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Windows 7: Dell T5400, Clean Install Win7 Pro x64, SSD, V4900 - Settings?

11 Apr 2012   #1
Ccamp12

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
Dell T5400, Clean Install Win7 Pro x64, SSD, V4900 - Settings?

Hey everyone, I am new to the forums and generally new to Windows too (always have had Apple products - don't shoot).

I am a Design Engineer, and the past few years I have been running Windows XP, then to Windows 7 via Boot Camp on my iMac with Pro/E WF4 (now Creo Elements..). Anyway, I decided to bite the bullet and get a Dell refurbished workstation.

As Ordered:
- Dell T5400 Refurbished
- e5440 Quad Core 2.83GHz
- 2x 500GB SATA HDD
- Quadro FX 4600
- Windows Vista Business
- 16GB ECC FB RAM

As I will be using this primarily, and most likey only for, Creo Elements I ordered the following parts that I will be installing:

- AMD Firepro V4900 1GB
- Crucial M4 128GB SSD SATA III
- Windows 7 Professional x64
- Soyo 24" MVA 1920x1200

I read through the Sticky "How to do a Clean install of Windows 7" and a few other very informative posts on here, but have never done much at all with Windows. As far as setting the computer up (everything should be here tomorrow) I assume these will be the steps to take:

1) Replace video card with V4900
2) Replace 1x 500GB SATA with 128GB SSD (I ordered one cable and SSD->3.5" bay adapter, couldn't find a definitive answer on what all I need to physically install the SSD...)
3) Plug in monitor, mouse, keyboard and power cable
4) Turn on and....?

I want to just use the SSD as a boot drive for Windows 7 Pro x64, and also install Creo Elements and possibly Lightroom 3. Will it automatically recognize the SSD? What happens if I don't (or the computer doesn't) see the SSD upon bootup? How do I get to the BIOS to set the SSD as AHCI (I think that's correct)?

How do I update the SSD's firmware to 0309 before installing Windows 7?
How do I enable TRIM on SSD?
Where do I disable Auto-Disk Defragmnt on the SSD?

Any advice for after the initial setup, assuming it all goes accordingly, so that all my files, documents, pictures will save to the 500GB SATA drive, and nothing will automatically save to the SSD?

I apologize for the low-end questions, but I am completly new to upgrading or modifying a computer (iMac always came so nicely packaged, good for what I needed it for - except Pro/E). Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Chris C.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
11 Apr 2012   #2
gregrocker

 

Follow these steps to get a perfect Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 which are the same for retail. Unplug all other HD's and peripherals during install to SSD.

Depending upon how it performs you may want to adjust SSD Alignment - Windows 7 Forums. I would consult with the tutorial's author and SSD/imaging expert Wolfgang on this and updating your firmware correctly.

Install Programs to SSD for best performance. If it fills up I'd install only rarely used ones to HD.

Best way to link to data on HD is to create a set of User folders similar to your Named User folders, then rightclick on each to add to the related Library - Include a Folder - Windows 7 Forums. This is more stable than actually moving the User folders to the HD which can present problems we have found here. When you click each Library you'll see the C and D folders within it, so if files pile up in the C (SSD) folder simply drag them to the D (HD) one.

Type Disk Defragmenter in Start Search box, click on Schedule box and uncheck Scheduled Defrag.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2012   #3
Ccamp12

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Follow these steps to get a perfect Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 which are the same for retail. Unplug all other HD's and peripherals during install to SSD.

Depending upon how it performs you may want to adjust SSD Alignment - Windows 7 Forums. I would consult with the tutorial's author and SSD/imaging expert Wolfgang on this and updating your firmware correctly.

Install Programs to SSD for best performance. If it fills up I'd install only rarely used ones to HD.

Best way to link to data on HD is to create a set of User folders similar to your Named User folders, then rightclick on each to add to the related Library - Include a Folder - Windows 7 Forums. This is more stable than actually moving the User folders to the HD which can present problems we have found here. When you click each Library you'll see the C and D folders within it, so if files pile up in the C (SSD) folder simply drag them to the D (HD) one.

Type Disk Defragmenter in Start Search box, click on Schedule box and uncheck Scheduled Defrag.
Thanks for the quick reply! That helps out a lot.

Any suggestions for updating the firmware and settings on the SSD before the install? Is it possible to do this afterwards?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

11 Apr 2012   #4
gregrocker

 

I referred you above to whs for help on that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2012   #5
Ccamp12

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Sorry, thanks for that. Read up until the link on that part, clicked the link and became side-tracked.

