Going from HD/Vista to SSD/Win 7 - Thoughts?

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aristide1
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Going from HD/Vista to SSD/Win 7 - Thoughts?

Post by aristide1 » Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:54 pm

I'd really like to hear from dhanson865.

I'm considering such an unpgrade, though I also purchased Vista when it was pretty new and it had more than it's share of quirks.

I have Vista 32 bit, so I'm limited to Win 7 also 32 bit as an "upgrade". I don't want a clean install as I have a lot of apps installed. I did such an upgrade from a clean Vista to a clean Win 7 with no regrets, not so sure about a loaded pc.

Concerns - Going to SSD I've seen some recommendations that do not seem to make sense:
1. No paging file on the SSD. What? First off I am still limited memory wise to 4GB (3 visible) in 32 bit, I certainly do not want any further constraints (low memory messages and slowdows).

It would seem that having a paging file on an SSD would be optimal, certainly much faster than one going to a hard drive. Wouldn't that be a good thing? Having my virtual memory almost as fast as my real thing? Originally I considered buying just a very small SSD for the most frequently and harshly used files; the page file and IE files. I'm assuming a decent USB flash drive is still a viable alternative?

2. Given the 2 stage upgrade which should go first? Transferring everything to the SSD and then installing Win 7 or Win 7 first? Or am I wasting time even asking this question, though Win 7 varies configuration per device type, don't know if that happens during install or during boot up.

I never use hibernate and all my settings maximize performance. The MB has in Intel P965 chipset, which was out before SSD. Is that an issue as well?

Thanks
Aris
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Re: Going from HD/Vista to SSD/Win 7 - Thoughts?

Post by frenchie » Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:21 pm

Sorry, I'm not dhanson865 ;)
But I feel like replying anyways :)
If I were you, I'd just make sure W7 recognizes your SSD as an SSD, and let it do the work. With TRIM, it will clean itself, and by the time you ever see any wear on the SSD, they'll be dirt cheap.
Intel's SSD toolbox reports 2.53TB of host writes, and shows no sign of slowing down. I launch a software, and it's open, almost instantly.

No idea about your upgrade question...
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aristide1
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Re: Going from HD/Vista to SSD/Win 7 - Thoughts?

Post by aristide1 » Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:38 pm

I'm quite pleased you are who you are Frenchie.

:mrgreen: <-- Can't make bigger.
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Re: Going from HD/Vista to SSD/Win 7 - Thoughts?

Post by Redzo » Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:47 pm

aristide1 wrote:I'd really like to hear from dhanson865.

I'm considering such an unpgrade, though I also purchased Vista when it was pretty new and it had more than it's share of quirks.

I have Vista 32 bit, so I'm limited to Win 7 also 32 bit as an "upgrade". I don't want a clean install as I have a lot of apps installed. I did such an upgrade from a clean Vista to a clean Win 7 with no regrets, not so sure about a loaded pc.

Concerns - Going to SSD I've seen some recommendations that do not seem to make sense:
1. No paging file on the SSD. What? First off I am still limited memory wise to 4GB (3 visible) in 32 bit, I certainly do not want any further constraints (low memory messages and slowdows).

It would seem that having a paging file on an SSD would be optimal, certainly much faster than one going to a hard drive. Wouldn't that be a good thing? Having my virtual memory almost as fast as my real thing? Originally I considered buying just a very small SSD for the most frequently and harshly used files; the page file and IE files. I'm assuming a decent USB flash drive is still a viable alternative?
Since SSD are expensive and have limited write cycles ppl recommend not having page file on it since page file gets a lot of writes hence they think having page file on SSD will shorten it's lifespan. And SSD are not nearly as fast as ordinary memory ! Fastest SSD gets few hundred megabytes in reading/writing per sec, a C2D gets around 6-8 gigabytes in read/write. Big difference there don't you think ?

aristide1 wrote: 2. Given the 2 stage upgrade which should go first? Transferring everything to the SSD and then installing Win 7 or Win 7 first? Or am I wasting time even asking this question, though Win 7 varies configuration per device type, don't know if that happens during install or during boot up.

I never use hibernate and all my settings maximize performance. The MB has in Intel P965 chipset, which was out before SSD. Is that an issue as well?

