How to use new SSD and HDD drives most effectively

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 17,265
Re: How to use new SSD and HDD drives most effectively

21tones wrote:

Having read a few threads on this forum the general advice seems to be to put the OS and all programs on C and all data on D.

In addition I would be using the computer for web browsing and e-mail.

I don't want to clutter up the C drive with the inevitable junk that results from this.

Is there any way to have e-mail and internet data go on to the D drive?

(Although I don't want to clutter that either!)

I use ON1 software, and with my new drive setup will be, finally, cataloguing all my photos.

ON1 tell me it is not possible to backup the catalogue to an external drive and restore it to the C drive, if there are any problems with that drive, because of something to do with the GUID (which I don't understand).

So I will have to back up the catalogue from the C drive to the D drive and hope that both drives don't fail.

Does this sound right to you technical experts? I assumed I could do a full backup and restore it all onto the C drive if it had to be wiped e.g because of a virus.

There are at least two questions in here - one is how to manage keeping the SSD boot drive free from excess stuff, and the other has to do with restoring full backups.

Personally, I have an approach that uses two SSD's and one HDD, but it's basically the same as your system. I have the OS and programs running from the C drive, and I have a big HDD (8TB) to hold all my photos and videos. I have a separate system for backing everything up to a NAS (batch files that copy my photos every night at 2am), and another programs to back the NAS up to a second NAS. I've also tried backup programs (from the NAS and before) that are designed to do a full restore in the event I have to wipe out the boot drive. (That kind of backup/restore is known as disaster recovery. More below).

I add in second SSD as a working drive so I neither gum up the boot drive nor have to work on a slower HDD. But if your boot drive is big enough, just do some of the work there, if it makes a significant difference. I like my method because it tends to be easier to move to a new pc or do disaster recovery.

Here's the trick I suggest to keep excess stuff off your boot drive. I suggest you relocate the location of your default Windows folders Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Pictures, Music and Videos to point to your D drive. It's quite easy to do, and this link explains how:

As for backup, just a little more information. If you need to restore some data to a working Windows system, you just need to back up that data and later copy it back. But if you need Disaster Recovery where you have to restore the entire PC, including the Windows boot system, then you need a particular kind of backup and restore program.

For Disaster Recovery, there are two issues: The first is copying all the files, including ones that are in use when running the backup software. Copying open files is a problem for most software. Some backup programs have to boot to their own OS to do this sort of backup, which of course means downtime for the length of the backup, and a reboot after. The other issue is restoring the data. You have to assume there is not a working Windows installation, so the restore program needs to boot up on it's own and be able to restore to a blank (or corrupted) disk, wiping out everything underneath.  Be sure to look for disaster recovery procedures in any backup software, or you may end up having to reinstall Windows and then the restore software before copying back any data.  (And in that scenario it's likely you would also have to reinstall all your software.)

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