Video card came in today, the tower, W7 Pro and the SSD will be here tomorrow. Once I get everything together I will post my findings, and if I still have any questions I will update this thread.

Thanks again for your help, it's much appreciated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2012   #6
Ccamp12

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

If at a later date I want to upgrade the processor from the e5440 to the e5460 + heatsink, are there any issues? Is there anything I have to do to have the computer recognize the new processor? Will I have to reinstall Windows 7?

I purchased a System Builders license of Windows 7 Pro x64, I hope that isn't going to be a bottleneck from doing a processor upgrade in the future should my e5440 not suit my needs (I'm guessing it will be more than powerful for me).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2012   #7
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Regarding your general situation: I'd make sure the Dell refurb PC operated properly before I started swapping in other components such as new video card and SSD. Play with it a day or two before you go hog wild.

SSD installation is generally painless. Be SURE to disconnect other hard drives before installing to the SSD. If you accept the defaults during the install process, you should end up with a tiny "System Reserved" partition and a large C partition on the SSD. The Windows 7 install disk will realize it is an SSD and make a few adjustments accordingly.

After the install is complete, get antivirus going, get an Internet connection going, and get the important and critical updates from Windows Update.

Then check a few things--make sure disk defragmentation is turned off for the SSD, check the size devoted to the page file, check the amount of hard drive space devoted to System Restore. Maybe run Windows Experience Index to get a benchmark of your hardware. Check SSD alignment if you are concerned about it.

Then reconnect your other drives and consider changing video cards and installing applications.

Assuming your motherboard will support a new processor, it would not require a new Windows install and you would not have to do anything special to get the PC to recognize it. I don't know much about those 2 processors, but they may be very similar in which case why upgrade from one to the other?

If you ever have to remove the heatsink, you should clean off the existing thermal paste and reapply new paste.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2012   #8
Ccamp12

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Again, not ever having to think about Antivirus software, are there a few know in the Windows 7 world that most people get? This computer will see very, very limited internet use - strictly being used for Pro/e design.

The e5460 was an option on the Dell T5400 motherboard, directly replaces the e5440 only difference being 3.16GHz over the 2.83GHz mine is - not sure whether I will be able to tell the difference or not. It is possible to swap the motherboard to the dual-processor and run two e5460's for 8-cores total, but I would need to do that before installing Windows 7 and I'm not sure I want or need to at this time.

I will likely only be running Creo Elements/Pro 5.0, Adobe Lightroom 3 and Keyshot 2.0 on the computer total, so I'm not sure how much antivirus I will need...any suggestions?

One dumb question: where do I check the size devoted to the "page file" and System Restore?

Thanks again for all the help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2012   #9
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

I'm just wondering why you have never had to think about anti-virus before? Unless you never go onto the Internet.

Use Microsoft Security Essentials, a free download at Microsoft. That should be all you need for ordinary use. It's lightweight and highly regarded.

Page file: type those 2 words into the start box and then poke the link about changing the size of virtual memory.

System Restore: control panel/system/system protection/configure and then look at the slider.

The only reason I mention page file and system restore is that SSDs are smallish and you may need to keep an eye on available space.

You should be able to update SSD firmware after you install Windows. I don't know how it works on a Crucial, but on my Intel I had to burn a disk and then boot from that disk.

I'd guess that trim will be enabled by default, but you can check it afterwards with a particular command, which I have not committed to memory.

Defrag should be turned off by default on the SSD, but it's checkable.

When you install the SSD, confirm that it is connected to port 0 on the motherboard. Consult your manual to find out which port that is. It's probably the same port used by the HDD on which Windows is installed when shipped from Dell.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2012   #10
Ccamp12

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Thank you SO much, I'll be heading home soon to get everything setup. Very eager to see how it turns out!

I don't personally know anybody with an iMac, MacPro, Macbook Pro/Air, or Mac Mini with any sort of third party anti-virus software (included the ~15 Apple products between my and my wife's family). It has never been a large issue I guess until recent attacks of malware against OS X Lion.. Our computers have always been clean (as far as we know) and haven't ever had a single issue from them. Only reason I'm getting a Dell workstation is for my design use at home.

Just wanted to say thanks again, the knowledge I have gathered from this forum in my 24hours of being a member is amazing. The info that is published, and in such a neat, organized manner on this forum is astounding.

Chris C.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Dell T5400, Clean Install Win7 Pro x64, SSD, V4900 - Settings?




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