Thanks
Aris
It does not matter whatever you choose. An SSD is an harddrive, and as such works with every chipset that can read/write to a harddrive (every computer made in last 10+ years).

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Re: Going from HD/Vista to SSD/Win 7 - Thoughts?

Post by Tephras » Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:18 pm

aristide1 wrote: Concerns - Going to SSD I've seen some recommendations that do not seem to make sense:
1. No paging file on the SSD. What? First off I am still limited memory wise to 4GB (3 visible) in 32 bit, I certainly do not want any further constraints (low memory messages and slowdows).

2. Given the 2 stage upgrade which should go first? Transferring everything to the SSD and then installing Win 7 or Win 7 first? Or am I wasting time even asking this question, though Win 7 varies configuration per device type, don't know if that happens during install or during boot up.
1. Put the page file on the SSD

2. Install W7 first

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Re: Going from HD/Vista to SSD/Win 7 - Thoughts?

Post by rotor » Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:52 am

aristide1 wrote:2. Given the 2 stage upgrade which should go first? Transferring everything to the SSD and then installing Win 7 or Win 7 first? Or am I wasting time even asking this question, though Win 7 varies configuration per device type, don't know if that happens during install or during boot up.
Install Windows 7 on to the blank SSD first so that it partitions it correctly with the correct offset.

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Re: Going from HD/Vista to SSD/Win 7 - Thoughts?

Post by dhanson865 » Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:02 am

The question as to where to put the swapfile/pagefile/virtual memory depends on the SSD you buy. Assuming its anything faster than a Indilinx Barefoot controller you should put it on the SSD. Microsoft says so here
Should the pagefile be placed on SSDs?

Yes. Most pagefile operations are small random reads or larger sequential writes, both of which are types of operations that SSDs handle well.

In looking at telemetry data from thousands of traces and focusing on pagefile reads and writes, we find that

* Pagefile.sys reads outnumber pagefile.sys writes by about 40 to 1,
* Pagefile.sys read sizes are typically quite small, with 67% less than or equal to 4 KB, and 88% less than 16 KB.
* Pagefile.sys writes are relatively large, with 62% greater than or equal to 128 KB and 45% being exactly 1 MB in size.

In fact, given typical pagefile reference patterns and the favorable performance characteristics SSDs have on those patterns, there are few files better than the pagefile to place on an SSD.
I think this is solid advice assuming you have a SATA or PCIe based SSD that supports TRIM. If you are on a cardbus SSD or IDE SSD that doesn't support trim (think old drives from 2008 or before) then I'd consider moving it to another drive.

As others have said you want Win7 to create the partition. You don't have to complete the install for it to create the partition but you have to be careful how you move data over because Acronis or Ghost or somesuch will rewrite the partitions. All in all it's just another mess best avoided.

As to the upgrade vs clean install thing, OMG make sure you have a good backup of all your data before you start. I have no experience with Vista/Win7 migrations but if any thing I know about past migrations are true (and from what I've read it still applies) you are much safer doing a fresh install and manually migrating data.

If you insist on a "upgrade" style operation I'd do something like:

1. Use Win 7 to create a partition large enough to hold the entire contents of your old boot partition (but hopefully 80% of the advertised capacity of the new SSD) and format it then reboot without finishing the install*. Make sure to do a quick format (never a full format) of the partition you created. This could be easier to do with a trusted running Win 7 PC but if you don't have one or want to be sure you are virus free it's nice to work from read only media. http://www.techtalkz.com/windows-7/5144 ... orial.html shows screen shots of the process.
2. boot from the Vista DVD (may work with Win 7 DVD but these instructions assume Vista) and use robocopy as described here (ehow.com) to copy the files from the boot partition of the hard drive to the SSD. (be sure to skip the steps 7, 8, & 9 dealing with creating and formatting the partition since you did that with the Win 7 installer.)
3. Disconnect the old hard drive so you don't have it messing with your drive letters and you don't risk messing up the original configuration
4. boot from the Win 7 install drive (can be a USB flash drive now so I won't say DVD necessarily) and install as you like to the SSD that now has the old Vista files on a newly created partition.

