Can you install an SSD in the future whilst using a HDD and keep all programs?

Hi, I am building a computer for gaming and editing/multimedia and I cannot afford a SSD at the moment so I will just install a HDD for now. I would like to know if I will be able to add a SSD in a month or two and set that to be the boot drive for windows 7 and transfer my programs over to the SSD with the OS (Games, After Effects, Photoshop).

Will I have to reinstall everything again on the SSD and will the product keys still work? That sounds quite difficult or is there a program to help with that?

(I have searched online but I can't find a direct answer to my issue, some of the videos and articles are quite confusing to someone like me who doesn't have vast knowledge in computing)

Thanks in advance.
4 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    Just like adding any other new OS drive, you can simply use drive cloning software to image your old drive to the new SSD. Each company has this either on a disk that comes with the new drive, or you can download it from the website. The software takes care of everything, and is pretty simple to use. You will install the new SSD to your system as a secondary drive in the BIOS. Boot normally to your old drive. Start the software, it will clone your old drive to your new SSD, set your new SSD as the boot drive with the boot sector on it, and the old hard drive as the non boot drive. You then reboot, go into the BIOS, change your boot order so the SSD is now first in the boot order, take the old drive out of the boot order, and you are set!
  2. You will be able too add in an SSD later, and you can use cloning software (might even be included with the drive) to move the OS over if you dont want too reinstall Windows.
    The product key will still work as it ties itself to the motherboard, not the drive.

    Programs are hit and miss, they work or they might not. I'm inclined to think they will, but dont be surprised if you end up needing to re-install them.
  3. Yes you can clone the HDD to SSD when you get it. However its better to reinstall windows and program as some features of windows are configured to take advantage of SSD during initial set up.

    It will be just like reinstalling windows regularly. Most if not all program can easily be reinstalled on the same computer using the same product key.
  4. I would suggest also to simply do a clean install. It will give you something to marvel in amazement at. Windows and all your programs install in only a fraction of the time it took to put everything on your hard drive. You are going to be amazed if you never had an SSD before.
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