Adding an SSD (First Time Doing This)

Twiglet

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May 10, 2017
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So, I've had a Samsung 850 evo (250gb) in my drawer for about a fortnight now which I bought in a moment of confidence - it's still in the drawer as that confidence has now left!

I want to install the SSD as my boot drive and retain my existing 1tb mech drive for storage / games etc.

I have listed below what I think is the process - have I missed anything? (Please give me Sesame Street instructions as I'm not an expert!)

For clarity, I'm wanting to do a fresh Windows 10 install but I have some other software that I'm less sure what to do with (Kaspersky / Office 2016 / Steam).

Back up existing drive.
Create USB boot drive for Windows 10 (I have already linked my account)
Turn off PC, disconnect existing HDD and connect SSD using same cables (I've checked and existing HDD is using a 6g/s sata port)
Restart PC and go into BIOS - switch from IDE to ACHI (will I also need to tell it to use the USB to boot from at this stage or will it cycle through automatically?)
Complete Win 10 install
Reconnect old HDD to 2nd sata port & power

Assuming all of the above is correct and goes ok, is there anything else I need to do at this stage to configure everything? Will Windows automatically assign a new drive letter to my hdd? Will any other settings need changing?

As mentioned above, I've got Kaspersky, Office 2016 and Steam all currently installed - will I need to do fresh installs of these or can I somehow move them over to the SSD? Also, how do I go about removing Windows from the old HDD without deleting everything else? (Have a lot of photos and game saves that I want to keep)

Apologies for the long post and thank you in advance for any help you can give.
 

Colif

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Moderator
USB: download the Windows 10 media creation tool and use it to make a win 10 installer on USB - if you don't have it already

Restart PC and go into BIOS - switch from IDE to ACHI (will I also need to tell it to use the USB to boot from at this stage or will it cycle through automatically?) - you need to tell it to use USB here or it will ignore it.

win 10 install - this might help: http://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/1950-windows-10-clean-install.html

make sure PC boots from SSD before reconnecting hdd. and when you reconnect, look in bios and make sure hdd isn't showing as a boot choice.

kapersky/Office - these both need to be reinstalled. Office, if you have an account with MS, can be downloaded from their web site
Steam. You have to reinstall the client but you can still use the steam library folder that is on hdd. Just point the default library location at games folder and Steam will find the games and you won't need to reinstall.

You can delete Windows off hdd without deleting everything else but I would leave that until after its all back together.
 

Twiglet

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Thank you for this.

Will I also need to re-download drivers for mouse / keyboard / monitor / Nvidia graphics card or will Windows 10 pick this up automatically for me?
 

Twiglet

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OK, so the install of the SSD went very smoothly (despite me forgetting to go into the BIOS!), it picked up the SSD, automatically changed to ACHI in the BIOS and automatically detected the USB with the Win 10 installer. Better still, I've now reconnected the old hdd into the second sata port and that is visible / working as well.

However, I've got a couple more queries I could really use some help on:

1. When doing the fresh Win 10 install it's used part of my email address to automatically name my User folder in Windows Explorer (doesn't break anything I know but looks stupid). From what I can find you can't change this so I'm wondering if I can create a 2nd user account with admin rights and then use that to delete the original account (and then re-add my Microsoft account details to ensure my copy of Win 10 is still validated) - would this work?

2. Win 10 has automatically assigned drive letters to both my drives but it's also created an extra one I've not seen before - "System Reserved ( D: )". What's this for? Is it part of my SSD or HDD? Do I need it etc?

3. Looking at the contents of my old drive, there are only a limited number of files |I really don't want to lose (photos - 50gb, itunes/iphone/ipad backups, game saves (I can happily reinstall the actual games) so I'm thinking it might be best to copy those items across to the SSD and then format the hdd to start from a blank slate - will this work / would it be that simple? (Also not sure where to find said game saves at the moment! Where does Steam put them?!)

4. Are there any options I need to change to optimise my new SSD?

Thank you again and apologies for all the questions!
 

Colif

Titan
Moderator
1. I would keep 1st user around as backup as its always nice to have another admin account in case first one goes wrong. Win 10 users seem to be susceptible to corruption so having another around in case you need it beats having to reformat PC cause you can't login.
2.
Windows Setup will automatically create the 4 partitions below on the drive, and install Windows 10 on the primary partition.
Partition 1 - Recovery
Partition 2 - System - The EFI System partition that contains the NTLDR, HAL, Boot.txt, and other files that are needed to boot the system, such as drivers.
Partition 3 - MSR - The Microsoft Reserved (MSR) partition that reserves space on each disk drive for subsequent use by operating system software.
Partition 4 - Primary - Where Windows is to be installed to.
it makes them auto but system reserved shouldn't have a drive letter? Can you show me a screenshot of Disk Management? (upload screenshot to image sharing site and share here)

3. Steam save files should be in your documents folder on old hdd, that is traditional spot for save files. that might still be in c/users/username folder of old user if you never moved the location of Documents library folder.
Other folders can just be copy/pasted across to new SSD from hdd

4. Shouldn't be, I mean... you can run Samsung Magician and set up a power plan that matches the ssd if you want but I found the high performance one was running CPU at full speed all the time (even at idle) which isn't really necessary. SSD is fast enough without it. You could also set up RAPID Mode but it uses your ram up and if PC crashes, all the data in the ramdisk is lost, so it might not be worth it. I haven't bothered as I came from hdd and ssd is so much faster at stock its not even close.
 

devinsmit

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Thanks for posting this, I just got a samsung 250 gig ssd drive from amazon, and will be doing all of this when it arrives.

Do you plan on picking up a 1 tb ssd later? maybe on black friday? I guess that's my plan right now
 

Twiglet

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Thank you for all these answers.

I've just checked on Disk Management and the "System Reserved D:" relates to my old HDD so I guess I don't need to worry about this and can get rid of this if I reformat it? I've (hopefully) attached a screenshot so you can see.

 

Twiglet

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To be honest, I don't find the mechanical drive to be that bad. Yes, I noticed a big improvement in start up times by doing this but don't think I could justify the cost of a second 1TB SSD when the benefits would be much less noticeable. (Glad this has helped you though)
 

Colif

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Yeah, if its on the hdd its not a problem

I don't see need for a 2nd ssd, hdd is fast enough for a storage drive and ssd haven't been found to be essential to make games run any faster. I assume my next PC might have 2, it depends on what storage options exist for me in a few years.
 

Twiglet

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Two final (and potentially stupid) questions then:

1. Once I've dragged the files off the HDD that I want to keep, do I just format the drive to get a blank slate to use?

2. Once I have the HDD blank and ready, can I just drag the User folders across to it as I obviously want to store docs / music / photos on the HDD?
 

Colif

Titan
Moderator
1. You can't use disk management to format it as Windows will recognise it as another install
instead, open command prompt (ADMIN) and try this:
type diskpart and press enter
type list disk and press enter
this shows all drives available, SSD and hdd, make note of hdd number
type Select disk X - where X is the number of the hdd you want to wipe, change X to that number and press enter
once the drive you want to format is chosen, type Clean
once hdd is wiped, then go into disk management and make the partitions you want.


2. NO, you don't move the folders that way. See here: http://www.pcworld.com/article/3025345/windows/move-your-windows-10-libraries-to-a-separate-drive-or-partition.html

one thing i have found that helps is if you make a folder on the hdd 1st with the name of the file types you are moving, it reduces the chances of it going wrong. So make Documents, Music, Photos folders and then do the move process
 

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