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Thread: What is the best way to use 1 SSD and 1 HDD in system

  1. #1

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    What is the best way to use 1 SSD and 1 HDD in system

    Should the SSD have just the OS and perhaps a couple of programs on it.
    Then, do you partition the HDD for data, games, programs, backups etc?
    Or do you load whatever game you are running onto the SSD?
    I thought that programs once executed are in RAM so it would not matter if it was on the HHD?

    Thanks
    Dan

  2. #2

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    Hey mate, I didn't get to welcome you on your first post, so welcome. Its a great site here.

    My preference is to use SSD tech for everything bootable (os & application). Storage is cheap, platter drives storing large file chunks can deal with all that, you really don't want to clog an SSD with Avi's & other bulk storage stuff.

    I run 2 OS's. I have my standard HDD with an OS, all the apps & games, user files & other assorted things. I then install the OS again on the SSD & edit the registry to view the desktop, my docs & all other storage things from the other drive. For example if I open excel, it loads from the SSD, then pulls my data from the platter drive. Same goes for things like WMP & media files.

    The other advantage this gives me is giving me instant backup. If my RAID fails, I boot to the other drive & away I go with out the need to muck about. Everything is already there

  3. #3

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    Hi Dan,
    It seems no matter how large an HHD or SSD you get, they always end up running out of space. And with SSDs and HHDs coming down in price its best to get the largest that fits your budget.

    Here's my setup, maybe you can get some ideas from it for your system.

    C: = Boot, SSD, OS and a few apps, like Office, benchmark programs, hardware monitors (AIDA64, CPU-Z, GPU-z)

    D: = Boot Backup, HDD, a clone of the C: drive. I use Aconis True Image to do the cloning.

    E: = Games, SSD, I put all my Games on this drive

    F: = Games Backup, HDD, a clone of the E: drive

    G: = Data, HDD, bulk data, pics, movies, etc

    H: = Data Backup, HDD, a clone of the G: drive

    To do a two drive system I'd cut a partition out of drive 2 the size of drive 1 and use Acronis True Image to clone drive one to the first partition of drive 2. Then divide what space was left on drive 2 two in half into 2 more partitions. Then use part 3 as backup to part 2.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by FiftyOne View Post
    Hey mate, I didn't get to welcome you on your first post, so welcome. Its a great site here.

    My preference is to use SSD tech for everything bootable (os & application). Storage is cheap, platter drives storing large file chunks can deal with all that, you really don't want to clog an SSD with Avi's & other bulk storage stuff.

    I run 2 OS's. I have my standard HDD with an OS, all the apps & games, user files & other assorted things. I then install the OS again on the SSD & edit the registry to view the desktop, my docs & all other storage things from the other drive. For example if I open excel, it loads from the SSD, then pulls my data from the platter drive. Same goes for things like WMP & media files.

    The other advantage this gives me is giving me instant backup. If my RAID fails, I boot to the other drive & away I go with out the need to muck about. Everything is already there
    Thanks for the welcome, yes this is a great site and everyone has been very helpful. Your setup is a little too complicated for me though, but I am sure it is great

    ---------- Post added at 10:17 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:05 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by OS-Wiz View Post
    Hi Dan,
    It seems no matter how large an HHD or SSD you get, they always end up running out of space. And with SSDs and HHDs coming down in price its best to get the largest that fits your budget.

    Here's my setup, maybe you can get some ideas from it for your system.

    C: = Boot, SSD, OS and a few apps, like Office, benchmark programs, hardware monitors (AIDA64, CPU-Z, GPU-z)

    D: = Boot Backup, HDD, a clone of the C: drive. I use Aconis True Image to do the cloning.

    E: = Games, SSD, I put all my Games on this drive

    F: = Games Backup, HDD, a clone of the E: drive

    G: = Data, HDD, bulk data, pics, movies, etc

    H: = Data Backup, HDD, a clone of the G: drive

    To do a two drive system I'd cut a partition out of drive 2 the size of drive 1 and use Acronis True Image to clone drive one to the first partition of drive 2. Then divide what space was left on drive 2 two in half into 2 more partitions. Then use part 3 as backup to part 2.
    Thanks, I think I might get a second SSD (for Games , I am suffering project creep. I keep adding and picking more expensive parts)and a small HDD for data. In my current system I had 1 partitioned HDD (OS "C" and Data "E" same HDD) and put my backup images on a removable HDD that was only accessed when image needed or new backups made. Main image was C Drive and data was just copied over to the backup drive. I will still probably have a removeable HDD for backups that is not connected unless required

