Keeping programs for SSD install
My friend has an old computer that I am upgrading, I will put an SSD in there, the trouble is I want it to boot off the SSD, so I have to do a fresh install, how will I keep the programs that are on the computer in the first place?
In theory, you should be able to replace any program using the original installation media. One option to clone the disk, though this means that you will have to have an SSD with a greater storage capacity than what you are copying to it requires. This will include the Windows install and your programs, as well as any files remaining on the disk.
If you are doing a fresh install for some reason, your data (including programs) will be lost. In Windows 8, you have the option to "refresh" Windows, which does not affect your programs and files. Reset will remove all of your files, programs, and settings. Both of these are an option after cloning the disk.
The refresh option in Windows 8 is more intended to work on an in-place installation. That is, you would already have Windows 8 and would use refresh or reset if you started having troubles with you machine. If you don't already have Windows 8, don't worry about it. I had been thinking that if you had Windows 8, you could cut the drive down to fit on the SSD and then clone it, refreshing the install afterwords.
The whole thing is described in better detail here:
Cloning a disk does not have the option of only taking certain parts of a drive's content. If you upgrade to Windows 8, the install would be on whatever disk or SSD the older install was when you upgraded. It is possible to create a full, clean install from upgrade media using Windows 7. I don't know about Windows 8, as I haven't tried my self. Doing so would be different than refreshing an install.
If you have a functional copy of Windows 7, I would just trim it down to whatever size of SSD you have and then clone it over. Ideally, you will have a legitimate, bootable install of Windows with your programs intact on the SSD. Upgrading to Windows 8 is not necessary.
Read this guide ^