Old 3rd April 2012, 11:40   #81
ujay
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I've been using SSDs for a couple of years now, you'll love 'em. Remember when you went from a modem to broadband, gives you the same sort of feeling.
Be careful buying the cheapest SSD you can find though. I had an Agility 3, it failed within a week. Had a chat with the guy at the RMA dept, they use cheap flash and he reckoned they were crap, Spend a few more quid on the Vertex 3, or get something by Corsair or Intel if you can afford it, far more reliable he said, Intel had the lowest return rate. I've got a 120GB Samsung on my main desktop, that's been very good too.

60GB is fine though, use it as your C:/ drive and use mechanical for data storage(or an external if it's for a laptop).

Just tried one of those hybrid drives, not as good, but still gives a decent boost in performance, if somewhat hit and miss. Fast 500GB @ 7200rpm main storage with 4GB flash adaptive cache( SLC not MLC). I'm quite liking it actually, totally transparent in operation. Probably not worth bothering with for a desktop, but it's given my old T61 a new lease of life.

Couple of other points, you'll only get full spec.if you have SATA III on the mobo, and you'll need to use win7 for automatic TRIM.

UJ
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Old 4th April 2012, 02:24   #82
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Yeah... I think 60 would be fine for my laptop. I think I've only got 20GB on the thing now. It does have Win7 and 4GB of ram, so I'm in good shape there. I could probably live with 30... like I said. I just don't store that much stuff on my laptop. Personal stuff usually goes on a 16GB flash card which sort of lives in the machine.

I doubt there's 20 GB on it now... Minecraft.... a couple other lightweight games... But it's a laptop... usually I don't save anything much on it. It's basically a web browser.... Skype.. casual game... check the email thing... and annoyingly slow loading anything.

Intel drive huh? It looks like I can do a 40GB one of those for ~$100.
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Old 4th April 2012, 03:55   #83
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I've heard (but am not sure the reason) that any Windows 7 boot and program drive should be at least 60 gigs for some reason. I've heard this from quite a lot of sources, but for some reason I have yet to hear the explanation for it.

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Old 5th April 2012, 10:16   #84
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I've heard (but am not sure the reason) that any Windows 7 boot and program drive should be at least 60 gigs for some reason. I've heard this from quite a lot of sources, but for some reason I have yet to hear the explanation for it.
That rule of thumb is for a default configuration. Some default stuff you may not need and for the others you can change the size allocation and/or the storage location.

A good chunk of space is set aside for the recycle bin and for the system restore features. Another chunk for a swap file. More space than you realize is needed for OS temporary files (many are deleted after the program that created them stops running, some just hang around for weeks). Windows 7 also needs space for the data created by all of it's default background tasks (monitoring this and that, maintaining history logs for all kinds of stuff, and data downloaded for the apps bundled with the OS). The default defragger needs unused space for it to work and the more space it has, the faster it can finish. SSDs do not need to be, and should not be, defragmented. They do need to be 'trimmed". Then of course, some space is needed for the apps (and their temps) you install.

The kicker is the Windows 7 folder itself. In 2.5 years mine has grown to 19.6 GB. 7.34 GB of that space is used by the "winsxs" sub-folder. That little gem is used to keep old system and dll files. Instead of over-writing old versions of these files, Windows 7 (and Vista) keeps them around so that apps that want to use the old versions are able to.

When you uninstall an app, the older dll versions installed by that app are supposed to be removed unless they are shared with something not removed. In practice, this rarely happens. Old system files updated by Windows updates and service patches are not removed unless you run special commands to delete them, after you are sure you don't need them (and when is that?). By the way, that 19.6 GB is after I ran these special delete commands and I have installed and uninstalled a lot of stuff over the past 2.5 years.

Then there's the rule about never using more than 75 to 85 percent of whatever space you have. This mainly relates to mechanical drives. Their reported transfer speed is an average across the whole platter. Transfers are much faster on the front part than the back. So to keep performance up, you don't want to store stuff on the back of the platter.

Finally, there's the dirty little secret about defects. Areas on the platters (and within SSDs too) simply do not work or stop working over time. The defect percentage can be, or become, larger than many vendors will admit (why has drive warranty times decreased?). The OS quietly skips these areas or moves data out of them when it detects a problem. Sometimes the data is not moved soon enough causing corrupt files. That's why the "chkdsk" utility or it's equivalent should be used on a regular basis.

There are other 'reasons', but those are the major ones.

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Old 6th April 2012, 01:24   #85
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Thank you for the explanation. I guess I can see why so much space is necessary to keep things smooth and reliable. It makes me laugh that my old windows '95 computer (later updated to '98SE) has a 1.5 gig hard drive, which holds the OS, all programs, files and, well, everything. Of course, to make it work now, I plug in an external to it. I just use it to play music or type on Word while working on projects in the garage or basement (basement in winter, garage in summer).

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Old 6th April 2012, 12:08   #86
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It makes me laugh that my old windows '95 computer (later updated to '98SE) has a 1.5 gig hard drive, which holds the OS, all programs, files and, well, everything.
Yeah, isn't 'progress' wonderful! Two steps forward and one step back.

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Old 6th April 2012, 15:50   #87
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Cheap that I am, I decided it wasn't worth tossing $100 into a 4 year old laptop. I wasn't happy with the performance though.

The way I use this laptop is really sporadically. It standby's a lot.... and it's sluggish to wake up. Takes a while for the HD to spin up. It checks the CD drive... takes a few seconds to wake up...

Now it doesn't. I took a 16 GB usb stick and installed Ubuntu. No swap space. You can't use a usb drive for swap. Overheats.

Anyway... tap a key and blink... it's on... Close the lid... it's off..... I will be a lot more likely to close the lid, so the battery should notice.

I kinda figured out that waking and sleeping was more of an issue than raw speed. I'm sure an SSD would have cured the problem too, but for my needs, this seems to be a good way to go.

Waiting for the hard disk to spin up seemed to be a bigger issue than the speed. And no dual boot issues. Pull out the stick and it boots windows.

Now when I'm talking to somebody and we were being old and trying to remember the name of that chick.... you know... the one that was in that movie... I won't get older launching a web browser
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Old 9th April 2012, 01:45   #88
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I do that a lot - looking shit up when talking to people. Waiting for a wake-up can be a real buzzkill, just sorta takes the wind out of your sails in the conversation. I like your usb stick solution. Sometimes a work-around is a lot better than throwing a lot of money at something. Not so related to computers, but I have found about a dozen or more ways to use vice grips or other clamp-type tools to repair things. Just like your laptop solution, it's odd to have something sticking out of the side, but it's a very affordable solution to an expensive problem.

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Old 9th April 2012, 09:22   #89
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I have been fooling around with remastersys. It will let you make a custom Ubuntu distro. My latest is a livecd that only has one apparent program.... Chrome...

Boot... enter your Google password... Chrome syncs. When you turn it off.... Everything goes back to zero.

You could also boot your computer and let someone else use it . The flash stick contains no personal information and it doesn't save any.... including those dread tracking cookies...
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Old 10th April 2012, 01:40   #90
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actually, I like that idea quite a lot when you put it that way

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Old 10th April 2012, 04:35   #91
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I've gotten this down to a very minimalist system for running on my laptop. The terminal, chrome and wifi are the only things I didn't hide or delete. No menus. I could take the hard disk out and run without. It all lives in memory. 4GB works good. 2 would probably do. The hard disk does mount if you need it.

Simple. I like it.
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Old 21st April 2012, 05:48   #92
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The specification and budget is good to proceed.
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