    I assume yours is some RAID setup that backs up constantly. That is probably best but more than I want to get into now

    If I have 1 HDD for images/backups that is not in a raid situation, do I need to make partitions the same size as the SSD's?
    Couldn't I just image my OS SSD 120GB max but only has 40 GB used for example. I would get a 40GB image I assume.
    That is how it used to work with Norton Ghost and regular HHD's
    Then my second SSD will be 256GB for games, data for example , but might only have 30 gb used for example. I would make a 30 gb image and store both on a removable HDD
    Last edited by Dan_Br; 27-Jun-12 at 11:03 AM.

  5. #5

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    If you're looking for a scheme with a KISS (Keep It Simple Sally),
    here's a tried-and-true philosophy, which varies a bit depending
    on how big your SSD(s) storage is.

    So, let's assume, for this example, that a single 120GB SSD
    is installed with one large 2TB HDD.

    Also assume that a LOT of third-party software will be installed
    in addition to your OS.

    (1) format the first 50GB of the SSD and assign to an OS partition (C:);

    (2) format the remainder of the SSD as a dedicated data partition (D:);

    (3) format the first 50GB of the HDD as a backup OS partition (E:);

    (4) format the remainder of the HDD as a dedicated data partition (F:);

    (5) when all your software is installed and tested AOK,
    write a drive image of C: to D:;

    (6) copy that drive image from D: to E: and F: (for redundancy);

    (7) after Windows Updates, change name of drive image on F: to image.001
    delete drive images on D: and E; write new drive image to D:, E: and F:;
    continue to increment the suffix in sequence e.g. .002, .003, .004 etc.;

    (8) if files in the active OS partition fail somehow e.g. malware infection,
    simply restore the latest drive image to the active C: partition;

    (9) if the SSD hardware fails completely, replace it and
    restore the drive image from E: or F:;

    (10) if you must boot your system while the SSD is removed,
    restore the drive image from F: to E: and then boot from
    the 50GB partition on the HDD;

    (11) for essential redundancy, make sure that all files on D:
    are backed up to F: on a regular basis.


    One variation on the above method installs the OS
    in both 50GB partitions: this allows an immediate
    re-boot from the working partition if either device fails.

    With this variation, drive images are written to D: and F:
    but NOT to E: because the latter also hosts an identical
    copy of all OS files.


    Hope this helps.


    MRFS

    ---------- Post added at 09:22 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:04 AM ----------

    > If I have 1 HDD for images/backups that is not in a raid situation, do I need to make partitions the same size as the SSD's?


    I know from experience that Symantec's GHOST can NOT restore a larger drive image to a smaller target partition.

    That is one among other reasons why both primary partitions should be IDENTICAL in size i.e. C: = E: = 50GB in the above example.

    (I don't know how Acronis behaves when the target partition is smaller than the drive image, however,
    because I don't use Acronis to create drive images.)


    MRFS
    Last edited by MRFS; 27-Jun-12 at 11:31 AM.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRFS View Post
    If you're looking for a scheme with a KISS (Keep It Simple Sally),
    here's a tried-and-true philosophy, which varies a bit depending
    on how big your SSD(s) storage is.

    So, let's assume, for this example, that a single 120GB SSD
    is installed with one large 2TB HDD.

    Also assume that a LOT of third-party software will be installed
    in addition to your OS.

    (1) format the first 50GB of the SSD and assign to an OS partition (C;

    (2) format the remainder of the SSD as a dedicated data partition (D;

    (3) format the first 50GB of the HDD as a backup OS partition (E;

    (4) format the remainder of the HDD as a dedicated data partition (F;

    (5) when all your software is installed and tested AOK,
    write a drive image of C: to D:;

    (6) copy that drive image from D: to E: and F: (for redundancy);

    (7) after Windows Updates, change name of drive image on F: to image.001
    delete drive images on D: and E; write new drive image to D:, E: and F:;
    continue to increment the suffix in sequence e.g. .002, .003, .004 etc.;

    (8) if files in the active OS partition fail somehow e.g. malware infection,
    simply restore the latest drive image to the active C: partition;

    (9) if the SSD hardware fails completely, replace it and
    restore the drive image from E: or F:;

    (10) if you must boot your system while the SSD is removed,
    restore the drive image from F: to E: and then boot from
    the 50GB partition on the HDD;

    (11) for essential redundancy, make sure that all files on D:
    are backed up to F: on a regular basis.


