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New SSD, clean install - can I just 'copy' old hdd

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August 31, 2011 2:33:02 PM

I recently installed a new ssd in my brand new alienware aurora. I did a clean install of windows 7 from a dell recovery disk. There were some issues though,

The recovery disk did not have the all of the drivers, specifically the drivers for the network card, so it would not connect to the internet. I connected the old hdd, and searched for drivers located on that hdd that formerly had the os install, found and then everything was almost ok. There was some missing software that was also not included. Alienware command center, burning software, etc.


Rather than buy acronis or some imaging software, I was wondering one main question:

Now that I have the OS installed, can I just copy paste the former hdd to the new ssd. Will it carry over all of the former settings, software, keys, etc?

I would like to actually format and wipe the old hdd clean and leave the ssd to run the OS and a couple games and that is it. Is this a stupid idea to copy it - am I better off with the clean install?
August 31, 2011 2:48:48 PM

Your better off with a clean install.

The drivers and programs your referring to come with your computer on a disk.
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August 31, 2011 2:58:38 PM

You would think, but unfortunately, it was a refurb and dell didn't send them. Surprising that the drivers weren't there, if the hdd crashed I would have been screwed due to the network card drivers. Regardless, when I hooked up the old drive, I just went into device manager clicked on all other devices' that had an exclamation mark due to no drivers and searched the old drive for those drivers and I was ok.

Really, I am only missing about 3 programs. 1 is the alienware configuration software to change the stupid lights on the case, and 2 other non bloatware - nero and 1 other program that I actually wanted. Its not worth the 60GB that its consuming though and I'm kinda OCD and hate seeing dup folders bc of multiple OS installs.

I'll probably just suck it up and leave the clean install, call dell and tell them I want the software on disc and be done with it. Was just wondering if I just copied over the former drive on E: to the new drive on C: if that is overkill....
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August 31, 2011 3:53:24 PM

Just go to the control panel and select "backup and restore"

Create a system image and a repair disk....make sure you shrink the hard drive size a little smaller than the new SSD via computer management/disk management.

Just Google any "how to's" if you are unsure on how to accomplish this.

last resort would be to "windows easy transfer" under system tools and back up all your user data onto an external hard drive....once you transfer it to the new hard drive it will let you know of any programs that are not installed and usually gives you links to websites for the download.

hope this helps.

If you want to buy a book on how to do this just purchase Microsoft's "installing and configuring windows 7"
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August 31, 2011 3:55:46 PM

Best answer selected by m00seknuckle.
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August 31, 2011 3:56:01 PM

Before messing with your existing drive any further, see how much of this stuff you can download from alienware or dell.

My original Dell laptop didn't come with a restore partition, so I did a clean install from a generic Windows and put the original serial number back in. This didn't give me any drivers so I went to the dell website with my other computer and downloaded the network card driver and copied it to the Dell with a USB drive. Then once I could get on the internet I went to Dell's website and downloaded all of the drivers for that machine.

Copying your old drive to the new one would be a bit risky. You would have to copy the registry and you don't know what is in it that might be a problem for the install on the SSD.
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August 31, 2011 3:56:05 PM

Great - thanks - I will look into this.
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August 31, 2011 3:59:53 PM

cadder said:
Before messing with your existing drive any further, see how much of this stuff you can download from alienware or dell.


Copying your old drive to the new one would be a bit risky. You would have to copy the registry and you don't know what is in it that might be a problem for the install on the SSD.


I knew there would be a problem with just drag and drop and wasn't sure about the registry settings...So this is helpful. I did download check alienware briefly, but didn't dig too deep.

Thanks, I've got a bit of research to do to still, I should be ok with drivers for now, but I do want to make sure I have a new recovery disk for these drivers - going to use danimal's suggestion there.
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