SSDs are much more expensive than traditional HDDs (hard disk drives), but they also have many advantages that make them worth the cost. One of those benefits is speed.
An SSD can access files up to 100 times faster than an HDD. To begin, the first thing you need to do is get a drive that matches your needs. The number of partitions will depend on whether or not you want to dual boot Windows and another operating system such as Mac OS X or Linux.
How To Initialize Your SSD For Windows
If you are using a new SSD for the first time, it’s essential to initialize its settings before formatting or partitioning. A simple way to do this is by going into disk management and initializing your hard drive as GPT (GUID Partition Table). This ensures that Windows will run on your drive correctly.
- Right-click on your SSD drive and select “Initialize Disk.” This will prompt a new window with several options.
- If you are only using the drive for Windows, then choose MBR (Master Boot Record). However, if you plan to use this as a backup or secondary data partition outside of Windows, box check the then choose GPT (GUID Partition Table).
- If you choose MBR, check the “Create an MS-DOS partition table” box and click OK. Otherwise, this option will be grayed out since GPT is required to initialize a drive that uses UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) or any other system outside of Windows.
- The last step is to select the disk from the list and click on “OK.”
You can create partitions or storage space using this method with any drive, whether internal or external. Doing so will initialize your new SSD for Windows. This includes the operating system you will use on your computer.
How To Partition A New SSD?
For the most part, partitioning is an optional task. However, it can be helpful to make partitions for specific purposes, such as making a small one for boot and another large one that acts as a backup hard drive in case your primary SSD fails or becomes corrupted. If you want to set up partitions, then this is how to do it step by step.
- Open the start menu and type “disk management” into the search bar.
- Click on “Create and format hard disk partitions.”
- Right-click on the partition that has no letter assigned to it. Selecting this option will prompt a drive letter if any other drives with partitions are already made. If not, then simply click the “New Simple Volume” option and follow the on-screen prompts.
- A new window will appear asking where you want to mount this drive. It’s best to pick a letter that is not already used, such as H: or J:
- If your primary SSD uses G: or F, use any other name for its partition. This makes it easier to avoid conflicting issues.
- To format your new partition by clicking on “format.” This will show a screen that says formatting this volume will erase all data on it.
- Click “OK” to continue the process of formatting your new partition.
Once done, you can now use this drive to back up files or for another essential purpose for what you are doing with your computer.
Windows Installation To An SSD
If you are currently using an HDD (hard disk drive) with Windows installed on it, then the process for moving that installation to your new SSD is relatively simple. There may be some hiccups along the way, but they can quickly be resolved by following these steps carefully.
- First, make sure both drives are adequately detected through BIOS or UEFI.
- Start your computer up and wait for the Windows desktop to appear. You should see a small popup that says, “Press any key to boot from CD or DVD.” This is only necessary if you use a disc version of Windows as it will not be needed for an ISO image installation media file. Press any key on your keyboard to continue booting from your installation media.
- Click next and wait for the installer to detect any hard drives connected to your system automatically.
- Simply right-click each partition and click “Delete.” The only necessary partition is the one that says “Windows” and nothing else.
- Click next to continue with the installation process onto your SSD drive.
- The installer will now ask you where you wish to install Windows on your computer.
- Right-click the drive that says “unallocated space” and select New to create a new partition for your Windows installation.
- Now, you can select your Windows disk and click “Action” on the menu bar again. Select “Attach VHD.”
- You’ll be prompted with a selection window asking which disk number is now attached and mounted into this installation process. Select “OK” if it says #0; otherwise, select whatever option allows easy identification between both hard disks.
- Click Next to continue the installation process. The only necessary task here is for Windows setup to prepare your computer so you can log in and install all other needed drivers and software that was not automatically detected. You will see a notification pop up when it’s done that says “Successfully Installed” at the bottom-right corner of this window.
Once you see this, your installation process is now complete, and it’s time to restart the computer again so everything can be finalized for use with your new SSD drive. Windows will now install onto your SSD drive, and there should be no issues booting into the OS afterward if you follow these steps correctly.
Partitioning can be a helpful task to do for many reasons. Whether you want to make partitions for different purposes or if you need backup storage in case your primary SSD fails, making partitions is never an issue when it comes to Windows. Once these steps are complete, you can now enjoy the benefits of using high-performance storage space with your SSD. This process is not limited to Windows but will work with Mac OS X and Linux distributions.