I am using windows 8.1 OS. I want to get a SSD. I want to transfer the operating system from the hard drive to the SSD, and ONLY the operating system. I want everything else (movies, games, other applications) to stay on the hard drive.
What size of SSD is needed for the size of the operating system? How do i proceed?
For cloning (making an exact copy of the entire disk) you need to connect the hard disk to a different computer and then use a cloning software. There are a few good free cloning software that you can download and run.
There is Acronis (free download from WD's website)
The best you can do would be to use a clone utility to make an image of your current hard drive on the new ssd.
Samsung and Intel both have good ones for their ssd's.
Your ssd will need to be large enough to hold the contents of your current hard drive.
The problem with leaving apps and programs on the old hard drive is that they depend on registry entries which will no longer be present on the new ssd.
If you are willing to do a clean install, that could be done in as little as 60gb. But so many things want to go on the "C" drive that I would not recommend anything less than 120gb. 240gb would be better.
If you do a clean install, you will need to reinstall your programs and apps. Yes, most programs will let you direct the install to a hard drive. Your movies and other files will still be available on the old hard drive.
1. I always recommend a fresh install on a new SSD
2. There is little reason to have 'only' the OS on the SSD. A 120GB or larger SSD can hold quite a lot of applications, apart from games. Your AV, image editors, office suite...all can (and should) live on the SSD.
Get a 120GB or larger SSD. Anything smaller is asking for trouble.