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Just starting to think about adding a SSD to my new MSI laptop which only came with a HDD.

I have heard two versions of what to do from technicians but wanting to get feedback from flight simmers.

One technician said that everything presently on the HDD would be put over to the SSD. This would mean that the SSD would almost have to be of an equal size.

The other technician said that you obviously have to have the Windows 10 OS on the SSD but my other programs including FSX-SE could remain on the HDD. This would mean that my SSD would not have to be as big.

Your feedback is valued.

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I don't know what your storage requirements are but I would look at replacing the HDD with an SSD to get rid of the heat and physical shock vulnerability and perhaps look into an external eSATA, if your laptop has an eSATA port or USB drive case to hold the HDD and use it for backup.  You can get a 1TB SSD for around $250.

When the other technician mentioned "leaving" your programs on the HDD, I think he meant you could reinstall them to the HDD.  If all programs were "portable" the word "leaving" would be a good choice of words but many if not most are not portable meaning they have references in the windows registry that may or may not need to be updated.  One common registry setting they store in the registry is where they are located which is set when they are installed.  

With regards to FSX and Prepar3d I know where those references are and it would be easy to change and not require a re-install.. do you know where every registry setting is of the programs you have installed... probably not.  Steam has it's own unique method of storing apps under it's steam directory and I usually just re-install from steam if I need to move an app. 

Now is also a good time to consider doing a fresh install of the OS.  After years of installing and uninstalling, updates, ect.. taking the time to start fresh is a best practice.  It's also a huge PITA if you have a lot of apps so you have to weigh that out.   You really need to be sure you have all the necessary drivers, Product ID's and apps for your laptop available should you choose to do so.  Having the old HDD sitting unplugged while you install to the new SSD would make for a nice safety net should you run into an issue.  You could easily revert to plan B with imaging by just plugging it back in.

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6 hours ago, AoA said:

I don't know what your storage requirements are but I would look at replacing the HDD with an SSD to get rid of the heat and physical shock vulnerability and perhaps look into an external eSATA, if your laptop has an eSATA port or USB drive case to hold the HDD and use it for backup.  You can get a 1TB SSD for around $250.

When the other technician mentioned "leaving" your programs on the HDD, I think he meant you could reinstall them to the HDD.  If all programs were "portable" the word "leaving" would be a good choice of words but many if not most are not portable meaning they have references in the windows registry that may or may not need to be updated.  One common registry setting they store in the registry is where they are located which is set when they are installed.  

With regards to FSX and Prepar3d I know where those references are and it would be easy to change and not require a re-install.. do you know where every registry setting is of the programs you have installed... probably not.  Steam has it's own unique method of storing apps under it's steam directory and I usually just re-install from steam if I need to move an app. 

Now is also a good time to consider doing a fresh install of the OS.  After years of installing and uninstalling, updates, ect.. taking the time to start fresh is a best practice.  It's also a huge PITA if you have a lot of apps so you have to weigh that out.   You really need to be sure you have all the necessary drivers, Product ID's and apps for your laptop available should you choose to do so.  Having the old HDD sitting unplugged while you install to the new SSD would make for a nice safety net should you run into an issue.  You could easily revert to plan B with imaging by just plugging it back in.

Wow, thank you for that extensive and very informative advice.

My laptop is only 3 months old and I do have a new 2TB external SSD backup which I perform weekly.

I have a lot to consider, thanks again.

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I have an MSI GT72 laptop. I have the M.2 ssd drives. These are the next generational step after a traditional ssd. Worth having a look at. I have one of the M.2 drives for my o/s and one for P3d only.....boot up time is very quick. 

Dave

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On 3/19/2017 at 10:32 AM, Dane Watson said:

My laptop is only 3 months old and I do have a new 2TB external SSD backup which I perform weekly.

A 3-month old laptop should be capable of housing a m.2 drive as well as a 2.5" drive.  SSD costs have dropped quite significantly, as those are SATAIII drives, whereas m.2 and PCIe m.2 NVME drives are still hovering above average.  You'll need to verify the model of your laptop, confirm all of the drive bays available and then decide how you want to break out the OS (highly recommended), storage, sim, etc.  I currently have 4 drives in my laptop, with a 5th slot waiting in the wings.  I have an equal ratio of SSD to m.2, with the faster PCIe nvme m.2 for my OS, and an m.2 for sims, then the storage and file archive drives are SATAIII.  The big advantages here are less heat, much faster performance, quick boot time.  Despite all of those drives in my laptop, I still perform backups to a WD MyCloud.

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