Fresh Windows install on a new SSD boot drive...UGH!!

Any way to avoid the re-install nightmare I’m going through??

Seeing as how my former C: is now my D: and D: is E:, all of my Windows paths are off too.

But is it true that I really have to REINSTALL all of my VSTs…to kinda sync them with my new Windows registry or something? Some other applications seem to work right off the bat…for instance, CPU-Z loaded right up. Speedfan wouldn’t though, and I had to reinstall it.

Just NOT looking forward to reinstalling all the effects and instruments…hopeing for a clue or some kinda hint as to how to make this easier… :blush:


Also, I thought that if I changed my boot drive name to A: or B:, and left the original drives with their original names, that could help Cubase/Windows navigate.

But I dont think that will solve all my problems…will it? Sample library paths will still be in tact, but thats about it.

Make a backup first an then restore it!

Of the boot drive? Im not reinstalling Windows on a current drive…I added a new ssd boot drive and put a fresh Windows install on that.

Anyways…yes it sucks…reinstalling programs that are already on ur computer, but not loaded into the new current/main Windows registry :imp:

Hi, then the only option would be to make the new drive get the same drive-letter as the old system-drive, and then a restore, otherwise I’m afraid that it won’t work :frowning:

Sounds to me like you didn’t actually do a “fresh” install - but an additional one. “fresh” means:

  1. Backup/image old C:\Drive
  2. Remove old C:\Drive
  3. Add new C:\Drive (SSD)
  4. Make sure BIOS in computer knows about only one C:\Drive (SSD)
    5.Install Windows to said new C:\Drive.
    5a. Reinstall ALL apps, instruments etc etc
    5b. Reuse/repoint sample drives etc to new installation
  5. If new install fails - revert back to old drive/old image

If you did not do this - you did not do a fresh install of Windows.


Ahhh…i get it.

This could be another reason for keeping the OS and a few other non-studio programs on one drive separate from DAW VST etc ?

Best layout I have found is:

System (C:) OS, apps and VSTi’s
Recording (R:) All active project and work files
Samples (S:) Loops, samples, FX, anything else that’s audio in nature - not created by me

I haven’t found any point to separating out apps from the C drive - since some apps actually require it while most will park registry and path entries etc. Plus most of us are going SSD now for the system drive - may as well have you apps loading and running as fast as possible.


Like ur labeling system (CRS) :wink:

Using the 3 drive setup…which do u think is more important to be faster…R or S? Lets say u have an SSD to run ur OS & apps, and one decent SATA drive and one not so decent. Where would u put the faster SATA?

I frustrating thing that I learned (but also learned to bypass), when ur REINSTALLING EVERYTHING after an OS reinstall like this, its best to use the default VST/RTAS folder that each plugin wants to use while loading (C:/Program Files (x86)/Vstplugins…usually) instead of creating ur own. U can always drag them to a preferred folder later or just direct Cubase to it. All of that clicking of tiny folders to select my preferred VST plugs folder was killing me :imp:

Also…how big of an SSD u got? I only went 60gb due to a tight budget (upgraded CPU/mobo/ram & PSU at same time…and bought a Yamaha acoustic guitar lol), but with the plan of upgrading soon and cloning it. And yes…its PACKED already :neutral_face:

The fastest SATA in my setup would always be the recording drive. The samples drive really does not matter as most samplers/apps will read to memory anyway.

That’s not what I do. Since reinstalling the DAW can be a challenge - I have spend years documenting what I install and more importantly “when” to install it. I have such a detailed plan that it’s now a 6 page document outlining hardware, driver install order, what steps to do when during the OS install and finally what order to install the apps/plugs in. This has saved me literally days of time due to f’ed-up installers and other weirdness from vendors

First thing I do - after the OS portion of the install is truly complete - is make sure the first major app to go on - is a Steinberg app - in my case - Nuendo. I do this for a few reasons - first it sets up what I consider to be the de-facto standard location for ALL VST/VSTi plugs to come:

32 bit plugs: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steinberg\vstplugins

AND the now all important 64 bit path

C:\Program Files\Steinberg\vstplugins

Secondly - the app install WRITES these path locations to the registry - where plugs from other vendors (Toontrack, Native Instruments etc) will pick them up when it comes time to install their plugs.

Most critical point: I monitor EVERY plugin install step by step and if any plug tries to get cute - I will instantly force it to the one (and only) plugin paths already pre-decided.

Then after all plugs are installed - I can easily reference these two simple paths to any Non-Steinberg apps that may need to know where the plugs are - like my use of Studio One and or Sony Vegas etc.

Also - this week with the arrival of the UAD-2 plugs in native 64 bit - ALL 32 bit apps and plugs are instantly retired from my master install - so I really only have one path to worry about now - the 64 bit one listed above.

To sum it up - no plugs ever get to decide on it’s own where it goes - I decide for them :slight_smile:

All my SSD’s are 120GB in size. As part of the “customized” OS install - and dependant on whcih computer I am working on - some machines here have things like the entire user folder structure(My Documents, My Music) move off to a D:\ (Data) drive to ensure the SSD gets only what it needs.

Over on my studio workstation - even with my full install and my user folders intact on C:\ - my SSD only uses about 20GB.

A good solid install is all about planning - but it takes time to get that knowledge. I estimate that I have reinstalled Windows upwards of 500 times over the last 12-15 years - using a wide variety of OPS version and a huge array of hardware…you learn a lot from that…



Yeah mapping it all out is def a good idea but really does require a plan built way ahead…when u shoot from the hip things get messy quick.

