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SSD's

Community Veteran
Posts: 2,106
Registered: 06-02-2008

SSD's

I'm totally out of hard drive space at the moment and so I need to do something about it. However, with the price hike in normal drives I've thought about going for a smallish SSD to replace my C: so I can then merge my old C: into my D: to tide me over until 1TB's are back to a sensible price.
I think 60GB will just about do (I don't game much so my Windows 7 install isn't too big) and so this looks like a good buy:
http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Solid+State+Drives/OCZ+Agility+3+60GB+2.5%22+SATA-III+Solid+Stat...
I figure if I run out of space I can just buy another and stripe them!
Does anyone have experience with SSD's? It's been ages since I last mirrored a partition, what's the best software to use?
19 REPLIES
CX
Grafter
Posts: 745
Thanks: 2
Registered: 16-09-2010

Re: SSD's

I just used Windows 7 backup to create a system image and restored that to the new SSD. It used the correct partition alignment, which is more than could be said for Acronis TrueImage. If your current disk is larger than 60GB you may have problems with that method though, in which case I would probably just reinstall from scratch on the new SSD.
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,106
Registered: 06-02-2008

Re: SSD's

It's a partition on a 1TB disk which can be resized to < 60GB... I like the sounds of the disk restore option though, do you do that whilst booted into (what will be) the old copy of the OS?
CX
Grafter
Posts: 745
Thanks: 2
Registered: 16-09-2010

Re: SSD's

You can do it by booting from the Windows 7 installation CD (or USB) by going into the recovery options.
Be aware it can be a bit quirky though. I think I had to pull out the USB stick I had booted from before attempting to restore, or it would fail with an error message because of the unknown partition. It's certainly not robust, but you're not going to lose anything.
The other downside is that you will need a third disk (or network share, if you have Windows 7 Professional/Ultimate), large enough to hold the system image.
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,106
Registered: 06-02-2008

Re: SSD's

I pulled out the DVD drive so I could fit a new HD :|
CX
Grafter
Posts: 745
Thanks: 2
Registered: 16-09-2010

Re: SSD's

It's fairly easy to make a 4GB+ USB stick into a bootable Windows 7 installation stick, if you have access to a computer with a DVD drive. The other way, would be to install Windows 7 clean on the SSD, and then use the recovery options from that installation, to restore the old image over the top of it.
There may be better disk imaging software than Windows Backup, not sure if any of it is freeware though, and I know that not all of it maintains the proper alignment for the partitions (which is important for SSD performance).
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,106
Registered: 06-02-2008

Re: SSD's

I could install it clean, I always keep all program installers anyway... might be good to have a clear out!
sjrinfroyle
Grafter
Posts: 895
Registered: 08-05-2011

Re: SSD's

What I would do is copy all the required files onto an external HD or USB stick and install fresh on the SSD. Although unlikely, this will prevent any incompatibility. Oh and it will give you the best possible speed after removing all the temporary files, empty registry files etc. Smiley
CX
Grafter
Posts: 745
Thanks: 2
Registered: 16-09-2010

Re: SSD's

Clean is better.
Windows 7 has certain optimisations for SSDs - it enables TRIM and disables defrag and Readyboost when it detects an SSD. I'm not sure if this applied when migrating an old installation across to an SSD, but it certainly does with a clean install.
Also make sure your motherboard's set to AHCI mode rather than IDE emulation or RAID, and don't install any manufacturer-specific disk controller drivers. The MS AHCI driver is the best choice, since it has the best compatibility (especially if you have an nVidia chipset; their nvsata/nvraid drivers are awful), and supports TRIM. I have the Intel X25-m G2, which is a few generations older than what you're looking to buy, and it still amazes me. We just bought new workstations in the office with standard Seagate 7200RPM drives, and even though they've got significantly faster processors than my own machine, they don't feel as responsive.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,847
Thanks: 121
Fixes: 24
Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: SSD's

Quote from: CX23882
Windows 7 has certain optimisations for SSDs - it enables TRIM and disables defrag and Readyboost when it detects an SSD. I'm not sure if this applied when migrating an old installation across to an SSD,

I take it from this article http://www.pcpro.co.uk/realworld/371728/are-ssds-reliable-enough-for-work-laptops that the optimisations are applied
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,106
Registered: 06-02-2008

Re: SSD's

Thanks for your advice chaps, I'll get one ordered and report back with results in the new year Cheesy
wisty
Pro
Posts: 456
Thanks: 59
Fixes: 4
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: SSD's

Ben,
Bookmark this webpage.
http://forum.crucial.com/t5/Solid-State-Drives-SSD/Solution-C300-Disk-Freeze-ups-in-Windows-7-solved...
You might not get the problem, but after installing an SSD hard drive in my laptop, occasionally it would hang for 30-90 seconds with the hard drive light on. Then carry on with the error message written to the event viewer as described.
Turning off LPM in the Intel driver as described has fixed it.
It seems to be a timing problem with some SSD's and some SATA controllers. You may not get it - but if you do!!
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,106
Registered: 06-02-2008

Re: SSD's

A belated update to this...
I bought the SSD and got Windows 7 installed w/ SP1. However, I had a load of issues due to a dying mother board - one SATA controller is dead most of the time and the other is only live most of the time! I have a RAID card but that doesn't like having more than 1 HD plugged in at a time!
So I borrowed a motherboard and everything's running just fine. The Windows Experience Index only increased a little but boot times have definitely improved and general browsing and using the computer are significantly improved.
Definitely a recommended upgrade!
CX
Grafter
Posts: 745
Thanks: 2
Registered: 16-09-2010

Re: SSD's

Moving to an SSD 2 years ago was the only upgrade I've ever done which gave a noticeable increase in performance across the board.
The only downside I have noticed is that any other computer (e.g. at work) feels comparatively sluggish.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,313
Thanks: 86
Fixes: 3
Registered: 08-01-2008

Re: SSD's

I put a SSD in my Laptop and the overall 'feel' of performance was absolutely phenomenal.  Boot time, start-up of Outlook and everything else is just so much quicker, great investment.
In my case I replaced a 120GB laptop hard drive with a 128GB Kingston SSD, used Acronis (supplied with the SSD) and had no end of trouble with Windows7 until I ran a 'start-up repair' from a Windows 7 install DVD but the effort was worth it, everything seems to be (subjectively) twice as quick.
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