How to use new SSD and HDD drives most effectively

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21tones Regular Member • Posts: 303
How to use new SSD and HDD drives most effectively

A couple of weeks ago I got great advice on this forum on how best to update my ageing computer. Basically, put in an SSD as C drive and use existing HDD for photo storage.

I will be getting the computer back from the tech guy I use next week and want to get into best practice on locating and using software with this two drive setup.

(Apologies to Skyglider - despite your detailed information I just didn't feel confident enough to put the new drive in - sorry)

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.

Any guidance is much appreciated

Vunite Contributing Member • Posts: 712
Re: How to use new SSD and HDD drives most effectively

21tones wrote:

A couple of weeks ago I got great advice on this forum on how best to update my ageing computer. Basically, put in an SSD as C drive and use existing HDD for photo storage.

It's certainly advisable to put the OS (C:) on the SSD, as well as all applications. If it's large enough then you can aprtition it and have a D or whatever on the SSD, too .. a properly cleaned Windows OS does not usually require much more than 120ish GB (can be even much less .. depends on what you do). Stuff that gets used very often also better reside on a fast access drive like the SSDs.

You can still easily clutter up your C: drive .. if nothing is changed by the user, temporary files end up there, your desktop is there, all the default windows folders for data (documents pictures etc) are on C. The standard download directories of browsers go to C if not changed and so on.

And you can use certain tools to clean up some things (like the windows own device clean up ... run it as administrator to get the option to delete  old windows versions if you're happy with what you've got as well) etc

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.

More or less. See above.

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

You might want to use something like CCLeaner to keep your PC clean, wiping browser cache areas and so on. But you should know a bit what you're doing with it, even though it is also made for nontechy people.

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?

You can configure any browser etc do put it's stuff on D. Same for local email storages etc. But you'll need knowledge of those apps config areas or someone to help you.

(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.

No idea, I do not know or use ON1.

CAcreeks
CAcreeks Forum Pro • Posts: 16,350
Re: How to use new SSD and HDD drives most effectively

You are on the correct path, C: OS and D: data. Possibly with 2TB SSD priced semi reasonably, these days are over?

Don't worry about Internet browsing data. All browsers maintain a FIFO cache that never grows too large, with an SSD >= 200GB. Some wise people use Sandbox as an additional security layer when Internetting.

We need to know your email setup before commenting on that.

I'm not sure how large the ON1 catalog will be. Is your SSD large enough for it?

Windows cruft build-up is considerable. You can run Disk Cleanup occasionally to trim it down.

Austinian
MOD Austinian Forum Pro • Posts: 10,884
Re: How to use new SSD and HDD drives most effectively

21tones wrote:

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).

They may be saying that a simple copying of files won't work, for reasons I don't understand either. 

However...

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.

...if you use a disk imaging or cloning utility to make an exact copy of your C: (and/or D:) to an external disk drive, you should be able to do a complete and perfect reinstall of the drive as it was at the time you imaged/cloned it, back to the original drive if necessary. Many of us here use Macrium Reflect (free or paid) to do this, but there are several good imaging/cloning programs around.

I've had to do that several times over the years, and it's always returned my system drive to that original condition. I don't know how ON1 could be an exception; anyone?

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Austinian
MOD Austinian Forum Pro • Posts: 10,884
Re: How to use new SSD and HDD drives most effectively

CAcreeks wrote:

Some wise people use Sandbox as an additional security layer when Internetting.

Thank you for the kind word; that sounds so much better than "insanely paranoid".

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skyglider Veteran Member • Posts: 5,810
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.

Absolutely.

When you first start doing this (after years of putting everything in your documents folder on the C drive), it can seem to be a hassle. Software will want to store data in your documents folder on the C drive. But you can go into the options/preferences of the software and designate which drive and folder to store the data. You only need to do this one time and the software will remember.

ANOTHER TIP:
Windows' File Explorer has "Quick Access" navigation in the left window pane. Learn how to use it and it will make accessing data on your D drive a ton easier. Here's one link on how to use Quick Access. Google Windows quick access to see a lot of other tutorials on using it. .....

In using Quick Access, suggest not pinning a lot of "specific" folders, otherwise it will become too cluttered. For example, say you use MS Office. On your D drive create a folder path to hold your data files as:

D:
....Microsoft Office
........ Excel
........ Winword

And say in the Winword folder you have 20 different folders for various documents. Now do not pin the individual folders in the Winword folder in Quick Access. Instead just pin the Winword folder. Then when you click it, you will instantly see the 20 different folders.

