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Can i reinstall windows on a seperate HDD without losing my files?

so basically, i just bought a new pc and i just received my new part which is the graphics card, but my external HDD is taking forever to come (been almost 2 weeks) so i was wondering if i could do this...

my new pc has a 1tb hdd
my current pc has a 500gb hdd with all my games and files and windows

im looking to use my 500gb hdd in my new pc as a second hard drive for fraps so i need to get rid of everything in it to put it in my 1tb drive. i was planning to put everything in my external hdd and then put it on my new pc once i installed windows, but since its taking so long for it to arrive, can i just put my 500gb hdd in my new pc (it has windows installed on it), then install windows on my 1tb hard drive to finally put everything from my 500gb hdd in my 1tb hdd?

tldr:
does installing windows on 1 hdd means every hdds in the pc need to format?
is it possible to install windows on 1 hdd while another hdd already has windows on it? (would i need to go in the bios and simply make the 1tb hdd as priority once windows is installed)


Is there something else i should know before proceeding?

edit: please note the files from the 500gb hdd are from a completly different PC
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about reinstall windows seperate losing files
  1. You will be fine. install 1tb in SATA0 (sometimes called SATA1) and the 500 on any plug thereafter. really it doesnt matter where either is plugged in with normal SATA (non RAID) if you plan to never remove either hard drive. just be sure that when you are installing windows, you are installing onto the 1 TB and not the 500 GB (unless you are installing from an OEM restore disk, not an official windows disk, if that is the case, make sure the 1TB is in the first SATA plug on the motherboard and do not install the 500GB untill after the factory restore is complete just to avoid any hassles or confusion.)
  2. alright, how do i know which sata port on my motherboard is the first one?

    this is my motherboard
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131837&Tpk=p8z77-v%20lk
  3. Im going to guess that it is the white 6.0 Gb/s one, as the other two are showing as 3.0Gb/s
  4. Best answer
    moddedmatt said:
    alright, how do i know which sata port on my motherboard is the first one?

    this is my motherboard
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131837&Tpk=p8z77-v%20lk



    I read the manual for this motherboard, and the navy blue 6GB/s connectors are 0 and 1. if the motherboard was designed correctly, 0 should be the one directly on the motherboard, not the riser one on top.
  5. Best answer selected by moddedmatt.
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