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Seeking help with HDD/SSD transfer to new build

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July 18, 2012 4:42:57 PM

Hello,

I am still pretty new to most of this computer tech stuff, but I'm learning as I go. I recently purchased a Gateway PC and paid a little extra to have some of the components upgraded such as higher RAM speeds and a better video card. After the purchase I began looking into some of the custom built systems and I have decided to expand my knowledge and build my own. I have just puchased the HAF X chassis, a i7 3770K, and the Asus P8Z77-V Deluxe motherboard along with an OEM copy of Windows 7 and some thermal paste for the CPU. Other than that I would like to use the rest of the components from the Gateway that I have, including the 2TB SATA HDD. I have multiple questions about this process below.

1. Is there a way to transfer the HDD to the new system and install the OEM Windows 7 while maintaining all my data on the drive?

2. If a clean install is required and I must format the drive, then what is a good method of backup when there is roughly 1TB of data. Can it be compressed and stored, until I can tranfer the files to the new system?

3. Will I have to remove my current copy of Windows 7 from the drive after the install or will there be two copies of Windows 7(one active and one inactive) on the drive?

In a month or so I also plan to add an SSD and install Windows 7 to the drive so that the system will boot faster and I was wondering what the process would entail and if the OEM version of Windows 7 would allow for a re-install on the SSD or if I would have to re-install it in the first place?

I know that's a lot of questions and I'm completely new to all of this. I would greatly appreciate any advice you can give. Thank you all for your time.

-Randall


a c 353 G Storage
July 18, 2012 6:35:57 PM

A lot depends on how the Gateway HDD is configures.
Ideally you shoud have as a minium 2 partitions. A “C-drive” which would contain The OS and all of your programs. The 2nd partition (“D-Drive”) should have all of the files and data that you generate. If this is the case then it would be easy. You would make a temp directory (folder) on D drive and copy any data that you want saved from C drive such as: Your favorites, user/my documents, Possibly your emails.
Then all you would need to do is re-install windows over your Current C-drive. Would need to select custom install to tell windows what partition to install to. Before windows install goto BIOS and set HDD to use AHCI (hopefully that is what it was set to).

If You have One BIG “C-drive” then I would suggest you goto Disk management (right click My Computer and select “Manage”. Here you would shrink your “C-Drive” down to as much as possible. With the free space you can now partition/formate it as D-Drive – Then Move all that you want saved to this D drive.

For SSD, later ON. DISCONNECT HDD, connect SSD (USE THE INTEL SATA0 Port on MB), Verify Bios still set to AHCI then Do a clean install. Once windows is installed you can reconnect your HDD – make sure Bios boot priority is set to SSD.
NOTE: until you delete Windows on the HDD you will be able to dual boot to the “NEW” SSD or the HDD.
Just hit the Key that brings up your boot menu during POST (THIS DOES NOT CHANGE BIOS) and select the HDD. On my gigabyte MB it is F12, My Asrock MB it is F11. If you do not kit the Key durning post it will boot to the SSD
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July 18, 2012 7:03:59 PM

RetiredChief said:
A lot depends on how the Gateway HDD is configures.
Ideally you shoud have as a minium 2 partitions. A “C-drive” which would contain The OS and all of your programs. The 2nd partition (“D-Drive”) should have all of the files and data that you generate. If this is the case then it would be easy. You would make a temp directory (folder) on D drive and copy any data that you want saved from C drive such as: Your favorites, user/my documents, Possibly your emails.
Then all you would need to do is re-install windows over your Current C-drive. Would need to select custom install to tell windows what partition to install to. Before windows install goto BIOS and set HDD to use AHCI (hopefully that is what it was set to).

If You have One BIG “C-drive” then I would suggest you goto Disk management (right click My Computer and select “Manage”. Here you would shrink your “C-Drive” down to as much as possible. With the free space you can now partition/formate it as D-Drive – Then Move all that you want saved to this D drive.

For SSD, later ON. DISCONNECT HDD, connect SSD (USE THE INTEL SATA0 Port on MB), Verify Bios still set to AHCI then Do a clean install. Once windows is installed you can reconnect your HDD – make sure Bios boot priority is set to SSD.
NOTE: until you delete Windows on the HDD you will be able to dual boot to the “NEW” SSD or the HDD.
Just hit the Key that brings up your boot menu during POST (THIS DOES NOT CHANGE BIOS) and select the HDD. On my gigabyte MB it is F12, My Asrock MB it is F11. If you do not kit the Key durning post it will boot to the SSD


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Wow. That's one of the best answers I could have hoped for. Thanks for the quick reply. I actually just took advantage of a great deal on a 120GB SSD which might make this even more simple. I'm assuming I can just do a clean install of Windows on the SSD (with the HDD disconnected) then reconnect the HDD as the D- Drive. Will that have any affect on my data or programs? Can I run programs from the the D-Drive and just use the C-Drive for Windows and a program here or there?

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a c 353 G Storage
July 18, 2012 8:00:31 PM

1) Can not run programs that where installed on the HDD. When programs are installed they write to the registry so will only run under the OS there where installed on.

2) just do the clean install as I outlined for the SSD.

3) For your data, you need to seperate what you want saved/use with new SSD. This can be down as I outlined above. Once you have seperated the data (ie made your HDD a C and D drive.), you can then delete the OS from the HDD.
Note You should end up with a "C-drive (SSD) and a HDD that can end up as a D drive or a D and E drive.

After installing windows on SSD, and befor reattaching HDD, go into disk management and change the drive letter from D to say E or F. (egnore the warning that windows will give you when changing drive letters - I do this all the Time.
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July 18, 2012 8:08:06 PM

This sounds good to me. Thanks for your time and I will see what I can do.
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July 18, 2012 8:08:52 PM

Best answer selected by Raman4434.
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a b G Storage
July 18, 2012 8:13:03 PM

I can only tell you what I would do. Get your SSD and install a fresh copy of W7. After it's up and running install the old HDD into the new computer and migrate data at your leisure. I can't tell you how many times I've done exactly that.
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a b G Storage
July 18, 2012 8:13:50 PM

raman4434 said:
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Wow. That's one of the best answers I could have hoped for. Thanks for the quick reply. I actually just took advantage of a great deal on a 120GB SSD which might make this even more simple. I'm assuming I can just do a clean install of Windows on the SSD (with the HDD disconnected) then reconnect the HDD as the D- Drive. Will that have any affect on my data or programs? Can I run programs from the the D-Drive and just use the C-Drive for Windows and a program here or there?

Since your copy of Windows is an OEM copy and from Gateway, you might have problems installing it on a new motherboard and CPU setup. Gateway customises the version of Windows it pre-installs on the computer and the Gateway recovery disk will look for Gateway branded motherboards in order to re-install. With a completely new motherboard and CPU, you might need to purchase a new copy of windows (with a new license key ) in order to successfully install the OS on your new PC. Micro$oft is funny that way.
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a c 353 G Storage
July 18, 2012 10:24:03 PM

^ Based on what he said " I have just puchased the HAF X chassis, a i7 3770K, and the Asus P8Z77-V Deluxe motherboard along with an OEM copy of Windows 7"
He bought a OEM version and is Not reusing his gateway Lic key.

@ ram1009 - If he had a 2nd HDD he could copy/migrate all data from HDD 1 to HDD2, But he indicated he was transfering the HDD from the gateway system to the new system.
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