However, when you are working on a project, (say you are writing a long letter in MS word), then you can pin the specific folder that holds that specific Word document in Quick Access. This is a temporary pin that will give you quick access to that Word file. Delete that pin when your letter is complete.

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?

There are two types of email. IMAP and POP3.

POP3 stores all of your email on your PC's hard drive when you open the email. This does two things: 1) It clutters up your hard drive since it stores all of your email on the hard drive. 2) You cannot see the email on any other computer once it's downloaded to your PC.

IMAP stores all of your email on the server regardless whether you open the email or not. Therefore 1) it does not clutter your hard drive. 2) You can continue to see the email on any computer you use like your desktop and your laptop.

If you're already using IMAP, don't worry about email cluttering your hard drive. If you're using POP3, strongly suggest switching to IMAP.

Sky

bmoag Senior Member • Posts: 2,792
Re: How to use new SSD and HDD drives most effectively
1

It is indeed possible to move or backup the catalog as it is a file stored on a drive and as such can be copied or moved. The OP might contact On1 again.

The write speed of a mechanical drive is technically slower than an SSD but unless the file size is more than a few hundred mbs differences in write times are not perceptibly different compared to SSDs. Reading from a mechanical drive can be perceptibly slower, though not onerously so, for average sized files because of the longer random seek time. Moving large amounts of data on or off any mechanical drive can seem tortuous compared to SSD.

Bottom line: for most users mechanical storage does not impose an awful real world penalty for reading and writing image files but, if price is not an issue, solid state storage is preferable. The prices of "fast" mechanical drives larger than 2tb has ballooned to the point where they are not necessarily cost effective for many users.

The other issue with mechanical drives is that the old distinction of platter speed indicting the drive is "faster" no longer holds true. The method used to access the platters can make a 7200 RPM drive crawl even slower when large file transfers are involved.

Outside of copying massive files from one drive to another there is no real world benefit to using nvme, gen 3 or 4, to anybody compared to standard SSDs or SSD speed m2 drives. Boot times may be a few seconds faster with nvme than with standard SSD speed drives. May but often are not.

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Billiam29 Senior Member • Posts: 1,876
Re: How to use new SSD and HDD drives most effectively

bmoag wrote:

The write speed of a mechanical drive is technically slower than an SSD but unless the file size is more than a few hundred mbs differences in write times are not perceptibly different compared to SSDs. Reading from a mechanical drive can be perceptibly slower, though not onerously so, for average sized files because of the longer random seek time.

One additional item for consideration in this regard is how Windows “sleeps” or “turns off” hard drives. It’s my understanding that there is only a single global setting for this that applies to all hard drives.

I don’t believe this is likely to be a concern for a system that only has an internal SSD plus an internal mechanical drive. It could, however, be something to think about for a system that also has an external mechanical drive persistently connected. In that situation you may very well want the external drive to spin down after X minutes of inactivity. If you configure that, your internal mechanical drive will also spin down after the same amount of idle time. That can lead to noticeable and potentially annoying delays when accessing data on the internal mechanical drive.

OP 21tones Regular Member • Posts: 303
Re: How to use new SSD and HDD drives most effectively

Thankyou to everyone for your speedy and helpful responses.

I am in the UK and use Virgin Media's email. I don't know whether it is POP or IMAP.

My email indicates I have used 2.68gb of a 25gb quota. Does this imply it is stored on their server? I also access the email on my phone, so I guess it must be?

In an article on the ON1 website they indicate that 50,000 photos catalogued at what they call standard size would take up 53gb storage space using a 1920 x 1080 monitor.

50,000 photos using a 4k monitor would take 85gb.

I use 2k so I guess it is somewhere between those figures.

Thanks for the reminder about Macrium Free. I have never done a system backup before but know I need to start to do this sort of thing.

When I asked on1 about backing up to an external drive with a full system backup they said

"Currently the only way to back up, catalogs and cache are to use a full system back up.
This only works for the current system, and would not restore files to a new machine.

Any type of backup, currently, would require a full back up on the existing machine, and does not allow for a complete restore to a new computer, due to file differences in the (GUID)"

I didn't ask them about restoring to a new computer, but back to the existing one e.g. if it got a virus and the C drive needed to be wiped.

As I say I just don't understand this.

I won't respond to anything else tonight as my wife wants me to do some jobs now!

But I will tomorrow if anyone makes any further comments

Thank you again

OP 21tones Regular Member • Posts: 303
Re: How to use new SSD and HDD drives most effectively

Sorry - I should have said. I got a 500gb SATA 3 SSD as Skyglider suggested.

