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Existing installation vs new running at same time on 2 hard drives

Last response: in Windows 7
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December 15, 2013 9:02:41 AM

So my issue is, a customer asked me a question that I was unable to answer and it bothers me that I couldn't help him.

He and I are actually in the same boat, so to clarify what the situation is, both of us are suffering from constant restarts without any BSOD's or any errors popping up for that matter.

The restarts happen at random intervals but its commonly throughout the day---sometimes we get lucky and it doesn't restart for several hours.

I had suggested he checked the temperature readings and perhaps reapply thermal paste and he says that they are all normal readings between 40-50c sometimes 60 if he starts playing games using full load and has already reapplied thermal paste.

We're both at the point where we are assuming its either the windows installation/hard drive, or its the motherboard (in my case its most likely the motherboard), either way I suggested he try clearing cmos to see if that helps--it seems to help me by allowing my system run for a few hours longer before it restarts again.

Now, the question he asked me was

hes going buy a legit copy of windows 7 because he's using bootleg, but he's going to put new copy on an SSD. His issue was the ssd isn't big enough for carry over all of his files, folders, and applications like his vsts, cubase, reason, etc.

So he wants to know what he can do to remove windows from his other hard drive with out deleting his files? he's just going to carry over his applications and vsts, and keep everything else there)

The only thing i could think of was to get an external drive and back all his things to it and then format his hard drive but for him its too time consuming.

I also suggested he could leave it as a dual boot having two windows 7 hard drives but I was unsure if that would affect his performance, or if it wouldn't change his restart issues if it turns out to be the bad copy of windows.


Any suggestions are greatly appreciated, I asked the customer to call my store on Tuesday and I'll let him know if I have another option for him.

Best solution

a c 539 $ Windows 7
December 15, 2013 9:24:58 AM

OK, here's the way I would do it:

tl-dr - Start fresh. OS and applications on the new SSD, other files elsewhere

1. Any personal files that live in 'Documents/Music/etc'...copy them to a location outside the current folder structure. This allows easier copying later. Those folders are tied to the current user, and would take a few extra steps later to access.
2. Gather ALL install files/disks/username-password for all of the applications.
3. Remove any and all existing drives.
4. Install the new SSD (minimum 128GB, pref 256)
5. Install the new, legal Windows.
6. Install whatever applications fit on the SSD. With a new OS, this needs to be done anyway. That can actually be a lot more than you might think. My 128GB SSD has a LOT of applications, and still has ~60GB free.
7. Change BIOS boot order as required.
8. Now that we have a properly licensed and running OS, and personal files easily accessible, we can connect the old drive(s) and blow away the old OS.

If that is too much work or 'too time consuming' ...well....this is what it takes. Could be done in an afternoon. Trying to go an 'easier' way will result in screwing with this for weeks.
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December 15, 2013 9:56:53 AM

USAFRet said:
OK, here's the way I would do it:

tl-dr - Start fresh. OS and applications on the new SSD, other files elsewhere

1. Any personal files that live in 'Documents/Music/etc'...copy them to a location outside the current folder structure. This allows easier copying later. Those folders are tied to the current user, and would take a few extra steps later to access.
2. Gather ALL install files/disks/username-password for all of the applications.
3. Remove any and all existing drives.
4. Install the new SSD (minimum 128GB, pref 256)
5. Install the new, legal Windows.
6. Install whatever applications fit on the SSD. With a new OS, this needs to be done anyway. That can actually be a lot more than you might think. My 128GB SSD has a LOT of applications, and still has ~60GB free.
7. Change BIOS boot order as required.
8. Now that we have a properly licensed and running OS, and personal files easily accessible, we can connect the old drive(s) and blow away the old OS.

If that is too much work or 'too time consuming' ...well....this is what it takes. Could be done in an afternoon. Trying to go an 'easier' way will result in screwing with this for weeks.


that seems pretty easy actually and a lot less time consuming than backing every thing up to another drive, so what do we do with the old OS? do we let it sit there on the old hard drive, can it be renamed? because it would still be called local disk right?

and so pretty much any files that the user wants to keep that is tied to the current user account (computer > local disk > users > username, right?), just extract them and put them in a folder on the local disk outside the user folder?

If that's all it takes then, this is definitely a simple solution.

Much appreciated!
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a c 539 $ Windows 7
December 15, 2013 10:06:19 AM

Right. Extract the files, not the parent folders. The folders are what carries the original user permissions.

As far as the old OS. Get rid of it. Being pirated....no telling what is actually in there. Get rid of it. Personally, I'd format that whole drive, just in case.

The actual drive will be D, or whatever.
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December 15, 2013 11:13:28 AM

sorry I'm just not sure by what you mean, how do i get rid of it? delete windows folder?

and thanks again, you've been an enormous help!
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a c 539 $ Windows 7
December 15, 2013 11:23:25 AM

Umeed said:
sorry I'm just not sure by what you mean, how do i get rid of it? delete windows folder?

and thanks again, you've been an enormous help!


Delete anything and everything other than the stuff you saved. Windows, Program Files, etc, etc.
This is one of the reasons why we saved the User files elsewhere first...:) 
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December 15, 2013 3:25:31 PM

ahhh ok that makes sense, thanks man, I'm sure the customer will be happy when i inform him on tuesday. Also helps me out too lol, much appreciated!
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