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Ray-Ban
01-06-2012, 09:39 AM
Hey all,

I understand how to install everything as far as the operating system goes, but now my question is with the physical installation of a second HD. I just got my G74, and saw that there is an included (tiny) board that appears to have a SATA-ish connector to it. I opened up the bottom of the laptop, and it appears the second slot doesn't have any "plumbing", but just is a vacant area to hold the hard drive. Excuse my ignorance, but there is no info on this in the included manuals in the box. Any ideas?

Thanks ahead of time.

BrodyBoy
01-06-2012, 10:16 AM
Hey all,

I understand how to install everything as far as the operating system goes, but now my question is with the physical installation of a second HD. I just got my G74, and saw that there is an included (tiny) board that appears to have a SATA-ish connector to it. I opened up the bottom of the laptop, and it appears the second slot doesn't have any "plumbing", but just is a vacant area to hold the hard drive. Excuse my ignorance, but there is no info on this in the included manuals in the box. Any ideas?

Thanks ahead of time.
No...no manual or instructions. (Welcome to Asus! :o)

The little PCB is the SATA connector board for the 2nd HDD, and the cable goes from the SATA board to the M/B. Here's what it looks like, before you attach the hard drive:

http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk216/prog_photos/G74%20Touchpad/SATAcable9.jpg

And here's a closer look at the cable orientation. Note especially which way the blue tabs are facing when the cable is inserted into each connector.

http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk216/prog_photos/G74%20Touchpad/SATAcable7_sm.jpg

BrodyBoy
01-06-2012, 10:17 AM
You should also have the extra drive caddy, just like the one holding the existing drive. That was in there, too, I hope?

Ray-Ban
01-06-2012, 10:31 AM
Thanks for the info. Yes there was a second caddy. That blue ribbon cable appears to be unseparated from the PCB. I haven't pulled it out of the package yet; does this connect into the board somehow then? How is the PCB secured between the two HDDs?

BrodyBoy
01-06-2012, 10:37 AM
The board itself doesn't need to be secured....its connection to the drive is secure, and then the drive is secured into the bay. The board isn't going anywhere once installed.

If the cable is already attached to the SATA board, just leave it. The other end is attached to the connector on the M/B, as shown in the photos.

BrodyBoy
01-06-2012, 10:38 AM
Here's another view of how it attaches to the M/B:

http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk216/prog_photos/G74%20Touchpad/HDDconnector.jpg

Ray-Ban
01-12-2012, 07:46 PM
Thanks for these images, the drive is coming today so these will really help! Now my question is with the SSD and Data Drive itself. I want on my SSD the OS, and Flight Sim X. Everything else shall go to the D drive (I'm using the original hard drive as this).

I will install the drivers on the SSD, but am I able to move my library/documents over to the HDD? Should I reformat my D drive for this as well, removing the original windows 7 install? What about the page file/hibernation file, where should these all be kept? Can I split the page file, or should I even, between the two drives?

Thanks guys.

BrodyBoy
01-12-2012, 08:17 PM
Thanks for these images, the drive is coming today so these will really help! Now my question is with the SSD and Data Drive itself. I want on my SSD the OS, and Flight Sim X. Everything else shall go to the D drive (I'm using the original hard drive as this).

I will install the drivers on the SSD, but am I able to move my library/documents over to the HDD? Should I reformat my D drive for this as well, removing the original windows 7 install? What about the page file/hibernation file, where should these all be kept? Can I split the page file, or should I even, between the two drives?

Thanks guys.
The best approach would be to move all the data you want to save onto the non-system partition on the HDD. (Do this before you even install the SSD.) The objective is to re-organize the current HDD in such a way that you'll later be able to delete the system partition itself (your old Windows installation) without losing data. Then you can re-task that disk space for data.

After you physically install the SSD, install WIndows, the essential drivers, and your programs onto it. BUt set all your default data save locations to the HDD. The idea is to have Windows and programs on the SSD, and data over on the hard drive. I recommend leaving the page file on the SSD, but some prefer to do otherwise.

WhirledNews
01-12-2012, 08:50 PM
Here is a video showing how to do it, make sure to note in the end when he is attaching the cable to the MB you have to press down on the sides of the connecter to make it clench the cable. You might also have to pull them up before you put the cable in.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWoQl4RaDtk

Ray-Ban
01-12-2012, 09:31 PM
That's exactly what I needed thanks! Video is perfect too. Assuming I set my ssd as primary in the bios, does it matter which of the two hard drive bays the SSD is in? I assume I can just install it into the secondary with that cable and set it in my bios right?

I don't need any data on my current OS as I waited to install applications until I got this SSD. I know many programs have user files stored in the user library (my documents, etc). Can I just move my documents over to the backup?

BrodyBoy
01-12-2012, 09:44 PM
That's exactly what I needed thanks! Video is perfect too. Assuming I set my ssd as primary in the bios, does it matter which of the two hard drive bays the SSD is in? I assume I can just install it into the secondary with that cable and set it in my bios right?

