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2 hard drive with windows 7 problematic?

Last response: in Windows 7
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December 26, 2010 12:32:27 PM

I recently got a new Hard drive and I want to install my OS on this one because it's faster.

Is it possible to install it right now (windows 7 on the new HDD) when I have another windows (7 too) on my old HDD, boot into the new drive, transfer important files from old HDD to the new one and format the old Hard drive and turn it into a storage drive?

I planned to change the boot order in the bios so that the new one boots 1st but is this sufficient? Will my computer try to boot two windows? Will the windows installation hang telling me that it's allready installed on another drive?

Thanks in advance for your help, I really can't afford to lose the data I have on the old drive.

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a b $ Windows 7
December 26, 2010 3:12:31 PM

thyrokio said:
I really can't afford to lose the data I have on the old drive.
Hello Thyrokio;
Sounds like it might be ideal for you to set up a dual boot option. That way your current Win7 installation will remain just as it is right now without the need to reformat the older HDD.

Perhaps the easiest way forward is to disconnect the old HDD power and data cable after installing the new HDD. Then go ahead and do a clean installation on the new HDD.
Affter getting a good installation on the new HDD, getting the Win7u updates done, hookup the old HDD again, change the boot order in BIOS and you should be able to transfer files from one HDD to the other.
With the added option of booting up that use the old HDD just as is. You can use a Boot Manager program like EasyBCD to easily manage the dual boot option.
EasyBCD http://download.cnet.com/EasyBCD/3000-2094_4-10556865.h...


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December 26, 2010 3:29:02 PM

Thanks a lot, I'll go ahead a do that. Don't know why I didn't think of disconnecting the old drive really ;) . And this software will be usefull in the future too.
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a b $ Windows 7
December 26, 2010 4:31:21 PM

Using EasyBCD and doing a multi-boot setup on my main machine has made it a lot more useful. No more digging out an old PC just to do some testing or work for some friends with older OS's. And for any testing, I don't need to use my main Win7 installation.

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a c 209 $ Windows 7
December 26, 2010 4:55:22 PM

thyrokio said:
Is it possible to install it right now (windows 7 on the new HDD) when I have another windows (7 too) on my old HDD, boot into the new drive, transfer important files from old HDD to the new one and format the old Hard drive and turn it into a storage drive?
Yes, it is. Here's how I would do it:

- Open the system and disconnect the old hard drive containing the data you want to keep.

- Install Windows onto the new hard drive.

- Reconnect the old hard drive and boot from the new one. You may have to change the BIOS boot order to do this, but that should be pretty easy to do.

- Transfer files from the old drive to the new one.

- Once you're sure you've transferred ALL the files you need, format the old drive and start using it for data.

The only really tricky part is in transferring the data. Windows applies security settings to user accounts and normally you won't be able to access files in a personal user folder on the old drive, even if you use the same account name in the new system (Windows actually uses an internal randomly-generated account identifier for security purposes, not the account name).

But you can get around the problem by signing onto an account with administrative privileges, right-clicking on the user folder to access its properties, going to the security properties and:

- take ownership of the folder and all files / subfolders

- allow administrator access to the folder and all files /subfolders

After that you'll be able to access the files to transfer them.

Another way you can do the whole process is to use the Windows 7 "Easy Transfer" wizard. It will let you back up your data from the old drive and then restore it to the new drive after you've installed the new system on it. If you go this way I'd still physically disconnect the old drive when installing the new system - that way you know there's no possible way the old data can be overwritten.
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December 26, 2010 9:22:07 PM

Thanks for your advice guys, I'm sitting in my new HDD transferring files from my old one right now so I've succeeded.


I Unplugged old one, installed win7 (updated it too) on the new one, replugged the old one changed the HDD priority in the bios and the Boot priority accordingly.

I haven't encountered any problem doing this. I had feared that after booting from my new one it would also try to boot into the other one too thus creating a strange mess, luckily nothing of the sort happened.

Can I change my own thread's title and put a (solved) there?.
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December 26, 2010 9:23:16 PM

Best answer selected by thyrokio.
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