New install onto SSD´s

Hi. I have just bought 2 new 260GB Solid StateHD´s and am planning to re-install all my software from scratch over a period of a week or two. The reason for this is that due to my inexperience my C/ drive has become very cluttered and I only have 30GB of HD space left. I also have some missing Cubase sound banks. I have just upgraded to Cubase pro8 and will be upgrading to BFD3 soon so I think I need to start again before I go any further. I want to use one SSD for the C/Drive and clone it to the other SSD or put BFD2 kit data onto the other or, get 3rd SSD and do both. Is there much to gain by this and what are the pit falls? Any advice would be very much appreciated before I start. Also, while I do the install can I have the new drives connected as external drives so that I can continue to work on my music using the original HD.
Many, many thanks for any input I get.

Everything will boot faster and if you use a lot of samples or audio tracks, the performance should improve. It won’t help much if you use a lot of VST instruments since they primarily need processing power. It is worth noting that your main reason for switching, namely running out out of space due to fragmentation, etc., won’t be changed. In other words, disk management will function the same. Defragmentation should take less time with SSDs though.

Hi you,

I have some experience with SSDs. I have 3 of them installed. One for the Windows-Installation plus all Programms. One for the cubase-Projects and audiofiles and finally a third one where I place all the soundbanks/samples .
Generally speaking the SSDs provide a remarkable boost in Terms of Speed. Booting the machine alone makes it worth while.
I used the clone function that came along with a Samsung SSD to Transfer the “old” System, but this is just an Option.
For Backup and System “recreation” (even on different Hardware) I can strongly recommend Acronis true Image (including plus package, which is Standard in the latest release).

to sum it up: SSDs are a good invest. In Addition they make your System more quiet. I prefer this.

Defraging SSDs is not recommended, and there is no reason to do so.

I have read this in a few places also

If you have Samsung SSDs, they come with a utility program called Samsung SSD Magician. There you will find a Disk Optimization program. Use this instead of running a Defrag program on a SSD.

Did not know this. Thanks. :slight_smile:

The reason you defrag a HD is you want the different parts of a file to be physically close to each other on the disk so that the read/write head isn’t bouncing all over the disk to get the various parts of the file. On an SSD there are no moving parts. The OS is just asking the SSD to return the data that is at a bunch of different addresses. It doesn’t matter on an SSD if those addresses are adjacent or scattered all over.

A general recommendation:

  1. OS and applications on one drive
  2. Sample libraries on a second drive
  3. Projects on a third.

Note that under Windows 7 & 8, the ‘Defrag’ utility doesn’t do anything to SSDs but apply a mass TRIM operation, which also happens automatically if the computer is left idle for a little while after start up.

There are utilities available that do a special type of SSD defragmentation.

As previously stated, normal HDD defragmentation is designed to minimise head travel by minimising the distance between related data, which thus maximises the time for actual reading or writing.

With SSDs, data is kept in blocks, typically 256kB, which are always read and written in one go, even if only writing a 4KB sector. If the data in one block belongs to different files, writing to those files at different times means that the whole block gets written to several times, even though a small part may be involved. This is called write-amplification, and it reduces the potential write life of the drive (though most usage scenarios will never do so).

The special utilities ‘defragment’ an SSD by ensuring that each block has contiguous data from as few files as possible. Because SSD block accessing is totally random and without ‘distance’ penalties, the complete data on the blocks does not need rearranging for performance optimisation.

The other way to mitigate write-amplification is to use as large a sectors as possible (64kB with Windows), which is quite feasible for large multimedia files, like for samples and DAW audio and project files, which are typically MBs in size. It also minimises CPU IO overhead, and can even result in transfer rate increases of 30-50% on HDDs – real-world with a GB of mixed sized files.

Note that for SSD sample drives, such special defragging is not required, as the files are written contiguously upon installation, and very rarely altered after that.

Defragmentation is only required on traditional harddrives to reduce the read/write head movement required to retrieve a given file - this directly affects seek time - since there are no moving parts in a SSD there’s no need to defragment - quite the opposite - SSDs being FLASH memory based have a write lifetime - so performing I/O intensive tasks like defragmentation will unnecessarily reduce the life of your SSD.

As for the cloning. Download Macrium reflect - a completely free utility which will enable you to clone your drive whether it’s installed properly or temporarily dangling off a USB adapter. Once cloned you can then use another excellent freebe Minitool Parttition Wizard to increase the size of your existing partitions if the new harddisk is bigger and you’re not already at some sort of partition size limit.

I have just had a new machine built. I have a 250 gig SSD drive for my C drive - a 500 SSD drive for my BFD3 kits - and 4 1000 gig drives for 1. A music drive - 2. A store Drive. 3. A backup Drive - 4. A samples Drive Kontakt etc

All my instrument libraries and samples etc are loaded on the second Samples drive. The only things loaded onto my C drive are those plugins with a small footprint. When installing stuff just keep an eye out for where the sound libraries get installed.

That’s a sensible approach - not too different from mine.

How come you don’t use a NAS drive, where you could also save OS images, etc?
It is then independent of your computer, so if something catastrophic happens to the computer, all your eggs are not in one basket.

Or do both. Have a local drive to quickly save-off the large OS clone image.

Then run something like Bittorent Sync or Rsync on the NAS and on the DAW to automatically sync the OS clone to the NAS.

Bittorent Sync can be pinned to the taskbar and only launched when it doesn’t interfere with recording. Which may be never (I almost always can have it running without interference).

That way, you can use the sync to NAS for other project files, sound libraries, etc.

Then, backup the backup online using Crashplan or similar. Crashplan for NAS (a bit tricky to install, but possble and worth it once it’s set up).

That way, most of the CPU intensive stuff (Crashplan de-duplication crunching) runs on the NAS, not the DAW.

One thing to avoid, for sure, is trying to copy large files to a NAS via mapped drive letters, without sync software.

It’s a huge PITA and can often time-out and leave you in a situation where you’re not sure if everything copied over. You start over and hope it worked.

OS-level file copy is in the dark ages.

Good thought. Funny thing is I did not know what an NAS drive was/is. Well I’m only a musician!!
If it is anything to do with the internet then I am fcuked, as a snail has more download/upload speed than I do.

NAS = Network Attached Storage.

Basically, an independent ‘computer’ on which you can store stuff, though some, like those from Synology, do lots of other useful stuff. However, while NAS makers try to make them easier for general users to set up, if technicals are stretching your comfort zone too much, then just using an external powered USB drive might provide some measure of device independence.

Cloud storage is getting popular these days, but for large file sets, like those for DAW projects, you will need very high connection speeds, otherwise uploads will probably time out too much, and trying to quickly restore a project will be frustrating.

Note that some NASs, like those from Seagate, require registering your details with their cloud just to access your own local data! I think that is absurd.

Thank you Patanjali. A very comprehensive reply. I guess I will stick with my external drives for the moment.

[quote=“Elien”]Hi you,

I have some experience with SSDs. I have 3 of them installed. One for the Windows-Installation plus all Programms. One for the cubase-Projects and audiofiles and finally a third one where I place all the soundbanks/samples .

I have just installed my 2 new SSD´s and am now re-installing everything from scratch. I like the idea of having the program files on one and the sound banks on the other SSD. However, during the installation of C6 I was not prompted to choose a location for the cubase sound banks.
¿so I guess you mean 3rd party sound banks go on a separate Hd, like I have my Ivory and BFD2 samples. They have separate discs all to themselves??
Thanks for you help.