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New Build, Newb Builder, SSD question

Squirl111

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System Name Game Machine
Processor Intel Core i7-3770 Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.9GHz Turbo)
Motherboard ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 LGA 1155
Cooling COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2
Memory (2x) CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
Video Card(s) (2x) EVGA 04G-P4-3673-KR GeForce GTX 670 FTW+ 4GB 256-bit GDDR5
Storage Crucial M4 128GB, (2x) Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200rpm
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Case NZXT Phantom PHAN-002OR
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Software Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
#1
hi Everyone.

i just built a new computer and had had a question on readying my crucial M4 SSD. i just read thru a post in this forum from March 5 with questions asked by Heldelance. there were a lot of replies and tips, most of which were quite honestly above my level of understanding. i just want to install the SSD as smartly and efficiently as possible. i have the 128 gig SSD, and two 2TB seagate barracudas. i play games, store over 500 gig of music, lots of pics and thats about it. my plan is to install the OS on the SSD, everything else on the larger hard drives. the post i mentioned previously mentioned several changes or tweaks. i can try those, but dont want to screw up my new computer before i really ever use it. with all of that said, i had a few questions...

1. i already installed the OS on one of the seagate hard drives. i was going to update the firmware on the SSD and then install the OS there. i used the crucial firmware updater and it said there isnt a drive needing the firmware update. im thinking the new drive may have already come with the latest firmware but i havent checked that yet. the bios does have the AHCI mode enabled. if the firmware is already up to date, what other changes or "tweaks" are best suggested for my usage. i just dont want to do myself an injustice with my new machine.

2. i have spent alot of time collecting music over the years, i sure dont want to lose it. i always have it backed up on 2 external drives but i was wondering if raid 1 was worth the extra step of precaution as well. do you suggest raid of maybe just store it on both of the hard drives interdependently? (yes, i realize that may be overkill but NOT LOSING the music and pictures are my main goal)

3. once i have the OS installed on the SSD, do you make it a practice of using the SSD for any other programs or solely the OS?


as my thread mentions, im a newb. i have built several computers in the past but always find i know just enough to get myself in trouble :) i wasnt sure if all of the changes or tweaks mentioned in the other post (Mar 5 by Heldelance) were basic essentials, suggestions or high end stuff.

any suggestions or tips i welcome, i appreciate your time.

thank you
 
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#2
try not to write so much

once ahci is enabled you dont have to worry about anything else until the os is loaded

if the vendor software says its up to date then its up to date

you can transfer the installed os or do a new install, to me the transfer is best, you reallly get to witness the difference, oly thing is you have to make your installation small enough to fit on 128gb

most people store the os as well as all programs on the ssd, it makes no sense having a blasing fast ssd for the os and programs still have to load from a traditional hdd, note that you must buy an ssd big enough for you to have all your required programs run from it, otherwise it makes no sense to have a lightning fast boot and your apps take forever to load

for the redundancy you have 2 choices, raid 1 or a frequent backup to an external, i would suggest if you can fit all your files comfortably on 1 2tb, then raid 1 it, if it ever goes down all ur data up to the second will be available, a daily sync with an external drive may provide slightly better protection due to the fact that if the cause is a catastrofic power supply failure, the external drive would be immune, however this is a really rare event.

pagefile, system restore and hybernation are all things you can disable to save space on ur drive
 
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#3
Some points, and cogent spelling.

1) Most manufacturers say no on transferring an OS from HDD to SSD. It's a good idea to do a clean install. Unplug the HDDs, plug in the SSD, and get ready for the boredom.
2) 128 GB is a bit small. There are very good 256 GB options out there, that you should consider for the sake of future expansion.
3) Disable the paging file. If you don't hibernate the computer, shrink the space reserved for hibernation. Disable automatic defragmentation. Those three tips will extend the life of an SSD. The reality is the large MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure) for most newer drives means you'll be retiring the drive well in advance of its death.
4) RAID is an interesting beast. I'm going to expand upon that in just a moment, but it needs its own section. In short RAID is not the same as a backup. If the data has that much value always create a backup.
5) Trust the tool. If the SSD shows up in the system at all the SSD manufacturer's tool will be able to see it. No update requirement is a good sign.


RAID
The goal of RAID 1 is to mirror data. This will, in theory, allow you to catastrophically lose a drive, without losing data. It sounds like a backup, but note the choice of words. RAID does not protect against slow corruption of data. RAID arrays are generally composed of the same series of drives, so if one fails catastrophically the other drives are likely to fail around the same time. RAID read/writes can become corrupted if power is lost during the process.

So, do you want to set-up a RAID. No! Pull one of the drives. Place it inside an external enclosure. Backup all the data from the drive inside the computer to the one in the external. Keep the external somewhere safe, and perform regular backups. This is the only way to ensure your data is safer against loss.



try not to write so much
No. If you can read minds, fine. People need to ask questions in order for others to answer them.