Even in my video, I use the SSD strictly for the OS and applications and have my desktop, documents folder and e-mail redirected to the 2TB hard disk, which I also use to store everything else. 60GB may not sound like a lot, but you would need to have a serious amount of software used to gobble it up. If one has bulky costly programmes such as several 5GB+ plugins for recording studio software, I’m sure that user can afford a larger SSD.
On my last Windows XP based PC, I reckon I would have got away with a 30GB SSD, as I had a 40GB OS partition and only used about 25GB of it after 2 years of everyday use. On my current Windows 7 based system, the OS & software takes up ~24GB, Windows XP mode uses ~10GB and the portable app’s directory is almost 6GB in size. After just checking now, I’ve about 8GB used between the swap and hibernation files and freed about 4GB straight away by disabling the hibernation file.
Here’s how to redirect your documents and desktop in Windows (XP, Vista & 7) after a clean installation, such as after installing Windows on an SSD. Don’t try this with an existing installation as it will potentially cause problems with any software that indexes stuff, such as pictures (e.g. Picasa), music (e.g. iTunes), etc.:
[li]Create new folders on the hard disk where you would like to redirect to, e.g. “Documents” for your documents, “Pictures” for your photos, “Desktop” for your desktop content and “Music” for your msuic.[/li][li]Unless you’re experienced with using the registry editor, please make a backup of your PC.[/li][li]Move any existing pictures, documents, etc. into the new paths.[/li][li]In the registry editor, go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Software -> Microsoft -> Windows -> CurrentVersion -> Explorer -> User Shell Folders.[/li][li]Edit the following keys:[/li][LIST]
[li]Desktop - New desktop path, e.g. “W:\Destkop”[/li][li]My Pictures - New pictures path, e.g. “W:\Pictures”[/li][li]Personal - New documents path, e.g. “W:\Documents”[/li][li]My Music - New music path, e.g. “W:\Music”[/li][/ul]
[li]Reboot the PC.[/li][li]If you don’t plan using hibernation, click Start, type in ‘cmd’ and press Shift+Ctrl+Enter (for an elevated command prompt), then type in “powercfg -h off”, press enter and close the command prompt. This will free up disk space (based on the PC’s RAM) that was used for the hiberation file.[/li][/list]
Finally, I would strongly recommend setting up Windows backup to create a weekly backup to the HDD and create a Windows Recovery CD. From my experience, the backup barely has any noticeable effect on the system performance as it takes place during its scheduled time.
The advantage of redirecting your documents, music, etc. is that in the unlikely event that the SSD fails, you’ll not lose these. If you have a backup set up and should ever need to replace the SSD, just install the new SSD, boot the recovery CD and select the full system recovery option. Once it completes, the most you’ll have lost is any new software or updates installed since the last backup.