Best way to use small SSD w/ large HDD in win 7?

So I just bought a new rig, moving on up from winXP to win7. I have some questions someone might be able to help with:

  1. I read some horror stories about using Windows Easy Transfer and other similar programs…am I better off manually transfering documents and other stuff from one rig to the other via external HDD or USB key?

  2. Am I better off not trying to convert anything besides basic docs to win7 from xp?

  3. I have a 120GB SSD and 2TB HDD in the new rig. My present system has about 200GB taken up on the only drive (HDD), so I’m nervous about what to run on the SSD as it might fill up. My docs are only about 40GB, with the Windows folder taking about 90GB! Programs seems to be about 70GB. Not sure how the Windows folder got that full, but yeah (many failed windows updates maybe?). So…what should I do with the SSD? I’ve read that many programs won’t see improvement being on the SSD…are there things I will definitely want on the SSD and others that won’t make much of a difference?

Put Windows and your critical apps on the SSD. I have a 120GB SSD, on there I have Win 7, Office 2010, Photoshop and Corel. I leave enough room to install a few games at a time. Everything else that is non-performance dependent I run from another drive. Generally, I have about 50GB free on the C:.
Word of warning, if you run iTunes, move it off the C:, it is a real disk hog.
I also use WinDirStat to give me a visual display of how my HD space is used.

My SSD is 64 GB. I only have Win 7 on it. And it’s getting full.

Figure out why your Windows folder is 90 gigs first. Use WinDirStat as suggested. Maybe you have a large swap file or space saved for system restore.

Sounds like me. Don’t forget SteamMover or another symlink utility to automatically move games back and forth between drives. Install them to your 2 TB drive, then use the utility to move them to the SSD temporarily. That’s all there is to it.

I had no idea SteamMover existed! That’s such a useful tool. Right now I install and uninstall once I’m done, which is a pain. Of the 35 games I have on Steam, only 2 are installed at any given time.

I’ll definitely look into why the Win folder is so excessive with WinDirStat. I’m one of those people who tweak system settings to cut the fat, so Restore is only set to like 4%, etc. I’ve had the PC for 4 years, so I just figured that many gigs was normal given all the installs/uninstalls/failed installs (and windows updates that failed repeatedly) and such over the years.

Looks like I will only have os7, Office 2010, Norton Internet Security 2011 and the SteamMover game(s) of the week on the SSD. Seems like it may be a waste of the high cost of the SSD to use it for so little, but if my games take advantage of it with faster saves and loads, then it will be worth every penny.

Yeah it’s hard for me to tell how big of an impact it has on Windows. I jumped from XP to Windows 7, so it’s possible some of the speedup – including Windows boot – came from that. I even symlinked my user folder over to my hard drive, so I might be losing a little performance there.

Whatever it is, I never want to go back. I’m very happy with it.

This doesn’t necessarily apply to your situation since you have a larger drive, but I’m going to give the smart response tech in the z68 chipset a try. I bought a 64GB SSD to use as a cache for a 2TB drive. In my case, I really didn’t want to fool with multiple drive letters so I thought I’d give it a shot.

Yeah I was pondering whether or not to try and fit the main gaming apps like Steam, Impulse, etc, on the SSD since I use them so often, but I fear the main folders may fill the SSD drive too fast, even with unused symlinked games on the HDD.

Junction points are your friend.

Thanks for reminding me about WinDirStat. I hadn’t installed it on my new system. So it turns out that I had neglected to move the pagefile from my SSD. So there was a friggen 6GB pagefile reading and writing away. I disabled it on the SSD and enabled it on my HDD. I’m sure I don’t need 6GB there either, but I’m just relieved to have it off of the SSD.

Lost me.

Microsoft strongly recommend it’s left on the SSD.

Microsoft and I disagree about many things.

Sure. And is your objection based on capacity, or something else?

What annoys ME is that there’s no way to move a hibernation file to a different drive. (So I disable hibernation and shut the PC down more)

That’s what SteamMover does.

It creates shortcuts to another drive but the OS still things stuff still resides on C.

A warning/tip about iTunes is that even if your iTunes library is on another drive, it still puts backups and firmware upgrades on the C drive unless you redirect it.

Temp folder for unzipping and savegames in your %userprofile% 's My Documents/My Games subfolders are also big culprits for amassing large savegames.

Or, you could be like me and have 2 SSDs. I upgraded from an 80GB to a 160GB and now use the 80GB SSD as the page file/temp files holder.

Yah, probably complete overkill, but I can’t think of anything else to use the drive for.

For the people with bloated Windows installs, lay the blame on the leftovers from Windows Updates. Also, temporary internet files can grow out of control.

Other than that, that Steam junction file is awesome.

Sometimes SteamMover fails because your SSD is too fast so nowadays I prefer to do it manually. You’ll get an error that it was unable to map the junction because the folder isn’t empty yet.

I can never remember the term. I always call them symlinks.

It seems junction points and symlinks are not the same:

Junction Points can only point to a directory, and cannot be used for targets that are considered ‘remote’ to the source (eg a different volume or network drive). Symbolic Links support linking to files and remote targets as well.

Symbolic links replace junction points.

Mainly capacity. Of course I was worried about the writes more than the reads.

And I was enamored of the speed of my new system. My brand new computer and SSD was already down to about 11 gigs out of a true 58 some odd when I typed the above. I would have liked it to last a little bit longer.

Now it has 16 gigs which will soon disappear. System speed is still fine. Boot up is still great. But ultimately Windows will suck up all of the space. And as someone, maybe you, said; it’s the damn updates.

I wish someone here who knows much more than I do could give me a good plan for deleting shit. What can I kill? I’m a hardware guy not a programmer, Jim!