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Windows 7: SSD Upgrade Q's???

01 Mar 2014   #1
Darryl Licht

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit Steve Ballmer Signature Edition
SSD Upgrade Q's???

Long time member, and supporter.... Zero SSD experience other than configuring a blazing fast lappy with a preinstalled ssd.

I've moved all user files over to other hard drives and all my games as well, in preparation for the move to an SSD boot drive in the near future. I am using 252GB currently on my boot drive and could move another 10-20 GBs off if needed.

How much overhead, or additional free space, is suggested with SSD's? I always make sure I had 10-15% of free space on all my mechanical drives.

If I get my current boot drive down to say 230GB will a 256GB SSD be fine? Or, should I bite the bullet and get a 480GB SSD (the next size up and most popular size)?

At first my plan is to simply image my current boot drive to the new ssd, then later when time permits start a fresh install and all that that entails... 5 days of reinstallation fun! I've got a copy of Paragon Migrate OS to SSD I plan to use for this initial move to SSD. Any thoughts or suggestions?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Mar 2014   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, & Mac OS X 10.9.2

Personally im not a fan of images.. theres nothing better than a fresh clean install to remove all the guff that you think you cant live without!!.

Get what you can afford and work with it. You dont need ALL your games installed on the SSD, only the ones you use most frequently and or the ones that will benefit the most from the speed boost, if its offline games, are you really that fussed about waiting a few more seconds and install them on a mechanical storage drive. where as online games, speed is key, especially in games where spawning in early gives you the pick of certain perks.

I lived with a 120Gb SSD for almost 2 years, and simply uninstalled games i didnt play to make room for the newer ones, its only recently ive gotten a new 240Gb one, and even now with lots of my favourite games installed im still using less than half of it.
In answer to your question, ive not seen any issues with constant use of an SSD with 10%~ free other than the odd warnings from windows saying im low on space.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Mar 2014   #3

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)

The "over provisioning" which the Samsung Magician software suggests is a minimum of just under 10% of drive capacity. So with the 256GB Samsung 840 Pro I installed for my brother-in-law's desktop machine (which also has a second 1TB spinner hard drive in it), about 23GB was taken. And on the 512GB 840 Pro I installed on my own laptop (which replaced the original 512GB spinner) about 46GB was required. This "over provisioning" is supposed to improve SSD performance, so I let it do what it wanted in my partition sizes, leaving sufficient unallocated space on the SSD drive for this purpose.

Also, Samsung Magician has an optional "rapid mode" that makes use of the PC's RAM itself as yet another form of in-memory cache, to improve overall SSD performance. If you have a Samsung drive and "rapid mode" is available on the latest software version and you have adequate unused RAM in your machine, definitely enable "rapid mode".

And you should DISABLE the Windows "defrag service" and turn off the weekly scheduled action, so that defrag is never performed.

Samsung Magician also has some automatic presets to optimize for (1) maximum performance, or (2) maximum reliability, or (3) maximum capacity. When you push one of the three buttons the appropriate Windows system settings adjustments and other changes are made to accomplish the specified goal.

On my brother-in-law's Lenovo M93p I used Macrium Reflect to copy the C-partition (and "system reserved") out to an external USB 3.0 backup drive, and then copied it back onto the SSD after I got it installed. I updated the BIOS configuration to point to the SSD as primary boot drive #1. I also used Partition Wizard to empty the original 1TB spinner and create two "data" partitions on it. I then used Samsung Magician to make whatever changes it wanted to for Windows optimization on the SSD (for the maximum performance preset I selected).

I did the same copy-out/copy-back using Macrium Reflect on my own Lenovo W530 laptop but for some reason I was never able to obtain the proper performance I was looking for, as occurred naturally and without a problem on the M93p project. So after a week of being unhappy, I simply reinstalled Win7 from scratch onto the SSD and it's been performing beautifully (again, with Samsung Magician running).

My System SpecsSystem Spec

01 Mar 2014   #4
Darryl Licht

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit Steve Ballmer Signature Edition

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by badger906 View Post
Personally im not a fan of images.. theres nothing better than a fresh clean install to remove all the guff that you think you cant live without!!..
I'm not either... but I'm going to try it anyway first to save time. I'll save the old spinner as a backup and reminder of anything I've forgotten to install. A clean install will occur later down the road.

I think that for the extra $100 average between the 256-320GB and the 480GB SSD's, I'm probably going to go with the 480 so I can keep Office and a few choice games on the SSD, still leaving plenty of free space.

Any other advice people???

Any specific experiences with or using Paragon?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Mar 2014   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1

I used the Samsung Migration software to clone my HDD to my new Samsung Pro 256Gb SSD & it worked very well & I have had no problems. I will add though that my OS installation was fairly fresh & nice & slim on the old HDD, so cloning it meant I was not copying a whole lot of overhead.
As mentioned in the other posts you do need to allow about 10% for optimisation, which I think the SSD uses for rubbish collection & possible reallocation.
I have mine set for Maximum Reliability, as I want it to last as long as possible. The system is now so fast in response time even when opening an Access Database, I could never go back to a spinner again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Mar 2014   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1

Last week my SSD arrived for my laptop. I only had my laptop for a year with not much use so I was confident the OS was still in pretty good shape. I did a system image with Imaging with free Macrium that only took about 20 minutes. I am pleased with the results. This is my recommendation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Mar 2014   #7

Windows 10 Pro/ Windows 10 Pro Insider

I've used Paragon Migrate probably 100 times and it has never failed to do a perfect transfer. There is no prep work to do, it will format and align the drive and transfer the OS in about 20 minutes. It works the same for mechanical hard drives too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2014   #8
Darryl Licht

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit Steve Ballmer Signature Edition

Thanks for all the suggestions!

Keep them coming guys...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2014   #9
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Something is wrong here. What on earth do you have on the C partition. I run most of my systems on 60GB SSDs, one even on a 30GB SSD. With the user folders and the games out of the way, you should be below 30GBs.

Suggest you run WinDirStat and look at the pretty picture. That will show you the easiest where the big chunks are. Click on any color box and it will tell you what it is. Let us know what the big chunks are - maybe we can do something about it.

Paragon Migration Tool - that's the way to go. Used it many times without ptoblems.

The SSD needs 10 to 15% frespace for garbage collection. Don't fill it to the rim.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2014   #10
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1

I wouldn't put anything on the SSD until you're ready for the fresh install. Crucial has told me that OS installation does add more stress and wear than read/write/delete cycles. Move all of your "excess baggage" to a HDD then see how much space you actually need for the OS drive.
Windows should take about 15-17GB and the rest for you games and such.

Have only the SSD attached when doing the fresh install.

Buy the biggest one you can afford since you have a lot of programs/games to install, pictures, videos, docs, etc can be put on the HDD.

Enjoy the new breath of life and fast performance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 SSD Upgrade Q's???

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