SSD & HDD Installation

SOLVED Discussion in 'Installation, Setup and Updates' started by Tomfoolery, Dec 27, 2016.

  1. Tomfoolery


    Dec 27, 2016
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    Hello Win10 people! My first post here and hope you can guide me.

    I decided I would build my own PC, I have all the necessary including an SSD for Win10 Pro and other program files and (I was advised to do this) a 2TB SATA3 HDD for saving files/data etc (basically "My Documents") to.

    I have two questions,
    1. On installation, should I just wire up the SSD, install Windows, the add in the HDD, or will Windows cope with the two drives being in operation right from scratch?

    2. Once I have installed Windows and my main programs, could someone give me step-by-step instructions on how to configure windows to automatically use the HDD (D:\) as storage for all documents / pictures / music etc...

    Thank you in advance
    Tomfoolery, Dec 27, 2016
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  2. Tomfoolery

    bassfisher6522 Moderator

    Sep 22, 2014
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    Question 1: I recommend as you suggested.....less chance of a malfunction of some kind.

    Question 2: depends on where you're getting your data for your storage drive. From the web, you change the download location in your browser settings. For anything on you cmputer (software installed), that's all done in each software settings. Example word 2016; you select save and then your given a choice as to where you want to save it.

    There's no magic auto configure save button that I know of.
    bassfisher6522, Dec 27, 2016
    Norton likes this.
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  3. Tomfoolery

    Tim Locke

    May 6, 2015
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    Guelph On
    1. On a new machine just make sure that the SSD is in SATA slot 0. If your SSD is an M2 drive there will only be one M2 mobo slot and that will be the C: drive. Bassfisher's suggestion is fine as well.
    1a. W10 really likes a wired network connected when it installs. Wifi is fine as long as W10 has the Wifi device driver in the W10 install package.
    1b. I think installing W10 with a MS account with a password is a good plan as well. You can use the PC without a password later.

    2. When the machine is up and working. Including any 'driver disc' that came with the motherboard installed
    BUT If the mobo driver disc includes and Anti virus do not install that, turn on Defender.
    2b Install the HDD, format it and give it a drive letter.

    To move one of the preinstalled destination folder...documents for example
    Then open file explorer with the 'This PC' view and display the various directories such as Documents, Downloads, Pictures etc.
    Right click on the directory you want to move. Click properties. click location. Now you can type in a new location , say, D: and click move. W10 will then do all the setting for you and move any files you have. That new location will be used automatically.
    If you use Onedrive I would install it AFTER you have relocated the directories...I am not sure if it would make any difference.

    If you want to use another Anti virus product install it later but be warned... it has been seen that some updates fail when a 3rd party AV product is in use.
    Tim Locke, Dec 27, 2016
    Tomfoolery likes this.
  4. Tomfoolery


    Dec 27, 2016
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    Thank you all for your welcome replies.

    One further thing, my motherboard let's you choose the standard BIOS or the newer UEFI - any opinions there?..
    Tomfoolery, Dec 28, 2016
  5. Tomfoolery


    Sep 1, 2015
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    I found when having 2 hard drives initially installed then trying to load the operating system, windows 10 used both to put system files on it. I did not want this, as I wanted one drive for data only, with the system files on the "main" drive. I would suggest installing (connecting) the drive you have chosen to be the "main" drive usually "c", load the windows operating system, reboot and then connect the secondary drive. Its an extra step, but it eliminates such problems.
    heartsound, Jan 3, 2017
  6. Tomfoolery


    Feb 9, 2016
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    During the installation process you'll be asked to select a drive to install the windows on the desired drive. Once windows installation navigated to that drive usually C: (this drive will be your bootable drive and windows will automatically boot onto this drive) , then the rest of your HDDs will be for your storage drive. You can manually name those drives according to your preferences, but if you do not assign a desired letter to a particular drive, then windows installation process will assign a letter by default process. The default assigned letters are C: for your bootable drive on which windows will be installed, D: for the secondary drive, E: usually assigned to DVD rom, F: to third drive if there's any. Assigning letter to the drives manually can be done during the installation process, when prompted to select a drive to install the windows on, but during the installation you must select a clean installation to be taken to the screen with options to select a drive, format the drives, delete drives, assign letters to drives. Even if you do not manually assign a letter to a specific drive no biggie, widows will do that for you. Those letters are just letters do not present anything special but to identify the drive, because without assigning the letter the HDD will remain stealthy.

