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Gina

Installing an SSD in Desktop PC for Linux Mint

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As I've mentioned in other threads, I recently bought a new fast PC with a view to running PinInsight and other software under Linux Mint 18.  This has an AMD processor running at 4GHz and 16MB RAM with a 1TB HD.  I have installed Mint on this from USB stick - no problem.  Now I would like to use an SSD as these are said to be very much faster than an HD.  My idea is to install the OS and swap-file on this and possibly a data partition but with most data on the HD.  I've read that it is better to reinstall Linux Mint on the SSD rather than to migrate the OS from HD. 

Since I've only just started using this machine and have /home as a separate partition on the HD I will only have to reinstall OS and software on the SSD.  ATM I have only added PixInsight and TeamViewer to the software collection that is already included in the LM installation so it seems the best time to upgrade to SSD.

I've done some Googling and read that SSDs wear out if too many write operations occur which was rather a surprise and there are instructions for Mint to reduce these which seems no problem.

I have a Samsung 500GB SSD which I'm thinking of using and also a 250GB SSD.  I figured that the bigger drive would be advantageous for PixInsight to reduce processing times, but now I'm not so sure.  I would appreciate views on this, please.  I have hardware for mounting the 2.5" SSD in a 3.5" bay plus SATA III cables.  So the next question is - do I just install the SSD and connect it to a spare SATA port and run the installation from USB stick as before but using the SSD as boot drive with root and swap-file partitions plus maybe a data partition?

I have never used an SSD before and I want to be sure I do things right :D

Edited by Gina
typos galore!
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One issue I came across, was the disk (SSD), which had first been used as a Windows boot disk, wouldn't boot the installed Linux (Mint, Fedora etc..) even though the install went cleanly & all installs reported all ok....

In the end, I used the boot recovery tools to wipe the disk\partitions (including hidden ones) & then all was ok...

 

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I would suggest putting swap partitions or swap files on both SSD's as Linux will use both to give you similar advantages as you would get from having a striped raid array.

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Thanks Julian :)  These SSDs are brand new so nothing on them.

4 minutes ago, D4N said:

I would suggest putting swap partitions or swap files on both SSD's as Linux will use both to give you similar advantages as you would get from having a striped raid array.

OK - I'll put both SSDs in then - I have 2 spare SATA ports on the MB and one 3.5" bay will take 2 SSDs.  I think the 250GB SSD would suffice for the boot drive with the OS and software (plus swap-file) on and the 500GB for 2nd swap-file and data files that I want to keep and use as read only.

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Hi,

You state you have 16mb of ram is this on the processor if so how much ram for the PC  is this correct, really you do not want to put any swapfile on an SSD drive The constant reads and writes SWAP partitions do add significant wear-and-tear to the SSD. If you really would like to have a SWAP partition, it’d be better to place it on a secondary, non-SSD hard drive if at all possible. I know it’s tempting to put a SWAP partition on an SSD – it would be the best-performing SWAP partition you’ll ever have – but this speed comes at a major cost.

Andy

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Thanks Andy :)  I would have thought that with 16MB of RAM I wouldn't need a swap-file but I can always leave the swap-file where it is at present, on the HD, and just put OS and software on SSD.  SSDs don't quite do what I expected.  I guess they want using for files that are written once and from then on only read, such as the OS and software.  In which the 250GB SSD should be quite sufficient.

If SSDs are so affected by writing files, are they really suitable as the sole drive in a laptop?

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I recently built myself a new PC  with an Intel G4500 CPU, 8Gig ram and an AMD Radeon 240Gig SSD. Mint 18.3 (64bit) loaded up very easily with no hitches at all. Boots  very quickly about 15 seconds, with login and just runs beautifully. I've been wanting for ages to be a Linux only user and  have no regrets at all. Go for it.

Edited by Alfian
typo

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I'm not convinced that this is such a problem, if you create swap partitions the area that is being written to is in use purely for the swap file.  Any damaged sectors won't effect data storage so will not corrupt the OS or data.

 

Remember that smart phones and tablets do this all the time, when you swap between apps the device will run out of ram and force background apps to close saving their states so that they can be re-opened where you left them.