I don't need any data on my current OS as I waited to install applications until I got this SSD. I know many programs have user files stored in the user library (my documents, etc). Can I just move my documents over to the backup?
You can move documents wherever you want.....no problem.

You can put the SSD in either drive bay....I've used them interchangeably. Some people get a little nervous about using bay #2, because (I guess) they feel the board/cable connection is less secure than the M/B connection in bay #1. I really don't think it matters....so put it wherever you like.

One caveat: You have to remove disk 2 whenever you need to get to drive 1. So it does make sense to put the disk you're least likely to move or replace in bay 1.

Ray-Ban
01-12-2012, 09:54 PM
You can move documents wherever you want.....no problem.

You can put the SSD in either drive bay....I've used them interchangeably. Some people get a little nervous about using bay #2, because (I guess) they feel the board/cable connection is less secure than the M/B connection in bay #1. I really don't think it matters....so put it wherever you like.

One caveat: You have to remove disk 2 whenever you need to get to drive 1. So it does make sense to put the disk you're least likely to move or replace in bay 1.

Okay sounds good. This is my first time installing a secondary drive onto a laptop, let alone an SSD acting as a boot drive, so thanks again guys for all the help. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm itching to leave work early to go play with my new toy :)

BrodyBoy
01-12-2012, 09:59 PM
Okay sounds good. This is my first time installing a secondary drive onto a laptop, let alone an SSD acting as a boot drive, so thanks again guys for all the help. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm itching to leave work early to go play with my new toy :)
Be sure to have all your downloads (and Windows installer) ready ahead of time. Have fun! :)

WhirledNews
01-12-2012, 10:06 PM
No it doesn't really matter which drive you put the SSD in, some prefer it in bay one because it has a physical connection with the MB. I did exactly what you are doing and put my SSD in bay 2, hooked it up, set it in the bios, installed Windows, installed the drivers and that was it for the most part. Some trouble shooting along the way but when does that not happen. I get great speeds with my SSD, it really just depends on if you want to go through the trouble of switching out your HDD and putting into bay two, you can always do it later as well. Once windows is installed you will still be able to see all of the files on your HDD.

Haha, I got sidetracked while typing an answer so I didn't see that Brody had already answered, he's always on the ball!

Ray-Ban
01-13-2012, 12:03 AM
Is there a reason that the included HDD is split into a "OS" partition and a "Data" partition?

WhirledNews
01-13-2012, 01:52 AM
Is there a reason that the included HDD is split into a "OS" partition and a "Data" partition?

I guess the main advantages would be so you can easily create image backups of just your OS. Plus it also keeps all of the files you use most often right next to each other, that is something you will not have to worry about with an SSD. I don't partition my drives at all.

BrodyBoy
01-13-2012, 02:55 AM
Is there a reason that the included HDD is split into a "OS" partition and a "Data" partition?
Manufacturers seem to do this routinely with large drives. There's no reason it's split the way it is other than...well, that's just one want to split it! I don't know how they came up with the "SDATA" label, either.....

In any event, you can re-partition however you like. Once you delete the OS partition on your HDD, you can either add that space to the existing DATA partition, or you can make it into one or more new data data partitions. I do prefer to keep the Windows installation confined to a smaller, dedicated partition. There are some real, practical reasons for doing that....but it also just feels "tidier" to me. ;)

Ray-Ban
01-13-2012, 04:51 AM
Success! I used the drivers on the disk and just updated the video drivers. One question came up during pre-install. My SSD showed 119GB empty out of 128GB before install. I know formating etc takes some room, but is 9 gigs really the amount it takes up? After windows/all drivers installed, I'm now down to 86GB on the SSD. Does that seem right out? My pagefile is set at 12gb by the system, maybe that's causing all the space to be taken up?

BrodyBoy
01-13-2012, 05:14 AM
Yeah, that all sounds pretty normal to me. You can make that pagefile much smaller if you like.....anywhere from 1Gb to maybe 4-6Gb is plenty.

Ray-Ban
01-13-2012, 05:27 AM
Yeah, that all sounds pretty normal to me. You can make that pagefile much smaller if you like.....anywhere from 1Gb to maybe 4-6Gb is plenty.

Okay interesting. Anyway I can move that pagefile to the secondary drive?

What do you do with your user files; leave them on the SSD? I can't find an easy way to change it over to the secondary without modifying the registry etc

BrodyBoy
01-13-2012, 05:33 AM
You can move the pagefile to the 2nd drive, but why not take advantage of the SSD's speed? With as much RAM as the G74s have (I assume you have 12Gb?), the pagefile is VERY rarely used. But when it is, you want it to be fast. I leave mine of the SSD, but you can move it to the HDD is you prefer it that way.

I set up all my user file locations on the HDD. I change all the library locations, and therefore the default save locations for all the various file types.

The easy way to change this stuff is in Windows Explorer. You can literally grab the "My Documents" library and drag it to where you want it on the HDD. Same with all the other library locations.

