How to prep an SSD to be ready for use?

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How to prep an SSD to be ready for use?

Postposted on Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:42 am

I've got an Intel Sandy Bridge PC build with Win7 64 Pro SP1, and I want to put an SSD into it to be a pagefile/temp/scratch disk.

The SSD is an OCZ Vertex 3 120GB.

I've read some FAQs, and from what I gather, I should just connect the drive, do a quick-format on it, disable defrag and indexing for it, and advise the customer to leave the machine to idle at the login screen for a few hours each week*.

Apart from the configuration work necessary to do the things I've mentioned that I'm aware of, is there anything else I should bear in mind? "Don't benchmark it aggressively" is one I've read.

* - About it idling at the welcome screen, I read that here: http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/wiki/ ... n_a_VERTEX
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Re: How to prep an SSD to be ready for use?

Postposted on Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:51 am

You didn't mention making sure that it is aligned correctly when you setup partitioning. The instructions on that webpage do the alignment so just follow those when you set it up.
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Re: How to prep an SSD to be ready for use?

Postposted on Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:01 am

As I understood it, it won't need aligning because Win7 does that correctly...
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Re: How to prep an SSD to be ready for use?

Postposted on Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:37 am

Win 7 is supposed to be able to align it properly, so nothing to do there. It's not clear from your post whether or not you're also using the drive as the OS / Program File install, but I would recommend that you do so, unless you need the entire drive space for temp/scratch.

No need to manually disable defrag on the drive. Windows will take care of that itself. As for indexing, it depends on the customer needs. If they want to be able to use Windows Search to quickly get access to files, leave it turned on. An because of the random access speeds of SSDs, there's little performance impact in day to day work. Lastly, because indexing is 90% read, it's a negligible hit on the write/erase cycles of the drive. In most cases, I recommend leaving it on.

As for OCZ's recommendation of leaving it on the login screen a few hours each week, that's being overly conservative. Any period of idle drive activity is fine, just easiest to have that happen at the login screen. And even then, I have doubts as to what benefit the idle garbage collection will actually have on the performance of the drive anyways.
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Re: How to prep an SSD to be ready for use?

Postposted on Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:32 am

I highly doubt you'd need to leave it logged out for "idle time" if the drive is primarily going to be used for scratch/temp/pagefile duty.
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Re: How to prep an SSD to be ready for use?

Postposted on Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:49 am

emorgoch wrote:Win 7 is supposed to be able to align it properly, so nothing to do there. It's not clear from your post whether or not you're also using the drive as the OS / Program File install, but I would recommend that you do so, unless you need the entire drive space for temp/scratch.


Would say something like Photoshop CS5 or Adobe Premiere Elements benefit greatly from being installed on the SSD? I can understand the startup time improving significantly, but in general use? The PC is going to a customer who isn't technical at all, I don't think I could trust him to remember where a particular app is installed or where to install multiple apps in future.
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Re: How to prep an SSD to be ready for use?

Postposted on Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:24 pm

mikeymike wrote:
Would say something like Photoshop CS5 or Adobe Premiere Elements benefit greatly from being installed on the SSD?


OH yes! And by a wide margin!

mikeymike wrote:I can understand the startup time improving significantly, but in general use?


Yes but only if programs are installed on it. If it has to "fetch" from a traditional HD there is a hit.

mikeymike wrote:The PC is going to a customer who isn't technical at all, I don't think I could trust him to remember where a particular app is installed or where to install multiple apps in future.


This is an issue. Because SSDs are smaller than the traditional HD there is some babysitting/care that need to be taken as to where to install programs to.
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Re: How to prep an SSD to be ready for use?

Postposted on Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:25 pm

mikeymike wrote:Would say something like Photoshop CS5 or Adobe Premiere Elements benefit greatly from being installed on the SSD?

YES. Photoshop CS4 loads up in less than a second on my SSD array even with the rest of my OS running on it.

If you install those programs for him (or just show him how to do it) he won't have to remember anything unless he wants to reinstall something (though you could include instructions on how to do so for important apps). I assume you could do it since you're likely going to set temporary files to be placed on the SSD as well as the pagefile.
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Re: How to prep an SSD to be ready for use?

Postposted on Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:47 pm

Windows 7 dynamically adjusts for the installation of an SSD. Do not tweak anything or disable anything (including Indexing!). Install it and leave the operating system alone. Win7 also will align the disk properly so long as you partition it with Win7 using Diskpart or Disk Manager.
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