My HDD is 1TB 7200rpm

skyglider Veteran Member • Posts: 5,810
Re: How to use new SSD and HDD drives most effectively

21tones wrote:

I am in the UK and use Virgin Media's email. I don't know whether it is POP or IMAP.

Email service providers normally provide both POP3 and IMAP. Google "how to tell if i have pop3 or imap email"

If you have POP3, then google "how to convert from pop to imap".

Sky

WryCuda Forum Pro • Posts: 10,591
Re: How to use new SSD and HDD drives most effectively

21tones wrote:

Thankyou to everyone for your speedy and helpful responses.

I am in the UK and use Virgin Media's email. I don't know whether it is POP or IMAP.

My email indicates I have used 2.68gb of a 25gb quota. Does this imply it is stored on their server? I also access the email on my phone, so I guess it must be?

Sounds like IMAP. Very handy for checking email on mobile devices. If you delete an email on your phone, does it disappear from your main computer? If so, you are using IMAP.

BTW, we often preview emails on iPads, rather than firing up the main email computer. Adds an extra layer of security.

In an article on the ON1 website they indicate that 50,000 photos catalogued at what they call standard size would take up 53gb storage space using a 1920 x 1080 monitor.

50,000 photos using a 4k monitor would take 85gb.

I use 2k so I guess it is somewhere between those figures.

When I asked on1 about backing up to an external drive with a full system backup they said

"Currently the only way to back up, catalogs and cache are to use a full system back up.
This only works for the current system, and would not restore files to a new machine.

Any type of backup, currently, would require a full back up on the existing machine, and does not allow for a complete restore to a new computer, due to file differences in the (GUID)"

Sounds to me like you need to consider a better photo program.

I didn't ask them about restoring to a new computer, but back to the existing one e.g. if it got a virus and the C drive needed to be wiped.

As I say I just don't understand this.

I won't respond to anything else tonight as my wife wants me to do some jobs now!

But I will tomorrow if anyone makes any further comments.

Don't worry about "clutter" on SSDs and HDDs; they are designed to handle this.

Don't consider partitioning your drives for an instant. Use folders.

Some of the earlier advice on file management when using MS-Word etc. was very amateurish. I suggest browsing your data folders and opening files as required.

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skyglider Veteran Member • Posts: 5,810
Re: How to use new SSD and HDD drives most effectively

WryCuda wrote:

If you delete an email on your phone, does it disappear from your main computer? If so, you are using IMAP.

Very easy way to determine if using IMAP. Good idea.

Some of the earlier advice on file management when using MS-Word etc. was very amateurish. I suggest browsing your data folders and opening files as required.

It appears you are addressing my post on using Quick Access in File Explorer:
Please explain the difference between "browsing your data folders and opening files as required"  as opposed to using the Quick Access links in windows File Explorer.  How is using Quick Access very amateurish.  I'm open to learning.

Sky

kelpdiver Veteran Member • Posts: 4,575
Re: How to use new SSD and HDD drives most effectively

don't try to direct your browser to use the hard drive.   The huge increase in slowness and noisyness is not warranted.

Same for email - could be a 100x-1000x performance delta when searching, as an example.

WryCuda Forum Pro • Posts: 10,591
Re: How to use new SSD and HDD drives most effectively

skyglider wrote:

WryCuda wrote:

If you delete an email on your phone, does it disappear from your main computer? If so, you are using IMAP.

Very easy way to determine if using IMAP. Good idea.

Some of the earlier advice on file management when using MS-Word etc. was very amateurish. I suggest browsing your data folders and opening files as required.

It appears you are addressing my post on using Quick Access in File Explorer:
Please explain the difference between "browsing your data folders and opening files as required" as opposed to using the Quick Access links in windows File Explorer. How is using Quick Access very amateurish. I'm open to learning.

Just browsing using Windows File Explorer is quick enough access, and the same procedure is extensible for shared folders over the network.

We have thousands of files that are opened quite often, and it's not  practical to have special links to them.

BTW, someone else interpreted "browsing" as using a Web browser. Not a good idea.

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Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 14,300
Re: How to use new SSD and HDD drives most effectively

WryCuda wrote:

It appears you are addressing my post on using Quick Access in File Explorer:
Please explain the difference between "browsing your data folders and opening files as required" as opposed to using the Quick Access links in windows File Explorer. How is using Quick Access very amateurish. I'm open to learning.

Just browsing using Windows File Explorer is quick enough access, and the same procedure is extensible for shared folders over the network.

The value of the "Quick Access" special folder is that it's directly available in File Open and Save As dialogue boxes, which makes it easy to access commonly-used folders.

