Question How should I set up my first SSD? Using HDD as primary or secondary?

hunter1801a

Prominent
May 8, 2019
21
0
510
0
I have a 1TB HDD that I've been using forever with Win10 and an unused 250GB SSD.

I want to take advantage of my SSD for my OS and very select few (maybe 2 or 3) games. Everything else I can live with HDD speeds for.

How should I go about setting this all up? I can only think of a couple options, but I haven't used SSDs before.

  1. Use SSD as main (install Win10) and HDD as storage. Installing the OS on the SSD and getting it running like a fresh install is no problem, but how would I be able to use everything that's on the HDD?
  2. Continue using HDD as main drive and install games on SSD. Seems too simple to work. I won't get better OS speeds obviously, but what about games?
  3. I've heard recommendations to partition part of the SSD JUST for the the OS, then load other stuff on the remaining partition What's the benefit of this, rather than just installing everything I want on the SSD? I can always reinstall games, so not worried about losing anything permanently if the drive crashes. Would the loss of the SSD affect anything on the HDD though?
  4. Does having an OS on each drive cause issues?
 

boju

Titan
Ambassador
Simplest way, install OS on the SSD and keep HDD for other less demanging games and general storage. SSD helps with paging speeds (Virtual memory) which can be used quite often in games. Won't improve FPS obviously but anything to do with IOPs, in and out operations between drive and system ram to vram will feel snappier/smoother, especially for large open world games.

When SSD arrives, disconnect the HDD and install Windows, this is to prevent the possibility of Windows installing boot loader on the HDD and preventing you boot Windows if HDD was removed for any reason or it dies. Afterwards, reconnect HDD and wipe it in disk manager.

No point partitioning the SSD, just configure the whole lot as a single drive. I've had SSDs for several years without fail, can happen but most likely not.
 
Reinstalling Windows 10 to the SSD while the HDD is unplugged is what you should do.

Your programs won't work anymore. You will have to reinstall them.

The only way to keep your programs working and everything is to clone the HDD to the SSD but for that you need an SSD with more free space than what's on the HDD.

Don't partition the SSD.
 

hunter1801a

Prominent
May 8, 2019
21
0
510
0
When SSD arrives, disconnect the HDD and install Windows, this is to prevent the possibility of Windows installing boot loader on the HDD and preventing you boot Windows if HDD was removed for any reason or it dies. Afterwards, reconnect HDD and wipe it in disk manager.
Why do I need to wipe the HDD? I have 780GB used on this disk of stuff I want to keep. Is it the same as having 2 separate HDDs, in the fact that you can't run a program from the 2nd one through your main one? I thought you could "point" the SDD to programs on the HDD and still have them run.
 
Why do I need to wipe the HDD? I have 780GB used on this disk of stuff I want to keep. Is it the same as having 2 separate HDDs, in the fact that you can't run a program from the 2nd one through your main one? I thought you could "point" the SDD to programs on the HDD and still have them run.
You don't have to wipe the HDD. The problem here is the path and registry entries for the programs. If you start a program on your HDD after installing your OS on the SSD it will look at files on your C:\ which is now your D:\ (Or another drive letter). Programs will have to be reinstalled. Only programs that does not care about where it is installed will keep working. Like programs that does not need an installation to start.

Steam games can be kept on the HDD since you can find them on Steam by adding a new folder library. Steam has to be reinstalled tho.

Cloning is the way to keep everything working but you would need a 1TB SSD.
 

boju

Titan
Ambassador
No not exactly. Games you can move but programs install to the registry so you won't be able to run those from the HDD if you boot Windows from the SSD. You'll have to dual boot to run apps from the drive Windows & installed apps is on.

Wiping the HDD so you gain back space, hidden partitions etc, more for other stuff.
 

hunter1801a

Prominent
May 8, 2019
21
0
510
0
You don't have to wipe the HDD. The problem here is the path and registry entries for the programs. If you start a program on your HDD after installing your OS on the SSD it will look at files on your C:\ which is now your D:\ (Or another drive letter). Programs will have to be reinstalled. Only programs that does not care about where it is installed will keep working. Like programs that does not need an installation to start.
Programs would have to be reinstalled to what drive though? If I were to reformat the HDD, then reinstall programs, would I be able to reinstall them to the HDD and run them while I'm on my SSD? Or is this the same situation as I'm now?
 
Programs would have to be reinstalled to what drive though? If I were to reformat the HDD, then reinstall programs, would I be able to reinstall them to the HDD and run them while I'm on my SSD? Or is this the same situation as I'm now?
You can reinstall the program on your HDD or SSD. It doesn't matter. They just need to be reinstalled. If you want them to run faster you install some programs on the SSD obviously :)
 

hunter1801a

Prominent
May 8, 2019
21
0
510
0
Ok, last question. Do they have to be reinstalled on a reformatted drive, or is it as simple as uninstalling from HDD, then reinstalling? I'm assuming I'd have to reformat then reinstall everything I wanted.
 

boju

Titan
Ambassador
Use Microsoft Media Creation Tool to configure a USB stick for the latest Win10 build installer.

When you're ready to install Windows on the SSD, disconnect HDD then boot from USB. From there, at the beginning of install, follow the instructions to install Windows.

There are YouTube guides on how to install Windows from scratch and also a sticky in the Win10 forum here.

Once done, connect HDD back and make sure you boot from SSD copy of Windows. Then format the HDD, create a single partition in Windows disk manager. Do this after backing up personal files, music etc, transfer to the SSD, should be enough room yeah? Then once HDD is formatted copy them back over.
 
Last edited:

Mr.Spock

Prominent
Dec 8, 2019
772
87
790
87
you don't necessarily need to reformat or reinstall, you can split your HDD into 2 partitions - and image the main one to your SSD. just make sure all programs and O/S can fit.

either create a system image and restore to the SSD or clone the main partition to the SSD.
then reboot using the SSD alone. if it works you're golden - no re-install or looking up licenses....

then you can add the HDD and either remove the partition, mark it inactive or whatever.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS