I am currently running windows 7 on a 7200rpm 1 tb hd. I had windows 7 preinstalled. I want to get a ssd and just install windows 8 system builder on it, would it recognize my files on the 1 tb hd? Could I get rid of that windows 7 after I install the windows 8 but keep the files intact?
yes, you will be able to do exactly that, mind you when you install windows 8 you will have to re-install most programs for them to work properly but all the files will still be there and you will be able to access them.
once you are fully comfortable with windows 8 you can remove the Win7 boot.ini from the boot choices by using the msconfig option by doing "windows key + R -> type msconfig -> go to the boot tab" there you can see both windows 8 and windows 7 and you will just delete the win 7 entry.
from there you can migrate all your documents and other info from your user files from win7 if you want or leave them and just link to them if your SSD cant hold all the info.
this is exactly what i did switching to win8 from 7 just incase i had to revert during install or also giving me a couple days with 8 before removing 7