    If you are reformatting the hard drive that already been used, you'll have to delete all the drives from formatting screen and one drive will remain (these drives are in reference to bootable drives not the storage drives) then format that single drive where the windows will be installed. From here the installation process will automatically create 3 - 4 drives for different sectors (system files, hidden files etc) will be installed on those additional drives that created by windows installation process. Those drives are of small partitions, such as 100 MB, 400 MB, 16 MB etc. you should not worry about those extra partitions created by widows. They are part of installation process and cannot be avoided.

    During the initial setup process you'll be asked to download updates, do not select this option, but select a clean installation, it will go to the next screen where you'll be prompted to enter the activation key, you can enter it now or later, if your windows was previously activated it will activate it automatically. If not then you'll be asked to enter. Then installation process will take you to the next screen where you can delete partitions, format partitions and create new partitions. I'd suggest if you plan to install one SSD and second HDD, you make sure you install the windows on the SSD, because it's faster and safer. But don't count on formatting the SSD due to it's a memory chip vs conventional HDD. Conventional HDD has mechanical structures and disc itself is a magnetic disc that actually writes data on the disc just like DVD or floppy disk. The SSD is no different than your ordinary secure digital memory card, that does not have any moving parts. Once deleted it's deleted. Even if you format it will take 2-3 seconds to format it. But HDD actually physically writes information on it and the same way deletes them by rewriting zeros on it.

    If the HDD are brand new never been installed or used, you still need to reformat the drive to let the windows to recognize the drive.

    Additional storage drives also can be managed from windows disc management drive. You can also manage some features of your main bootable drive C: but not whole a lot. You can create additional partitions or delete partitions etc. I hope this will provide an illustration to the process.
    Good luck.
    Alexander, Jan 3, 2017
  7. Tomfoolery


    Jan 4, 2017
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    UEFI... without it, HDDs can't be configured as GPT, thereby limiting any HDD to 4 partitions only.
    • UEFI Windows installs requires a minimum 3 partitions, 4 if you add a recovery partition
      • I highly recommend once you install Windows and finish with the proper clean install procedure, and installation of any programs, to capture an esd image and copy it to a separate recovery partition.
      • Keep in mind an SSD requires a minimum 10% of the drive size on the last partition to remain free at all times, otherwise the performance will become severely degraded.
    • While a user may not need, or see a use for, more than 4 partitions at the beginning, if one ever needs it in the future, all data on the hdd must be backed up, the partition table changed to GPT, then the data copied back... in other words, an inconvenience over something that is easily avoidable.
    • UEFI should also boot faster as its 64bit
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
    JW09I4, Jan 4, 2017
  8. Tomfoolery


    Oct 26, 2016
    Likes Received:
    North Carolina
    that is not quite correct.
    GPT partitions can be created under legacy boot options, especially on drives exceeding 2TB they have to be installed as GPT otherwise only 2TB partitions will be created.
    The 4 partition limit relates only to primary partitions. Logical partitions can be as much as you have letters available.
    SSD's automatic should have a 7% reserved space to replace bad sectors unless they are refurbished. manufacturers occasionally forget the reserved space. Usually a 120GB drive is actually a 128GB drive (based on binary calculations)
    Grizzly, Jan 4, 2017
  9. Tomfoolery


    Jun 6, 2016
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    Cochrane, AB Canada
    Hi Tom Foolery,

    2. Once I have installed Windows and my main programs, could someone give me step-by-step instructions on how to configure windows to automatically use the HDD (D:\) as storage for all documents / pictures / music etc...
    End quote

    Indeed its true there is no Auto config button for this. But you definitely can do a few things to have data default to a secondary HDD. I currently have a dual boot Win 7 Win 10 system where both OS each have their own SSD but both share the same HDD for data. In both OS configurations, I have moved several items from my User folder (docs , pics, music, downloads, and videos.) I have also moved the windows Temp folder over there. No matter which OS, I boot, i have access to all my stuff. In addition, some apps that have backend databases allow you to specify where you want the data written (on my system I have Itunes, DRopbox and my Email client databases on the shared HDD data drive).

    To move the user folder stuff like Documents, etc, , from explorer, right click on each data folder, chose properties and use the Location tab to relocate the folder onto your data drive. But First, I recommend creating a matching name folder for each user (profile name) of your system on your data drive, example D:\Joe, Then you MUST Firstly create storage folders for each. E.G. d:\Joe\ documents, d:\Joe\music... rtc Then you can use the properties location tab as above to relocate all users stuff from C to D.

    Use individual database application internal settings to move their data store.

    To move the windows %Temp% folder go into My computer properties .and edit the Environment variable pointer ..

    I was able to make all these changes before I restored all my user data. I envision some hourglass time if all your data is already on your SSD.

    Hope this helps.
    Allan10, Jan 4, 2017
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