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SSD Upgradin' -- Partition HDD for dual boot?

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November 4, 2011 12:02:27 PM

Hello... disk noob here. For the longest time I've run my computer with one HDD (WD Caviar Black... see sig below). I am upgrading to a Crucial m4 SSD to boot OS and load a couple of games with my existing 750GB HDD storing all data. I currently retain everything on my HDD (Win7 OS, user files, games, music, etc...) but have a good chunk of 500+ GB left. Is it possible to do and accomplish the following?:

- Make a partition or something on my HDD out of the remaining 500GB. (Not sure how that works, is a partition then treated as a separate drive?)
- Keep the original OS installed in the HDD 250GB partition and use it as a backup in case my SSD goes bonkers.
- Use my SSD as the primary boot and the 500GB partition for data drive.

Is this possible? If so can someone give me a general guideline? Do you foresee any problems down the line if I apply this config, like with Windows license or data corruption? Thank you in advance!
a c 297 G Storage
November 4, 2011 12:17:48 PM

Yes, it is possible. The largest caveat is to remove the HDD from the system when you are installing Windows to the SSD, or you will end up booting from the bootloader on the HDD when you think that you are booting from the SSD.

Tom's published a version of Tecmo34's excellent guide to SSD configuration. Heck, I'm still looking for it; I will post a link later. Edit: Ah, heck. Here's the original, at another site: http://www.computing.net/howtos/show/solid-state-drive-...

My major advice for people partitioning an existing disk: do a backup first to an external drive. If the process screws your disk, you can recover. Other than that, you can either use the Disk Manager to Shrink the existing partition and, when that completes, create a new one. Or you can use a tool like Partition Magic or EASEUS Partition Master (free). Either approach will probably let you create a new partition without destroying anything.

Finally, note that you will have to choose which drive to boot via the BIOS, not a boot menu, since each drive will (should!) have its own boot manager.

Have fun
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