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I need an idiot's guide to SSD drives


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#1 Izera

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 01:54 PM

I just got a new computer, first time in years.  It's a gaming computer, which I haven't had in even longer.

 

It has Windows on an SSD drive.  I didn't understand the setup and when installing some stuff, I let those programs choose their path.  In one day I ended up running out of memory, clicked on "My Computer" and found that there were actually two drives.

 

I uninstalled everything and reinstalled onto the D: drive.  It was a pain.  I couldn't put Chrome on since it won't let me choose a different path, so I'm having to learn a new browser too.

 

I've been keeping a close eye on the drive.  Even despite my best efforts, space is being taken up.  After I uninstalled everything, I had 85 GB free.  It's been a week and now I'm down to 80 GB free.

 

I do have a desktop, not a laptop, and when I bought it I specifically asked if desktops are still upgradeable, like in the old days (which in my case means back when Intel and AMD CPUs were shaped the same and either could be installed in any motherboard).  I was told that it is upgradeable.

 

So what is so great about SSD drives?  Why shouldn't I figure out how to swap the order of the drives and use the reinstall disk to put Windows on the current D: drive (1 TB size).  Would it be worth it to keep the same configuration and just get a bigger SSD drive?  How much risk is there of those 80 GB being swallowed up if I keep installing to D:?

 

I haven't messed with the guts of a computer in a very long time (see above reference to CPUs).  I'm assuming the general theory hasn't changed, but I could be wrong there too.  All this new stuff is greek to me.  Please be very idiot-conscious and use simple words when answering my questions.

 

Thanks.  :)



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#2 shadow_647

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 02:45 PM

Well chances are the  "C" drive is SSD and is small and for windows, and the other drive "D" old stile drive and thats were you put all your junk. in order for everyone to be able to help you better could you do the following and post the link.

 

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/323892/publish-a-snapshot-using-speccy/



#3 MoxieMomma

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 03:19 PM

Hello and welcome, @Izera:

 

The Speccy report will help us to better help you.

(We do not even know if you have Win7, Win 8/8.1 or Win10...)

 

Until then, here are few links to basic information about SSD (solid-state drive) vs. a HDD (hard-disk drive, a.k.a. a "spinner"):

 

Solid-state Drive

PC Mag: SSD vs. HDD

Digital Trends: SSD vs. HDD

 

The major advantages of a SSD over a HDD, especially for the OS and for software, are SPEED and PERFORMANCE.

The major disadvantage of a SSD is probably that it can be much harder to recover data than from a HDD in the event of a major mishap.  So, it will be very important to make robust, frequent system images to an external, USB HDD.  That will make it much easier to recover from a disaster in the event of a major failure.

 

It sounds as if your new computer is set up with the SSD as the "system drive" (usually C:\).  This is where Windows is installed, a recovery partition (if there is one) is located, and where many programs and apps will install by default.

The larger HDD is the "data drive" (usually D:\) for all your documents, photos, videos, music files, etc.  Some folks also like to save space on their system drive by installing some/all programs on the data drive.  (Even a 256 GB SSD can fill up pretty quickly with a lot of large programs (games, Photoshop, etc.), Windows Restore Points, etc. 

It's an individual choice whether to install programs on the SSD (system drive) or the HDD (data drive).  A few programs only work best installed on the C:\ drive, leaving the user little choice.

 

Out of the box, one usually needs to make some changes to a dual-drive computer (at least on a brand-name, a.k.a "OEM" system) in order to create the necessary folder structure on the D:\ drive and then to tell Windows where to put your stuff.  See here for a recent thread where an OP did just that.  It's not hard.

 

So, that ought to get you started.

 

Please post back with the Speccy report, and we will help you.

 

Cheers,

MM

 

 



#4 hamluis

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 05:16 PM

Please download MiniToolBox  , save it to your desktop and run it.
 
Checkmark the following checkboxes:
  List last 10 Event Viewer log
  List Installed Programs
  List Users, Partitions and Memory size.
 
Click Go and paste the content into your next post.
 
Also...please Publish a Snapshot using Speccy taking care to post the link of the snapshot in your next post.

   Go to Piriform's website, and download the free version on the left.  Click Download from Piriform.com (the FileHippo link requires an extra click). Or if you want to use a portable version of Speccy (which doesn't require installation), click the builds page link and download the portable version. You will now be asked where you want to save the file. The best place to put it is the Desktop, as it will be easy to find later.

