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Windows 7: Small SSD, Big Hard Drive


06 May 2014   #1

Windows 7 professional 64 bit
 
 
Small SSD, Big Hard Drive

I've looked around, and although a few threads touch on this issue, I would like to make something a bit more comprehensive. There are a lot of people I know who want to do this, but get lost during setup of a computer.

So, Internet, we have some computers that have a Small SSD (Typically 60-240 Gb) and we would like to have Windows freshly installed there. We Also have a large HDD (often more than 1Tb) where we would like to put everything that doesn't start up with the computer. Our Documents, Pictures, Downloads, Movies, Music, and Saved Games should all be on the HDD. Any new programs should by default be on the HDD. (Did I forget anything?)

We also want to ensure that the new SSD has TRIM enabled. If anyone else thinks of something that needs to be done, let me know.

I am going to be doing this to my computer over the next few weeks, so I have a bit of personal interest in doing this as well. If I Forgot anything, please let me know!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 May 2014   #2

Dual Boot: Windows 7 Pro & Server 2012r2 VMs: Kali Linux, Backbox, Matriux, Windows 8.1
 
 

Just to be clear, are you asking how to do these things, or are you throwing out your ideas and asking if there is anything else you should be doing with your SSD/HDD situation?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2014   #3

Windows 7 professional 64 bit
 
 

A little of each. If I missed something, I want to know what it is and how to do it. I would also like to know the order in which to make these changes, and for the benefit of someone in the future, how to do these changes would be nice.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 May 2014   #4

Dual Boot: Windows 7 Pro & Server 2012r2 VMs: Kali Linux, Backbox, Matriux, Windows 8.1
 
 

To default programs to the HD, try something like this:
How do you change the default Installation Directory in Windows 7 - Microsoft Community

Remember that the biggest benefit of an SSD is load times. So when deciding whether or not to put a program or game on your SSD, ask yourself how much access to files or game textures does it need? Games like GTA, COD, BF, Skyrim load textures on the fly so having them on an SSD would be beneficial. If you have a game that is not online and doesn't load a lot, lets use a simplistic example like a card game, that can go on the HDD. An example of a good program to go on your SSD would be something that has to load and render files a lot like 3d editing programs.

I'm not 100% on this but most newer PC's will have TRIM enabled but to check go to Powershell and type this:
fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify

If for some reason the value it gives you is 1, run this:
fsutil behavior set DisableDeleteNotify 0

SSD's are already enough to boost your system but there are some ways to "tweak" your SSD for a little better performance but it can be a pain in the butt and sometimes dangerous so if you want to go that route, google around and you can find some things to help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2014   #5

Windows 7 professional 64 bit
 
 

I've also noticed some problems with the Microsoft answers file you posted. A lot of files still make their way onto the SSD, Needlessly taking up extra space. Is there a way to move some of those files onto the large drive?

One of the problems we're facing with this is we don't know what is safe to move and what isn't. A few people I know accidentally broke the UAC and they had to reinstall when they were working on that.

A couple of other ideas here:

I wish there was some program that treated both hard drives almost as one, but when a file was over a certain size, or of a certain extension, it would be put on the larger drive. That way, I wouldn't need to worry about this.

Or, if there was a way to mount a single hard drive as multiple NTFS folders, without partitioning the folder, so that I could Ignore the issue that way as well. I think it would almost be like using shortcuts...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2014   #6

Dual Boot: Windows 7 Pro & Server 2012r2 VMs: Kali Linux, Backbox, Matriux, Windows 8.1
 
 

Can you provide a little more detail on what you're trying to do? Tons of software and their files can be moved without problems but we will need to know which program and which files you are looking to move.

You can move programs over but sometimes you will need to change their path and/or paths of other files/programs that depend on it. Lets say you have Visual Studio and you create an HTML document or any other document. You save this document to the desktop and then later you want to move Visual Studio to your secondary hard drive. You will need to associate that saved file to the new drive letter.

I'm not aware of any program that only installs or saves certain extensions to a certain drive, but I will look around a bit.

So if you could provide a little more detail on what you're trying to do and what files from what programs you're trying to move I can help assist you further.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2014   #7

Windows 7 professional 64 bit
 
 

Apologies for being so random, Im brainstorming a few ideas on how to make it easier to use an SSD with an HDD.
My first idea was that if you could create a sort of whitelist that included all of the files that windows installs by default, and then another for file types and size, then you could have the computer automatically place the files it is installing to the correct hard drive. E.g. Pictures would automatically be sorted to the large drive, and executable programs, given that they were accessed frequently and under a certain size, would be sorted to the solid state drive.
That program would need to look at the extensions, and some other metadata, and then sort the files to the correct drive upon creation of the file...

