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Windows 7: Installing Win 7 and SSD Together

17 May 2012   #1
Bronco Leonard

W7 Pro 32
 
 
Installing Win 7 and SSD Together

Hi there, I'm new to Windows 7 and to this forum. I can't quite find what I'm looking for from searches or tutorials, so I'll ask from scratch. I'm modifying my desktop by adding an SSD and installing Windows 7 Pro 32-bit (prior OS is XP). The new OS is a full version, not an upgrade and this will be a clean install. The new SSD is a Corsair Force 3, 120 Gb. My MB is a Gigabyte EP45-UD3P with Core 2 Quad 2.67 GHz CPU. I have a number of hard drives for data and the new SSD will, of course, be my boot ("C") drive. I currently use a dedicated C drive for the OS and put all data on other drives.

My issue is that I am making two changes to my system at once (new SSD and new OS) and I've not done either of these before. I don't see any way to separate this into two steps. Since the SSD is very new, I assume that it has the necessary firmware and that it will install smoothly. However ...

Do I just replace the old Raptor C drive with the SSD and treat the SSD like any other drive or will it require any extra steps? I assume that it will need formatting before use. I would also like to create two main partitions: one for the OS and programs (I'm guessing around 60 Gb) and another separate one for other use.

If I install the SSD and then install W7, will Windows know to deal with the unformatted SSD before or while installing itself, i.e., will it give me all the options for partitioning and formatting? (I'm used to XP handling things that way.) Also, will W7 also automatically detect that it is an SSD and deal with the TRIM features, etc.?

Thanks in advance for any help.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2012   #2
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Bronco, and welcome to Seven Forums.

Yep, you would treat the SSD just like any other HDD when installing Windows 7 to it. Windows will format the SSD for you during installation. Windows should also automatically detect that it's a SSD and have TRIM enabled afterwards.

I'd recommend to install all programs on the Windows C: partition for better performance. If you will be tight on space, then you could select to install the programs to another location if the program gives you that option during it's installation.

You could either replace the Raptor, or format it during installation to use as a data drive later if you like.

Personally, I like to have where (ex: your SSD) as all "unallocated space" to select to install Windows 7 to during installation. This way the "System Reserved" partition will be included during installation.

Clean Install Windows 7

Please let us know if you have any other questions or problems during installation.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2012   #3
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

To avoid possible issues, disconnect all hard drives other than the SSD before you start.

I'm not sure what your intentions are with the second partition on the SSD, but I certainly would try to get all possible applications on C.

You might consider turning off hibernation, reducing the size of the page file, and reducing the space devoted to System Restore---all in the name of saving space on the SSD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2012   #4
Bronco Leonard

W7 Pro 32
 
 

Thanks for the advice. I'll make sure I do all those things. However, I'm getting a strong sense that I should use the entire SSD for the OS and programs. My current C drive with XP uses about 48 gb. Am I likely to need all 120 gb of the new SSD for Win 7 and programs? I don't have a great many apps on my system. Would it be safe to carve out 20 or 30 gb from the 120 gb SSD or should I definitely have one large-as-possible partition for the OS and apps?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2012   #5
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Personally, I would use all of the 120 GB SSD for Windows 7 and your programs to have better performance. If you have large amount of files (ex: music, video, documents, etc...) that take a lot of space, then you might use the old Raptor HDD as a data drive to keep these on in folders to save space. You could then include these folders in your libraries for quick access as needed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2012   #6
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bronco Leonard View Post
Thanks for the advice. I'll make sure I do all those things. However, I'm getting a strong sense that I should use the entire SSD for the OS and programs. My current C drive with XP uses about 48 gb. Am I likely to need all 120 gb of the new SSD for Win 7 and programs? I don't have a great many apps on my system. Would it be safe to carve out 20 or 30 gb from the 120 gb SSD or should I definitely have one large-as-possible partition for the OS and apps?
I have an 80 GB SSD with a single partition and 50 apps. The space occupied is about 29 GB.

All data is on spinning drives.

Eliminating hibernation will save space equal to the amount of installed RAM.

I'd think it is unlikely you would need 100 plus for the OS and apps, particularly if you don't install games on C.

I'm sure there are exceptions--if for instance you had 200 apps installed.

You could go with a single partition to begin with and evaluate how much space is needed. Then carve out another partition if it turns out you are not crowded.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2012   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

For starters, I would use the whole SSD (although you may not need more than 20 to 30GBs initially). Once you have been running for a few weeks, you can still shrink the C partition if you want to have a second partition on the SSD.

120GB is a lot of space for a SSD. I found that 60GB SSDs are usually ample. So you are well covered. Once you are installed, you may want to get rid of the hiberfile and reduce the pagefile to 2GB max.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2012   #8
Bronco Leonard

W7 Pro 32
 
 

Can I create a second partition after the fact or should I create a very small one initially and expand it later? This must be a W7 feature; I don't remember being able to do this before.


And BTW, all my data is on other drives. The C drive houses only the OS and apps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2012   #9
seavixen32

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

You can use Windows 7's disk management to extend a partition to take up any unallocated space after you have installed Windows or you can create your partitions during the installation routine.

You need to note that you can't create more than four primary partitions on a single drive. If you needed more, you would have to create logical partitions as part of an extended primary partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2012   #10
Bronco Leonard

W7 Pro 32
 
 

Thanks everyone for all the help. I think I'm ready to go. I'm going to do the rebuild tomorrow afternoon so wish me luck. If there's a problem, I'll be back!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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