    After the file finishes downloading, you are ready to run Speccy. If you downloaded the installer, simply double-click on it and follow the prompts until installation is complete. If you downloaded the portable version, you will need to unzip it before use. Right-click the ZIP file and click Extract all. Click Next. Open up the extracted folder and double-click on Speccy.
 
     Once inside Speccy, it will look similar to this (with your computer's specifications, of course):
 
post-33068-0-86653600-1480692866_thumb.j

     Now, at the top, click File > Publish Snapshot.

     Click Yes > then Copy to Clipboard

Now, once you are back in the forum topic you are posting in, click the ADD REPLY or REPLY TO THIS TOPIC button. Right-click in the empty space of the Reply box and click Paste. Then, click Add Reply below the Reply box.

Louis



#5 Izera

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 06:15 PM

Thanks for the links to read up on what an SSD drive is.

 

Is there any way of getting general information on changing out drives that wouldn't involve knowing my computer's specifications?  Even with a good antivirus program, I don't like tempting fate by downloading something I've never heard of.



#6 MoxieMomma

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 06:39 PM

Hi:
 

Thanks for the links to read up on what an SSD drive is.


You are most welcome.
 

Is there any way of getting general information on changing out drives that wouldn't involve knowing my computer's specifications?


Just to clarify, there is no "changing out drives" involved here.
From what you describe, your computer already has two drives, the SSD and the HDD.
I merely referred to creating new folders for your "stuff" on the data drive and then telling Windows to use those folders, rather than the identical ones on the system drive.
That way, you keep Windows (and probably your programs) on the system drive, and you keep your "stuff" on the data drive.

 

Even with a good antivirus program, I don't like tempting fate by downloading something I've never heard of.


Speccy and MTB are perfectly safe, as are all of the tools used here at bleeping.
They are used 100s of times a day here and at other fora.
No one would ever ask you to install something malicious (although it is healthy to be skeptical and to maintain "situational awareness".

We are not in front of your computer.
The only way to provide efficient, accurate, individualized help is to obtain a wee bit of generic information about your system.
Otherwise, we can only speculate -- that is generally neither helpful nor "safe".

But it's up to you...

Cheers,
MM



#7 Izera

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 11:02 PM

Ugh, I can't figure out how quoting works on this forum.

 

I was thinking about either reinstalling Windows on the bigger drive (do they still have master and slave drives?) or maybe getting a bigger SSD drive where I won't have to worry about a 5 GB loss over a week.

 

I did see that program was from Piriform, which made me feel better enough to try it.  I've used Ccleaner.  But every time I try to get an image done, it shows a broken placeholder in place of the picture.



#8 shadow_647

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 03:32 AM

do they still have master and slave drives

 

Not really, that's for the older stile I/O connector that things use to use, P-ATA.

Then you have the old SCSI Drive cables, they use to be huge.

Its all S-ATA now, its a really small wire compared to what it use to be.



#9 MoxieMomma

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 04:01 AM

Hi:

 

Ugh, I can't figure out how quoting works on this forum.

 

I was thinking about either reinstalling Windows on the bigger drive (do they still have master and slave drives?) or maybe getting a bigger SSD drive where I won't have to worry about a 5 GB loss over a week.

 

I did see that program was from Piriform, which made me feel better enough to try it.  I've used Ccleaner.  But every time I try to get an image done, it shows a broken placeholder in place of the picture.

 

 

An 80 GB SSD system drive is not very large, but it ought to be sufficient to run Win10 (again, we still do not even know what Windows version you have).

So it's not clear why your disk appears to be filling up so quickly.

 

Moving the Windows OS to the HDD defeats the purpose of having a SSD.

And doing so is not a task that would be practical for a computer user with basic skills.

Attempting something like this without advanced skills may seriously "break" the new computer.

 

I respectfully suggest that you please follow @hamluis's suggestions and post the results from Speccy and MTB.

It will only take a few minutes and the information provided will greatly enhance our ability to help you.

 

Thanks again,

MM



#10 Izera

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 09:03 AM

I tried to post that speccy image following hamluis' instructions last night in my last post and it would not post.  I tried several times and it just wouldn't do it.  Instead of showing a picture in the response window that I was typing in, it showed that missing image icon instead.  It never once showed the picture, not when I tried that Publish link, not when I uploaded the image to Google Drive and tried to post that link.  I don't know how to put a picture in on this board and be able to see it myself prior to hitting the post button so that I know the link is working correctly.






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