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My question is whether it's possible to rebuild a laptop with a 32GB SSD and 500GB HDD with Windows 8.1 making use of the 32GB SSD in some way to improve performance.

For example: I've read about Windows Image File Boot as an option but will this provide actual benefit, or will I still run out of disk space on the OS "drive"?

Edit: I've reconfigured the page file settings to use much less space on the SSD (OS drive) and disable the hiberfil.sys completely (even though this article implies I shouldn't).

If the answer is "No, it's too small, just install the OS to the 500GB drive" I'll accept this answer.

Background: The laptop was bought new with Windows 8.1 pre-installed but I wiped all of the drives and instead installed Linux Mint onto the SSD. Now I've switched back to Windows 8.1; installing the OS to the SSD. I'm finding that I'm already running out of room on the 32GB OS disk though.

Model : HP Envy 6-1202SA Ultrabook™, Intel Core i7 1.9GHz, 8GB RAM, 500GB + 32GB SSD, 15.6” , Aluminium

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You can use the small SSD as a cache to the normal HDD. The Windows will be installed on the HDD. This technique is called Intel Smart Response. Make sure you fit the system requirements (look into the BIOS for the RAID settings):

System Requirements

For a system to support Intel® Smart Response Technology it must have the following:

Intel® Z68/Z77/H77/Q77 Express Chipset-based desktop board
Intel® Core™ Processor in the LGA 1155 package
System BIOS with SATA mode set to RAID
Intel Rapid Storage Technology software 10.5 version release or later
Single hard disk drive or multiple drives in a single RAID volume
Solid-state drive (SSD) with a minimum capacity of 18.6GB

Inside the Intel® RST software click Enable acceleration under either the Status or Accelerate menu.

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Here you must select the SSD and the amount of Cache you want to use:

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  • Thanks, that's an option I hadn't considered or previously encountered! Oct 29, 2014 at 21:16
  • I think this was the default setup of your laptop when you bought it. Oct 31, 2014 at 8:12
  • It's entirely possible, I didn't actually boot it into Windows 8 when I bought it, I just wiped it immediately! Oct 31, 2014 at 9:06

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