Upgrading from Windows Vista to 7 drive formatting question?

So, I'm planning to clean install windows 7 on this machine which currently contains windows vista.

Having 2 drives, drive C:/ (which contains the current os vista) and E:/ (actually it nearly has the same space as drive C without any system files attached to it, and it came without any files when I first bought and used the laptop. I usually store big torrents in it and movies and stuff like that).

So, the question is, during the installation, could l just use the drive E as a backup to all the documents and personal things that drive C contains instead of buying a new hard drive for all the backup needed? That way, I would firstly move all the material from C to E and during the installation, format only drive C, keeping the files of the E one. When I'm done with the installation and have the windows 7, I then just need to move back the files to the C drive.

Is this possible and safe? Or is it better if I just buy a new hard drive as a safety precaution for all the data and personal documents to not be lost?

4 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about upgrading windows vista drive formatting question
  1. Use the Windows Easy Migration Tool to back up your stuff to the secondary drive. It never hurts though to have your data on more than one disk in case of user error or drive failure.
  2. I always backup to be sure , but most of the time this works out fine, but I usually detach the storage(backup)drive during the installation , then reattach it after 7 install is complete.
  3. Yes, you can use it if it has enough empty space. Back everything up to it, then, before you start your new windows installation, unplug it, and leave only the hard drive you are going to install the new version of Windows on plugged in. Hook it back up after the Windows install is complete. This is not absolutely necessary, but having a second drive hooked up can create some problems under certain conditions during a new install, especially on a system that has had another OS on it before, so its best to only have the drive you are doing the install on active during the installation of the new OS.

    Whoops, the last post beat me to it!
  4. Best answer
    If you run windows easy transfer now, you can export all your files and settings that are on the "C" drive and send them to the "D" drive, assuming it has room.
    Then disconnect the "D" drive and do your clean install on the original "C" drive.
    If you leave the "D" attached, windows will put a hidden recovery partition on it, complicating things.
    Reattach the "D" drive and run windows easy transfer to import your files and settings(all or in part) back.
    Two added thoughts:
    1. Buy an upgrade copy of windows 7. It should cost the same as OEM, but is considered as retail so you can freely transfer it later if you want.
    Yes, you can do a clean install with upgrade media :
    2. This would be an opportune time to replace your "C" drive with a SSD. Everything you do will be so much quicker.
    Samsung or Intel would be my picks for a SSD.
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