How to move ONLY W7 Installation to SSD?

Hi everyone who reads this. To explain so there isn't any confusion, Right now I have a WD Blue 1TB HDD that is quite slow in my alienware x51. Im putting an SSD in the system on top of the DVD drive cage. I have a bunch of games on my HDD I want to keep, but I want my W7 install moved to the SSD, without having to reinstall. Reinstalling isn't a big deal at all, but I don't want to have to format my other drive if possible. I also want the main Program Files x86 directory on the SSD if that makes sense..Really All I need to know Is how to keep all my games on my HDD, And how to make the main portion of W7 on the SSD, And the hard drive to be nothing but a few directiories with games. I don't want both drives to have Program Files x86 on them, for example on my custom built PC It has an SSD with windows files, and a hard drive with games and a few other things on it in directiories on it that I created. How should I go about moving the install and deleteing W7 off the other HDD, but keep games. I REALLY don't want to go spend unneccessary money on an external HDD if possible.
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  1. Best answer
    My brother has an X51, he did the same, added a Samsung 840 in exactly the way you describe. He loves it. The only problem he had is that you need to find a very short sata cable, regular length cables are far, far too long to fit easily inside the case.

    Anyway, I don't think this is possible. Moving Windows but not your programs would break the registry. Windows would be looking to the c:\games or c:\program files for your games, but they'd be installed onto the D drive so Windows would fail to load...well...everything.

    Someone smarter than me might have a better idea, but I think format / fresh install of everything is your only option.

    Edit: to clarify further, this is what I would do, step-by-step:

    Back up your games (I'm assuming you use Steam which has this ability bult in)
    Uninstall all your games.
    Use Clonezilla to clone your HDD to the SSD.
    Format the HDD
    reinstall your games on the HDD.
  2. I'd just clean install everything. It's actually the easiest and probably fastest way. Unplug the hdd before installing windows on the ssd.
  3. Gopher1369 has hit both the issue and the process on the head. Except the assumption that all your games are with Steam, of course. Just be sure that you have good external copies of all your data.
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