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Windows 7: I need step-by-step instructions for new Boot/OS SSD & RAID 0 Platters

23 Sep 2011   #1
Chrisb647100

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 
I need step-by-step instructions for new Boot/OS SSD & RAID 0 Platters

I just received in the mail 1 new 120GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD, 1 WD Black Caviar Drive (to match the existing 1TB WD Black Caviar drive I currently use), I also have a clean 1TB WD Caviar Blue drive I can use for what ever and an external 1TB USB 3.0 Passport for any drive imaging of file back ups etc. My rig specs are attached below. I currently have all my information on the one WD Black drive including the OS. I got these two new drives to enable a seperate SSD Boot/OS drive and to reconfigure my existing WD drive into a RAID 0 with the new drive while maintaining existing information (programs and documents) if possible. I am not anywhere near an expert, but do have some experience with hardware and configuration (I built my current rig) so a good set of instructions from an expert would be all I need. I see all the high scores for WEI and when benchmarking seperate SSD drives for OS and RAID 0 configurations that I am excited to give the new drives a try. I am sorry if this is a redundant thread, but I did look for and search for some time to find a thread I could use. I will check back often to answer any questions. Thanks!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
23 Sep 2011   #2
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Hi Chris,

Nice new gear. Lets see if we can get your system setup and running nicely.

Firstly, a quick question: I assume you want to do a fresh, clean install of Windows 7 to your SSD? In that case, my recommendation is to:

SSD

1. Unplug any existing HDD's.
2. Install the SSD drive, and then follow this tutorial to install Windows 7 to it:

Clean Install Windows 7

3. Allow Windows to complete all the updates it wants.
4. Install any applications - your drive is quite large, so there is plenty of room for Office etc. and don't forget the anti-virus software of your choice.

The RAID0

If I understand you correctly, you want to add an additional drive to your exitsing drive to create a RAID0 array and still preserve whats on it at the moment. Unfortunately, and I am happy to stand corrected, I do not think that is possible - in a RAID0 the data etc. is spanned across both disks, but at the moment it is written to a single platter.

My approach to this would be:

1. Copy all your data from the existing platter to the USB external drive BEFORE you install the SSD.
2. Reconnect your original HDD and install the new HDD. Boot the PC, and in the BIOS configure the RAID controller and add these two disks to the RAID.
3. Boot the computer. Once in Windows, in Disk Management, configure a simple drive, and partition as appropriate.
4. Now copy all your data back from the USB to the new RAID0.
5. If you like, you can also install applications to this RAID0 array.

The Spare HDD

You can install that the same time as above. In Disk Management, you can add that as a simple volume too. It will be very useful for backups if the external USB is too slow/full etc.

You might like to consider this as a route for regular backups if you don't already have a plan for that:

ROBOCOPY - Create Backup Script

Post back if you need more help. Enjoy your new kit!

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2011   #3
Chrisb647100

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Thank you for the quick and precise response. Sorry if I have a lot of questions. I have heard that there may be problems with the user accounts in OS pointing to the proper files when they are on seperate drives. Is that true? Are there going to be problems with the OS not knowing where to go to find files and drivers due to a clean install? I have also heard that building a library in the newly installed OS to point to the existing files is a good way to overcome this. Do you agree? Also how exactly would you go about the backup of the existing drive? Would you take a complete image or just backup the documents. I have too large an amount of programs that I use to have to reinstall all of them (like probably 100 or more), so I think that a complete image would be best. Do you have a program you like to use and what are the steps for that program. I have DriveImage XML installed, but have never used it before.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

23 Sep 2011   #4
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Hi Chris,

No worries with the questions - the more you ask, the better we can advise.

Quote:
I have heard that there may be problems with the user accounts in OS pointing to the proper files when they are on seperate drives. Is that true?
If I understand you correctly, do you mean for example having MSOffice installed to your RAID0 (lets call it E: for example) and then the OS on the SSD (C having problems "talking" to MSOffice on E:? No, I have never heard of that, and never experienced it - I have my OS on my SSD, and several applications installed on other drives (RAID0 included) and have never experienced any problems in the slightest. Did I understand your question correctly? Im unsure if I did.

Quote:
Are there going to be problems with the OS not knowing where to go to find files and drivers due to a clean install?
Nope - during installation, Windows will download and install the appropriate drivers to get the hardware working. After that is complete, you can install specific drivers if you like - the procedure for installation is precisley the same as for a platter/spinner HDD.

