What can I do with a new Solid State Drive and how?

Dowd April 2, 2011
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With a birthday later this month I will be dropping hints for a new SSD. I was wonder, first what should I put on this drive, second how would I do that, third what is a good drive to purchase and forth should I put the operating system on the SSD?

The OS I use is Windows 7, but soon may or may not be a Ubuntu platform. On my PC I play a lot of games, but as a student also use Office apps and browse the web often. I would appreciate any help with the above questions and thank you in advance.

  1. Tina
    April 11, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Dowd,

    check out this new MakeUseOf guide: DOWNLOAD Hard Drive Of The Future: 101 Guide To Solid State Drives

  2. Anonymous
    April 5, 2011 at 7:08 am

    Hi

    1. Back-up HDD OS using Acronis true image

    1. Partition the drive
    2. Create the file systems with the appropriate file system block size.
    3. Copy the data to the new file systems. Some products can increase or
    reduce the size of the file system being copied. Windows requires that
    certain files reside at specific locations in the file system.
    4. Copy Windows specific file system metADATA (active, drive letter, etc)
    5. Copy information necessary for the system to boot from that drive.
    With Windows 7 this information is kept in the first partition on the drive.
    6. Your installation of Windows 7 may include a hidden partition or two.
    The vendor may create a partition for recovery purposes. You need to
    copy these also.

    or
    Paragon Migrate OS to SSD 2.0 for just 19.95USD
    http://www.paragon-software.com/technologies/components/migrate-OS-to-SSD/index.html

  3. Dowd
    April 4, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Thanks for even more help guys but I'm still wondering how i would get the OS that is already installed on to the new SSD, as well as other programs.

  4. Anonymous
    April 4, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Hi

    If you are going SSD then Windows 7 requires 16GB and Ubuntu is almost just as bad in that it requires 15GB (5GB of that required 15GB is for the OS, the rest is for the home directory). Modern OSes need this space in order to run.The 64GB size can handle full-edition Ubuntu or Windows 7 easily and without issue. If you want to eke out more space, you can go with Xubuntu instead.

    SSD are less power hungry thereby expands laptop battery life.Everything about SSD is faster when the right OS is installed (meaning not XP). Bootup and shutdown is insanely quick.

    The first optimization is to mount the volume of the SSD with the "noatime" option. By default, Ubuntu writes the attribute of the date of last access for each file of the volume. These repeated entries can undermine your SSD life therefore is cut. bug!

    sudo vim /etc/fstab

    and then you change the volume of your ssd line by adding noatime as below

    /dev/sda1 / ext4 noatime,errors=remount-ro 0 1

    If you want to know the performance at the reading of your SSD or any other drive in Ubuntu then type this in a terminal

    sudo hdparm -t /dev/sda1

    You replace sda1 by the volume that you want to test. To see the volumes available on your machine, type in a terminal:

    df

    take advantage to make a change under Firefox. By default, this browser manage its cache in the user profile. To avoid complete cache by doing many écrture on your SSD, the best is still to redirect this cache to a point of editing in memory RAM.
    "/ tmp" for example may very well be the case.

    change this setting, enter the following url in the address bar
    about:config

    By right click on the page, add a new character string which the title is:
    browser.cache.disk.parent_directory

    give the following value: /tmp

    If your SSD supports it, you should also enable automatic TRIM
    http://askubuntu.com/questions/18903/how-to-enable-trim/19480#19480

    DiskTRIM - Automated graphical user interface for wiper.sh
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/disktrim/

    Four Tweaks for Using Ubuntu with SSD
    http://itezer.com/blog/ubuntu-linux/125-Four_Tweaks_for_Using_Ubuntu_with_SSD.htmll

    The trims involved on this point: Windows 7, the file system (NTFS) can indicate when a file is deleted with a flag that includes the SSD. If the selected cell contains really important data, the usual operation is in place, if the data is cleared (for file system), the DSS will write directly to this cell. In fact, two entries and a cell search, we are left with only one entry. And as the entry is the weak point of the SSD, the gain can be interesting, especially if the SSD is much used.

  5. Smayonak
    April 4, 2011 at 5:24 am

    You're very welcome.

    SSDs are often used as a boot drive, meaning the core operating system files are stored on it. They're used in various kinds of hybrid installations and RAIDs, which go beyond the scope of this post.

    They're just like a regular hard drive, except you're going to want (1) Windows 7 (2) SSDTweaker (which automatically tweaks your settings).

    They're best used in laptops which have SATA2. They'll write and read faster than your regular drive (meaning things will load and install faster) and your laptop's battery life will improve.

  6. Dowd
    April 4, 2011 at 2:57 am

    Thanks for the help, I read that most SSDs are the bootable drive, how would i do that and are only the programs on the SSD the ones that benefit from its speed?

  7. Smayonak
    April 4, 2011 at 1:56 am

    The best deal I've ever seen on the internet on SSDs:

    http://www.hawkexpress.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&Product_ID=319237

  8. Smayonak
    April 3, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    I forgot to mention that some OCZ drives have what's called "garbage collection" which performs a similar function as TRIM, keeping write speed performance from degrading. The difference is GC does so outside the confines of the operating system, while the drive idles. Thus, you can use the drive in XP and Vista, without performance loss. However, it's more or less manually activated, and can be a bother to do regularly.

  9. Smayonak
    April 3, 2011 at 3:33 am

    SSDs are really amazing technology and it's probably the best year yet to buy, thanks to recent drops in the price of flash memory and higher end controllers.

    It's my opinion that OCZ drives possess the greatest value, particularly because of their regular firmware updates, customer support and maintenance software. Their rebate service is reliable and the drives are high quality. Whenever there's bugs, there's almost always a quickly released firmware update fixing the bug. They also have a reputable return policy.

    My personal favorite is the OCZ Vertex 2, but I've heard great things about the Corsair's Nova line and Patriot drives, too. With the third generation SSDs out, the prices on the 2nd gen have dropped. Third generation drives use SATA3.

    Ubuntu or Windows 7 are the best operating systems to install, since they support TRIM.

    Also, be sure to tweak your drive. Autotweakers make this process a snap:

    http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?49779-SSD-Tweak-Utility

    What to stay away from:

    Any kind of RAID configuration. A RAID requires a good recovery system and an SSD makes that difficult at best. Cloning a multidisk system can be a nightmare.

    Older, first generation drives usually lack TRIM, wear leveling or maintenance software utilities. They might be cheap, but there's usually a reason for that.

    Used drives. May have shortened lifespans.

    Refurbished models. They typically have shortened warranties and have been used.

    Vista and XP. They don't offer TRIM support, so your drive's performance will degrade substantially over time. However, even after losing a lot of performance, an SSD will still be usable.

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