I deliberately keep my own data in separate folders on my data drive (as opposed to the system drive). I don't use any of the standard Windows folders for my data ("Documents", "Downloads", "Pictures" etc.) because various programs tend to clutter them up with a lot of junk I have no interest in. I have Quick Access links to the root of my own main folders, which makes it easy for me to navigate to the particular subfolder I want in any program that needs to open or save files.

WryCuda Forum Pro • Posts: 10,591
Re: How to use new SSD and HDD drives most effectively

Sean Nelson wrote:

WryCuda wrote:

It appears you are addressing my post on using Quick Access in File Explorer:
Please explain the difference between "browsing your data folders and opening files as required" as opposed to using the Quick Access links in windows File Explorer. How is using Quick Access very amateurish. I'm open to learning.

Just browsing using Windows File Explorer is quick enough access, and the same procedure is extensible for shared folders over the network.

The value of the "Quick Access" special folder is that it's directly available in File Open and Save As dialogue boxes, which makes it easy to access commonly-used folders.

I deliberately keep my own data in separate folders on my data drive (as opposed to the system drive). I don't use any of the standard Windows folders for my data ("Documents", "Downloads", "Pictures" etc.) because various programs tend to clutter them up with a lot of junk I have no interest in. I have Quick Access links to the root of my own main folders, which makes it easy for me to navigate to the particular subfolder I want in any program that needs to open or save files.

Many ways to skin a cat.

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skyglider Veteran Member • Posts: 5,810
Re: How to use new SSD and HDD drives most effectively
1

WryCuda wrote:

skyglider wrote:

WryCuda wrote:

If you delete an email on your phone, does it disappear from your main computer? If so, you are using IMAP.

Very easy way to determine if using IMAP. Good idea.

Some of the earlier advice on file management when using MS-Word etc. was very amateurish. I suggest browsing your data folders and opening files as required.

It appears you are addressing my post on using Quick Access in File Explorer:
Please explain the difference between "browsing your data folders and opening files as required" as opposed to using the Quick Access links in windows File Explorer. How is using Quick Access very amateurish. I'm open to learning.

Just browsing using Windows File Explorer is quick enough access, and the same procedure is extensible for shared folders over the network.

We have thousands of files that are opened quite often, and it's not practical to have special links to them.

Having quick access links just enhances browsing using windows File Explorer.  It does not detract from browsing using File Explorer in any way whatsoever.  It just provides an extra quick link to commonly used folders and is especially useful when using the save dialog.

I really don't see how you can call it "very amateurish" when it is in fact very much the opposite.

Sky

OP 21tones Regular Member • Posts: 303
Re: How to use new SSD and HDD drives most effectively

Thankyou for your further comments.

As a nontechy person I will have to do some reading up here!

It would seem that my email is IMAP as deleting email on my phone also deleted it from my computer after refreshing it.

Tom_N Forum Pro • Posts: 18,679
Re: How to use new SSD and HDD drives most effectively

bmoag wrote:

It is indeed possible to move or backup the catalog as it is a file stored on a drive and as such can be copied or moved. The OP might contact On1 again.

The write speed of a mechanical drive is technically slower than an SSD but unless the file size is more than a few hundred mbs differences in write times are not perceptibly different compared to SSDs. Reading from a mechanical drive can be perceptibly slower, though not onerously so, for average sized files because of the longer random seek time. Moving large amounts of data on or off any mechanical drive can seem tortuous compared to SSD.

SSDs slaughter HDDs on random access performance.  This is why it can be useful to keep a Lightroom catalog file on a SSD, even when putting full-size photo files onto a HDD.

It is also why startup times are so much faster with SSDs than with HDDs.  Most OSes access a lot of files while booting up – data is laid out on disk in a fashion that may be good for modularity, but that does not optimize startup speed.  The sheer number of random accesses during startup gives SSDs a leg up over HDDs.

The other issue with mechanical drives is that the old distinction of platter speed indicting the drive is "faster" no longer holds true. The method used to access the platters can make a 7200 RPM drive crawl even slower when large file transfers are involved.

There's always been a distinction between RPM / maximum sequential transfer speed, and average random access time, with vendors tending to de-emphasize the latter.  But now there are "shingled magnetic recording" (SMR) drives that share one of the major disadvantages of flash memory:  you can't overwrite a small area without being forced to overwrite a bunch of other, unrelated areas.  SMR drives tend not to fare well in write speed tests, especially not in tests of how fast a RAID can bring a new mirrored drive up to speed after an old drive has died, and the user has done a drive swap.

Finding out which drives are CMR and which are SMR takes a bit of research, and there are some types of drives (especially bus-powered 2.5" notebook drives) where it can be almost impossible to avoid SMR.

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