I recently bought two 128GB SSDs that I'm planning on adding (RAID 0) to a system I currently have on a 1TB HDD. I'm hoping to redo the disk space such that the SSDs act as the boot drive (only other items would be things I install there explicitly) while the majority of my system is on the HDD - documents, media, program files. Something like this:

SSD = [ OS | Explicitly placed programs]
HDD = [ Program Files | Media | Documents | etc]

I have an external drive capable of holding all the data I want to save, so the backup isn't too much of a concern.

What I'm worried about is how I should go about doing this - do I need to do a clean install on the SSDs, reformat the HDD, move things like Program Files/Users to the HDD, and then restore data (not full programs but things like saves)?

Should I be using one of the regedit hacks I've seen around to change the default install directories instead of moving program files and users? Should I have the actual folders on the HDD and symlinks on the SSD? Or is there a better solution?

Do I need to disconnect my HDD while doing the clean Windows install?

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    Just a word of advice, I would highly recommend NOT using RAID 0 on SSDs. I don't think you will gain much speed as SSDs are already very fast. And you'd also have a higher chance of losing everything, on the RAID 0 configuration that is. ask-leo.com/…
    – imtheman
    Sep 13 '12 at 21:16
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    @PeterMaxwell that's not exactly true: blog.superuser.com/2011/03/25/… I've been running an ssd raid 0 array for almost two years now and had no problems. Sep 13 '12 at 21:32
  • @KronoS Interesting, that's good to know. I was always told that it was a bad idea to stripe SSDs. Then I was reading that you should only do it with expensive raid controllers. Your results are quite impressive though.
    – imtheman
    Sep 13 '12 at 21:39
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    @PeterMaxwell when dealing with ssd stripe it's good to make sure you get the stripe size to be the same as the sector sizes of the ssd, typically 128kbs. That helps with any wear. Also windows has improve their trim even for raided devices. Sep 13 '12 at 21:42
  • @KronoS Yes, sequential speeds will be faster (and random access might be faster too), but you need the right system configuration to get TRIM. It's far better, I think, to get one SSD that's double the capacity - it's effectively doing RAID 0 internally, with flash memory chips.
    – sblair
    Sep 13 '12 at 21:45

Raid 0 - don't yet. It is way too unstable if you want TRIM support. Single SSD is more than enough for a boot/system disk.

Copy the current system partition to it - I have used DriveImageXML with great success and it is free. What you do is set the SSD as bootable, set from bios the SATA in AHCI mode, and then just boot once into safe mode, so windows can update its drivers.

Then run as admin "fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify" if zero - you have trim working and you are good to go.

  • See my comment above. Two years and still running. Even after multiple OS reinstalls. Sep 13 '12 at 21:33
  • Yeah but intel just added support for raid 0 TRIM in their drivers and I think only for the 7 chipsets and it is far from stable from what I have read. I think that for casual users TRIM is nice thing to have by default if they don't know how to cope with the expected performance loss over time.
    – D.Iankov
    Sep 13 '12 at 21:42
  • Ssd's usually don't have a performance loss over time... They just all of a sudden stop working. Which is why I use my ssd's for program files, and things that I don't care if they're gone forever. I also try to use them for static files, meaning less changes over time. Sep 13 '12 at 21:45
  • The performance loss is on write, due to the way SSD operates. That is what TRIM does - enables GC on delete instead on next write to a block. And you don't have much writing on system SSD.
    – D.Iankov
    Sep 13 '12 at 21:52
  • So a better approach to RAID 0 might be leaving them as separate drives? Would I still be able to combine them into a single logical drive with TRIM? Or would I have to do one for system, one for programs, and the media disc drive?
    – thegrinner
    Sep 14 '12 at 14:19

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