Installing Win 7 on an SSD

I’m doing a build tomorrow, stepping up from Win XP so I’m dually unfamiliar with both Win 7 and SSDs.

I have a licensed copies of Win XP (Home; I’d rather not lose the machine the Pro install is on), a CD with SP3 on it, and Win 7 Ultimate upgrade. The SSD is a 128GB by Crucial. There’s also a 500GB Western Digital drive going into it, but that will be for data. It’s a completely new build from the case up, so there is not yet an existing install.

What do I need to know about SSDs? About Win 7 and SSDs?
Do I need to do anything to the SSD before it can take the Windows install?
Can I just treat the SSD as a regular HDD and not make a big deal about it?
Since I have a Win 7 upgrade, will I have to go through the full Win XP install first or will the license key be enough?
Anything quirky I should keep in mind?



Here is the rest of the hardware, if it makes a difference.
[li]Antec P183 Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Case [/li][li]CORSAIR 850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 Active PFC Power Supply [/li][li]ASUS P6T Motherboard [/li][li]Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz Quad-Core - Retail [/li][li]2X GIGABYTE HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5[/li][li]G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) [/li][li]Crucial 128GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD) [/li][li]Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 7200 RPM SATA [/li][*]LG Blu-ray Burner [/ul]

An SSD, for all intents and purposes, should function exactly like a regular HDD, so no weird install issues and such. HOWEVER the first thing you should do after installing is go to All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Defragmenter and turn it off. Never ever ever ever defragment an SSD since they have a lifespan that revolves around how many times it’s written to, not to mention the way I understand SSDs work they don’t lose any performance from being fragmented like ordinary magnetic plate discs do.

Edit: I think you need to install XP for the upgrade to work. At least when I tried to install a Vista upgrade from scratch way back when the system just kicked me out because it couldn’t find an existing Windows copy,

I would like to know how this turns out. I assume you are doing it to speed boot up. Let us know if it is worth it.

Windows 7 by design detects if a drive is SSD and automatically excludes it from Disk Defragmenter, Superfetch, Prefetch.

There’s a possibility that this automatic detection mechanism might be broken for certain SSD drives but I have an Intel X25-E SSD and Windows 7 properly disables Defragmenter without any user intervention.

If the SSD is not blank, many folks like to do a low-level Secure ATA erase to maintain performance.

You have to find the right utility that’s compatible with your particular SSD to do this. For example, I have Intel X25-E and have to use the older HDDERASE 3.3 instead of newer HDDERASE 4.0.

It’s a ground-up build, so I’m pretty stoked to see what boot up — and everything else — is like. I’m on an AMD 4800 right now, not too old, but not quite prime. I’ve also never done a Crossfire build before, so that should be interesting. Since it’ll all be different, I won’t really be able to tell how the SSD affects things, but … but wait a second.

I got Crucial’s cage to put it in. Among other things, it comes with an external enclosure that hooks to an e-SATA port. It sounds like I need to install XP on it anyway, so why not first install XP on my current box’s e-SATA and I’ll be able to do an almost-compare.

I hope it takes care of all that — but that’s a couple other things to check as well — thanks.

It’s brand new, but if I go with the above test I’ll be sure to wipe it — thanks.