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Best way to go about migrating windows to ssd?

Basically my 500GB HDD has no space left so I bought a new 1TB drive for more storage. Soon I will get an ssd for the OS. I have OS and files all on the one partition so....
Now, in regards to the backup, can i backup all files except the os files? Or should I just bring over user files and the steamapps folder and exe file to an external hard-drive (only files I really need)?

Now I presume I just connect the ssd and do a fresh install. Now the tricky bit, how do I connect the old HDD with no trace of the old windows files. If i succeed on backing up drive excluding os files, is it just a matter of restoring backup on to the already formatted 500GB HDD? Is that ,e good to go?
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  1. I would advise a clean install, and you can migrate your steam folder like THIS. Once the clean install is complete with only the SSD installed, then attach the HDD and move whatever you wish.

    And you can move your steam files now if you are critically short on space. Also back up all of your data to the new HDD. I would not reformat the old HDD until the new configuration with an SSD is working well.

    And when you install the new SSD, turn on AHCI as the SATA mode if it is not already -- just before the install.
  2. I'm going to get an external hard drive for backup. Once the SSD is working fine, how will I go about transferring files back to the 500GB HDD after I have formatted it (SSD only for os and possibly some programs). There's the normal backup through windows you can do, but what whey does this work with steam? Is it better to transfer steam to 500GB HDD with the method mentioned or through the standard restore option through windows I assume you get when you connect the ext HDD. As well as that, can I backup my 500GB HDD excluding the OS files?
  3. You *can* backup using pretty much any of the backup software, including the Windows backup, or you can just drag and drop data for stuff other than Steam. The Steam folder that you will use to play is best left on an internal drive -- I thought you bought a new 1TB drive for that use. You will get poor performance, and Steam even says that in the link. An external drive is best used just for storage. If it is just a temporary move, you can drag and drop move the folder until the new 1 TB drive is ready for it. Read the link to Steam for details on moving their folder. All of your other programs will need to be reinstalled as will the Steam installer.

    Also read about the SteamApps folder that you should backup using their method HERE. That is the one folder that should remain on the OS drive along with Steam.exe -- the rest of the Steam folder (all the games) can be on the 1TB internal drive.

    And do not trust an external USB drive with the only copy of important information (just look around the forums at all external drives that cannot be read). If you do put anything significant on the external be sure to safely eject it and only leave it on while needed since a simple power outage can damage the data or boot record on it.
  4. The external hard drive is just temporary so I can format the 500GB HDD. What's the better method of transferring over steam games to external hard drive, the steam app folder and exe file method, or the the one you just mentioned which is steams backup option when you right click the game
  5. For the SteamApps folder I would use there method so you don't lose any information on where you are in various games. For the game files it really doesn't matter but I generally follow the Steam instructions.

    With an external drive it will be a slow copy process, can you temporarily move the files to the 1TB internal drive instead until the format is done? It would be much faster and more reliable.
  6. Ok, steam says to use the steamapps and exe method for multiple games. For the other files i'm going to use the windows easy transfer. So is a straight windows backup not required anymore if i do it this way?

    Maybe better to a standard windows backup to external HDD to be safe
  7. Best answer
    Once you move the Steam stuff, no reason that you cannot do a regular Windows backup for the rest.
  8. Thanks man
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