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Is it possible to migrate to an SSD without having to reinstall everything?

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May 21, 2014 12:03:43 PM

I already have Windows 7 installed on my hard drive on my computer, however I am getting an SSD later today. Is it possible to leave Windows 7 on my hard drive, but switch my primary boot drive to my SSD and install windows on that, then once Windows 7 is installed on my SSD, will all the programs remaining on my hard drive still work? Or would I have to wipe my hard drive and install everything from scratch?

Sorry if this is a nooby question I've never done anything with an SSD before or having multiple drives.

More about : migrate ssd reinstall

a b G Storage
a b $ Windows 7
May 21, 2014 12:10:17 PM

Yes, samsung drives includes a utility, and there are many hard drive clone programs out there.

You are better off to start from scratch, but it is possible.
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May 21, 2014 12:39:15 PM

boosted1g said:
Yes, samsung drives includes a utility, and there are many hard drive clone programs out there.

You are better off to start from scratch, but it is possible.


Wouldnt cloning require that my HDD takes up less space than the SSD's capacity? That's not what I want. I want my SSD to be fresh, but everything that I already had remain on my HDD. I'm not sure if it's possible though.
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a b G Storage
a b $ Windows 7
May 21, 2014 12:53:15 PM

The only thing that will work is to clone your HDD to the SSD. If the data (not the size) on your HDD is greater than the capacity of your SSD, then that obviously will not work. In that case, you will have to install Windows from scratch on the new SSD, and whatever programs you want to have run from it. The rest will have to be installed on the new load of Windows on the SSD, but you would direct, during installation, that their install files go to the HDD, which will probably be your "D" or "E" drive.

BUT, if the used portion of your HDD is less than the capacity of your SSD, then just clone it. It would save a LOT of work on your part.
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a b G Storage
a b $ Windows 7
May 21, 2014 12:53:53 PM

Appologies, I missread your post.

It will not just work straight forward to keep your files on your original drive.

Some programs contian all of their files and necessary items in their program folder so that will run simply enough. Many other programs like microsoft office put their files in the their program folder, in the program data folder, in your appdata folders for your user account and in the system registry. Thus these programs would not just work and would require way more time/effort to make them work then it would be to just reinstall the program.

So the short answer to your question is no, that will not work.
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May 21, 2014 1:06:42 PM

mbreslin1954 said:
The only thing that will work is to clone your HDD to the SSD. If the data (not the size) on your HDD is greater than the capacity of your SSD, then that obviously will not work. In that case, you will have to install Windows from scratch on the new SSD, and whatever programs you want to have run from it. The rest will have to be installed on the new load of Windows on the SSD, but you would direct, during installation, that their install files go to the HDD, which will probably be your "D" or "E" drive.

BUT, if the used portion of your HDD is less than the capacity of your SSD, then just clone it. It would save a LOT of work on your part.


Wait, do you mean I can select the windows files to go to the SSD and everything else (like program files and my user folder) to go to my HDD during the setup? Thanks for the answer.

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May 21, 2014 1:07:56 PM

boosted1g said:
Appologies, I missread your post.

It will not just work straight forward to keep your files on your original drive.

Some programs contian all of their files and necessary items in their program folder so that will run simply enough. Many other programs like microsoft office put their files in the their program folder, in the program data folder, in your appdata folders for your user account and in the system registry. Thus these programs would not just work and would require way more time/effort to make them work then it would be to just reinstall the program.

So the short answer to your question is no, that will not work.


No worries, I posted a follow-up question in reply to the guy above you if you're willing to take a look. ^
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a b G Storage
a b $ Windows 7
May 21, 2014 1:24:37 PM

When you install a program, often you can select which drive you want to install it to.

Now when you install a program to the HDD over the SSD you wont get the bennifits of the SSD drive for that program and it will take longer to load that program.

If you have say a 120 GB SSD drive, I would put your OS and programs on your SSD drive, and then all of the user files on the HDD. You can easily change the directory for your documents folder, desktop, pictures folder etc, etc if you have gigs and gigs of music, pictures, etc.
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May 21, 2014 1:53:03 PM

boosted1g said:
When you install a program, often you can select which drive you want to install it to.

Now when you install a program to the HDD over the SSD you wont get the bennifits of the SSD drive for that program and it will take longer to load that program.

If you have say a 120 GB SSD drive, I would put your OS and programs on your SSD drive, and then all of the user files on the HDD. You can easily change the directory for your documents folder, desktop, pictures folder etc, etc if you have gigs and gigs of music, pictures, etc.


Okay, thanks for the help!
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a b G Storage
a b $ Windows 7
May 21, 2014 2:59:10 PM

When installing programs, whether they be games, Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, whatever, you can specify during the install that they go to your "D" drive. I would just duplicate the default file location except change the "C" to the "D", so, for instance, if the program you're installing wants to install in "C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe", you would make it "D:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe". However, be aware that, in addition to putting most of its files in that specified directory, some files will go to the "C" drive anyway, you can't control that. Not many, but some, such as in "C:\Windows", possibly "C:\Windows\System32\Drivers", and others as boosted1g said.

Not to mention the program will put all kinds of entries into the Windows registry, which is the Windows configuration database that tells Windows how to manage and run the program.
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