The single best upgrade you can purchase for your PC is a Solid State Drive. The differences between the average mechanical HDD and the average SSD are substantial: decreased disk access times, faster boot times, and faster application launches.
However, SSDs aren't perfect and their limitations need to be understood in order to make the most of their benefits. So read on to learn a little bit more about SSDs and the most efficient way to manage its use.
Plan, Move, and Arrange
The first step to understanding the most efficient way to manage your SSD is to plan where your files will be stored and then moving and arranging them. If you can organize your options early on, then as your PC and drive matures there will be less headaches and very little need for further reorganization.
All things considered, an affordable SSD is just a much smaller drive with a lot of speed. This is why planning your file management is essential, as certain files and programs should be on the SSD, while others do not need to be there taking up space. A quick rule of thumb is to install your operating system files, installed programs, and games that you are playing all on the SSD. If you have the option of pairing your SSD with a larger mechanical drive, store all less-frequently accessed files there, like music files, videos, and documents.
Now that you know which programs and files should be stored on which drive, it is time to start transferring them around. For new program installations, this process is a simple as designating the files path during the installation. You will have to assign the new drive path, so do not expect your PC to automatically guess where the proper file location is.
In the case of previously installed programs, the process is a bit trickier. There are programs which will allow you to simply cut and paste their entire folder to a new location with little to no issue, but that is not the case with most. The best way to solve this issue is to simply reinstall the program. If reinstalling is not your best option, you can trick your computer into allowing the file move using Symbolic links.
The last step to organizing the files structure is to arrange your data folders properly. These are the main folders recognized by your operating system as the storage areas for video files, documents, pictures, and so on. In Windows, the process is simple and quick. First, find your Pictures folder, right-click the folder icon, and select Properties. Under the Location tab in the new menu, you will be able to designate the new storage path for this folder.
Your new SSD is organized and structured in a way that helps maximize your productivity and the longevity of the drive, but we are far from done. In the next post, we will discuss the best ways to save space, reduce wear and tear, and try to break some old habits from the mechanical drive days.