Need help with hard drives

#1 Posted by FritzDude (2253 posts) -

Hard drives is not my stronget subject with computers, so I would appreciate it if anyone with the knowledge could help me through this. I have two hard drives in my computer: An SSD which is the primary C: drive & where the operatingsystem is. The second is a Desktop Green Drive and is set to E:. That's fine, but now I've just ordered a second SSD where its primary use will be Steam & games. My mainboard (I believe) has only two SATA 3.0 ports, & I want to have both of my SSD's on those, & then my Desktop Green Drive to SATA 2.0 & to something else but E:, which I would like that second SSD to be. It is maybe a weird question (?), but how do I approach this to avoid any issues & have all of my drives to work as they should afterwards?

If you didn't understand, I basically just want to replace my Desktop Green Drive with my New SSD, & then install that Green Drive as a third hard drive for storage.

#2 Posted by RollingZeppelin (1914 posts) -

I'm pretty sure you can just unplug the Green Drive from the Sata 3 port and stick it in a sata 2 port and then just install the SSD in the sata 3 port. Do that while the computer is turned off, of course.

#3 Posted by Beforet (2912 posts) -

Back up important files to an external.

Otherwise, I don't think you should have a problem just installing the drives. If you want to be extra careful, then take it step by step. Unhook the Green Drive, boot the computer to make sure it works. Hook in the new SSD, boot up to make sure it works. Hook back in the Green Drive. I can't guarantee it will work perfectly, but that should get you to where you need to be.

#4 Posted by FritzDude (2253 posts) -

So I don't need to set any "jumpers" to "slave" (Or was this with older hard drives / cables?), or reformat the Green & the new SSD drive? Simply just put in the New SSD to an available dock, rewire the SATA cables to the ports I want & good to go?

#5 Posted by BaconGames (3290 posts) -

@FritzDude said:

So I don't need to set any "jumpers" to "slave" (Or was this with older hard drives / cables?), or reformat the Green & the new SSD drive? Simply just put in the New SSD to an available dock, rewire the SATA cables to the ports I want & good to go?

That the regular HDD is going into a different port is a non-issue because its already formatted and has the data on there you want but I would keep that to the end. If you haven't already done so, install the SSD into the other port and activate AHCI mode for it in BIOS. Once that's done, I don't know if you necessarily will need to partition the drive but you won't do damage by plugging it in and seeing what happens. If it requires a format/partition, then make one giant one and leave it as at that. Then plug in your Green drive and you should be all set. The only issue is over-writing drives which shouldn't be a problem here.

Running any of this stuff in RAID is a different issue but I don't think that's what you're looking for.

#6 Posted by FritzDude (2253 posts) -

@BaconGames: Do I need to activate AHCI for that particular drive or is it general? I know for a fact that AHCI is enabled in BIOS, but I'm not sure if it's global.

#7 Posted by BaconGames (3290 posts) -

@FritzDude said:

@BaconGames: Do I need to activate AHCI for that particular drive or is it general? I know for a fact that AHCI is enabled in BIOS, but I'm not sure if it's global.

For my BIOS, which I imagine is likely identical to yours, the setting is on a per drive basis. Once the BIOS detects the new drive, you can highlight it and set the mode right there.

#8 Edited by FritzDude (2253 posts) -

@BaconGames: So I should:

  • turn off & unplug the computer.
  • Unplug the SATA cable for the Green drive, but leave the Power cable in.
  • Put in the New SSD, connect the Power cable, but not the SATA.
  • Turn on the computer to the BIOS.
  • Connect the SSD to the SATA 3.0 port, set the drive to AHCI.
  • Connect the Green Drive to SATA 2.0, save & exit
  • Check if all drives is detected, if not go to the disk management and format / set partition to Maximum available capacity

Or would this be wrong? Or should I do the SATA cables while the computer in unplugged?

