Philip_Yip
5 Iridium

Re: If I had to replace an SSD, would I have to re-install all the programs on the HDD?

There needs to be registry entries on the OS Boot Drive for programs to work.

Lets say you installed Microsoft Windows on your SSD and it has the drive letter C:\.

Then you make an Image of this install call it Image1 and you save it to your external Hard Drive E:\.

Then you install Microsoft Office on the D:\. This will create registry entries and program shortcuts on the C:\ Drives.

Then you make an Image of this install call it Image2 and you save it to your external Hard Drive E:\.

If you restore Image1 to C:\ the program shortcuts for Microsoft Office won't be present on D:\. You can go into D:\Program Files\... and launch the .exe but it will fail to launch as there are no registry entries for Microsoft Office on D:\ (and Product Activation issues).

If you restore Image2 to C:\ Microsoft Office will continue to work.

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads


#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
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Outlier007
1 Nickel

Re: If I had to replace an SSD, would I have to re-install all the programs on the HDD?

Thank-you Philip, that makes sense.  In your first scenario -> if I restore Image1 to C: (the image that only contains Windows and no other programs), how would I remove programs on the HDD if I don't have any other backup?  Do I manually delete the program files and folders in the HDD via Windows Explorer?  Or is there a formal way to uninstall each program?  Would these programs appear in the Control Panel of the new SSD?

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mpo
2 Iron

Re: If I had to replace an SSD, would I have to re-install all the programs on the HDD?


@Outlier007 wrote:

Thanks.  The only thing holding me back from using an SSD is that I've read that it has a limited lifetime based on the number of writes made to it.  That's why I'm thinking of the worst case scenarios.  There are all kinds of tips to consider to decrease the number of writes made to the SSD.  So right now I'm trying to decide if it's worth worrying about all that.  My HDD's have served me well for many years and I've never had a catastrophic data failure before with them (I have an HDD still working fine after 10 years).  Do you think an SSD will fail sooner or later than an HDD (assuming they're both the same age)? 


I wouldn't worry too much about the lifespan of an SSD. My oldest SSD is a Kingston HyperX 240 GB drive.

Checking the drive status, it has 16800+ GB host reads and writes, and 28500 power-on hours. That's over 3.25 years of use. 

It shows that that 98% of the life is left.

There are two types of drives--those that are going to fail and those that have failed. All of my home computers back up to a NAS daily. The NAS gets backed up monthly.

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Philip_Yip
5 Iridium

Re: If I had to replace an SSD, would I have to re-install all the programs on the HDD?

You would have to delete their subfolder in the Program Files folder. They will not show up in add/remove programs unless the image is made after the program is installed (and they have their registry entries in the OS Boot Drive).

Anyway you can use the likes of Macurium Reflect every month or so to make a new image of the OS Boot Drive so you always have a new image to back up from. 

There are a few exceptions where the files in the Program Files and Program Files (x86) folder can be used such as Steam and EA Origin which can have ~100's of GBs worth of game installation files. I document Steam here (I've still to write the EA Origin guide but have the screenshots):

http://dellwindowsreinstallationguide.com/steam-game-installation-files/ 

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads


#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
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Outlier007
1 Nickel

Re: If I had to replace an SSD, would I have to re-install all the programs on the HDD?

Phillip, do you have an SSD guide for UPlay?  At this time, I'm using that one the most.  UPlay's save game folder is located in the same drive in which UPlay is installed and I haven't been able to figure out a way to change that location.  If I install UPlay on the SSD, then UPlay will write to it every single time I start and finish a game (due to the game syncs).  That could amount to a lot of writes which I wouldn't want for an SSD.  Any way to solve that?  It would suck to buy an SSD and then have to install UPlay on the HDD.   

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Philip_Yip
5 Iridium

Re: If I had to replace an SSD, would I have to re-install all the programs on the HDD?

I've never used uplay however I think you are worrying about read/write cycles too much... i.e. have been reading the type of "tech guides" usually about security etc. that try and instil so much fear in the reader that they never want to turn on their computer or connect to the internet.

Intensive read/write cycles like the continuous use of Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN which should never be used with a SSD) are problematic but for general use including gaming it's not. SSDs for instance Crucial SSDs have a warranty period of 3 years, so you can expect in the vast majority of cases most of the SSDs to last this time or longer:

http://uk.crucial.com/gbr/en/company-warranty 

In my primary desktop my XPS 8300 I have a 500 GB Crucial MX200 installed in about 2015 and it's been on pretty much 24/7. I have used Parted Magic to wipe it securely maybe about 20 times and probably clean installed some version of Windows probably well over 100 times given I like to test new Windows builds and write guides on Windows Installation. I have Steam and Origin installed on it. Long story short this type of usage is far more intensive than the average user and it's still running strong.

Games etc. should be installed on SSDs so they run much faster as it's the main advantage of having the SSD. The only time not to install Games on a SSD is when you have a low storage capacity SSD and don't have enough room for Windows to work comfortably (50 GB for Windows and program files).

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads


#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
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Outlier007
1 Nickel

Re: If I had to replace an SSD, would I have to re-install all the programs on the HDD?


@mpo wrote:

I wouldn't worry too much about the lifespan of an SSD. My oldest SSD is a Kingston HyperX 240 GB drive.

Checking the drive status, it has 16800+ GB host reads and writes, and 28500 power-on hours. That's over 3.25 years of use. 

It shows that that 98% of the life is left.


MPO, what program are you using to test the drive status and show its percentage of life left?  Also, did you install your internet browser onto the SSD?  If yes, are you concerned about the constant writes to the temporary internet files folder (it will be written to for every web page you visit) or does that not make much of a difference?

(I'm realizing that if I use Internet Explorer for web browsing, I might not have a choice and it has to be installed onto the SSD).

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Outlier007
1 Nickel

Re: If I had to replace an SSD, would I have to re-install all the programs on the HDD?

I just wanted to update the thread.  Despite my reservations, I went ahead and bought an SSD.  I went with the Plextor M8Pe 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe (without head sink).  It was recommended by Tom's Hardware and they reviewed it as having long endurance (they rated the Samsung 960 Evo as having low endurance).  Anyway, the info here has been helpful.  I will install Macrium Reflect and make monthly backups of the SSD.  If there are any recommendations for disk monitoring software, please post (preferably one that keeps track of how much life the SSD has remaining).  

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mpo
2 Iron

Re: If I had to replace an SSD, would I have to re-install all the programs on the HDD?

I use CrystalDiskInfo to monitor my drives. It shows the descriptive information about the drive(s) in my system, it has the temperature, percent life left for SSDs, and the raw SMART data.

WinDirStat is also a useful utility for figuring out what is taking up space on your drives.

Browsers cache to the SSD. I have absolutely no concern having the browser cache to the SSD

Majority of my data goes to a larger HDD, mainly because of storage constraints. I have a large Steam library. Most games or software are saved to the HDD. A few games are loaded to the SSD if there is an obvious benefit to saving the data there. 

I have some custom GIS software that requires the data reside on the C drive. I have no problem letting it chew through data on the SSD if it means I cut 20 percent off of the processing time. 

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