Replacing my hard drive

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  1. Posts : 35
    Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit 18362 Multiprocessor Free
       #1

    Replacing my hard drive


    I've been advised elsewhere on the forum that the hard drive in my PC needs to be replaced with urgency.

    I've never replaced such an important component before and I'm concerned about choosing a drive that will suit my needs and fit into the position left by the old one.

    There seem to be four options;
    1. Use a large traditional hard drive with a windows partition
    2. Buy the largest SSD I can afford, maybe downgrading slightly in disk space but increasing reliability.
    3. Try to find a hybrid drive, which seems to be what I had before (not sure how to tell for sure)
    4. Buy both a small ssd for windows and a second, traditional internal hard drive for data.


    If you require more information than is on my spec profile please let me know.

    Thanks everyone! Unfortunately this breakdown has happened just as my university semester is beginning, hence the urgency!
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 35,560
    Win 10 Pro (21H2) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #2

    Hi, there's no one answer as it depends how much storage space you need and your PC usage, and how much you can afford.

    The main benefit of a SSD in practice is a much shorter boot time. SSHD drives will not give you that benefit.

    Your system drive as a minimum would typically contain
    - Your O/S
    - Your installed programs
    - By default the typical library folders- Documents, Pictures etc.

    Cost vs size:
    HDD is cheaper than SSD for the same size, but the margins keep changing.
    I prefer Toshiba and Hitachi drives- seem very reliable and that seems confirmed by Backblaze tests.
    5400rpm should be quite adequate.

    As a minimum, aim for 256Gb SSD- but consider up to 1Tb, depending on funds.

    Note: Whilst you can install most downloaded programs on (say) 'D:' during the installation procedure, this only applies to part of the program- many key aspects will reside on C:, and potentially large folders in some cases. I.e. space saving on C: may be minimal.

    Data security and backup
    When planning your usage, aim to keep key documents (in your case university material) off C: - as much personal data as possible from email, settings and favourites/bookmarks to your personal files.

    Why? Think what happens when you need to clean install or replace a system disk.

    You can do that either by creating a separate partition on your system drive, or using a separate drive.
    Some people are happy to relocate the default folders; I would never choose to do that- too easy to make bad mistakes and they fill with folders created when installing other programs.

    You need one or more disks for backups.

    Plan to use disk imaging - requires a large external storage medium e.g. a 2Tb hard disk (size as appropriate- image files are a compressed copy of the used parts of the disks or partiitons imaged.

    Plan for an additional (e.g. freeware) backup regime for fast-changing university work.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 35
    Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit 18362 Multiprocessor Free
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Thanks!

    Because I had a SSHD before, the solid state part of it was only 100gb so I kept it just for the windows install and program installations, with the default folders relocated to D. What are the bad mistakes that can be made with that setup, and what alternative do you use?

    I have quite a lot of backup options in place, I have an 8TB media server and a 4TB NAS which stores all of my photos and important documents in RAID for safety. At the moment a lot of the space on the former is taken up with backups of my current SSHD, so I don't think I'm going to lose much as long as I set the new one up correctly.

    If the only major benefit of an SSD is a better boot time, I might just get a large standard hard drive and have a generous C partition. I thought they were more reliable and faster in general too, but I am not very well informed on such things. Does windows set up partitions when it installs nowadays?

    One more thing; is the physical size of the drive going to be important? I've never opened up my system before so I am concerned that I might buy one that 'doesn't fit' - are the connections standardised?

    Thanks again, you've been very helpful!


    This looks good?
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Toshiba-X30...315734&sr=8-15

    vs. this?

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Toshiba-HDW...Y7F5885BRS6S3A
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 35,560
    Win 10 Pro (21H2) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #4

    You're welcome.
    SSHD has only a very small amount of SSD present- perhaps 8-16Gb
    What is an SSHD? A Guide to Hybrid Drives

    Boot time- think 12-13s to lock screen with a SSD.
    Different failure mechanisms of course, as no moving parts.

    Relative reliability? tough question..
    SSD vs HDD: Which One is More Reliable? - The Revisionist
    Are Solid State Drives / SSDs More Reliable Than HDDs?
    - technology evolves..
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 4,176
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Latest RP
       #5

    Great summary

    I would only disagree with one thing, The relocation of the User folders - First thing I would never move the base User folder with any of the many possible methods that rely on Hacking the system, [this can be achieved with a specialised Installer and is safely world wide in many commercial situations, but is not recommended for individuals.

    What I do suggest and have used without any incident myself for many years is using the built in redirection option that is provided in the operating System ... If you check the properties of any of the special User folders you will notice an extra tab - "Customise" this allows the user to redirect the folder to a secondary location, in my case an area of my data drive.

