Trying to add a hard drive and update the OS

I currently have a 250gb hard drive and the windows vista 32 bit OS, what I am wanting to do is add a 1tb hd and change the operating system to Windows 7 64 bit. I bought an OEM system builder version of Windows 7 (i'm sure this will screw me somehow) and the new hd is a seagate barracuda.

I am not completely computer retarded but pretty close so the way i am imagining all of this will happen may be a far stretch from reality. I am trying to keep all of my files and programs without having to lose anything, mainly because the stuff i really really don't want to lose has been downloaded and is rather large in size.

So my question is, can i accomplish what i am wanting to by doing it this way?:

1. remove old HD
2. insert new HD and run new OS disk
3. add old HD

If anyone has an answer or a link it would be much appreciated.
10 answers Last reply
More about trying hard drive update
  1. You can keep your old files, and anything you downloaded, but the installed programs will need to be re-installed under the new Windows setup. You may also check to make sure your old programs will work under 7. Although you can run them in XP compatability mode if they don't.
  2. ok, so i'm good to go about it the way i was thinking?
  3. Leave the 250GB hard drive in there. When you install Windows 7 put it on your new drive. Win 7 is smart enough to figure out where to put the boot loader and configure it to access Vista as well so that you can select which one you want to run on startup. I recommend that once you have win 7 installed and activated you make an image of that hard disk and back it up somewhere just in case.
  4. thanks for the replies, i really appreciate the help.
  5. one more question. how will i know if i need to add the jumper block to regulate the data transfer rate? Is a hard drive lock up bad?
  6. On your last question about the jumper, I assume you are talking about the problem some have had getting a newer SATA drive to work on an older system. This ONLY happens with a combination of a controller (on your mobo) that is old enough to be an original SATA spec (1.5 Gb/s) unit, plus a SATA 3.0 or 6.0 Gb/s newer drive. So, check the manual for your system for what version of SATA its HDD ports and controllers are. If they are first-generation only (usually they brag about "SATA support" without saying "SATA II" or some such) you might need to add the jumper.

    IF you need to slow down your HDD, check the website of your HDD manufacturer about how. Seagate and WD and a few others have this done by installing a jumper on a particular pin pair - and don't do it on the wrong pair! But some companies have done it differently - I know one who did it with a software utility they provide - so check the website.
  7. Lots of good advice above.

    BEST WAY, in my opinion, is to format a relatively small primary partition
    on your new 1TB HDD, and install Win7 on that small partition e.g. 50 GB.

    This will help improve overall performance, because armature seeks
    will be "short-stroked".

    Then, partition the remainder as one or more data partitions.

    A clean install of Win7 will enhance the probability of a very stable system:
    whenever I am faced with the need to build a new system from the ground up,
    I also install a copy of Symantec's GHOST, and create a new and different
    drive image of C: after installing each new third-party software package.

    I've done this so many times now, I know which third-party packages
    are reliable, so I don't always create an entirely new drive image
    after each individual package is installed.

    I do re-boot each time I install a third-party package, however:
    I've learned over time that this extra steps helps to smooth the
    overall system development sequence.

    Nevertheless, if you are not sure about those extra software packages,
    having a series of drive images will permit you to "roll back" easily,
    should any one package "go haywire": this "roll back" will be much
    faster than starting all over from the beginning.

    If and when you're ready, you might consider re-formatting the primary
    partition on your 250 GB HDD, and creating a contiguous swap file there
    that is also "short-stroked". See the Contig freeware for directions:

    Good luck!

  8. I've installed the hd and the OS. BIOS shows the new drive but when i reorder the boot sequence and select the new drive as the one to boot from the computer tells me "No boot device available". Can only boot via cdrom with the windows 7 disk.
  9. try disconnecting the older 250GB HDD, so the computer
    only has the 1TB HDD to boot from.

  10. You MAY have got caught in a subtle trick Win 7 does.

    When Win 7 Installs, it creates a copy of all its essential basic stuff as a separate semi-hidden folder on a drive. The intent is that, if you ever have trouble with your OS later, there is a known-good copy it will restore itself from.

    If your installation is in a machine with one HDD the backup copy will be made there, of course. BUT if you have at least one other HDD, it will put that copy on the second drive so that it is safe from disaster should the first HDD fail in some way. Makes some sense. BUT thereafter its normal boot process insists that it must be able to find BOTH the backup copy and the actual operating boot copy. Even if only the backup copy on the second drive is missing, it will tell you there is "no boot disk".

    I SUSPECT that the trouble is that your backup copy is now on a drive that Windows somehow can't find as it expects - maybe you re-named some of the HDD units. Or maybe Windows did that for you, since your old 250 GB drive used to be C:, and now the new 1 TB drive is C:. I am not sure how you could tell Win 7 where to look for the "missing" backup copy folder.

    There is a way out of this if you have not done too much work so far. You disconnect all HDD's except the one you want to install to. Then you use the Win 7 Install disk to Delete all Partitions it has and make it empty, and do a fresh Install of Win 7. This time it will be forced to put the backup folder on the same (1 TB) HDD you are installing to, and it won't get lost. Of course, that defeats the idea of having it on a separate HDD for extra safety.

    Megamanx00 suggested a different route above. The procedure he / she recommended was to do your Install of Win 7 WITH the old HDD in the system, AND choose to make a Dual Boot configuration. That way you could choose from either OS version to boot from each time you start up. If you do what I suggest to eliminate the "disappearing backup folder" problem, you cannot create a Dual Boot configuration. Your choice whether that is important to you. Note, however, that the Dual Boot configuration still does not solve the small problem that the Win 7 new Install will NOT have all your applications installed and may not use them smoothly. The best way to deal with that, as MRFS suggests, is to re-install all your application software under Win 7, then copy over any data files you want from the older 250 GB drive.
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