I want the boot drive to be different than the system drive
Here's the situation. I originally had a windows 7 system and I installed all my programs to the one hard drive I had. Recently, I decided to add an ssd and get windows 8. I want ONLY THE WINDOWS 8 FILES on the ssd. This is not the problem, since I installed a clean version of windows 8 to the ssd. However, if I choose to boot from the ssd all of my programs are giving me an issue. (Also, they do not show up in the "uninstall a program" thing.) On the other hand, if I boot from the original hdd, to make it the system hdd, it boots windows 7 instead of windows 8.
Can I boot from the ssd but use the hdd as the system hard drive? I've seen plenty of people trying to do it the other way around.
More aboutboot drive system drive
You would need to reinstall the games within Windows 8. When re-installing (technically you are not reinstalling them, but you are installing them for the first time) the games, you can point to the HDD as the install location.
There's no way to just tell the registry of the new location?
There is no sure-fire way to do that unless you know where everything was put to begin with. It would be a tedious task, and even then, they might not work, or might not work properly.
I have tons of programs that were already on the hard drive. Is reinstalling every single one the only way? Could I use that hard drive as the default and tell it to use windows 8 from the ssd somehow?
No, those programs are not yet installed in Windows 8 so it does not know that they exist.
I know it is a pain, but such is the life at times.
Well alright then. In 50 years when this is done I'll post about my success or failure.