Computer Advice

Mar 22, 2012
868
22
#1
Hi
I have a Dell Alienware Laptop
It has an SSD 128 GB and a 2TD HDD
So they are 2 drives C and D
My problem is the 128 GB SSD has proved way too small Windows and Adobe seem to fill it up completely.

There is a spare slot for another M2 SSD

What happens if I add another M2 SSD.
Does it add to the first SSD?
or
Does it just create another drive (which then doesn't help my issue with is a filled 128GB SSD)?

If it does expand the size of the C Drive - is it plug and play or do I have to do something to get it to be recognised and be part of the C Drive

Has anyone a good solution.
In the end I just want the operating system on a bigger size drive.
I tried cloning the existing 128GB SSD onto a 256 SSD but I could get the computer to recognise the new drive (I bought a case so that it plugged into the USB port to do the cloning)

Note: I am not very up to date on PC's these days. Don't make the answer too complicated or I may not understand it.
I wish I knew more. Any advice would be welcom
 
Jan 28, 2015
2,553
203
Irving, Texas
#2
Buy a cloning dock ($40) and a 2TB or larger HDD. Clone your ssd. Install the new drive. Faster CPU and RAM, I believe, will speed things up for you. Having those programs on the SSD just makes them load faster. I don't believe it makes them work faster. The drive doesn't do any processing. I might be wrong. At any rate, a 128gb ssd is very small. You can get a 1TB ssd for about $150. You could always clone the tiny SSD over to that.

https://www.amazon.com/Blue-NAND-1T...e=UTF8&qid=1539052246&sr=1-5&keywords=1tb+ssd
 

DJL329

EOS Rebel SL2
Aug 26, 2010
568
14
#3
There are a lot of different types of M.2 drives available, so the 256GB M.2 SSD might not have been compatible with your laptop.
You should check with Dell to make sure the one you buy is a supported type.

I know that Western Digital has a free, downloadable version of Acronis that can be used to clone your drive -- you just have to have one of their drives in your system for it to work.
https://www.wdc.com/products/internal-ssd/wd-blue-3d-nand-sata-ssd.html#feature
 
Sep 9, 2012
1,124
13
hhaphoto.com
#4
M.2 SSDs come in different lengths and different arrangements of keys, which are the slots on the connector. For storage devices they're usually B or M keyed depending on their interface. The length is a numeric figure of their width (22 millimeters almost always) and length; 2280 is the usual size for laptop SSDs. The problem is that you may need either an extender clip from Dell if they have one or a drive of the next longer length (22110), but those are rare and very expensive.

My point is that isn't like the good old days when this was easy; M.2 is fast and I recommend it to everyone but cloning boot drives is troublesome.

I know this isn't a lot of answers but I hope it gives you some context.

Jim
 
#5
Hi
I have a Dell Alienware Laptop
It has an SSD 128 GB and a 2TD HDD
So they are 2 drives C and D
My problem is the 128 GB SSD has proved way too small Windows and Adobe seem to fill it up completely.

There is a spare slot for another M2 SSD

What happens if I add another M2 SSD.
Does it add to the first SSD?
or
Does it just create another drive (which then doesn't help my issue with is a filled 128GB SSD)?

If it does expand the size of the C Drive - is it plug and play or do I have to do something to get it to be recognised and be part of the C Drive

Has anyone a good solution.
In the end I just want the operating system on a bigger size drive.
I tried cloning the existing 128GB SSD onto a 256 SSD but I could get the computer to recognise the new drive (I bought a case so that it plugged into the USB port to do the cloning)

Note: I am not very up to date on PC's these days. Don't make the answer too complicated or I may not understand it.
I wish I knew more. Any advice would be welcom
I guess you have several options including the three below:
1. Buying any compatible SSD and using a disk cloning utility like Apricorn EZ Upgrade Kit ($29.00, including the software and included USB cloning connector which is required for connecting SSD to your computer).
2. Getting a Samsung SSD, and use their "Data Migration" utility (Free utility, does not need additional connector, but works with Samsung SSD only).
3. Utilizing your large capacity drive d: for your personal account files (e.g. documents pictures, video, lightroom catalog, music, etc.) by leaving the Windows and programs files on the SSD and moving all users related files to your drive d: by making a symbolic link to them like:
> mklink /D d:\Your_account c:\Users\Your_account
In this way, windows thinks it is saving your files in drive c: but they will be actually located in drive d:\Your_account.
 
Sep 14, 2012
1,356
26
#6
Hi
Does it add to the first SSD? or Does it just create another drive (which then doesn't help my issue with is a filled 128GB SSD)?
If you're using Windows, unluckily there are limitations about adding space from another disk to the boot/system partition (usually because at boot all needed files needs to be available without requiring software that may not have been loaded yet).