My other idea would have a similar effect as the first one, but a different approach. A program that would let you mount a single partition to multiple NTFS folder names, so that accessing C:\Program Files would direct to [Hard Drive]:\Program Files, except that you wouldn't see the hard drive from My Computer, because it would be mounted as multiple NTFS folders. I would like to do the same thing with Pictures, Movies, Documents, etc...

The problem with partitioning then mounting the NTFS folders that way is that if I don't partition perfectly the first time, I could end up filling one of the folders, and having no space for everything else, which is why I want the entire drive treated as contiguous space.

I hope that makes at least some semblance of sense. If not, let me know.

Oh, and about the UAC breaking... I meant that it actually stopped functioning, as in it would freeze the computer any time someone tried to do an administrator task, and then the computer would bluescreen. Windows had to be reinstalled when that happened...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2014   #8

Dual Boot: Windows 7 Pro & Server 2012r2 VMs: Kali Linux, Backbox, Matriux, Windows 8.1
 
 

I don't personally know of any programs that can do that so I'd let someone else comment on that because I don't want to provide false info for you.

The best thing to do is try changing the default path of installs and if that doesn't work like you want it to, just try hard to make sure your files go on to your HDD. It's tedious and annoying but I do the same thing as my setup is 120gb SSD and 1tb HDD. I just make sure to keep track of the size of my SDD and if some big change happens, I find out what it is.

I would still need more information about which files you see saving to your SSD and whether or not you could move them without any problems.

Good luck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2014   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kevdlandrig View Post
So, Internet, we have some computers that have a Small SSD (Typically 60-240 Gb) and we would like to have Windows freshly installed there. We Also have a large HDD (often more than 1Tb) where we would like to put everything that doesn't start up with the computer. Our Documents, Pictures, Downloads, Movies, Music, and Saved Games should all be on the HDD. Any new programs should by default be on the HDD. (Did I forget anything?)
I would recommend forgetting "Any new programs should by default be on the HDD" as a general principle when talking about SSDs as large as 240 GB. The current price for 120 GB SSDs is ~ $75 and 240 GB ~ $120. Even a 120 GB drive is large enough for most people to put all their programs on it after moving their large data folders off it. An exception would be a gamer who wants to have a bunch of multi-GB games installed at the same time. My main 7x64 system has 68 GB occupied on its 250 GB Samsung 830 system drive, and it includes a full Office Professional Plus 2013 installation, Visual Studio Ultimate 2012, hibernation file for 16 GB RAM, the AppData folder, including about 6 GB for XBMC and Plex, and a bunch of other programs. While I've moved most of my data folders to other drives, I've left the "Incoming" folder for new downloads on the SSD, and it is currently about 5 GB. Having different source and destination drives to speed up various operations is another reason to use an SSD instead of treating it like a delicate write-once, read-only flower, and it's one of the reasons I purchased a 250 GB drive when one half the size would have been sufficient. After 1.5 years, I have about 11 TB of host writes, and at this rate of about 20 GB/day, I can expect the drive to last many more years, especially considering all the free space that is ordinarily present, that with TRIM, acts like overprovisioning.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2014   #10

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kevdlandrig View Post
I've looked around, and although a few threads touch on this issue, I would like to make something a bit more comprehensive. There are a lot of people I know who want to do this, but get lost during setup of a computer.

So, Internet, we have some computers that have a Small SSD (Typically 60-240 Gb) and we would like to have Windows freshly installed there. We Also have a large HDD (often more than 1Tb) where we would like to put everything that doesn't start up with the computer. Our Documents, Pictures, Downloads, Movies, Music, and Saved Games should all be on the HDD. Any new programs should by default be on the HDD. (Did I forget anything?)

We also want to ensure that the new SSD has TRIM enabled. If anyone else thinks of something that needs to be done, let me know.

I am going to be doing this to my computer over the next few weeks, so I have a bit of personal interest in doing this as well. If I Forgot anything, please let me know!
If you don't want any problems then you will want to precisely follow the procedure outlined in the following link in order to relocate the Users folder to another drive.
User Folders - Change Default Location

It is not recommend to change the default location for the programs files because of stability issues.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/933700

Almost every one here run's an SSD plus a spinner. This is all standard procedure and it's come up many times in the past. I hope the links were helpful.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Small SSD, Big Hard Drive




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