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Ideas and best practices needed for clean OS install

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January 29, 2010 4:14:40 PM

Hello

In a few days, I will be upgrading to a new MOBO + Phenom x2 processor. Having done an upgrade like that about 6 years ago, I think I'm ok there.

My question is this: once that is done, it's likely I will move to W7 x64 Pro. Currently, I'm on XP home. I know a clean install is the best way to go, but I need a few ideas on the best way to do that.

My system has 3 HDs. 2 WD 80gb IDE ones and 1 500gb SATA. I also have 1 500gb external attached via USB, and a 500gb NDAS.

I'd like to use one of the 80gb ones just for the OS, but both currently have other program files on them, and XP is on one of them.

I've heard that some applications may not work in x64 OS environments. What should I worry about here?

More importantly, what is the best way to migrate the contents of the C drive to another drive so I can use that as the drive to hold the OS and all future OS drives.

I've never cloned a drive to another drive before even though I have MigrateEasy and Paragon Disk Manager on my system, and probably a few others.

Thanks,

Jeff
January 29, 2010 4:26:08 PM

Here is the message I meant to post:

Hello

In a few days, I will be upgrading to a new MOBO + Phenom x2 processor. Having done an upgrade like that about 6 years ago, I think I'm ok there.

My question is this: once that is done, it's likely I will move to W7 x64 Pro. Currently, I'm on XP home. I know a clean install is often cited as the best way to go, but I need a few ideas on the best way to do that.

My system has 3 internal HDs. 2 WD 80gb IDE ones and 1 500gb SATA. I also have 1 500gb external attached via USB, and a 500gb NDAS.

I'd like to use one of the 80gb ones just for the OS, but both currently have other program files on them, and XP is on one of them.

What is the best way to migrate the contents of the C drive to another drive so I can use that as the drive to hold the OS and all future OS installs.

I've never cloned a drive to another drive before even though I have MigrateEasy and Paragon Disk Manager on my system, and probably a few others.

Here is what I was thinking: backup C: to external. Reformat c: with 2 partitions, one for data and one for the OS. Restore backed up C: to the non-OS partition (of course with a different drive name).

Plan b: and probably more ideal. Do all of the above, but somehow restore the backed up data to the 500gb SATA, but that would include the XP OS on it (does that matter if it's a non-boot disk?).

Lastly, if Plan B is the way to go, could I then dual boot into XP if need be (in case some of my applications don't run in x64 environments)?

Never dual booted before, either.

Thanks,

Jeff
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a b G Storage
January 29, 2010 4:30:33 PM

So you want to keep windows xp correct? If so then just install windows 7 on another drive or partition and your good to go. Clearing out a drive will be more time consuming than just buying a new drive and installing windows on that. To clear the 2nd 80gb drive off you could uninstall the programs on that drive and reinstall them on a different one. If you have room on the 500 gb drive to make a big enough partition you can copy everything over to that partition, delete the partition on the 80 and then rename the new partition to whatever drive letter and name you had for the old one.
If you just want windows 7 then backup all your data you want and install 7 where xp is being sure to delete and remake the partition first.
As for what software won't run, most should be just fine. You won't really be able to tell until it happens.
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a c 415 G Storage
January 29, 2010 4:32:38 PM

If I were you I'd just buy a new drive to install Windows 7 on. Drives are fairly cheap and a newer drive would almost certainly be a lot faster than your old 80GB IDE drive.

That would remove pretty much all the complexity and risk of the upgrade - you disconnect all the other drives, connect the new drive and install Windows 7 on it, and then reconnect the other drives. At no point have you burned any bridges. With Windows 7 up and running and the other drives connected, you're free to copy data files to any place you want them.
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a b G Storage
January 29, 2010 4:45:16 PM

If you get the new drive and want to keep windows xp do not disconnect that drive. This way W7 will see the previous OS and add it to the boot loader. Just make sure you select the new drive for the install.
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January 29, 2010 4:59:17 PM

Ok, probably a new drive is in the works.

How's this sound for plan c? Get new drive, say another 500 gb or 1tb SATA, format with 2 partitions, one for the OS and one for "other stuff." Could I then backup my current 80gb C drive onto external media (I have an auto backup going there automatically using Paragon) and then restore it to the "other stuff" partition in the new drive?

Ideally, I'd like to scrap one of the 80 gb IDE drives since, well, they are 80gb and IDE, meaning small and outdated.

thanks,
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January 29, 2010 5:02:20 PM

sturm said:
If you get the new drive and want to keep windows xp do not disconnect that drive. This way W7 will see the previous OS and add it to the boot loader. Just make sure you select the new drive for the install.


