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Looking to preserve data on a new Windows 7 install..

Last response: in Windows 7
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February 10, 2012 2:39:05 AM

So basically, I'm currently using 2 hard drives. A 160gb ide drive and a 1 TB Spinpoint F3. I'm going to be doing an upgrade tomorrow, and when I do, I want to switch to just using the one TB hard drive as my only drive. The issue is that I've got about 400GB in stuff I'd rather not lose. Primarily Steam games that would take me months to download again without pushing my monthly download limit too much.

Basically, I want to know if there's a way to install windows 7 onto this drive without losing the data currently on it. I know that when I originally upgraded my current drive from XP to windows 7, I got a windows.old folder that seemed to have a lot of my data in it. Is it possible to do something similar when doing a fresh OS install without one already being present?

If not, my only real alternative would be a TB drive my dad recently purchased, but it's for a laptop. I'm not entirely sure how to connect it to my computer, but I could figure that out, but I'd like to find a way to do this without an external if it's possible. Thanks for any info.
February 10, 2012 3:36:57 AM

I see, that seems like an effective solution. Just a question about that though..would that complicate the new install? I'm thinking here that it will treat my single drive as if it were 2. Would there be a way to move the data after the OS installation and then, say, get rid of the second partition and make it all 1 drive again?

Sorry, I don't know much about this kind of thing. I can figure most of it out as far as how, I just want a loose idea of what I'm getting into before I actually get down to doing it. Thanks for this solution though, as it looks like my best bet.
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a b $ Windows 7
February 10, 2012 8:18:06 AM

You could put the 1TB drive into the laptop, and copy files over the network.
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a b $ Windows 7
February 10, 2012 9:31:19 AM

Moving data from one partition to another should be easy.
And it's easy to manage partitions by re-sizing them.

Moving programs is always a lot tougher. But since you're changing out an OS you'll be needing to reinstall programs anyway.

Check the Steam FAQs/Forum - I think they have a way that lets you reinstall Steam itself without having to reinstall each individual game.
Installing New OS-How Shoudl I Transfer My Games?
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February 11, 2012 8:44:48 AM

szaboaz said:
You could put the 1TB drive into the laptop, and copy files over the network.


Would, but I don't have a laptop it can fit into. it was an accidental buy by someone else, I just found potential use for it.

WR2 said:
Moving data from one partition to another should be easy.
And it's easy to manage partitions by re-sizing them.

Moving programs is always a lot tougher. But since you're changing out an OS you'll be needing to reinstall programs anyway.

Check the Steam FAQs/Forum - I think they have a way that lets you reinstall Steam itself without having to reinstall each individual game.
Installing New OS-How Shoudl I Transfer My Games?


Looks like an effective way to move my steam games for sure, I'll give that a try. I'm still not completely sure on this OS though. You're saying partition off say, 50gb for windows 7, and leave the rest? I'm figuring out HOW to partition now mind you. I'm still wondering if it'll be possible to re-merge the two later though. If not, I suppose it'll work a lot like it already does with 2 drives.
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a b $ Windows 7
February 11, 2012 11:00:17 AM

How much free space is on the HDD at the moment?
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February 11, 2012 4:16:57 PM

567/931GB
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February 11, 2012 5:07:13 PM

Just sort of crossed my mind here. Say if I went ahead and allocated 550GB to the windows 7 side, installed windows 7, then moved the 364GB from the other partition to the windows 7 side of the partition. Could I then re-merge the two partitions without causing any problems for windows 7?
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