    I create my own folder tree on the data drive and use the customise tab to redirect the original folder on C: to the equivalent on D: in my case this is done for all the available personal folders including things such as Desktop, Favorites Etc

    I have never lost any files in the many years of use, [obviously I also keep full data backups of everything to be sure ], and reinstalling a system drive has one extra step to repeat the redirect to get back to a running state

    I also keep all of my files in folders under the special folders as this covers those applications that "Insist" in defaulting to the special folders, which can cause problems if you just create a new area for data
      My Computers


  6. Posts : 2,487
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #6

    Those 2 drives are 5 and 6 TB in size.

    The inference is that you need that much as primary storage, exclusive of any backups.

    If that's true, I'd assume you cannot get by with an SSD for primary storage, because SSDs in the 4 TB plus category are very expensive.

    Given that, I'd vote for SSD for OS and applications, with a separate large HDD for data, and more HDDs for data backup.

    It's up to you to properly size the SSD. You can get a quality 256 GB SSD for circa $50 and that is often more than enough for most users.

    Your motherboard is from a generation first introduced about 6 years ago. When do you think it will be replaced? The answer to that might effect my SSD/HDD choices. Your MSI board presumably accepts only SATA drives, but you might well want something else on a current generation motherboard.

    SSDs have other lesser advantages beyond boot speed--small size reduces case size requirements, lower weight, faster virus scanning operations, faster loading of folders with a high file count, low noise, etc.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 7,127
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       #7

    My preferred solution is to use a affordable size SSD for the system drive (e.g. 256-512GB) for Windows & programs and a suitably large HDD for user files.

    I have a a backup partition on the HDD to backup the system on the SSD and also backup everything to two external hard drives.
      My Computers


  8. Posts : 35
    Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit 18362 Multiprocessor Free
    Thread Starter
       #8

    Does the combination of an SSD and HDD overcome the issue with SSHD's Dalchina mentioned (i.e. that they lack the usual benefits of an SSD)?

    If that's true, I'd assume you cannot get by with an SSD for primary storage, because SSDs in the 4 TB plus category are very expensive.
    I chose those hard drives because the price is roughly correct for me, and more storage is always useful. I'm a bit of a hoarder, I have 12TB of storage at the moment NAS / Network drive / External hard drives and there's not a lot of space left. The total size of internal storage in this PC is currently roughly 1.2TB, so I could settle for a 1TB SSD - I've heard that they are not very suitable for data storage though due to limited rewrites - I assume this is why my current one failed.

    Your motherboard is from a generation first introduced about 6 years ago. When do you think it will be replaced? The answer to that might effect my SSD/HDD choices. Your MSI board presumably accepts only SATA drives, but you might well want something else on a current generation motherboard.
    I bought the computer in 2014, so that sounds about right. I have no plans to replace the whole system as that's not something I will be able to afford in the foreseeable future. Are you saying that the motherboard is likely to fail soon too?
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 2,487
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #9

    Which of your listed drives is an SSHD? What do you think is the capacity of the SSD portion of that SSHD?

    I guess you have a single Kingston SH103S3120G drives, capacity 120 GB? As near as I can tell, this is a traditional SSD, NOT an SSHD.

    You also appear to have a Seagate ST1000DM003-1CH16, which as near as I can tell is an ordinary spinning 1 TB drive, not an SSHD.

    I don't see an SSHD in your system, but I may well be confused by your stated specs.

    The typical problem with SSHDs is that they have only a small percentage of their stated capacity in SSD form. Most of the storage is on the spinning portion. They were a fairly big deal a few years ago when SSDs were quite expensive, but those days are gone.

    If you have 2 totally separate drives---one SSD and one HDD, they would operate independently and the SSD would presumably be of a large enough size that it could contain Windows and ALL of your installed applications. The only thing that would be on the separate HDD would be your personal data---video, mp3s, pictures, etc.

    What is the total occupied space on your C partition?

    You are using RAID?? The last I heard, RAID is generally not an advantage on an SSD system, but you may have other reasons to use RAID? It just looks to me like you have quite a complicated storage setup that could be consolidated if you have only 1.2 TB of data.

    You are misinformed that SSDs are not suitable for data storage. There is only a very small chance that a typical home user will approach the write limitations of an SSD and I don't see any reason to think yet that you are not typical. SSDs can certainly fail at any moment, just as any electric device can.

    Including your motherboard. But I have no idea when that might happen.

    There is only a low probability that the write limitations (such as they are) on your SSD is related to its possible failure. Do you have any idea how much you have written (in terabytes) to any of your drives?

    My point was that your current motherboard is likely limited to standard 2.5 inch SATA SSDs. The most recent generation motherboards are moving away from 2.5 inch drives and toward the much smaller and faster m2 drives. But that is not a major consideration for you because standard 2.5 inch SSDs are still perfectly fine and for all anyone knows, your motherboard will last for years.
    Last edited by ignatzatsonic; 25 Sep 2019 at 12:30.
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 35
    Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit 18362 Multiprocessor Free
    Thread Starter
       #10

    If I'm mistaken about the SSHD, which I think I may well have been, then that means I only need to replace one of the two internal drives, in which case I'll probably get the largest SSD I can afford; it looks like they're a pretty standard fit!
      My Computer


 

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