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Getting SSD up and running.

BarbarbarBarbarbar Posts: 267Member Uncommon

So I finally decided to buy that SSD I need to complete my hardware setup. So in a day or 2 I will get an OCZ Vector 256 gb in the mail. I chose this as it comes with a free copy of Far Cry 3 which I had been looking at, wanted a good shooter but thought it was a tad expensive. Any way it's why I chose OCZ over Samsung 840 Pro.

So the plan is to make a fresh reinstall. Unplug HDD, install SSD and insert Win 7 disk. Kinda feel a reinstall would be about time, and I have more than 256 gb on the HDD, so cloning could be problematic.

I figure I could do this on my own when I get the drive, but might as well have a chat with people here who know about it.

So I install SSD and get it up, then plug in HDD and tell it to be secondary. But should I have a Windows 7 install on the HDD too? Or is that not how it works? I mean can I just use my HDD as secondary as is?

Another thing is, I need to set SSD (and HDD) to something specific in the UEFI I heard. ASxx something. Anybody know about this?


  • ianicusianicus Calgary, ABPosts: 472Member
    you should just be able to hook up the ssd, boot your computer with the windows CD in the drive, launch the utility when it prompts. Wipe your old HD, than select a new install using the SSD as your instal destination, make sure you format the old HDD, I forgot to but its not a huge issue, it can be formated from within windows as well. once the install is done you should be up and running on the SSD, you can redo your boot priority to seek the SSD befor the plater drive but as long as there are no system files on the plater drive it shouldnt be an issue not to.


  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,267Member Uncommon

    Windows still uses a Master Boot Record (MBR) to know where the OS is to load.

    Right now, the MBR is on your HDD, and it points to the Windows install on your HDD.

    If you unplug your HDD, and install on your SSD, then your SSD will get a MBR written to it, that points to the Windows install on the SSD.

    But when you plug in your HDD, it will still have an MBR on it too, and sometimes BIOSes get confused, and it will probably boot from which ever drive the BIOS scans first (which you can select, but if you forget to, can cause some confusion). If you completely format/repartition the HDD, then it will wipe the MBR, and it won't be an issue at all. However, you don't need to do that, and if you have a lot of data over there that you want to keep, it may be easier to just leave it as-is, and use it as a D: drive with all the data intact.

    If you leave the HDD in, and pop in the Windows Install DVD, and do a clean install on the SSD, the HDD will keep the MBR - it will just have two entries, one pointing to the Windows on the HDD, and one pointing to the SSD - and you can use the Windows Boot manager to select between them (F8 during startup). The only problem being, if you at some point remove the HDD, all of a sudden your computer will get confused and stop booting, because the MBR is now gone.

    Neither of these are huge problems, just things to be aware of. It's pretty easy to repair a MBR (boot from the DVD, select Recovery Tools, and select "Startup Repair" and it will fix itself 95% of the time).

    The BIOS-specific entry you are thinking about it probably AHCI - which is a hard drive setting that lets the hard drive controller use advanced functions for additional speed. Windows has issues if you just flip this switch after an install, but if you flip the switch and do a clean install, it has no problems.

    AHCI details from Crucial -- be sure to read the link there to Wikipedia regarding SSD-specific benefits if you have questions.

  • BarbarbarBarbarbar Posts: 267Member Uncommon

    I got it up and running. Not without some trouble with that MBR issue Ridelynn explained. First I cloned using the software that was bundled. Reviews mentioned this as an easy install so I started there. Well couldn't get it to boot without the HDD installed, tried repairs and several things but it wouldn't do it.

    Got annoyed and formatted the SSD, and then the computer couldn't detect the E drive at all. With or without HDD installed. Installation attempts results wouldn't work as there was something wrong with the controller it said.

    Googled around, and someone said to take the SATA that was in the HDD and use that particular port to install the SSD. So I did and I could now do a fresh install of Windows. So I got the SSD on the C:, plugged in the HDD and moved over some data I wanted to save, and then formatted the HDD too. (I'm the boss! Not you hardware!).

    I had to to some reg entry editing to change to AHCI, but I can see through benchmarks that it is all running as it should now.

    Hey I got my pc cleaned from alot of dust, and have gotten rid of several quirks I had accumulated, one of them being sound which was never good as it should be. After having installed a cheap shitt-y usb soundcard from steelseries, there were somehow always problems there. I had also plugged in AC97, but changed that to HDaudio, which seems to be the correct installation. Well reinstall solved these things.

    I even got my self a new wallpaper, by the King of Kitch, Thomas Kinkade :)



  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,267Member Uncommon

    Congrats, glad you got it working

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