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Moving things onto new SSD from current HDD

Last response: in Storage
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December 1, 2011 1:39:23 AM

Thinking of getting a 90GB SSD for my desktop, which already has a 1TB HDD for all my data, so the SSD would be a secondary 'specialist' drive to improve performance/speed for my OS Windows 7 64-bit and for specific video games (Skyrim).

How would I go about transferring (or reinstalling if necessary) Windows 7 and all the data that goes with it onto the new SSD, preferably for free. I don't need a continually refreshing backup drive for all my data I want transferred, I just need a temporary save of the specific data I want on the SSD while I install and use the new SSD for use.

There are external hard drives as well as cloud backup services online I could use to backup all my information and then reinstall OS and the games onto the SSD, but I'm wondering if there is a way to save all the data I want transferred in a cloud or something, just temporarily, to later be installed onto the SSD. And this is without having to sign up and pay an online service or purchase an ext HDD.

And is it possible to move/transfer an OS onto the SSD, fully functioning, without having to uninstall the OS, Windows 7, from my current HDD and reinstall it onto my new SSD?

This is the specific solid-state drive I'm considering:
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Force-2-5-Inch-Solid-Stat...
a c 119 G Storage
December 1, 2011 3:14:25 AM

You can create a system image or mirror the OS by connecting the SSD and then going into the action center and selecting backup and restore and create a system image onto the SSD. Good choice on the SSD by the way.
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a c 311 G Storage
December 1, 2011 4:20:12 PM

The advice on the forum runs fairly heavily in favor of not cloning the OS partition of an HDD onto the SSD. Aside from the fact that many people have one huge C partition that won't fit on the SSD, it leaves a system that is not optimized for an SSD. For example, it may try to defragment the drive, which is a very bad thing for an SSD.

The best method is to re-install the OS and apps onto the SSD while all other drives are electrically disconnected from the system. This is because if there is a boot drive attached to the system when you install Win7 on the new SSD, the system will set up to start from the old boot drive and then continue from the SSD. It's a silly setup; the SSD will not boot if the old drive is removed.

If you don't want to go that far, there are tools to backup your OS and restore it to the SSD. First, keep in mind that you have to make your OS partition small enough to fit on the SSD. If your OS is on a 1 GB drive with one partition, you will have to migrate enough data off of it to make it fit on your SSD. Then use a tool such as the Restore to Dissimilar Hardware option of EASEUS ToDo Backup to do a kluged restore, followed by an online update of all drivers.

It's simple enough, after that, to reattach your HDD and use it as a data drive. Just make sure that your system doesn't try to boot off of it. You will have to re-install all apps and games. To my mind, avoiding this step is the only reason to use a migration tool. I am prejudiced; I will do a Windows rebuild at the drop of a hat, to keep my system from being crudded up.

EDIT: Browse through this: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/270102-32-useful-arti... , and be certain to have your disk controller in AHCI mode, not the default IDE-compatible mode, when installing to the SSD.
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