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Question about adding a HDD along with a new OS

Last response: in Storage
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October 22, 2011 5:15:21 PM

Hello, I currently am running Vista 32 bit with a 500 GB HDD that is nearly maxed out. For this part of my overall rig upgrade, I would like to get a 1 TB HDD for only storing games while keeping the 500 GB for OS and other information. I'm also planning on picking up Windows 7 64 bit. My question is how should I go about this? Do I add the HDD to my rig and then format it before installing W7 or should I install the OS first, then install the HDD? Any help is appreciated!

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a c 415 G Storage
October 22, 2011 5:21:34 PM

Install Windows 7 first, and when it's up and running you can connect, partition and format it. The reason to do this is because a Windows 7 install will try to put a small (~100MB) boot partition on a drive other than the OS drive, which will make your system unbootable if the data drive fails. Most people prefer to have the OS drive be the boot drive.
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a b G Storage
October 22, 2011 6:31:23 PM

Hello... This is what I did... 1) I un-connected my ORIGINAL hardrive from my computer... 2) Connected my NEW hardrive to my computer... 3) Installed Windows7 64 on my NEW hardrive... 4) Completed all updates and driver installs... for Windows7 64... 5) Connected my ORIGINAL hardrive to my computer as D:\ Drive... 6) Start windows7 64 go to Control Panel- Administative Tools-Computer Management-Storage-Disk Management... find your ORIGINAL harddrive in the list to NAME it and make it ACTIVE...

I can now Boot/RUN /Maintain from XP or Windows7 64, by pushing F12 on bootup, from my keyboard, and choosing which harddrive/operating system, I want to BOOT from, in my BIOS...

You will be able to run the 32bit programs from the Original Hardrive, in Windows7 64... Do any Data or File operations.. You will not have to have duplicate 32 bit programs loaded such as... Adobe reader, GAMES, ETC... And most of all a very fast way to get you up and going as you try to get aquinted with Windows7... You will be able to BOOT back into your Original operating system and Programs for everything you were doing before.

The reason I did this is to keep Windows 7 64 from loading or Cross referencing any Files on my XP harddrive or operating system during install... both operating systems and harddrives are running stable for over a year now... I can remove either hardrive and still have a bootable/working computer at all times... should one hardrive fail.
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October 22, 2011 6:56:19 PM

I also want to trasfer all of my gaming info, including installs, save files, ect. onto the 1 TB from it's current HDD when it's all said and done. Any extra steps I should take?
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a c 119 G Storage
October 22, 2011 7:08:41 PM

The problem you are going to run into is that you have Vista 32bit and you want win7 64bit the two are not interchangable and you are going to have to either make your computer dual boot or lose your 32bit data. If you diconnect the current hdd and install win 7 on the new hdd then you can plug the old hdd back in and at the boot menue you will have an option to choose either vista or win 7. You cannot run a 32 bit program in a 64 bit OS and the reverse is also true.
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October 22, 2011 7:22:13 PM

inzone said:
The problem you are going to run into is that you have Vista 32bit and you want win7 64bit the two are not interchangable and you are going to have to either make your computer dual boot or lose your 32bit data. If you diconnect the current hdd and install win 7 on the new hdd then you can plug the old hdd back in and at the boot menue you will have an option to choose either vista or win 7. You cannot run a 32 bit program in a 64 bit OS and the reverse is also true.


Ok. What if I just back up my save files and reinstall the games onto the 64 bit. WIll I be ok?
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a b G Storage
October 22, 2011 7:36:32 PM

Hello... Like said... you can do any thing you want with files and programs... Windows7 64 just see's it as a another drive with data... but of course as you might know... just moving files from one harddrive to another will not keep a program happy... you should do a complete proper program install on the NEW hardrive... but you will be able to copy/acesss data/settings files/info etc... to the program later from your ORIGINAL 32bit Drive.

Obviously INZONE does not have WINDOWS7 64... Windows7 64 is designed and is written with 32 bit programs... there will be a new directory installed called "Program Files (x86)" this is the new default Directory where, Windows7 64, by default, will load your 32 bit programs... and the "Program Files" directory is where, Windows7 64, will load, by default, your new 64 bit programs.

Another example... at this time, there is no 64bit flash player out yet... Windows7 64 has 2 versions of IExplorer... 64 bit and 32 bit... so you must run the 32 bit version, in order to run the flash player with it... Windows7 64 is fully 32 bit backward compatable... and includes the same 'RUN programs as..." options to run very old old programs.

Like I said... i'm running stable for over a year... and run programs directly from my 32 bit XP drive, in Windows7 64... copy, paste and move files all the time... Windows7 64 can handle/read your 32 bit Programs/files... Windows7 64 does not change or modify any of your ORIGINAL 32 bit files or data, after moving or using them.
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a c 117 G Storage
October 22, 2011 8:14:49 PM

I don't use the ProgramFiles or ProgramFiles(x86) directories. I don't even keep programs on the root drive.

Unless you have some borky 32 bit programs .... I'd:

1. Take out the old HD, install new
2. Install OS on new HD after creating a 128 GB partition for C:\ , update all drivers and do Windows Update as many times as it wants to go.
3. Create Partitions as you like from Windows......perhaps D:\Games (512 GB) E:\Programs (Remainder)
4. Connect old HD, copy program folders from old HD to E:\Programs
5. Install programs over themselves to establish registry settings; you won't lose any customizations as new files will not be overwritten.
6. Copy Games over to D:\Games .... try them out, many will work. Some will require you to do same as in step 5
7. When everything is shown to be in working order, delete:
-a) Windows off old HD (unless you wanna keep as alternate boot by changing boot order in BIOS)
-b) Programs off old HD
-c) Games off old HD
8. Leave data on this drive as its slower and ya want games and programs on new fatser drive. Save this drive for backup, OS image backups and data.
9. Defrag everything
10. Make backups to old HD

One of the reasons I recommend this step is that when ya get an SSD, everything on D:\ thru whatever remains wholly intact. repeat step 5 and you good to go and you still have a working boot on the HD of SSD fails.

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