Installing a New copy of Windows to a New SSD

I built my first computer a few months ago. I am very inexperienced, but I have some friends who have a decent understanding helping me.

I just bought a new copy of Windows 7 (long story) and a new Crucial m4 SSD. My computer currently has a 500gb HDD with Windows 7 already installed.

I want to install the new version of Windows 7 on the new SSD. Do I need to format the original HDD? Or, is it possible to disconnect the HDD, load the new copy of Windows 7 on the SSD, reconnect the HDD and then simply remove the old copy of Windows from the HDD?

What are the implications for existing programs and files on the HDD?

I would really appreciate any advice or guidance about the best way to approach this. I am trying to avoid reinstalling a bunch of programs if I can, but I am not sure how this will really work. Thanks
3 answers Last reply
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  1. (1) Disconnect all Drives except the SSD you want windows on.
    (2) Verify bios is set to AHCI (If using an Intel system the SSD should be attacted to one of the two Intel SATA III Ports.
    (3) Insert windows installation disk and install windows 7. Set boot Priority to SSD in BIOS.
    If intel system:
    Don't for get to down load the latest Intel RST driver and install after windows installs. This will change the driver from the default msahci -> iaSTor.
    Link to ver 10.6: http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Se [...] Technology

    Once done, and happy with windows 7 installation, then power down and reconnect other hard drives. You can leave windows 7 on the old HDD for a couple of weeks till you are sure ssd is working OK. You will be able to dual boot to the Old HDD by simply hitting the key that brings up boot memue (F12 on my Gigabyte and F11 on my Asrock MB). (Not this is not goining into bios and changing Boot priority)

    Added:
    3 Things that I normally do for an SSD:
    .. (1) disable hibernation - save 4 -> 6 gigs
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/920730
    .. (2) Set page file (virtual memory) min and max to the same value, ie 4 gigs ram set it to 1024 mb. > 4 gigs ram set to 512mb. And you can redirect it to the HDD to save alittle more (Very slight performance hit). This save upto 6 gigs
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Change-the-size-of-virtual-memory
    .. (3) manage restore points. limit the number of restore point or disable. This one if not done can eat up space in the long haul.
    http://mintywhite.com/windows-7/7maintenance/change-limit-system-restore-windows-7/
    .. (4) One Final Important step: Use windows 7 backup (Under Control panel -> System & Security) and creat a image backup for your “C” drive. You can place on your internal HDD (and as a added precaution copy to BU drive). As long as you have the Windows Installation disk, you do NOT need to create the “Restore Disk” when prompted.
  2. Thanks for the response. This seems like stuff I can handle.

    If I follow this scenario, what happens to programs currently loaded to the HDD?

    Particularly I am interested in my virus protection software, and things like itunes with a large music library.

    Although they are stored on the HDD, do they integrate with the new version of Windows I am installing on the SSD? And will anything happen after a few weeks when I remove Windows from the HDD?

    Sorry for my low level of technical knowledge. I am very much a novice. Thank you for your help.

    Here is my system if it is relevant:

    intel i-5 2500k
    WD Caviar Black WD5002AALX 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5"
    ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX
    Gigabyte 6870
    G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) - I know this is overkill, but I got the second 8 for free
    CORSAIR Professional Series HX750 (CMPSU-750HX) 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified

    The SSD I purchased is:
    Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

    Thanks again.
  3. (1) You will need to re-install all programs.
    ... The programs can still use the files that you created and are on the HDD. The link may have changed. This depends on how the Old HDD was partitoned. My wife uses itunes. progrqam on "C" drive and itunes files are on "D" drive. itunes does not like when the link is changed if I remember correctly.
    (2) uSoft has a good antivirse program, just download uSoft security Suite - Its free.
    (3) You will need a email program. uSoft dropped outlook express (win XP) and also dropped Winmail(Vista). so Have 3 choices:
    (A) Use what microsoft is pushing "Live mail"
    (B) Use a 3rd marty program such as firefox (others available)
    (C) If you have one of the Higher end usoft office produces that has Outlook (Not outlook express), you can use that.
    (D) You can also port Vista WinMail over to Windows 7. It's somewhat involved, but my Wife Hates change and liked winmail so that is what I did on her system.
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