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Installing Windows 7 onto an SSD.

Tags:
  • Configuration
  • Windows 7
  • Hard Drives
  • SSD
  • Windows XP
Last response: in Windows XP
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August 8, 2012 1:05:00 PM

Hi everyone.

I'm just curious about this, I'm looking at getting an SSD that is specifically going to be used for Windows 7 only. The main thing I'm curious about is that I already have three HDD drives in my PC (one for Windows and other programs, one for storage and the third is there because the PC wouldn't boot if it was disconnected). I've had to keep the hard drives already in my PC connected to the same SATA ports on the motherboard as when I first built my PC otherwise it will either not boot up or claim my drives are not connected; this happened when I tried to remove the third drive from my rig when I reformatted and upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7.

I'd like to know if I have to reset the CMOS battery or something so that I can first remove the third drive (that is basically only there so the PC boots up), secondly would that allow me to use the SSD drive as my Windows drive? Or do I simply have to format all three drives so that I can remove the third drive and rearrange the hard drive setup connected to the motherboard (obviously I'd back up anything important before doing this).

Any help would be greatly appreciated. :) 

More about : installing windows ssd

a b $ Windows 7
August 8, 2012 5:13:14 PM

First of all, it sounds as if you once had the OS running from that disk-that-can't-be-removed. The boot logic was on that drive and, when you did your next install to a different disk, the OS was installed on the new disk but the initial boot is still from the old one.

To prevent that with Win7, we generally recommend that you disconnect all HDDs from the system so that the installation SSD is the only one available for the boot partition. (unlike previous versions, 7 likes to build a small, hidden 100 MB partition.)

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Are you aware that the BIOS level of the system picks a drive to boot from, and that there are BIOS menus to change that pick? Your moving-sata-ports solution may be as simple as going into the BIOS and ensuring that the correct drive (the one it won't boot without) is selected.

In addition, some motherboards require that you go to BIOS to enable all SATA ports that have drives and disable those that do not. If a port is enabled and has no drive, no boot. The usual suspect here is anything from Dell. What kind of system do you have?

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I have found that putting my boot drive on SATA port number 1 prevents all kinds of problems with the boot sequence. Every time the BIOS forgets where to boot from, it looks at the drives, sees the drive on port 1, and boots from it. Haven't had a boot-drive-selection problem since.

After you reinstall your old drives, do a boot to make sure that it's booting from the SSD. If it ain't, shout to us.
August 8, 2012 9:04:11 PM

Hi WyomingKnott and thanks for the help :) 

The third drive (a 250GB drive) was indeed originally a Windows drive, I reformatted it years ago and used it as my storage drive when I bought a 1TB drive to replace it as my main drive. When I bought a second 1TB drive and tried to remove the 250GB one (thinking that with it being formatted and with only movies, driver exes and so forth on it) that it wasn't needed but obviously I was wrong when I tried to boot up lol.

I think this is what you mean: I tried to change the order the drives where placed in in the BIOS (the 250GB drive is in the 'master 0 slot', the current windows drive [1TB] is in the 'slave 0 slot' followed by the storage drive [the other 1TB] in 'master 1 slot' and finally my DVD drive in the 'slave 1 slot') but it kept telling me the same thing as when it was unplugged so I've had to leave it in its original order ever since.

OK, so the first thing to do would be to unplug the old drives and plug in the SSD, then switch the SATA controller to ACHI correct? and that should allow me to install and boot up Windows 7 from the SSD when the two 1TB drive are reconnected? with all their data still on them accessible?

My system is thankfully not a Dell and has: Intel i7 920, Gigabyte UD5 Motherboard, 12GB Corsair Vengeance RAM, Corsair Enthusiast Series TX 850W PSU, Xfi Fatality sound card and a Sapphire HD 6950 "Dual Fan Edition" GFX card.

What I'm hoping for is to have the SSD in master0, a 1TB drive in slave0 for program installation, my storage 1TB drive connected to master1 and my DVD drive connected to slave1.

Thanks again for the help, I'll let you know if I come up with any problems when I install my SSD and Windows 7 just waiting for it to be delivered :) 
a b $ Windows 7
August 9, 2012 1:05:01 PM

clemo85 said:
Hi WyomingKnott and thanks for the help :) 

The third drive (a 250GB drive) was indeed originally a Windows drive, I reformatted it years ago and used it as my storage drive when I bought a 1TB drive to replace it as my main drive. When I bought a second 1TB drive and tried to remove the 250GB one (thinking that with it being formatted and with only movies, driver exes and so forth on it) that it wasn't needed but obviously I was wrong when I tried to boot up lol.

Yep, the disk probably has the boot sector still on it and is still marked active. You could repair that other drive, if you give a flying fig, so that it would boot directly.

I think this is what you mean: I tried to change the order the drives where placed in in the BIOS (the 250GB drive is in the 'master 0 slot', the current windows drive [1TB] is in the 'slave 0 slot' followed by the storage drive [the other 1TB] in 'master 1 slot' and finally my DVD drive in the 'slave 1 slot') but it kept telling me the same thing as when it was unplugged so I've had to leave it in its original order ever since.

I think you got it. Unless you specify a boot device in the BIOS menus, it enumerate your drives in port order and boot from the first one. If you are lucky, it will pick the first bootable one, but it may simply pick the first one. This is why I put my boot drive in SATA port 1. BTY, Master and Slave are obsolete terms from the days of IDE drives when you had two on a cable. The BIOS, in some cases, still shows 1 and 2 as Master 10 and Slave 0, but it's wrong.


OK, so the first thing to do would be to unplug the old drives and plug in the SSD, then switch the SATA controller to ACHI correct? and that should allow me to install and boot up Windows 7 from the SSD when the two 1TB drive are reconnected? with all their data still on them accessible?

Exactly. On the other hand, the chipset's six SATA slots are SATA II, with a capacity of 3 GB/s. You have two Marvell-controlled SATA III ports, with a capacity of 6 GB/s. You might see if booting off the Marvell ports is possible, and if it makes your drive seem any faster. I am in exactly the same situation with my Asus P7P55D-E Deluxe; I have an SATA III SSD, which can saturate an SATA II link, on my SATA II chipset port. It's so much better than an HDD boot drive that I haven't done the experiment yet, but I mean to, some day. Let me know if you try it and if it works for you.

My system is thankfully not a Dell and has: Intel i7 920, Gigabyte UD5 Motherboard, 12GB Corsair Vengeance RAM, Corsair Enthusiast Series TX 850W PSU, Xfi Fatality sound card and a Sapphire HD 6950 "Dual Fan Edition" GFX card.

What I'm hoping for is to have the SSD in master0, a 1TB drive in slave0 for program installation, my storage 1TB drive connected to master1 and my DVD drive connected to slave1.

Thanks again for the help, I'll let you know if I come up with any problems when I install my SSD and Windows 7 just waiting for it to be delivered :) 

!