Quote:
Also how exactly would you go about the backup of the existing drive? Would you take a complete image or just backup the documents. I have too large an amount of programs that I use to have to reinstall all of them (like probably 100 or more), so I think that a complete image would be best. Do you have a program you like to use and what are the steps for that program.
I almost metioned this in my original post, but wasn't sure of the success rate. In theory, once way to preserve your setup on the existing disk is to image it, and then attempt to restore the image to the SSD - the existing OS presents a challenege though, so I'm unsure how to deal with that.. I have never attempted this, so am unsure how succesful that would be. I understand your reluctance to install the programs again, but I think its the safest route. Also......installing to a SSD is lightning fast, so you would spend considerably, and I do mean considerably, less time installing your software.

My own personal preference is just to backup the data (music, documents etc.) externally, and then clean install everything, but then again I probably do not have as many applications as you, so understand your reluctance.

Let me see if I can track down some experts in this area to offer some more advice.

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2011   #5
Hopalong X

Windows7 Pro 64bit SP-1; Windows XP Pro 32bit
 
 

Quote:
I have also heard that building a library in the newly installed OS to point to the existing files is a good way to overcome this
This is what you are refering to I beleive. Sevenforums tutorial > User Folders - Change Default Location
Libraries appears to be a folder with sub folders it is not. "Libraries" is a junction.
This tutorial shows how to move folders, such as "My Pictures" to a secondary HD and still maintain the junction on the main OS drive.

Hope that helps with that question at least.
Mike
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2011   #6
Chrisb647100

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Yes, I think you understood my first question mostly. What I was considering was the fact that the user folder, say Christopher Bradley in this case would be linked to the user account in the OS and to files on the Raid0 array, and how would it know that they were over there now that I have reinstalled the OS cleanly to a new disk. How would it know where to point when I call my files from that folder without creating a library linking the new, seemingly empty folder to those data files? I don't want to write my data files to the SSD as well. They will be restored to another drive with out theOS knowing since I am just restoring a image of the original disk. Thanks,and thank you again for your assistance with the last question. I will await your response. Part of what I was thnking was that I would have some of my programs on the RAID0 array and now I understand that if I can help it would be better for all my programs to be on the SSD, at least that would fit and only data files if possible on the Raid0 array, right? The thinking is that the Raid0 array might be a bit slower, but for space sake and SSD drive longevity I should do it this way if possible. To read and write every file I open would cause serious wear on a SSD drive, if I am not mistaken. Programs will open once and stay open in memory until closed. With each program I open I could open many files with one program read/write cycle to the SSD. The numerous files I open up with that program could be read and written back to the RAID0 array disk many thousands times more often without wear to the disk. Is my thinking solid?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2011   #7
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Hi Chris,

Quote:
What I was considering was the fact that the user folder, say Christopher Bradley in this case would be linked to the user account in the OS and to files on the Raid0 array, and how would it know that they were over there now that I have reinstalled the OS cleanly to a new disk. How would it know where to point when I call my files from that folder without creating a library linking the new, seemingly empty folder to those data files?
Sorry mate, I'm being a bit dumb and its late here. I don't quite understand what you mean above. Did Hopolong's link help you with that?

Quote:
Part of what I was thnking was that I would have some of my programs on the RAID0 array and now I understand that if I can help it would be better for all my programs to be on the SSD, at least that would fit and only data files if possible on the Raid0 array, right? The thinking is that the Raid0 array might be a bit slower, but for space sake and SSD drive longevity I should do it this way if possible. To read and write every file I open would cause serious wear on a SSD drive, if I am not mistaken. Programs will open once and stay open in memory until closed. With each program I open I could open many files with one program read/write cycle to the SSD. The numerous files I open up with that program could be read and written back to the RAID0 array disk many thousands times more often without wear to the disk. Is my thinking solid?
Yes, your thinking is rock solid. Keep your installed applications on the SSD, and all your data files on the RAID0. If you feel space is an issue on the SSD, you can install applications to the RAID0 too - nothing special is required at all regarding any interaction between the OS on the SSD and any installations on the RAID0 - it all just works flawlessly.

By the way I meant to add a cautionary note about the RAID0 : you must be absolutely clinical in backing up (or imaging) this drive. If any one of the two platters in the RAID0 fails, then ALL the data is permanently lost.

You can use FREE Macrium Reflect to image, or the ROBOCOPY tutorial linked further above for native format backups.


Regards,
Golden


Attached Thumbnails
I need step-by-step instructions for new Boot/OS SSD & RAID 0 Platters-capture.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2011   #8
Chrisb647100

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Yes, Hopalong did clarify that question. Thanks for the last answer too. That clarifies all questions I have for now. The image helped a lot too. Thank you again, get some rest.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2011   #9
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

No worries Chris. Post back if you have more questions.

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2011   #10
Hopalong X

Windows7 Pro 64bit SP-1; Windows XP Pro 32bit
 
 

I knew where the Libraries tutorial was but the RAID part I had no idea.

Hope you get things working as you want.
Mike
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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