Computer Newbies forum

Resolved Question

SSD and HHD Basic Setup

by johnb1 / October 27, 2011 9:59 PM PDT


I'm a newbie with SSD and I'm just
trying to understand, in very general terms, how this setup will

I getting a new PC that will have both
a 120gb SSD and a 1tb HDD. Here's what I'm trying to figure out - I
assume the OS will be loaded onto the SSD, that's fine. My question
is, where do I load my applications, like Photoshop, Excel, etc? Do
the applications themselves go on the SSD, and just my "stuff"
photos, music, etc go on the HDD?

I tried to search for other treads on
this type of basic setup, but I'm still not sure how it works.

Thanks for any info!

johnb1 has chosen the best answer to their question. View answer
Answer This Ask For Clarification
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: SSD and HHD Basic Setup
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: SSD and HHD Basic Setup
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Best Answer chosen by johnb1

Collapse -
It depends
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / October 27, 2011 10:11 PM PDT

You're right, that the SSD is most likely where the OS will be installed. If this is an OEM PC with the OS pre-installed then there will be other applications installed on the SSD by the maker as well. That is what normally happens.

But where do you install your own software? That really depends.

The SSD is 120GB so that will be plenty to install as many programs/applications you wish. I can't imagine that you would ever run out of space with that sized SSD.

Some applications will give you no choice where they install. For example from memory Adobe insists on installing on the root drive, (where the OS is). Others will give you the option where to install during the install process and you can then choose to install on the 1TB drive if you wish. Nearly always though, such installations will still place files on the OS drive, in the Windows\System32 folder, or in the Users folders.

Your 1TB drive is a great place to store your own personal files, eg documents, photos, music, videos. Just remember that this is not a backup, so you will need to backup all your personal files yourself in case the drive fails or the files get deleted from or corrupted on that drive in any way.


Collapse -
One other question, please...
by johnb1 / October 27, 2011 11:03 PM PDT
In reply to: It depends

Thanks for this great information!
I was wondering, how is the speed (read) effected loading the apps on the SSD vs the HHD?

Collapse -
SSD speed
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / October 27, 2011 11:20 PM PDT

Others here will be able to tell you better with their technical knowledge, so I will just say what my layman mind understands.

SSD is not a spinning disk at all. I understand that there are now SSD/spinning disk 'hybrids', (example explanation here), but from your post I'm assuming this is a separate SSD with a separate hdd, (spinning disk drive).

SSD is really just a collection of memory chips like a computer's RAM. RAM is so much quicker than hdd access because there are no moving parts. As I understand it, we are talking multiples of 10 faster over spinning disks.

The immediate effect is boot up time. From over one minute to 2 or 3 minutes with an hdd, to 30-45 seconds with SSD.

But after boot, writing to an SSD and reading from one is faster because the microchip at the heart of the OS doesn't have to wait for the hdd to get to the right position to write/read data. We're talking milliseconds here for a hdd so we humans can't really tell, but cumulatively I am assuming the SSD is noticeably faster when loading applications and when writing data to it or reading data from it.

That is how I understand it, but like I said, others here may have better ideas.

Hope it helps.


Collapse -
Thank You
by johnb1 / October 27, 2011 11:32 PM PDT
In reply to: SSD speed

Thank you for your time and help Mark! Great info

Collapse -
Re: faster boot
by Kees_B Forum moderator / October 28, 2011 4:23 AM PDT
In reply to: SSD speed

I wouldn't be amazed at all if the time after the BIOS did what it needs to do (that is, from starting Windows) to the welcome screen is 10 seconds and the time from clicking on your name (and entering your password if you have one) to a working desktop is 5 seconds when all programs are on the SSD.

Quite nice, having an SSD. Sorry to note that Mark was somewhat too early buying one and had such serious problems that he doesn't use it any more. Mine is still fine after 1.5 years.


Collapse -
Ahh, yes.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / October 28, 2011 5:56 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: faster boot

My own situation was a couple of years ago.

I got myself an Alienware Area 51X with an experimental setup, two 160GB SSDs in RAID 0 format, (giving me 320 GB), with a couple of 1 TB hdds.

But this was running Vista which doesn't have the TRIM controls that Win 7 has and the SSDs were still experimental then and subject to failing regularly because of the way they then deleted files. I changed my setup by removing the SSDs and using normal hdds.

I assume that all that is sorted now, as shown by what Kees says with his system, still working after a good year and a half.

It would be interesting to know if Kees' system has specific controllers on his board for the SSDs, or if he is relying solely on the TRIM commands to manage the SSDs.


Collapse -
by Kees_B Forum moderator / October 28, 2011 11:37 PM PDT
In reply to: Ahh, yes.

Hi Mark,

It's a 60 GB KINGSTON SNVP325 S2 64GB ATA Device. Device Manager says that it has just the standard Microsoft drivers. I installed Windows 7 myself, and there was no driver disk coming with the PC when it came from the shop. has some details.

I'm doing nothing special (except: not defrag!) with it. I hope those TRIM everybody mentions are automatic.
However, because of the limited number of writes available on such a disk I chose to have the browsers cache on my hdd. I don't think it influences my browsing speed.


Collapse -
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / October 29, 2011 9:26 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: SSD

So limited write is still a problem then?

Let me know when the disk fails! Devil

You may be interested in this;

How To check if SSD and TRIM have all windows 7 functions working?.

It's all Greek to me!


Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions


Free trip to the Grand Prix

Don't miss your chance to win a trip to the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Monaco for you and a plus-one.