of disks fail.  If losing a HDD is anything more than a temporary inconvenience, then you need to invest in backup before doing anything.

Repartitioning software isn't infallible, and if you get a BSOD or power failure at the wrong time then you are screwed moving anything around
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Retired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
The simplest way is to spend $20 on this excellent utility:  http://www.paragon-software.com/technologies/components/migrate-OS-to-SSD/

It will migrate the OS and your installed programs; while leaving all of the data that's taking up most of your space on the larger drive.    Makes it VERY easy to set up an SSD without having to do any repartitioning, manual movement, or reinstallation.
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
i have been working on an 160 GB ssd and it occupies now 73 GB (including this years data)

so this means your data is taking up the majority of space (pictures, movies..)

you can install everything fresh - and just leave the 2 TB drive for data - which is by far the best solution

or move your data from the 2 TB drive, and check how much space it takes
if it comes lower than 500 GB you can image that drive to the SSD with the  paragon software  :  http://www.paragon-software.com/technologies/components/migrate-OS-to-SSD/
that will adjust the os to the SSD

Author

Commented:
I took a look at the Paragon software, Nice!  I may splurge and get the Hard Disk Manager Suite:

http://www.paragon-software.com/home/hdm-personal/

It looks like it has the OS migration software and a bunch of other useful tools all in one package.

Any other comments?  I will check back and then close out the question soon.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
if you want to install from scratch -  it is not needed to use Paragon (imo it is the best solution)
but it uses more time
Gary CaseRetired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
The Hard Disk Manager Suite does indeed come with quite a few additional tools.   If you don't already have a good imaging utility, this would be an excellent choice; as it not only provides the migration capability you're looking for, but several additional tools that you'll find useful in the future.

Author

Commented:
Thanks everyone!

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