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New to SSDs, getting an X64-d1 and have a few ?s

mountain lion

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Just ordered a new Extreme edition 64gb SSD and it is due to arrive this week. My plan is to do a clean install of Windows 7 pro 32bit when it's released.



A few questions:



1: Do I want to avoid the 100mb boot partition W7 creates by default?

2: To avoid the 100mb partition, should I boot up an existing W7 system and just create a single primary partition and make sure it's aligned then do the install only on that new partition on my main system?

3: What's the recommended block size on these drives? 4kb? default?



With HDDs I've typically made a 30gb partition for XP and basic apps. The rest of the drive is another partition for games, music, pics and non OS related stuff. This was mostly for organization and data retention in case an OS reinstall is needed.


I've read up on the way ssd's do writes, theory of how they work and why performance degrades which makes me wonder if I should even partition or not.

For instance if I make a smaller (25gb) OS partition: I'll be limited only to that partition area, effectively concentrating the writes in a small(er) area of the SSD (maybe causing faster wear and performance degradation) right?


Basically, would I be better off using all 64gb in 1 partition or splitting it? Really, I don't see a need to partition now, I'll want all my apps and games loading off the SSD anyway. Everything else will still be on HDD.



4: My mobo has AHCI ability and the FAQ recommends it, but I see people mentioning a lot of problems when it's enabled. Whats the consensus, try it with it on first?


Any other recommendations for a new install and best practice, please let me know.



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Let Windows 7 do its job the way it was designed to - that means allowing it to create the partititions it needs to function at its best. Forget about block sizes, Windows 7 will correctly align and format the drive for you.


Do not partition your drive, if as you say you are going to use the drive for the OS, Apps and your games only then there's no need to partition. Remember not to FILL your drive, leave some space (about 15% to 20%) in order for it to maintain performance.


Try AHCI from the outset, if it doesn't work for you than you can revert to IDE mode in your Bios - the process can't be done in reverse without making some changes to the registry or performing a complete reinstall (imaging would be of no use here either).


I'm busy compiling a tutorial (not sure when it will be finished - work tends to get in the way lol) on best practices for tweaks, etc to maintain your drive at its peak. However, in the meantime just make sure that defrag is turned off, windows search indexing (lots of writes) and superfetch .... windows 7 is supposed to do this when it detects an SSD but it doesn't in all cases.


Enjoy the massive performance increase of your drive (btw, I have the same drive as you) :-)

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One other thing - you might want to consider going 64bit windows .... your system is ideal for this. Unless you are using very old software and old hardware that you can't live without then 64bit would give you more oomph and the ability to use more memory.


I've been running 64bit for over a year now and I've found nothing that will not work other than very old (read outdated) software; most vendors are now offering 64bit drivers for their hardware and 99% of 32bit software will run happily under 64bit; the only ones that I've come across that balk are Antispyware and AV's - though most of them now support 64bit or have 64bit versions under development.

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  • 2 weeks later...
When I got my X64 SSD, I just put in the laptop, fired up the Windows 7 x64 RC1 install DVD, and let it do all the work, no partition, no format etc, just kept clicking next and let Windows 7 take care of it form there. Sometimes the simplest way is the best. I disable defrag scheduling and prefetch.
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