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I've read that this "problem" is much leas on modern SSDs than it was on ones produced before 2010.

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hi gina,

you keep referring to 16mb or ram surely you pc has more memory power than that if you are referring to 16gb of ram then no need for a swapfile as you have plenty of available physical memory to take care of this, yes and no in answer to sub Dwarfs response  the physical ram chip on an SSD can only handle a certain number of read/writes then starts to depreciate it's life thus trim  it's a cost layoff the more read/writes it's lifespan shortens with a swapfile there are more read/writes. as with laptops now fitted with SSD's. SSD's are very fast at retrieving data thus fast startup for PC's.  but again at a cost to the SSD it a payoff for the manufactures. So you have a machine that lasts say for 2 years you are going to change it by then aren't you...

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23 minutes ago, Gina said:

I've read that this "problem" is much leas on modern SSDs than it was on ones produced before 2010.

A Solid State Drive is worn down relatively quickly by write actions. Especially the oldest generations of SSD's were vulnerable in that aspect, but to a lesser degree that's still the case for the newer generations.

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Thanks Andy :)  Yes, I've already read that - thanks anyway :)

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Decided to use the 250GB drive and following reading more on Google have decided to setup the following partitions, starting at the beginning :-

  1. 100MB ------ /boot
  2. 150,000MB - /
  3. 99,000MB --- /ssdata

The swap-file resides on the HD though I've read that Linux generally doesn't want a swap-file.  I have not touched any partitions on the HD for now.

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22 minutes ago, fozzybear said:

hi gina,

you keep referring to 16mb or ram surely you pc has more memory power than that if you are referring to 16gb of ram then no need for a swapfile as you have plenty of available physical memory to take care of this, yes and no in answer to sub Dwarfs response  the physical ram chip on an SSD can only handle a certain number of read/writes then starts to depreciate it's life thus trim  it's a cost layoff the more read/writes it's lifespan shortens with a swapfile there are more read/writes. as with laptops now fitted with SSD's. SSD's are very fast at retrieving data thus fast startup for PC's.  but again at a cost to the SSD it a payoff for the manufactures. So you have a machine that lasts say for 2 years you are going to change it by then aren't you...

This is scary stuff I just paid around £1800 for my lappy and the thought that it only gets 2 years is very worrying.

Alan

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Yes, I agree!!  I was going to "upgrade" one of my laptops for faster performance but now it doesn't seem such a good idea.

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4 minutes ago, Alien 13 said:

This is scary stuff I just paid around £1800 for my lappy and the thought that it only gets 2 years is very worrying.

Alan

 

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When I put my two SSD drives in my nice new PC I found one of the power plugs I thought was SATA I found it was IDE, so I have only the one SATA power plug and will have to get a splitter if I want to use the 500GB SSD. 

Installation on the 250GB SSD went without a hitch and the PC is working.  GRUB has given me dual boot as it recognised the OS on HD as well as the new installation on the SSD.  Next job is to install PixInsight and TeamViewer both of which should be in my Downloads directory on HD.

Edited by Gina

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not at all the mtbf is low as newer laptops have more memory thus less swapfile space required voila

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Gina I still would like to know how much ram does your pc have 16mb or 16gb

and

 

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2 minutes ago, fozzybear said:

not at all the mtbf is low as newer laptops have more memory thus less swapfile space required voila

Phew I have 16Gb ram the upgrade to 32Gb made my eyes water so I didnt bother hope its enough.

Alan

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7 minutes ago, fozzybear said:

Gina I still would like to know how much ram does your pc have 16mb or 16gb

and

 

"Confused?  You will be!"  I was! - It's 16GB not 16MB :D

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5 minutes ago, Alien 13 said:

Phew I have 16Gb ram the upgrade to 32Gb made my eyes water so I didnt bother hope its enough.

Alan

16gb ram your swapfile will be miniscule depends on you OS.

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Sorry Gina in that case install you SSD Drives but do not create a swapfile as none needed and disable Hibernate after that all  is good.

andy

 

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