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Windows 7: Replace SATA HD with SSD?

08 Jun 2015   #1
gogreen

Windows 10 Home, 64 bit
 
 
Replace SATA HD with SSD?

I currently have a 931GB Western Digital WDC WD1001FAES-75W7A0 (SATA) in my desktop computer. How difficult would it be for me to change that to an SSD drive?


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08 Jun 2015   #2
strollin

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
 
 

How full is the drive? Is it partitioned so that OS & Programs and data are in separate partitions?

Do you wish to do a clean install of your OS & Programs or clone your existing hdd? How large of an ssd do you plan to install?

What many people do is get a 120GB ssd to install OS & Programs on, then use the existing hdd as a data drive.
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08 Jun 2015   #3
gogreen

Windows 10 Home, 64 bit
 
 

Thanks, strollin. The drive is only about a quarter or a third filled. I would likely get a 1 terabyte drive and clone the existing HD. I don't think the OS, programs, and data are in separate partitions.
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08 Jun 2015   #4
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Do you have any sort of an estimate as to how much of that "quarter or a third filled" is your personal data (pictures, mp3s, video, Word files, etc) as opposed to Windows and installed applications?

If you can't or won't separate the two, you are pretty well locked into buy a rather large and expensive SSD (likely at least 500 GB for circa $180 or $200). If you can and will separate the two, there's a reasonable chance you can get away with a smallish SSD--say 120 GB, for maybe $70.

Although I have heard that some cloning applications will let you exclude certain folders from the cloning process.

You might have better luck with imaging than cloning, when it comes to moving from a hard drive to an SSD. Both can work or fail.
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08 Jun 2015   #5
gogreen

Windows 10 Home, 64 bit
 
 

Thanks, ignatzatsonic. Oh boy. This is getting more complicated than I had intended.
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08 Jun 2015   #6
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gogreen View Post
Thanks, ignatzatsonic. Oh boy. This is getting more complicated than I had intended.
You earlier mentioned buying a 1 TB SSD.

If you are willing to do that, it's not very complicated:

1: you buy the SSD.

2: you clone or image the entire current hard drive to the new SSD.


That's it. Success rate probably 98%.

It becomes more complicated ONLY if you don't want to spend $400 on a 1 TB SSD. You'd then drop back to a 500 GB or smaller SSD for much less money. You could put all of your current HD on a 500 GB SSD, but that wouldn't allow a lot of room for expansion. Perfectly OK if your data grows at a slow rate. I'm guessing you have maybe 250 to 300 GB currently occupied on the HD.

But the fact is that most people don't need even a 500 GB SSD. Mine is 128; I got along fine with an 80 GB SSD.

If you in fact want to put data and Windows/applications on separate drives, you have to come to some sort of an estimate as to how much of your current occupied space is data and how much is everything else--in order for you to buy no larger an SSD than necessary. If money is no object, you don't care about that and just buy a 1 TB SSD.
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08 Jun 2015   #7
strollin

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
 
 

If your 931GB drive is, at most, 1/3 full then you could get away with a 500GB or less ssd.

How much of that 300GB on the drive is data? If you can separate your data from your OS & Programs then you could repartition the hdd and shrink the OS partition to a smaller size so you could get a smaller ssd.

Cloning and imaging that ignatzatsonic mentioned are similar but are distinct. Cloning means to copy a drive directly to another drive resulting in a bootable replacement. Imaging means to copy a drive to an image file on a backup drive, then you could restore that image to a new drive and have a bootable drive.
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08 Jun 2015   #8
gogreen

Windows 10 Home, 64 bit
 
 

Thanks, strollin and ignatzatsonic. I've used 175 gb on the SATA drive with 744 gb of free space left, so I guess a 500 Gb SSD would be more than enough for OS, programs, and data, with room to grow. I'd prefer to do the simplest thing--clone the drive. My data does grow, but slowly.

So do I need two partitions--OS and Programs/data?

What got me thinking about using an SSD is that I work with a music notation program called Finale. It uses digital sample libraries that take a while to load the first time. I'm told that an SSD would speed things up considerably.
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08 Jun 2015   #9
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gogreen View Post

So do I need two partitions--OS and Programs/data?
No.

If I had to guess, I'd say that 90 plus percent of home users do NOT have separate partitions. They get along fine if they are conscientious.

The traditional split, if you choose to do it at all, is OS/programs and data. NOT as you have it: OS and programs/data.

OS/programs and data split has certain advantages. Your "system backup" images would be smaller because data would not be included in the image file. You could restore a system image without affecting data. But it's hardly a "need".

You might even do fine with a 250 GB or smaller SSD. But you still haven't told us how much of your total occupied space is data and how much is OS/applications. Windows alone takes circa 20 GB. You'd put the OS and programs on a single partition on the new SSD. Put all data on a single partition on the current hard drive. I'm assuming it's in good working order and you didn't intend to throw it in the trash. May as well use it for something---a backup drive if nothing else.

Regarding music notation software and speed---frankly, the most noticeable aspect of an SSD is in boot speed and how quickly an application is opened. They have little apparent effect on things such as saving a file. Some people say they are disappointed at the improvement. For many operations, there is no substitute for CPU power, and an SSD would be of little help. I'm guessing you have no SSD experience, so I'd just like you to have realistic expectations. I wouldn't call it night and day. Preferable, yes.
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09 Jun 2015   #10
gogreen

Windows 10 Home, 64 bit
 
 

I have about 30 Gb of data and the rest, 145 Gb, in OS and programs. I'd want to leave some room for growth--I figure an SSD, no matter the cost, is an investments that I'll use for at least 5 years.

Quote:
If I had to guess, I'd say that 90 plus percent of home users do NOT have separate partitions. They get along fine if they are conscientious.
That's probably what I'd do. Conscientious about what?

Quote:
Regarding music notation software and speed---frankly, the most noticeable aspect of an SSD is in boot speed and how quickly an application is opened. They have little apparent effect on things such as saving a file. Some people say they are disappointed at the improvement. For many operations, there is no substitute for CPU power, and an SSD would be of little help. I'm guessing you have no SSD experience, so I'd just like you to have realistic expectations. I wouldn't call it night and day. Preferable, yes.
You're right--I have no SSD experience. Thanks for this information.

Quote:
Cloning and imaging that ignatzatsonic mentioned are similar but are distinct. Cloning means to copy a drive directly to another drive resulting in a bootable replacement. Imaging means to copy a drive to an image file on a backup drive, then you could restore that image to a new drive and have a bootable drive.
Important difference--thank you for this!

BTW, if there are no moving parts in an SSD, then the CPU fan would work slower and be quieter, right?
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 Replace SATA HD with SSD?




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