#9 Posted by BaconGames (3290 posts) -

@FritzDude said:

@BaconGames: So I should:

  • turn off & unplug the computer.
  • Unplug the SATA cable for the Green drive, but leave the Power cable in.
  • Put in the New SSD, connect the Power cable, but not the SATA.
  • Turn on the computer to the BIOS.
  • Connect the SSD to the SATA 3.0 port, set the drive to AHCI.
  • Connect the Green Drive to SATA 2.0, save & exit
  • Check if all drives is detected, if not go to the disk management and format / set partition to Maximum available capacity

Or would this be wrong? Or should I do the SATA cables while the computer in unplugged?

I can't imagine a reason to not have all the data ports plugged in. In fact, if you don't plug in the SATA for the new SSD, I don't think the motherboard will detect it making the BIOS stuff useless. Either way, just plug everything in, boot it to BIOS, set the new drive to AHCI, reboot the computer, and format the new SSD drive if it asks for it.

If you want to take an extra precaution completely unplug to the Green drive in case you run into any headaches but I doubt this is necessary.

#10 Posted by FritzDude (2253 posts) -

@BaconGames: My concern was that the Green drive would still be an E: drive, since I would like the SSD to be the E: drive. I don't need the HDD storage to begin with so maybe I should just unplug it completely and install it later. Well, thank you for the help, & thank you RollingZeppelin & Beforet for the information aswell. I will probably write an update here once I've installed it next week.

#11 Posted by Devildoll (877 posts) -

@FritzDude: getting a second ssd like that is pretty luxurious, kind of unconventional. i'm just curious as to why you want to be getting a second one, what are your goals with this upgrade?

since you've admitted that you ain't einstein when it comes to harddrives, i just want to make sure you don't expect this upgrade to do something it wont.

#12 Posted by FritzDude (2253 posts) -

@Devildoll: Well, Money is not a concern with this purchase ($218 - 180GB), it's just that why go for a regular hard drive when you can get an extra solid state drive that has much better performance & wont make any noise. I can understand that regular hard drives are still good for Storage, but for me it's not good for much else. I know SSDs are still somewhat expensive in comparison, but I would think sooner or later there will be a tremendous leap towards SSDs, or at least to something similar. But to answer Your question; I don't expect anything more on what I already have other than more Space, only for games, but with the same performance as my other SSD. I'm also a neat person that likes to have Things Perfect, so having two SSDs on SATA 3.0, in my brain, is better than having two SSDs seperated within the ports, & have the green drive Next to my SSD, or one SSD & a regular drive on each other, if that makes any sense?

But on the subject, the drive is already sent so I will probably get it on wednesday.

#13 Posted by Devildoll (877 posts) -

@FritzDude: in my case a 180 GB drive wouldnt be enough, my steamfolder is currently 706 GB's.

its basically storage. so i just keep that on my mechanical drives.

i have to admit, my 120 GB ssd is bursting at the seams, but since i usually just play a couple of games at a time, i just shove them over to the SSD when the time comes. the only thing you gain is faster load speeds anyway.

#14 Posted by Kidavenger (3505 posts) -

You can change the drive names and make anything your "E:\" drive regardless of how it's hooked up to the motherboard.

type manage in start menu, run computer management,

storage > disk management > right click on drive > change drive letter

#15 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

Why the fuck do you need the second SSD to be the E: drive? Changing drive letters around is only going to be needed or convenient depending on dependencies. If you're sure it won't break anything to change the old drive AND you need the new one to be E:/ for something to work, do it. Otherwise, who cares? You have every letter of the alphabet to work with. I got a new storage drive recently and just made it the X:/ drive for the hell of it! But changing them around isn't the best idea unless nothing is pulling stuff from them that isn't smart enough to recognize the change properly.

Hard drives these days are pretty plug and play. If you get a new one, you'll usually need to format it if you're adding it to an existing system or adding an OS to it, but that can all be done without disturbing the rest of the system. Drive letters don't really matter, and certainly not until after you set them. Maybe a few things won't like being installed to something other than the C Drive, but those things are usually older and dumb anyway, so eh. Steam lets you install anywhere you have a library now, so it's super easy to manage that stuff.

