Dual booting W8 on a SSD/HDD without a fresh install

Hey all,

I just ordered a new gaming PC. It's an Alienware X51 with an Ivy i5, GTX 660, and a 1 TB HDD. I got the W8 upgrade when it was $40, so I don't have a disc. Is there any way to get the OS on a small SSD and put the rest on the 1 TB HDD without having to re-install Windows? Also, the X51 case is pretty cramped; how tough would it be to take out the CD drive and put in an SSD?

Thanks for any help in advance!
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More about dual booting ssd hdd fresh install
  1. Link to use of Sysprep for Win 7, don't know if it applies to 8, don't see why not!
    If you have your original Win 8 download emails, you will be able to download it again to create Installation Media rather than upgrade

    Download link under here
    In fact this is the link

    Clean install to Drive, then do a Refresh Install to activate Windows, immediately after successful initial install, leave your disk in drive...
  2. SSDs are so small and light you'll get away with attaching it to the case in any bay with a couple of screws, not as if you're lugging it around anywhere... mine's just hanging loose...
  3. Yeah since SSD has no moving parts you can just tape it to the inside of the case if you really had to.

    A tad more professional looking, you can get adaptors for the 5.25" drive bays. I've used these before and assume you can get something similar from a US site - http://www.dabs.com/products/akasa-2-5----3-5--ssd-hdd-adapter-into-5-25--bay-737D.html

    If you have a 3rd drive, an external hard drive or even a large USB memory stick you could copy all of your Documents, Pictures etc over to there leaving only system files on the 1TB hdd. From there you can clone the 1TB to the SSD and start booting from that. Assuming it works, format the 1TB HDD then copy all your documents etc back onto it.

    The only reason for temporarily moving data to the 3rd device is because if you have say a 64GB SSD then you must have less than 64GB on the HDD to clone it. Realistically you would want less than 60GB

    Two of the most popular free drive cloning softwares are


    Easeus todo Backup

    With it being a completely new machine there is a chance it won't boot due to dissimilar hardware. This is where you would need to look into running sysprep on the old machine before moving/cloning the drive.
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