Questions regarding SSD's and HDD's


May 26, 2012
Okay, so I want to by an SSD very soon, but there are a few things that I feel I need clarification on. I'll start right away and ask, if I get an SSD and install Win 7 on it, will the information on my older HDD's (2 500Gb) have all there data erased? This is partly stopping me from buying an SSD at the moment because I have a lot of movies on my second drive (not the boot drive) and I'd prefer not to lose them. I have heard however that it is a good idea to disconnect any other drives while installing Windows on a new SSD because what it does is install a recovery file on the HDD which it searches for every time the PC is booted up. Making it a slower start up. Is this a recommended action? What happens if Win 7 is installed on both my SSD and HDD?

Also I plan to RAID 0 those 2 HDD's eventually, which raises more questions. I have 4 SATA ports for hard drives on my MOBO. 2 6GB/s ports and 2 3Gb/s ports. If I put the SSD in the 6GB/s port then I'd have to put one HDD in a 6 port, and the other in a 3 port. Is this allowed, will they still work for raid? or do I have to put them both in a 3 GB/s port? Which leads me to another question. Do current HDD's even saturate the full capacity of 3Gb/s ports, and if so how much of a performance loss is there in using 3Gb/s compared to 6Gb/s? Well I think that's all I've got for now. If anybody could enlighten me I would be very thankful. I'll update this if I have anymore questions.


Dec 19, 2011

1. No installing windows 7 on a new SSD will not erase the other drives, as long as you dont tell the setup to do so.
2. It is a good idea to disconnect the other two drives while installing windows, I would even go as far as getting all the drivers installed, ensuring the SSD is set as the boot device in the bios. Then I would plug the other two back in. I had this happen where a piece of startup was on my other drives and removing the drive caused my system to no longer run until I plugged it back in.
3. As for the raid, I would consult your motherboards manual to see what the best setup is for the raid, or to see if your motherboard supports RAID.
4. Are your older HDD's sata 2 drives? If they are SATA 2 then you wouldn't notice any gains by plugging them into sata 3 ports.
Ok no it will no erase you r secondary drives. Yes you need to disconnect you hard drives durring SSD install if Windows 7 puts the recovery partition on the hard drive and your remove or erase these drives Windows 7 will no longer boot. Next for raid you have to plug into just one of the controllers so both in 6 or both in 3. Reccomended put your raid 0 in the 3 and put this condroller in raid and put the 6 in AHCI mode for the SSD. Lastly you cannot go from stand alone disks to raid 0 you will have to backup both drives before you do this as you will loose everyting.

OK, I'll give it a go.

When you install the OS on the ssd, yes, you want to disconnect your other drives for the reason you stated.
The idea behind the recovery area(100mb or so) is that if there is a failure of the boot drive, the separate recovery area on a different drive can be used for a recovery install. I don't think this is very important. You should be protecting you system to some sort of external device anyway. The 100mb space is of more concern on a small expensive ssd than a hard drive, but consider it the price of admission.
If you care, you can use windows easy transfer to export your settings to one of the hard drives, and import them to the ssd later.

As to start up, I use sleep to the S3 state(ram save) and rarely reboot. Startup is about two seconds.

After install, you can reconnect them without issue, just set the bios to boot from the SSD.
All your data and files will still be there and accessable.

I would not plan on raid-0. The real life performance difference is negligible,(Synthetic benchmarks look great, but are not what we do) and you will expose both drives to the failure of one.
Install the SSD on a 6gb port. The others do not matter since a hard drive can't saturate even a 3gb port.

When you install on the ssd, set the sata mode in the bios to AHCI(not ide or raid). That will enable trim and the attendant performance benefits.

As to which ssd, I recommend Samsung or Intel. They make their own nand chips, and can do more extensive testing. They seem to have fewer issues.