New drive would be SATA, old drive is IDE set to master. When installing the new OS, it will ask for a desination. no problem: new drive. When you say "W7 will see the previous OS and add it to the boot loader" does that mean it boots both operating systems for me?

Is that desireable in general? I'm not convinced I need XP, but I don't want to throw it out just yet until things are 100%, which is why I have all these noob questions.

Thanks,
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a b G Storage
January 29, 2010 5:08:26 PM

When the computer boots it will bring up a selection menu where you can choose to boot either XP or Windows 7. You can change the default choice to whichever you want to boot if nothing is pressed. This will enable you to run xp if for some reason a program doesn't work under 7. Later on down the road if you find you do not need xp anymore you can remove the selection from the boot loader and just have it boot straight into windows 7.
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January 29, 2010 5:12:45 PM

Bingo. That's probably the best way to go. Get new, big SATA disk, make 2 partitions, one for OS and one for "other." Get up and running on W7, then over time move stuff from the 80gb, as much as I can anyway to hopfully eliminate it. Hopefully being the operative term.

Thanks.





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a c 127 G Storage
January 29, 2010 5:13:11 PM

Just as a note: a 80GB HDD will have much smaller platter capacity (= older generation) resulting in lower speed; it may bottleneck your new system as you're pairing high-performance parts with low-performance storage.

Ideally, you would want to use an SSD as system drive. If that's not possible (yet), the newest generation HDD should be used as system drive. So a 500GB drive would perform better than an 80GB drive. An old 40GB-platter drive surely will bottleneck a new system.
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January 29, 2010 5:35:47 PM

sub mesa said:
Just as a note: a 80GB HDD will have much smaller platter capacity (= older generation) resulting in lower speed; it may bottleneck your new system as you're pairing high-performance parts with low-performance storage.

Ideally, you would want to use an SSD as system drive. If that's not possible (yet), the newest generation HDD should be used as system drive. So a 500GB drive would perform better than an 80GB drive. An old 40GB-platter drive surely will bottleneck a new system.



What would an appropriate size be for an SSD drive for this specifica application? I know win7 needs 20gb, so would a 32 gb be sufficient (keeping in mind future patches, updates, all that)?

This is probably a great way to go, since the 32gb ones seem to be in my price range. Going to 40gb seems like a huge jump in $.

Are there any you'd suggest, specifically? Just looking at the Corsair Extreme Series CMFSSD-32D1 2.5" and this might be a top notch way to go.
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a c 127 G Storage
January 29, 2010 6:03:21 PM

Hmmm, i would say 30GB is a little tight. If you do not store any big games (10GB+) and only modest amount of apps (photoshop/etc) it should be fine. If you're a more demanding user, i think the 40GB Kingston V-series is a good buy; as it features the Intel controller with 4-channels; it would perform much better than a 30GB SSD which uses a less advanced controller.

So if you look at 40GB SSDs; i would suggest either Kingston V-series 40GB or Intel X25-V 40GB. Any other SSD will use other controllers; the Intel controller is the best and if you can get i would highly recommend you do.
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a c 127 G Storage
January 29, 2010 6:10:59 PM

By the way, ideally you should get an X25-M 80GB G2 with TRIM support, or one of the new OCZ Vertex 2 Pro's. But if your money doesn't allow this a cheaper SSD is also possible, like the 40GB models with intel controller.

I would suggest leaving a portion of the SSD unused; meaning you create a partition of 32GB on a 40GB SSD for example. The 8GB 'lost' space is actually used by the SSD to speedup small writes. With such a setup, you would not really need TRIM support, as the SSD got plenty of empty flash cells to use.
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January 29, 2010 8:03:41 PM

sub mesa said:
Hmmm, i would say 30GB is a little tight. If you do not store any big games (10GB+) and only modest amount of apps (photoshop/etc) it should be fine. If you're a more demanding user, i think the 40GB Kingston V-series is a good buy; as it features the Intel controller with 4-channels; it would perform much better than a 30GB SSD which uses a less advanced controller.

So if you look at 40GB SSDs; i would suggest either Kingston V-series 40GB or Intel X25-V 40GB. Any other SSD will use other controllers; the Intel controller is the best and if you can get i would highly recommend you do.



Not sure what I was looking at, but the 40 gb are priced practically the same as 30gb.

I don't do too much intense gaming. Most of the things I play are real time strategy style where there ins't too much of a demand.

Really just looking for a decent way to speed everything up like the opening of applications, programs, and media files.
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