This configuration allows you to use a smaller amount of space on a smaller, more expensive system drive. That does not mean you should use the smallest available solid state hard drive and delete system files that you may need in the future. Instead, you can consider the total amount of space available on the system drive and then make case-by-case decisions as to where to store different kinds of files.
The first thing to consider is: How big should your system drive be?
The correct decision depends on your needs and your budget. In general, it is recommended that a system drive have at least 20% of the total disk space free at all times.
Here are some general size recommendations by PC type:
Netbooks: 30 GB minimum, 60 GB recommended
If you are using a small notebook or netbook mostly for web-based applications and you do not need to install more than a handful of lightweight Windows programs or download and save large data files. You can probably get away with a 30 GB SSD, but you will spend less time and energy monitoring disk space if you can upgrade to a 60 GB solid state hard drive instead.
Workhorse desktop PC: 60 GB minimum, 120 GB (or more) recommended
In this class of PCs you are able to install and use multiple applications, including large programs like Microsoft Office. Windows 7 uses less disk space than you might think in a default installation. If you can afford a larger drive, less time can be spent managing the free disk space.
Business-class notebook: 120 GB minimum, 256 GB recommended
For a high-end, single-drive notebook that you use as your primary PC, do not skimp on storage space. Especially if you use your computer to store, convert, and play back digital media files, disk space is essential. HD video and high-resolution digital photos can use a lot of disk space, so you want to make sure you have enough space for them.
There are also some configuration steps you can follow for resizing files and possibly, relocating data to allow for maximum performance from your SSD.
Windows 7 has features such as Superfetch, Prefetch and ReadyBoot that monitor the files the computer accesses on start up and, when programs are launched. These features arrange the files on the hard drive for optimal access. SSDs do not have motors, spindles, platters and magnetic heads, so they do not benefit from these features. Because of the structural differences in mechanical hard drives and solid state hard drives the following specifications are important in the set up process to improve the performance of the solid state hard drive.
Six Steps To Get The Top Performance From Your SSD:
1. Install the latest firmware updates.
Caution! Firmware updates wipe all the data on hard drives so make sure to back up all your existing data first.
2. Make sure the disk controller has been set to AHCI mode.
Before installing Windows you will want to set the SATA controller for Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) operation in the system BIOS. This step is extremely important. If you skip this step the IDE or ATA mode will prevent you from installing the proper disk controller driver and can compromise performance of your system.
3. If you are reusing an SSD from another computer or external hard drive consider using a Secure Erase utility.
This step resets the hard drive to its original, out-of-the-box state. This step is not essential but can be helpful, especially on a hard drive that has a lot of previous wear. However make sure not to perform a full format using Windows disk management tools. There are a variety of ways to apply the Secure Erase, for Intel drives, you can use the Intel Solid State Drive Toolbox. If you have a Lenovo computer, this feature is available as part of a BIOS Menu Setup Extension. For OCZ drives, see this discussion thread for links to a Secure Erase utility. The HDDErase tool also works with many different drives.
4. Boot from the Windows media and begin the clean install.
Use the Windows Setup utility to create the partition on your hard drive. If you have created a partition using any other tool, delete it and use the Windows 7 disk tools to create the partition. This ensures a properly aligned partition on the hard drive.
5. Make sure to install the latest storage driver.
If your system includes an Intel SATA controller, you should use the most recent version of the Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver.
6. After completing setup, check the Windows Experience Index.
Click Start, click Computer then, click System Properties. On the System page, click Windows Experience Index, which takes you to the Performance Information and Tools page. The Primary hard disk score for a properly configured SSD should be over 7.0. You can click Re-run on The Assessment to refresh the numbers.
7. To verify that all the features of the SSD are working properly, install the free CrystalDiskInfo utility. This step confirms that Native Command Queuing (NCQ) and TRIM are enabled.
The CrystalDiskInfo feature also allows you to examine the health of your hard drive. When Windows 7 detects that you have a properly configured SSD drive, it disables several unnecessary features, such as the previously mentioned Superfetch, Prefetch, and ReadyBoot. It also disables scheduled defragmentation operations for the SSD, which are not necessary, and can reduce the life of the hard drive.
Please call iComputer if you need help with these steps.