To do a Clean Install on a NEW HDD which does NOT have a OS installed:
You still must have a qualifing OS for the Machine, just does NOT have to be installed.
1) Install NEW SSD and DISCONNECT all other HDDs.
2) when booting, first go into BIOS and Verify BIOS is set to AHCI. If not change to AHCI and reboot.
3) Insert Upgrade Win 7
4) Select CUSTOM install. DO NOT enter Key when prompted
5) let windows complete install, let it down load and install windows updates, install drivers. Verify working OK.
The Power down, reconnect HDD, set Bios to Boot first to SSD.
Then follow "mousseng " link or (from MaxiumPC)
A true geek has never been intimidated by the registry, but lets face it, it's a mess in there. To access the registry you will first need to open up the start menu and type "regedit" into the search field, followed by enter. To find the proverbial needle in this haystack, you will need to navigate through the tabs listed on the left in the following order:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup/OOBE/ . If you don't like doing it the hard way just click Edit then Find and type MediaBootInstall into the search field, and press enter.
Once found, double click MediaBootInstall and change the "1" to a "0". Once you have finished this, simply click Ok and close out the Registry Editor.
Before we try to activate our copy of Windows, we need to reset or "Re-Arm" the activation sequence. To do this, simply open up the start menu and type cmd but instead of just pressing enter, you need to press "Ctrl" + "Shift" + "Enter" to run it as an administrator. You can also accomplish this by clicking the start menu, typing cmd into the search box, then right clicking the command prompt application and selecting Run as administrator.
Once the command prompt appears type slmgr /rearm and press enter. Next simply type Exit and hit enter again, after which it will ask you to restart your machine.
After activation, save some grief.
Go to Control panel, select back-up, then on left select "create a system Image" This image should be placed on your HDD.
NOW should you ever need to re-install OS - Put in either the restore disk (you will be prompted for this-BUT CAN SKIP) OR tYour windows installation disk. Select rpair, then restore from Image. Fiftenn Mins later you reboot to exacty the way the system was when you created the Image. NOTE: I do this after windows is installed And again after ALL programs are loaded.
NO MORE: Reinstall windows, No wait for 15 million Windows updates, no reloading drivers and programs. The only thing you would do is for windows to do updates that were NOT included, new drivers, and New programs!!!
Thanks for the detailed answers. The disk is on its way and I will let you know how things go. In the meantime, I backed up my current disk and installation using Paragon Backup free. BTW, that is a good program and well worth the price