*This quote describes making the partition in Win 7 installer without making the extra partition
If you’re installing Windows 7 into a new hard disk, or a blank hard disk with no partition defined yet, or if you must delete all existing partitions to start afresh, chose Drive options (advanced). Delete (if applicable) unwanted partitions. Then, click New to create the single partition or multiple partitions according to your own preference.

When prompted with dialog box saying “To ensure that all Windows features work correctly, Windows might create additional partitions for system files”, click on Cancel button.
Myself I'd do a clean install and just drag and drop the stuff I needed from the old drive to the new (use a USB cradle/enclosure or flash drive to facilitate the transfer).

As to the P965, I avoid Intel chipsets but it is new enough to do SATA 3GB/s so only a C300 would be held back by it and even then the C300 should work with an old controller.
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Re: Going from HD/Vista to SSD/Win 7 - Thoughts?

Post by aristide1 » Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:36 pm

This has been an interesting conversation.

MS says yes, put the paging file on the SSD:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/e7/archive/2009 ... s-and.aspx

OCZ recommended tweaks for SSD & Vista, which is rather SSD illiterate:

http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum ... try-tweaks

Here's an all-in-one SSD setup utility, you would think manufacturers would love this:

http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum ... ak-Utility

I hear the C300 doesn't write so fast under certain conditions. I'm looking for the balance.

It was common for a Windows setup with several apps open and most memory used up to have simultaneous heavy HD usage:
1. You click to open a new app.
2. Windows tries to load it while,
3. Writing to the page file to make room for the new app.

In this situation people with 2 HDs who put the paging file on the second drive would see nice increases in performance by eliminating this conflict.

Should I care? I expect to start using PhotoShop soon, so yes.

We need to make things faster because Frenchie and I need more time for coffee breaks.
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Re: Going from HD/Vista to SSD/Win 7 - Thoughts?

Post by Mats » Wed Nov 17, 2010 4:20 pm

W7 and SSD tips.

Here are some tweaks for Vista that works well with W7 too. Unlike many other similar sites, this one describes some tweaks that I haven't seen all in one place before, a few of them reduces disk write. Some are very basic tho.
Redzo wrote:An SSD is an harddrive, and as such works with every chipset that can read/write to a harddrive (every computer made in last 10+ years).
It's important to remember that SATA I would be a bottleneck for many of todays SSD's. I've seen real world speeds being about 140 MB/s.
Intel's ICH7M, used in first gen C2D laptops, uses this old standard.

It still works tho.

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Re: Going from HD/Vista to SSD/Win 7 - Thoughts?

Post by dhanson865 » Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:40 pm

aristide1 wrote:OCZ recommended tweaks for SSD & Vista, which is rather SSD illiterate:
These sorts of tweaks are for older jmicron drives and such that have random write speeds below 10MB/s as seen in graphs like Image
aristide1 wrote:I hear the C300 doesn't write so fast under certain conditions. I'm looking for the balance.
Notice in the graph above the higher the capacity of the drive the faster it handles writes. This is not a hard rule but it is a factor. Especially around points like the dividing line for Intel between 40GB and 80GB drives (40GB has 5 channels internally, 80GB and above have 10 channels).
aristide1 wrote:It was common for a Windows setup with several apps open and most memory used up to have simultaneous heavy HD usage:
1. You click to open a new app.
2. Windows tries to load it while,
3. Writing to the page file to make room for the new app.

In this situation people with 2 HDs who put the paging file on the second drive would see nice increases in performance by eliminating this conflict.

Should I care? I expect to start using PhotoShop soon, so yes.
We need to make things faster because Frenchie and I need more time for coffee breaks.[/quote]

Nope, you shouldn't care. Any modern SSD makes opening an application a non issue. Besides half of what you are talking about is having not enough RAM in the PC to begin with. Put more ram in and the hard drive(s) won't be churning so much virtual memory.

Anyway, if you buy a proper 2010 SSD or buy one of the new 2011 SSDs you won't care about pagefile settings or registry tweaks anymore.

You'll still want to be careful about creating the partition and installing Win 7 correctly but you won't need to do much tweaking.

If you buy one of the Intel Gen 2 drives the SSD toolbox as previewed here (storagereview.com) does all the tweaks for you.

If you buy the Samsung 470 they are creating a similar tool (though they are at least 6 months behind Intel on this).