    One variation on the above method installs the OS
    in both 50GB partitions: this allows an immediate
    re-boot from the working partition if either device fails.

    With this variation, drive images are written to D: and F:
    but NOT to E: because the latter also hosts an identical
    copy of all OS files.


    Hope this helps.


    MRFS

    ---------- Post added at 09:22 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:04 AM ----------

    > If I have 1 HDD for images/backups that is not in a raid situation, do I need to make partitions the same size as the SSD's?


    I know from experience that Symantec's GHOST can NOT restore a larger drive image to a smaller target partition.

    That is one among other reasons why both primary partitions should be IDENTICAL in size i.e. C: = E: = 50GB in the above example.

    (I don't know how Acronis behaves when the target partition is smaller than the drive image, however,
    because I don't use Acronis to create drive images.)


    MRFS
    That does help a lot, need to reread a couple of times
    The most important part was that I thought I read that you could not/should not partition a SSD. If you can that makes things a lot easier and more like I am used to.
    This is a new build for me and my first time with SSD. I might not have been clear, but I did not mean to say I was trying to have the target partion smaller than the image. I meant the backup partitions were larger than the SSD Drive and or the image made from the drive
    What would you suggest (50GB) as a good size for a windows 7 64 bit install, leaving room for updates etc.
    With this option I might get a 256 SSD and partition it.
    What is the easiest way to partition the drive, is it done from the windows 7 install disk before windows installs? That is how I remember partitioning a regular HDD for a fresh build.
    thanks ever so much
    Dan
    p.s. what do you use for imaging?
    Last edited by Dan_Br; 27-Jun-12 at 12:06 PM.

  7. #7

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    > What is the easiest way to partition the drive, is it done from the windows 7 install disk before windows installs?

    Yes: Windows Setup will give you the option to format the entire device as a single C: partition,
    or you can change the size of the target C: partition into which Windows Setup will write OS files.


    > I thought I read that you could not/should not partition a SSD.

    Not true. For example, we recently created a RAID 0 array
    with 2 x SanDisk Extreme 120GB SSDs, and formatted C: at 30GB.

    We did this with Acronis True Image Western Digital Edition,
    using the "Clone | As Is" option:

    WD Support
    (you need at least one Western Digital drive in your system,
    or this software will NOT install)

    When that task finished, we simply changed the Boot Priority
    in the BIOS, and that system booted normally from the
    new C: partition hosted by that RAID 0 array.


    MRFS

  8. #8

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    Acronis True Image can clone to a smaller partition/drive/LUN provided, obviously, the data on the source drive will fit on the smaller partition/drive/LUN. Use the "proportional" option.

  9. #9

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    Yes, and I've noticed that Acronis also does a very good job of
    packing/defragmenting the target partition about as perfectly
    as one could expect. You can check this visually by running
    the Windows Disk Defragmenter.

    Click "Analyze" then see: "Estimated disk usage before defragmentation:"


    MRFS

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRFS View Post
    > What is the easiest way to partition the drive, is it done from the windows 7 install disk before windows installs?

    Yes: Windows Setup will give you the option to format the entire device as a single C: partition,
    or you can change the size of the target C: partition into which Windows Setup will write OS files.


    > I thought I read that you could not/should not partition a SSD.

    Not true. For example, we recently created a RAID 0 array
    with 2 x SanDisk Extreme 120GB SSDs, and formatted C: at 30GB.

    We did this with Acronis True Image Western Digital Edition,
    using the "Clone | As Is" option:

    WD Support
    (you need at least one Western Digital drive in your system,
    or this software will NOT install)

    When that task finished, we simply changed the Boot Priority
    in the BIOS, and that system booted normally from the
    new C: partition hosted by that RAID 0 array.


    MRFS
    Ok,

    Which is recommended/used most
    Two SSD plus 1 HDD setup
    One SSD (120gb for OS) 2nd SSD for programs, games, data etc, 1 HDD for imaging as layed out in the KISS plan
    no partitioning of SSD's necessary

    1 SSD and 1 HDD
    KISS plan as suggested above.

    And every answer leads to another question
    In the BIOS I know to set the SSD's to ACHI, but what do I set the SATA HDD to. Is everything ACHI at that point?

    Thanks

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