Did you already tried a disk "clean up system files" - which allows for removing also files saved by service packs and updates to allow for uninstalling them, but probably no longer required? Check also if there are restore points that can be deleted.

Where is your swap file located, and how large it is? You can move it to another disk, and if you have a lot of RAM, shrink it as well.

You can also move the user folders (My Documents, My Pictures, etc.) to a different disk.

Maybe you can free up some useful space - until you can attempt to clone or reinstall the OS.

Be aware that a filled SSD will last less, because it will re-use more the same few available memory locations.
 
Mar 22, 2012
868
22
#7
Thanks LDS. I have tried cleaning up system files.
The laptop has acquired many Nvidia drivers for some apparent reason and they are no so easy to get rid of. I think there was a bad update at some stage .
All the old versions of Photoshop and Lightroom are there and I'm not sure if I can just delete the folders.
I can't uninstall them.
Most of the space is taken up by Windows 18.2 GB, Program Files 25.8 GB, Program Data 16.3GB, Users 15.6GB Program Files (x86) 13.3GB
Hiberfil.sys then takes up 6.4GB
Most of the files in those do no seem easily removable.

A filled SSD lasting less is concerning. I can understand why.
 
Sep 14, 2012
1,356
26
#8
With an SSD, I find hibernation far less useful. If you don't use it, you can disable it and recover the space used. On my SSD, the Samsung software disable disk defragmenting (doesn't use space but just wears the disk), Windows Indexing (takes a lot of space, and if you don't use it you can disable it, or at least let it index only folders you like to be), and advises about the space used by hibernation and swap.

For Adobe software there's a utility to clean old installs:

https://helpx.adobe.com/creative-cloud/kb/cc-cleaner-tool-installation-problems.html

Deleting the folders of unused applications will free space, but a lot of other unused stuff will be left behind, and if for any reason some file is still referenced somewhere, errors may occur.

Here the procedure to Delete Lightroom manually, it the cleaner too doesn't work:

https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom/kb/manually-remove-lightroom.html

(Hope you didn't install some of those "portable versions"...)

For other applications, check the forum.

nVidia driver setup has an option to perform a "clean install" - wholly removing the driver before reinstalling it. don't know it if can help.

You can also try to run tools like CCleaner (but beware of what it itself installs - use the portable version), or PCDecrapifier to remove a lot of accumulated cruft.

Anyway, with those many issues - I'd reinstall the OS, it would free space and bring it back in a more healthy status.
 
Mar 22, 2012
868
22
#9
https://helpx.adobe.com/creative-cloud/kb/cc-cleaner-tool-installation-problems.html

Its funny I installed this and ran it but it didn't seem to find the old instals.
Maybe the old Installs are gone but the folder structure and underlying volume of file still seem to exist.
I'm on CC subscription now but the laptop may have started with installs pre-CC
I find it hard to tell what's what to be honest
There seems to be alot of similar things in Program Files and Program (x86) (but they may not be necessarily the same).
I might try some of those things like CC Cleaner (used to use this but yes it tries to hijack your browser etc)

Reinstall the OS is a consideration and then reinstalling Lightroom / Photoshop and keeping it to a minimum.
I'd have to watch my plugins and brushes , presets etc that I keep them all.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

Spends too much time on this forum
Mar 25, 2011
14,542
83
#10
As others have noted, you can tell windows to put all your data files on the 2 TB hard drive, so you just need system files on the small SSD. You can get by with 128GB as long as you tell Lightroom to put the catalog on the 2nd HD.

I'd get a compatible 512 GB SSD or even larger. I put the LR catalog on my SSD but all data files on my 4TB hard drive. 274 GB of the 512TB SSD are used. I expect there are a very few temporary video files on my SSD, they work better there but I have to clean them out occasionally.
 
Sep 14, 2012
1,356
26
#11
Its funny I installed this and ran it but it didn't seem to find the old instals.
Maybe the old Installs are gone but the folder structure and underlying volume of file still seem to exist.
If so manually deleting the folders should not create issues. You could check if there some uninstall program there, and try to run them, but since the cleaner utility didn't find reference they may not work as well. Other files and data could still be scattered through other directories (AppData, ProgramData, Common Files, etc.) - if you can find some instructions on Adobe forums (or elsewhere) you can find and remove them. Adobe application directories follow a standard clean enough, so it's not difficult to find what is what.

There could be data in the registry as well, but they could take less space. Unluckily manually cleaning an application requires a good knowledge of the various places data are written.

You may also want to run a disk check, if you didn't already, If something went wrong in the past.