If you buy the C300 or a sandforce based SSD they swear you don't need to tweak. And to a big extent that is true. You'll be amazed at how fast one SSD can be. For opening an application one SSD will be faster than multiple hard drives. Hopefully next year they'll wake up and provide better tools for their drives.

http://forums.storagereview.com/index.p ... sd-review/ is a thread where I discussed the tool support for SSDs. Dunno how accurate it is but it's something to look into before you buy if you aren't going to buy on of the Intel Gen 2 drives.
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Re: Going from HD/Vista to SSD/Win 7 - Thoughts?

Post by aristide1 » Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:36 pm

Well I have 32 bit Vista & 4GB of RAM, no place to go RAM-wise. XP Compatibility mode makes Win 7 interesting for older hardware (SCSI devices).

I had another relatively new PC and installed Vista 64, it was awful.

I don't expect much pagefile usage until PhotoShop is used. It also has options on where to locate its own temp files.

The Corsair Force 120 is under consideration.

Thanks
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Re: Going from HD/Vista to SSD/Win 7 - Thoughts?

Post by dhanson865 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:24 am

for the record I don't recommend the sandforce drives. My point in with that graph is that you shouldn't consider a drive below the 10MB/s rate like the Kingston SSD now V series.

My line of though is to buy on price and reliability so long as it doesn't fall below that line.

Pricing thread page 3 = viewtopic.php?f=7&t=58811&start=60
Reliability thread page 3 = viewtopic.php?f=7&t=58422&start=60
and add in the Samsung 470 thread discussing software tools = http://forums.storagereview.com/index.p ... sd-review/

I'd let price be strong influence but by controller I'd rank it something like (hope I don't forget any major players)

Intel Gen 2
Marvell (C300)
Indilinx Martini
Indilinx Barefoot
Samsung 470**
Sandforce*
Toshiba/Jmicron (more than 16MB cache)
Intel Gen 1
old Jmicron (less than 1MB cache (not a typo, the old drives had KB of cache))
old Samsung

*Sandforce would be in 3rd place on my list if there weren't so many issues with them.

**It's still too early to tell, this may end up moving ahead of the Indilinx drives if it turns out to be as reliable as the Intel drives. But it's telling that I'd consider it with little track record ahead of the sandforce drives that have been out several months longer.

So if for example the C300 and a Sandforce drive were the exact same price I'd prefer the C300. If the C300 and the Intel Gen 2 are the same price I'd prefer the Intel. Where it gets harder to decide is if there is a price premium for the Intel.
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Re: Going from HD/Vista to SSD/Win 7 - Thoughts?

Post by flyingsherpa » Thu Nov 18, 2010 9:58 am

aristide1 wrote:Well I have 32 bit Vista & 4GB of RAM, no place to go RAM-wise. ....I don't expect much pagefile usage until PhotoShop is used.
IMHO, you should spring the $90 and get 64-bit win 7 if you're going to be using Photoshop (mostly to handle more RAM, but also because 32-bit is dying out). And I might be mis-remembering this, but I thought there was a way to use a 32-bit win 7 key to unlock a 64-bit version. Maybe look into that to avoid the extra cost (assuming you already have bought your win7 license). And I think you'll be much happier in the long run if you do a clean install rather than an upgrade. Re-installing apps is a pain, but can be done in an evening while watching tv or listening to podcasts or something. FYI, I recently made the move from XP to 64-bit win 7 (I bought the $30 student version key and created my own install discs) and have mostly been impressed. Of course, this was on all-new hardware, but still.
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Re: Going from HD/Vista to SSD/Win 7 - Thoughts?

Post by aristide1 » Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:19 am

Got the Intel 120 for $165 after MIR today & free shipping.

My holiday gift to me. :mrgreen:
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Re: Going from HD/Vista to SSD/Win 7 - Thoughts?

Post by ilovejedd » Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:34 am

flyingsherpa wrote:IMHO, you should spring the $90 and get 64-bit win 7 if you're going to be using Photoshop (mostly to handle more RAM, but also because 32-bit is dying out). And I might be mis-remembering this, but I thought there was a way to use a 32-bit win 7 key to unlock a 64-bit version.
The keys for 32-bit and 64-bit are interchangeable. You don't have to do anything special to get your 32-bit key to activate 64-bit Vista/7.

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