Can u send me that document u put together lol. :nerd:

I’m still running an about a 7 year old DAW but interestingly I evolved it into a very similar setup to Bruce’s (no SSD - they weren’t available then!) with the exception that since I was running extensive orchestral soft-sampling setups, in place of the Samples drive I actually had 4 sample drives to divide up the SoundsOnline EWQL Strings, Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion family sample libraries on and then tried to evenly distribute other libraries for other products across the drives based on expected simultaneous usage (Spectrasonics and RMX products).

But, that was because back then even though the Kontact2 sampler read the initial bursts of samples from RAM, it streamed from the HDD after the initial burst read from RAM so it really made a huge difference separating the samples out like that. Now that EWQL is its own instrument (PLAY) I’m actually not sure if that’s still the model for these things or if they read a lot more from memory before going to the HDD. Either way, now that I’m getting ready for a forklift upgrade, I’m torn between going SSD or SATA or something else for the sample drives, since normally you want your sample drives to be able to be large and hold lots of samples but that makes SSD very expensive.

Also, I can’t recall now the SSD vulnerability - is it writing or reading? Is it better suited for write-once / read a lot or vice versa?


The so called vulnerabilities are a tad over blown now…but they do have a have a maximum write count - albeit that maximum is very high - so high that you would most likely buy a new drive before one bit the dust on you.

However - due to costing - and the fact that no SSD will ever be as fast as RAM - there is little to gain by shoving a boatload of samples onto an SSD. Price per GB is obviously in favor of a fast SATA drive.

And if one is using standards like Kontakt or Omnisphere etc etc - where pretty much everything goes into RAM - why spend the money on an SSD?

Now - several years from now when TB sized SSDs are available and SATA goes into history - that’s a different story - but today…the most reliable solution is a fast SATA for both recording and samples.


Excellent, that makes sense. Thanks.

Thanks for all ur help Bruce…can I ask something else real quick?

How important is cache for the sample drive?

Also, how do u know when ur RAM or even a slower sample HD might be “bogging out” anyways? Cubase has it’s CPU/ASIO monitor, but how do u know when u SHOULD get more RAM/a faster drive, etc?

I’m about to move my huge sample libraries off this Spinpoint 7200/32mb and to my random 7200rpm 8mb cache drive and move my RECORD files back the other way…based on what ur saying.

Oh yeah…and all my SATA’s are 3gb/s :cry: Will boosting to 6gb/s make a significant difference? I know my mobo now supports it.


I haven;t seen any reason nto worry one way or the other. Any modern drive (say 2010+) will be more than enoough to deal with any samples out there…

Never have worried about this either. Again - modern motherboard, CPU and RAM should all work in concert and be able to handle anything out there currently. I never use any Steinberg “monitors” or meters either. I just roll. If the OS or app crashes or something serious - then I know I have an issue…but I haven’t had a crash in years…

I never rate a drive based on it’s cache - for me it’s all about raw speed. And I can safely state that any 7200 RPM drive (vs. say - a 5400RPM drive) is more than capable of handling recording or sample streaming. It’s not like you are going to see some world stopping performance boost with a 32mb cache vs 8mb. I can’t say I have ever stood back during a session and said “wow - that cache really cooks”. We are talking timing variances here that are too small to “feel”.

And finally 3GB SATA vs 6GB…personally - I think these “values” are all theoretical in context since a 3GB/s transfer rate is probably impossible - except for maybe inside an actual RAM module or something :slight_smile:

In terms of rushing out and buying all new drives to take advantage of what a sticker says on your motherboard comes down to the size of your wallet ( I guess) . Overall - it won’t make you a better musician or make your tracks sound better.

My rule of thumb for hard disk is to pound em for two years (based on the date sticker) and then move them over to backup usage. I also buy new drives for each full new complete studio DAW build. (usually every 3-4 years). My last DAW (prior to mny current one) was rock solid from 2008-Fall 2012…if you choose wisely - you can get miles of service out of a given set of parts.



Thanks again!!

Last question lol… :nerd:

8gb DDR3 or 16gb DDR3? I should mention that I dont really feel that my system “suffers” in any way. However, as u mentioned, the features on my mobo’s box, its 16gb max ram capacity, make me drool and wanna upgrade, ever curious as to how much faster things COULD be :unamused:

However, I fell for that in the early days…adding more ram is the easiest upgrade, yet can wield no benefits if ur not even maxing out what u already have, right? I dont even know how to monitor it though I guess. I know a lot of ppl here are at 16gb too.

THANKS AGAIN!!! :mrgreen:

Wll - my new mobo takes 32GB - I use 8. Could not justify spending the cash at this point. RAM is cheap…I will get more if/when I need it. RAM does not equal raw speed either - that’s the CPU’s job. :slight_smile:



Thanks…I bet u thought I was done though lol.

So it turns out one of my backup HD’s that I was gonna dump samples too is a 1.5gb/sec drive!! Its still 7200rpm, but yeah its older.

I can upgrade it soon, but for now, is it worth having 3 drives if the 3rd is a 1.5gb/sec and Im storing samples on it? Just moved all my project files to my SATA3 7200, should I just keep the samples there for now too?

Thanks for all of ur help again…I know these are little minute questions but I’ve always kind of wondered these things. I can build DAWs, but some of these finer details are still beyond my scope of knowlege.