How does a combined 256GB SSD and 1TB SATA HDD work together?

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  1. Posts : 109
    Windows 10 Home 21H2
       #1

    How does a combined 256GB SSD and 1TB SATA HDD work together?


    I'm thinking of getting a new laptop and noticed that you can get a smallish SSD hard drive with a large 1TB normal hard drive with some laptops.

    I've normally had a normal large hard drive on my laptops and was wondering what would happen when installing programs and saving large files etc.?

    I didn't have to think about it before, but would I have to constantly think about transferring large files to the 1TB hard drive?

    I'm thinking it might be best to just to stick to a normal large hard drive like I've had before.
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  2. Posts : 34,963
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #2

    Normally the OS is on the SSD together with all installed programs and the HDD used for data.

    I have exactly that on one laptop as you can see from my specs.

    I have far more progs installed than most users, but no large games. My SSD is probably used to about 50% capacity.

    I do not use the default library folders for personal files- those are all on the HDD, along with files related to Thunderbird and Firefox (emails etc, favourites, profile). The default folders fill with folders created by installed programs. Relocation of these can create serious problems if the user makes an error in doing so.

    Most obvious advantages of the SSD:
    - boot to lock screen in typically under 13s from a cold start
    - fast disk imaging
    - more physically robust
    Last edited by dalchina; 08 Sep 2019 at 15:32.
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  3. Posts : 15,457
    19043.1237
       #3

    Normal practice is to put Windows and maybe a favorite game or graphics program you want to work as fast as possible on the SSD. The large drive would best be used for Pictures, Documents, Videos, etc.
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  4. Posts : 109
    Windows 10 Home 21H2
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Once I get used to it I'll wonder what all the fuss was about, but it's just trying to understand how the two will interact with each other.

    For example, when downloading a file using a Torrent program, I can have the files saved to the 1TB HDD?
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  5. Posts : 34,963
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #5

    You can normally set a given program to download to wherever you like- including an external drive.

    Some laptops can take 3 drives: desktops more of course.
      My Computers


  6. Posts : 11,387
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H2 Build 19044.1706
       #6

    Autobahn said:
    I'm thinking of getting a new laptop and noticed that you can get a smallish SSD hard drive with a large 1TB normal hard drive with some laptops.

    I've normally had a normal large hard drive on my laptops and was wondering what would happen when installing programs and saving large files etc.?

    I didn't have to think about it before, but would I have to constantly think about transferring large files to the 1TB hard drive?

    I'm thinking it might be best to just to stick to a normal large hard drive like I've had before.
    I agree with dalchina.

    In answer to your direct questions -

    1 Installing programs will not change. They will, by default, install on your OS drive, which ought to be the SSD.

    2 You will do well to change where you save your own files to [be they large or small]. There are three elements to achieving this and they are all easy.
    - You can move ["relocate"] your Documents/Music/Pictures/Videos/etc user folders from their defaults within C:\Users\YourUserName to the large HDD. For many applications this will automatically change the default locations used for saving & for opening files from. There is guidance in Move Your Documents Folder Location - TenForumsTutorials and, for the user other folders, in the list at the end of that tutorial.
    - For some applications, such as MSOffice, there is an entry in their Options where you can set a default folder location.
    - For almost all applications, you can work through opening each one then opening a file then saving a file using your new user folder locations. Almost all applications will then use the folder you have just used for the next file open / file save operation.

    3 Used this way, you will not be faced with having to transfer files [either large or small] between the two disks.




    The separation between your OS-applications and your own files will also ease backing up.
    - You can make system images of the OS-applications drive onto an external drive so that you can simply restore that if your computer gets messed up by technical glitches. Making or restoring a system image is likely to be 20-30GB and take you less than 20 minutes [since you are talking about a new computer, I'd hazard the guess that it would take less than 10]. Many forum users recommend Macrium Reflect [free] for this.
    - - Macrium Reflect Free
    - - Backup and Restore with Macrium Reflect - TenForumsTutorials
    - You can then choose whatever you want for the more frequently required task of backing up your own files.

    When I first got two drives & I separated OS-applications from my own data files, I was astounded by the power of system imaging & separate file backups.
    - I had previously thought system images were tools used by company IT depts who were too stupid to fix faults and so restored system images instead. My own computers had had OS-applications on the same drive as my own files and the whole lot together was far too big for me to make system images in any acceptable amount of time [2 hours seems to ring a bell].
    - However, I quickly learnt that the ability to restore an image from a known good state of the computer meant that any faults that defied remedy within 20 minutes or so could be easily removed by image restoration leaving me to have a pot of tea then return to the computer and be able to get on with using it again.
    - Having learnt this lesson, I would no longer even contemplate having a computer with only one drive in it.

    Denis
    Last edited by Try3; 08 Sep 2019 at 16:47.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 1,806
    Windows 10 Pro 21H1 19043.1348
       #7

    As Denis said, you can remap the default folders like 'my documents' etc to your data drive. I also have my downloads folder remapped to the data drive. The advantage here is my SSD only has the OS and other installed applications.

    If at any time I choose to perform a clean install, I have all my downloaded installations files safely stored on another drive.
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 109
    Windows 10 Home 21H2
    Thread Starter
       #8

    Thanks for the replies, especially to Denis for his long reply.

    Some of the details Denis mentions is a lot to take in (I'm far from being a computer expert). It's not until I start doing these things will it then make sense.
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 1,806
    Windows 10 Pro 21H1 19043.1348
       #9

    Check out the Tutorials section and you will find excellent guides to help you with many activities. Enjoy the learning adventure.
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  10. Posts : 11,387
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H2 Build 19044.1706
       #10

    Autobahn said:
    Thanks for the replies, especially to Denis for his long reply.

    Some of the details Denis mentions is a lot to take in (I'm far from being a computer expert). It's not until I start doing these things will it then make sense.
    Yes.
    - My paras 1,2,3 were direct responses to your questions and only the {now} emboldened bits need to be read at this stage.
    - I didn't really get it until I started doing it either.

    Denis
      My Computer


 

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