Combining SSD and HDD

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se99paj
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Combining SSD and HDD

Postby se99paj » 18 Sep 2015, 10:18

So finally decided to do some upgrades to me PC this weekend as the girlfriend is away, unfortunately budget restraints mean I'm limited to a Mobo/CPU/Memory upgrade, the SSD will need to wait a while longer.

Although the SSD is going to wait I thought I'd do some research what would be the best way to combine a SSD and HDD to get the most benefit and least effort. Installing the OS and any important programs on the SSD makes sense, but in my experience that would result in next to nothing on the HDD, user documents would make the most sense but not sure how easy it would be to split them from the Windows OS without hacking the registry.

I came across this approach, would be interested to hear your views: http://www.ryli.net/do-it-yourself-comb ... brid-mode/

Obviously, using this approach means you don't gain any additional storage, but to be honest I'm fine with that I've been using 500GB for sometime and never really had any problems. All the benefits of a hybrid drive with less investment.
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csteff
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Combining SSD and HDD

Postby csteff » 18 Sep 2015, 10:30

500gb ssd about 110 pounds i seen on hotuk recently if that's an option
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Johnmcl7
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Combining SSD and HDD

Postby Johnmcl7 » 18 Sep 2015, 17:04

Windows actually makes it very easy to split your profile folders such as Documents, Pictures, Videos etc. to a different location to your OS drive even to a network drive with automatic sychronisation. All you need to do is right click the folder you want to change the location of, go to properties and enter a new location at which point you'll be asked if you want to move the data from the existing location to which I'd always say yes even if the existing one is empty as otherwise you can end up with odd ghost copies of the profile folders.

This is the solution I use on my desktop PC which has a 128GB SSD for its operating system and my installed software then my pictures, documents, music and downloads are all on a secondary 4TB drive while the videos folder is on its own 2TB drive. If you were to use my PC though you'd have no idea the data was split over the three drives as it behaves exactly the same way as if they were all on the same drive, when you open your profile folder from the desktop you still see the usual documents, downloads etc. and software seems them all the same way as well. Very rarely usually with very old software, some applications still see the actual physical paths and get a bit confused but I don't find that happens very often.

There's a few reasons I prefer this over a caching drive system, the first is that I have complete control over what goes on the SSD's and what goes on the hard drives rather than waiting for the caching system to decide what goes where which can make for very inconsistent performance. I think caching systems were better when small SSD's were still pricey and it meant a lot of manual shuffling around to use an SSD the way I do but now with 128GB being so cheap I don't find it a problem. I also like the fact that I'm not relying on anything else to access the drives in that they're just normal drives so anything can see them, caching software can sometimes be a bit iffy with imaging or diagnostic software running outside Windows. Another reason I like this setup is it forces me to keep my OS/applications separate from my data which makes it a lot more straightforward to change the OS, once I've stuck a new copy of windows on I can simply relink profile folders back to their hard drive locations.

That said it sounds like your storage requirements are quite low, a large SSD simply isn't an option for me as the cost would be horrendous for the capacity I use but the cost for 512GB drives as Steff has mentioned have come down a fair bit recently.

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robbo
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Combining SSD and HDD

Postby robbo » 18 Sep 2015, 22:37

Johnmcl7 wrote:Source of the post All you need to do is right click the folder you want to change the location of, go to properties and enter a new location


Why haven't I ever thought of doing just that when helping others with PCs with two drives? Instead of adding new folders on the non-OS drive, shortcuts on the OS drive etc.

I still haven't cloned my laptop hdd to my ssd yet.
se99paj
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Combining SSD and HDD

Postby se99paj » 18 Sep 2015, 23:52

Thanks John, with that in mind maybe I should just go with installing separate SSD and HDD, but direct user profiles to the HDD. No reason why I wouldn't be able to use a 250GB SSD for the grunt work and keep the HDD for everything else.
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csteff
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Combining SSD and HDD

Postby csteff » 19 Sep 2015, 13:05

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Johnmcl7
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Combining SSD and HDD

Postby Johnmcl7 » 19 Sep 2015, 15:29

robbo wrote:Source of the post
Johnmcl7 wrote:Source of the post All you need to do is right click the folder you want to change the location of, go to properties and enter a new location


Why haven't I ever thought of doing just that when helping others with PCs with two drives? Instead of adding new folders on the non-OS drive, shortcuts on the OS drive etc.

I still haven't cloned my laptop hdd to my ssd yet.


It's not obvious, the only reason I'm aware of it is because at work we put the user's documents folder on a network drive so that each PC they log onto their documents folder is the same.

John
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