New build, put OS on an SSD and want to use programs installed on old HDD.

I recently just built a new computer. In doing so, I made the smart choice of getting an SSD for my OS. However, I also put in the old hard drive from my last PC to keep all those files. Is there a way I can access and run the programs on my old drive while having my SSD as my boot drive? Right now it boots in windows 8 on my SSD. I can access my hard drive and some programs such as NotePad++ work (I'm assuming since that programs doesn't effect the registry maybe?) but my other programs will not work. I would rather not wipe that drive and reinstall considering I have hours and hours of installs and settings setup on there. Is there a way to make my SSD boot my OS, but still run the old programs installed on my hard drive? (ALSO - old hard drive has windows 8 and all my files on it, never had 2 drives til now)
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  1. Best answer
    You're on the right track, some software (like notepad++) are made to be self-contained and don't rely on much if anything outside of their directory, they can be put on a flash drive and run. You other software makes registry changes and links itself to DLL's and other necessary bits all over the OS, which they can't fine without the registry entries in place. They will need to be re-installed (don't try to import your old registry, it will go badly)
  2. Alright, I figured it had to do with my registry. Thank you for the answer. I'll have to boot up my HDD again and uninstall those programs to free up that space then just do a fresh install again.
  3. NO. Application ALWAYS have to be reinstalled. NOW as you have both in the computer at the same time you will run into another issue, as the HDD is set and configured as your BOOT drive, this will come into play down the road when you can't boot or it gets confused hosing up everything.

    Any 'ADD SSD Tips and Tricks' tells you the same thing, you need to start clean. Boot your HDD (no SSD in the PC) run Windows Easy Transfer to backup your 'look and feel ' and data to a external drive. Download and make a DBAN CD, wipe the HDD. Install the SSD, then when you install your programs MANUALLY INSTALL to the D:\ (HDD) drive. Programs by defualt will (if you just click) install ONLY to the SSD and fill it in no time flat.

    When all the programs are reinstalled, then run Windows Easy Transfer and restore your data
  4. As of now I have my SSD as the boot drive. Everything boots fine, only problem I'm having is my Ethernet cable can't be detected (assuming it's a driver issue or on board Ethernet is off in bios.) I boot up Windows 8 on my SSD and can access my HDD and it's files easily. Still better to backup and wipe? I'm assuming so, considering that way it's clean with no extra crap.
  5. Yes because eventually when you shut down / reboot, BIOS is going to ask BOTH drives who is the BOOT drive, they will argue and things will get futtered up. Worst case I seen is it attempts to 'repair' or option to 'repair' the user does it and reset the MBR the wrong way causing the drive to 'error' and is 'unreadble' (I.e. you lost everything on it) because it couldn't set it 'correctly' as NOT the Boot drive. Further applications have all sorts of little parts everywhere in the directories you can't find them all, so eventually when you do 'something' the program will crap out and hopefully not take Windows with it.
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