That said, such a small SSD seems crazy. My steam library is 300GB, and the only reason it's so small is that up until recently, it's all I had space for with everything else, and I don't have a lot of bandwidth available to me every month so I don't download tons of games. Still, I would never settle for any drive, even an SSD, smaller than 500GB (which is why I'm buying a 512GB SSD to round out my new build the week after this).

#16 Posted by FritzDude (2253 posts) -

@Devildoll: That is a lot of games. My C: SSD is at 128GB, scaled Down to 111GB because of Windows 8. With all the files & programs I am left With under 40GB, which I would like to keep as a buffer for high quality flash, New media & future updates. My current Steam folder is at 35GB, but I will see myself adding around 60GB more With my games. That would be 95 / 180 GB, keeping me at a fairly good buffer for future games.

@Kidavenger: That's useful. Thank you.

@MordeaniisChaos: Language. But that's who I am. I know it doesn't matter, but I just want it. For the size see above. I have a fast unlimited bandwidth so redownload them is not a concern, however I would like to keep most of my games installed, which would be around 95GB. So 180GB I think is good. I like video games, but I don't see myself adding up to 500GB Worth of games.

#17 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@FritzDude: But sometimes it does matter: specifically after you already set it. You can set it anything initially, but you can break things if you change it mid stride. Maybe it's better now, but you can certainly mess things up if they depend on a file path. If it's purely storage for media, you will probably be fine, assuming you don't have any playlists or anything like that. If you do, I'm not sure if everything will be smart enough to recognize the change, and that can be a bitch to fix.

Also, considering that an SSD is a future-proofing item, and games are about to see a sizable jump in, well, size. PC games are already usuallt pushing 20GB these days if they aren't just a straight port from consoles, and when the next generation hits in about a year, that'll be the size of straight ports, in all likelihood. It is all about lifestyle, so if it works for you, it's fine, but you should keep that kind of stuff in mind. You are on the cusp of a new generation and there is no way that the 360 will be able to cling to 9GB games, with how many two or MORE disc games there are coming out. Even the signature 360 exclusive is two discs. So expect much bigger game sizes in about a year, and I doubt you want to keep adding small SSDs to your system. Considering you are already needing a new SSD to make more room, getting another small one seems like painting yourself into a corner, but hey, do what you think is best. Just seems like poor planning to me.

#18 Posted by FritzDude (2253 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos: I appreciate Your concern, & you are probably right. Games will get larger in sizes by time, but then we also have games that are ports, but still works great on a PC, like Skyrim, a game that looks good & have a lot of content, which barely Reach 10GB with two official plugins & the high resolution texture pack. A straight PC game doesn't need to be over 20GB in size, I would think it completely Depends on the engine used & what game it is. By the time every PC game will be 20GB or more in size - like 4GB was normal in 2006 - I would have bought a New SSD with more Space, not just keep adding small ones. & even if I would change to a new one with more Space within a year - if all games will be large -, the hard drive will still be used, or I could give it away to a person who could need it, , so it's not necessarily bad planning, as I have done much worse things with my Money, & not to mention I would get more GB for the same price since the demand for SSDs will only be more of in the future. And to me it's a good excuse to learn more about hard drives too.

#19 Posted by FritzDude (2253 posts) -

Just to update

I replaced my WD Green drive With the new 180 SSD, using the same cables for the Green Drive (I would think that's fine? The cables were identical), & putting the drive in the slot took me 30 minutes because I first Mounted it the wrong way. But I went directly to the BIOS & I had a hard time finding my individual drives where I need to set the mode. The only thing I found was SATA, which was already set to AHCI, so I assume it's for all of them? The mainboard is fairly New & uses UEFI, or I Guess it's Click BIOS since it's MSI. Afterwards I needed to format it because it wasn't detected automatically in the manager. Even if it's a 180GB Drive I could only choose 167GB for Maximum capacity, I'm not sure why, but I would Guess it's a hidden placeholder for backup, or crash dump? The good thing is that it was immediately found as the E: Drive just like I wanted.

I will keep this thread up for further inquiries, & if anyone know how to check the mode in the BIOS With the mainboard I use, know precisely why 13GB is gone from the drive, & if using the cables from the Green Drive will have a negative impact on performance of my replacement, let me know.

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