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Windows 7: Two Internal Drives

16 Sep 2011   #1

1.Windows 7 Ultimate x64; 2.Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Two Internal Drives

I recently purchased a new Dell XPS 17 laptop which contains two internal drives, each being 500GB in size. Everything is located on the main drive (C Drive). The drives are not connected in any manner. The only things on the second drive (D Drive) are a Dell service agreements folder and a backup created using Windows Backup and Restore.

I don't know whether or not RAID is supported or even how to enable and configure it if it is supported, or even if I would want a raid configuration. In any event, I need to know which files or programs should be put on the second drive to increase the performance or functionality of the computer or extend the lives of the drives, not that I really need an increase in performance.

I don't know what information you would need so I've also included in this post the specs of the computer. I have removed some of the bloatware. Please accept my apologies if this list is too long or should not be included in the body of the post.

Thank you in advance for your time and any assistance provided.


1 225-0587 XPS 17
1 317-6215 2nd generation Intel Core i7-2720QM processor 2.20 GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 3.30 GHz
1 317-6204 8GB,DDR3,2 DIMM
1 331-1414 Backlit Internal Keyboard - English
1 421-3874 Camera Software 2.X, Factory Install
1 421-3642 Basic Stage
1 320-2538 17.3in FHD WLED AG (1920x1080)
1 320-1980 NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M 3GB graphics with Optimus
1 320-1987 Intel Wireless Display Software
1 342-2251 1.0TB 500GB 7.2k HDD x 2
1 318-0428 Elemental Silver Aluminum
1 318-0392 Windows Live Wave 4
1 330-6222 Windows 7 Label
1 331-1416 Resource DVD (L702X)
1 420-6436 PC-Restore, Dim/Insp
1 420-6576 DELL WELCOME,Software Dimension/Inspiron
1 420-9691 DataSafe Local BackUp
1 420-9876 Cozi-Calendar
1 421-0757 Skype VOIP Application
1 421-2086 eBay Webslice
1 421-4118 WHITEPAGES.COM,Webslice
1 421-4289 Dell Support Center Software 3.0
1 421-4586 TRUSTED-ID,ICON
1 421-5825 Genuine Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit Service Pack 1, English, No Media
1 421-5964 SyncUP powered by Nero/keep your files up-to-date across your PCs, mobile devices, and cloud storage account
1 421-4043 E-READER, BLIO, STAGE
1 421-5957 E-Magazines
1 421-4047 Dell Digital Delivery Client, version 1.0
1 430-4038 Integrated 10/100/1000 Network Card
1 410-0548 Adobe Acrobat Reader
1 318-0151 Tray Load Blu-ray Disc BD-Combo (Reads BD and Writes to DVD/CD)
1 318-0434 Roxio Creator Starter, FI
1 421-4550 Power DVD 9.6, 3D
1 318-0431 Creative SoundBlaster X-FI MB 1.2
1 430-4034 Intel Centrino Wireless-N 1000
1 410-0572 McAfee Security Center, 30 Day, CNB
1 312-1182 90 WHr 9-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery
1 410-0487 Microsoft Office Starter: reduced-functionality Word and Excel with ads. No PowerPoint or Outlook
1 939-4150 Dell Hardware Limited Warranty, Initial Year
1 939-4160 Dell Limited Hardware Warranty Plus In-Home Service After Remote Diagnosis, Initial Year $56.00
1 950-3337 1 Year Limited Warranty
1 950-9797 No Warranty, Year 2 and 3
1 420-8878 Soft Contracts Dell In-Home Hardware Agreement
1 933-0410 Warranty Support, Initial Year
1 988-0099 To activate your online backupaccount, go to Start, Programs, DataSafe Online
1 927-2357 DataSafe Online 2.0 2GB
1 421-4356 Software, DataSafe Online 2.0 2GB
1 330-0171 S and P Drop-in-Box Marcom forDHS Notebooks
1 430-3893 No Mobile Broadband L501X
1 421-6470 Media Kit,Win 7 Ultimate 64bit,MUI,CNB
1 468-7858 Go to to print a pre-paid, pre-addressed waybill to recycle your equipment

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2011   #2

Linux (Mint is primary) / XP, Win7 Home / Win7 Pro, Ultimate / Win8.1 / Win10 archived VM

Are you sure it has two PHYSICAL hard drives? It is listed as having one drive which is likely partitioned into C: and D: logical drives (and maybe some hidden partitions). In that case RAID is not an option.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2011   #3
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

You are a lucky one. A laptop with 2 disk bays is rare. As it stands, I would not move anything. The advatages would be very marginal.

I would exchange the HDD in the second bay and put an SSD in. That would make a significant performance difference. A 60GB SSD for about $100 would suffice for the OS. Then you can move the OS to the SSD and leave the user files on the first HDD (before you transfer the OS to the SSD you should move the user data to a seperate data partition).

If you are interested in that proposal, let us know and we will tell you how to go about that. Btw: the HDD you take out can be used as an external disk in a $20 enclosure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Sep 2011   #4

1.Windows 7 Ultimate x64; 2.Windows 7 Ultimate x64

GEWB and whs, I appreciate your quick replies. I was simply trying to determine whether or not moving some files to the D drive would decrease the read/write times so as to extend the life of the C drive. GEWB, I do in fact have two drives in the laptop. whs, I sincerely appreciate your offer to assist me in the installation of a SSD and the configuration of drives. Unsolicited assistance is a rare thing in the world we live in today.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

I like whs's suggestion for an SSD. You have 500 GB of storage at the ready, and the SSD would increase overall performance of the laptop, not to mention increase battery life a little bit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

I sincerely appreciate your offer to assist me in the installation of a SSD and the configuration of drives.
You let us know what you like to do and we will take it from there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2011   #7

Win 7 Pro x64

My Asus laptop has two bays.... I have a 120gb SSD as a main drive and a 500gb drive for storage.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Two Internal Drives

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