Ray-Ban
01-13-2012, 05:59 AM
When you copy and paste them, will the references change, so things like user files for games etc will automatically install them there? Or will the application try to create the folders that no longer exist in the default c: user folders?

BrodyBoy
01-13-2012, 06:19 AM
When you copy and paste them, will the references change, so things like user files for games etc will automatically install them there? Or will the application try to create the folders that no longer exist in the default c: user folders?
Most programs save their files to the default location for their file types, no matter where that is. So, for example, if I move "My Documents" to my secondary hard drive and make it the default save location for documents, programs like Word, notepad, etc, will automatically save my work there. Same idea with pictures, videos, music, etc. (Similarly, I change the location of the "Downloads" folder to the HDD.....)

Of course, most programs will also let you customize their specific save location.

Does that make sense? (This is one of those things that's easy to illustrate on-screen, but hard to put into words......)

Ray-Ban
01-13-2012, 08:18 AM
Most programs save their files to the default location for their file types, no matter where that is. So, for example, if I move "My Documents" to my secondary hard drive and make it the default save location for documents, programs like Word, notepad, etc, will automatically save my work there. Same idea with pictures, videos, music, etc. (Similarly, I change the location of the "Downloads" folder to the HDD.....)

Of course, most programs will also let you customize their specific save location.

Does that make sense? (This is one of those things that's easy to illustrate on-screen, but hard to put into words......)

Yeah I understand, I'm just worried that I'll accidently forget to set it on one of my application and screw it up ;)

Seile
01-13-2012, 10:35 PM
When it comes to moving the default user folder to another drive "after" Windows installation... well.. there is no easy way. A google search might point you to many different ways of doing it. including previously described in this thread and other methods that require a lot of registry editing and such. and even then some "dumb" programs will just keep on saving to the default user folder in C drive regardless of your settings...

The only "proper" way to do this is during your windows installation... in audit mode using the unattended method as described in the following.

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-files/win7-how-do-i-move-user-folder-to-a-different/565f16a5-e5ed-43c9-8422-4f56aebb296e


however a lot of programs will still write to the "default" C: user folder and cause more issues down the road.. making this whole moving user profile thing more of a headache than anything.

In the end I decided not to move the default user folder and just try to move the default temp folder of the programs, which is probably where the most writes occur anyway.

BrodyBoy
01-13-2012, 10:38 PM
I think we are talking about different things, Seile. Ray-Ban is talking about the default save locations for his user data. And this is something that is very easily changed in Windows Explorer.

It doesn't require, and I wouldn't recommend, any registry manipulation or installation changes to accomplish this....


Let Windows keep it's important housekeeping files where it wants them, in their default locations. It's just the user's data files that you'd want to move over to the secondary drive.

Seile
01-13-2012, 11:01 PM
Sorry... I meant user folders and all the sub folders inside which includes "My Documents"

I think the method you described will work for "most" mainstream program... but some might not. In the end you will end up with some programs default saving to your C: drive and some to the drive you moved your folder to.

BrodyBoy
01-13-2012, 11:25 PM
Sorry... I meant user folders and all the sub folders inside which includes "My Documents"

I think the method you described will work for "most" mainstream program... but some might not. In the end you will end up with some programs default saving to your C: drive and some to the drive you moved your folder to.
Yes, a few might. But for the occasional "dumb" program, you can usually just change the default save location within the program itself.

I always set my computers up this way, and I can't remember the last time a program that generates data was a problem in this regard. Everything always goes to the designated save folders on my data partitions.

juv95hrn
04-04-2012, 07:31 PM
This thread is very helpful.

I have tried installing an SSD along with my orginal HDD. The problem is that I can only find any of them in the BIOS when connected to the bay 1 that hooks into the laptop itself. When I use the flimsy cable wire the laptop doesn't seem to be able to find any of the 2 drives.

I have tried attaching the ends of the cable with tape so that they will stay emplaced firmly into their sockets but there seems to be a glitch anyways since, well, the connection seems to fail.

This phrase kind of confused me

"make sure to note in the end when he is attaching the cable to the MB you have to press down on the sides of the connecter to make it clench the cable. You might also have to pull them up before you put the cable in."

I don't seem to be able to do this. There is a small black plastic cover that rattles around but it seems to have no real purpose than protecting the entrance to the slot. If this indeed is used to secure the end of the cable somehow I would love to know if that is so.

I spent hours on this and I'm not impressed at all with this cable solution. I relly wish there was a proper connection like in bay 1 instead!

Grateful for any solution!

BrodyBoy
04-04-2012, 07:41 PM
This thread is very helpful.
@juv95hrn: It's a lot easier to offer help and resolve problems if you keep your conversation in one place. So far, you've posted the same issue in three different threads. (All the "regulars" around here see all the threads, so you won't pull in more people by double-triple posting.)

Let's just keep it in the thread you started for your SSD installation issues.