I have a Dell XPS 630. I recently put in a new Samsung 750gb HD in, alongside the original 300gb HD with XP. Its running great, and I installed a trial version of Windows 7 Home Premium on it. I went out and bought an actual version of W7 Pro now that the trial is about to end.
I just have a (presumably) basic question regarding installing on partitions. If I make a new partition on the Samsung for, say, 300gb, and install the W7 Pro license I bought on it, will I eventually be able to delete the portion with W7 Home Premium so that the W7 Pro partition becomes the full drive (750gb)?
I want to do this so I can slowly move over the files and programs I already have on Home Premium, instead of copying things to an external hard drive, formatting the 750gb HD, then realizing I missed something I needed or forgot a certain setup I had.
Regarding your actual question. Yes, you will be able to do that, but its not the best idea because you want to install an operating system at the very beginning of the disk for best performance. That is why I recommended the following two partition scheme. To do this you would most likely have to use a specialized program. I would recommend Gparted. Its available as a Linux Live CD.
You should move all your data off the partition to which you're going to install windows. Format the disk, and then install it.
I would recommend that you follow this partition scheme.
C Drive: ~100GB (More if you plan to install a lot of games)
D Drive: 650GB (All remaining space)
Put your user folder on the D Drive so all your downloads, videos, music, etc. will be on that partition. That way, if you want to reinstall windows in the future, you don't have to worry that all your data will be lost.
Alternatively, you could put Windows on the original 300GB and then use the Samsung as the D Drive. However, this would mean that you would not see the performance increase that the (presumably faster) samsung drive would offer.
You can do it before deleting the partition - but to have the fastest drive you might want to format the drive first before installing w7 pro - since the new partition won´t be first on drive - and then making windows slower. But if possible you can use the 300 gb drive for space and put files there..
Not really. You see, the Partition you have already on that unit is at the beginning of the HDD. Any second Partition will be AFTER it. Once you have the new Pro version installed on the second partition, if you delete the first Partition, there is no good way to expand the second partition into empty space BEFORE it.
Now, I probably should not say no way. I would guess that some of the third-party utilities you can buy are able to do this - Partition Magic comes to mind - but you'd need to check first. Even then the smart move when doing such work is to MAKE A BACKUP first in case anything goes wrong.
I can suggest an alternative procedure. Check carefully about how the Win 7 Pro you've just bought can be installed. MAYBE it is designed to be like an "upgrade" from the trial Win 7 Home Prem you already have. IF it can do that, it may be able to install itself onto your existing HDD Partition and save all your files in the process. It still would be a good idea to make a backup of all your files first, though.
You should realize that, IF you were to do as you hoped and install a new OS on a new Partition, you can NOT simply copy all the files for your applications to that Partition and expect them to work. Applications need to be INSTALLED under the OS you're using, because this process involves writing extensive info into Windows' Registry. Data files can and should be copied simply as you plan, but not applications. That is why I really hope the Win 7 Pro system can install itself like an upgrade. Such processes automatically also copy all the Registry data from the old one to the new one so that your apps do NOT have to be re-installed.
@Paperdoc: I specifically avoided the upgrade editions (which are cheaper than full licenses I believe) because I know that the trial versions aren't fully licensed, and thus won't be able to go through the "Anytime Upgrade" process without first being verified as a genuine licensed copy. What I had in mind was being able to boot into my install of Home Premium trial and just go down the programs list or whatever and make sure everything there is on the new W7 Pro install. I'm sure just copying program files over would cause a huge headache, much worse then just running the installer for all these programs again.
@jsrudd and correon: The decline in performance does make sense. I've decided on another course of action:
1) Copy all wanted files (say game saves, documents, favorites, just anything I know I will definitely use on the new install) into a folder on my external hard drive, then make a copy of the entire Samsung drive (it's only about 175gb at the moment). I could just browse through this folder and make sure everything I want is installed on or copied to Pro, then delete it after this whole process is finished.
2) Format the Samsung drive, then partition as jsrudd said: around 200-300gb for OS files and eventual games, then the rest to store everything else.
This brings up another question: jsrudd mentioned Gparted as a partition manager, but I'm not sure if he/she meant to use that for a clean install and format with two partitions (what he/she suggested), or what I originally had in mind (keeping the Home Prem install and making a partition for Pro). I am under the impression that you can create partitions right from the W7 installer, as well as after installing, in Disk Management, both of which seem fine for me in my new plan.
I was planning on keeping the 300gb HD intact as is, because I do want XP to run certain programs.
Again, thanks for the informative replies, I appreciate the help.
You can use the windows partition manager if you're gong to format the disk. What gparted excels at is moving partitions without data loss. If you're formatting the disk then you don't need to worry about gparted.
Just to point out the obvious, if you already installed windows 7 home then why on earth would you not just do an inhouse upgrade your current install if it is running fine? No point in resizing the partition, installing win7 pro on that then a few months later delete the old partition and merge them again and ARGH! That is madness!
I would definitely go with jsrudd`s 100/650 gb, it has saved my bacon a number of times. With regard to your information you can just copy to your external or have a look at `windows easy transfer `located in control panel - backup and restore then look in the very bottom left corner. this lets you save your files as well as settings for installation on the new OS. Either way is fine but i prefer the streamlining and time saving.
Re: your comments on what tools to use to create Partitions, etc. You are right. When you Install win 7 Pro, as soon as you designate which HDD it should install on, it will do the tasks of Creating and formatting a Partition for you on that drive. You should be able to specify what size that partition ought to be. Whatever you don't use will be left as Unallocated Space.
AFTER your new OS is installed, use Windows disk Management to Create and format a new Partition from the Unallocated Space. Make it not bootable, and it will suit your data storage needs ideally. You don't need third-party software for these simple tasks, and you do not need to Partition a HDD before running Windows Install.
Here's a hint about installing Win 7. It normal process is to inventory all the HDD's present in the system and ask you for confirmation of which drive to install on. Then as one of its first steps it places a semi-secret set of backup files for itself on the OTHER drive (if one is available) as part of the installation. The idea is that, at any time in the future if the system fails to boot from the normal boot drive, it can go to the backup files on the other unit and restore good copies to the boot drive, thus fixing itself automatically. A nice idea. The "problem" people have found is that this means that, on EVERY boot-up, Win 7 will check to be sure its backups are available on the other drive and, if it can't find them, it fails to boot even though the normal boot drive is just fine! So you can never remove the second drive! (well, there is a way to fix this problem, but it takes a bit of effort.) For this reason, amny people elect to defeat this feature when running Windows Install by NOT having any HDD hooked up in the system except the intended boot drive. In that case, Win 7 will place the backup files on that same drive. Although this is a bit less secure that having them on a separate drive, it does mean they can always be found when booting. AFTER the OS is installed, you re-connect any other HDD's and Windows will find and use them normally, but they won;t be tied into the boot process.