Confused about setting up SSD for Windows 7 and apps.

I am in the process of deciding whether or not to buy an SSD. I currently have a desktop PC running Windows 7 64bit, with 8 gb ram and an internal 1 terrabyte HD, as well as 2 external esata HD's (1 terrabyte each). I use my internal drive for everything except video files and lossless music files which I store on one of the external drives. The other external drive is for backups.

I was considering the following scenareo. Buy a 120-128gb SSD and do a fresh install of Windows 7.
Install only my most important apps such as Office, Photoshop Ellements, Quicken etc. This drive would become my boot drive (c). I would Leave my current internal drive unchanged, except that it would now no longer be a boot drive. Lets call it drive d. I would move the sata connection to another spot on my motherboard and connect the new ssd using the sata location now occupied by my current internal hd. Once I have my apps reinstalled on the new ssd, could I, on an individual basis make sure that each app's data was properly referenced to my internal d drive? I notice that the manufacturers of SSDs keep talking about cloning the entire contents of the old drive to the new, but I find it impractical. In addition, I'm thinking that it may be a prudent strategy to leave my old windows 7 install intact on the d drive which all told is approximately 50% full.

Am I correct in assuming that so long as I don't include my "d" drive in the boot order, that windows 7 will be dormant on that drive?

Thanks for any assistance.
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  1. Best answer
    This plan is fine. You've got the main points of re-install, leave the data on the other drive, reconfigure each app to have its data directory on the other drive.

    When you install Win7 on the SSD, be sure that non of the HDDs are attached to the system. If you install Win7 while your current boot drive is attached, it will actually leave the boot loader on the HDD and not build one on the SSD.

    Rather than putting the SSD in the SATA slot currently occupied by the HDD, I recommend putting it in SATA slot number one. That way, connecting and disconnecting eSATA drives won't screw up your boot order. (of course, if your HDD is now attached to slot 1, that's the same as what you wrote.)

    Have fun!
  2. Thanks for the information. Am I correct in assuming that windows 7 will be inactive on my HDD, but in an emergancy I could use it by changing the boot order of my devices?
  3. You are correct, as long as you don't delete the Windows partition from the hard drive :)
  4. Best answer selected by Alstein.
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