I currently have a 128bg sdd paired with a 500gb data drive. I am considering moving to a bigger ssd but using the same data drive. I have apps and things such as Microsoft office on the data drive. Would doing a fresh install of windows on the new ssd instead cloning from the old ssd cause issues running my programs off the data drive? Sorry if this is a stupid question. Also, would it maybe be easier/more efficient to just clone the old ssd to the new bigger one.
The fresh install would destroy your installations on the data drive, because all the registry entries and shared components that get installed in the windows directory will be lost. Clone the SSD to the new one and test the programms on the data drive. If that works got to disk management and add the remaining space to the c partition. Attention: unplug the old SSD after cloning! We don't wont to start the wrong windows or let windows find anything on the old one by accident.
I would clone your old SSD to the new, and really don't forget to unplug the old one before booting Windows. You can use True Image, Clonezilla or many other other. You can use True Image trial to create a boot cd, which performs pretty good. You can choose to resize proportional, so you don't need to adjust anything in disk management.