Need some guidance for SSD installation

Hello everyone,

I recently bought a Dell XPS 17 laptop running Windows 7 and would now like to insert an SSD in the available slot to run in parallel with the HDD that originally came with the laptop. I realize that the answers to some of my following questions are found in other related threads, and I have read several guides for some insight in the process. I am, however, relatively inexperienced in the field and am not sure how much of the information is relevant for my setup, and I also see that there are several different approaches in terms of windows installation and optimization. With this, I am hoping your expertise may guide me in this undertaking. :)

Ideally, I wish to install Windows and commonly used programs on the SSD, while keeping the bulk of my files like music, videos etc. on the HDD. As far as I've read, a fresh install of windows is preferred. I do not have a Windows 7 disc as it came preinstalled with the laptop. I only have the system recovery discs I made and the preinstalled system recovery software. Can I for instance migrate windows over to the SSD, and eventually do a reinstall on the drive? In any case, is it a problem to have Windows installed on both drives, as long as I boot from the SSD? I am basically trying to find the most convenient way to do this, and I am open to suggestions.

In terms of optimization, I am trying to keep it limited to the essential adjustments since, as mentioned, my computer skills are somewhat limited. I suppose that alignment (set to ASCII before migrating (?)) would be required, and disablement of disk defragmentation? I am not sure if any of these modifications are bypassed when using the SSD as an additional drive rather than as a replacement. I am hoping you can shed some light on this, as it is something of a muddle to me.

Again, the most convenient approach would be highly valued! Hope you can help a newbie in need. :)

Warm regards
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  1. you should put the SSD drive in the original hard disk slot on the motherboard and move the old drive to the secondary slot. You want the SSD to be your primary drive. Use the system restore discs that came with your computer to reinstall windows onto the new drive. if you didnt get any discs with your computer you can create them yourself using the dell provided app in windows.
  2. Thanks for the advice, nhasian!

    After some further reading up on the subject, I decided to do a clean install with a Win 7 ISO DVD and my original product key. After everything is backed up externally, I'll wipe the HDD and just keep it for storage without running an OS.

    What I was unsure of was whether the system restore discs could install windows 7 from scratch, or was primarily used to repair a preinstalled version.
  3. Make sure when you install windows that the SSD is the only drive running on your system,then plug the hdd back in after installation of the os.This will prevent boot issues.

    Great info and tips and tweaks for SSD found here ^
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