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Moving my boot drive from HDD to SSD

Last response: in Windows 7
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August 9, 2012 7:15:29 PM

Hey all,

I have a question (and I'm not quite sure where it should go in the forums):

I'm going to buy a 90gb SSD to include in my current pc build and my intention is to use it as a primary boot drive. The problem is (as you may guess) that I already have installed windows 7 32bit on my HDD.

Is there anyway to "move" the boot drive without having to reinstall and/or delete everything I currently have (estimated 200gb of data)????

Cheers!!

fedelm from Arg
August 9, 2012 7:25:59 PM

Ghost from one to the other.
August 9, 2012 7:33:33 PM

price_th said:
Ghost from one to the other.


How do I do that?
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August 9, 2012 7:56:09 PM

Ideally a clean install onto the SSD - the windows 7 does recognise and optimise for the SSD during install - though you can do this later (more difficult though) if you want to use an image, as follows.........

Yes - any 'imaging' software will do e.g. norton ghost or acronis true image - providing the image does not take up any more space that your SSD, minus a little for SSD housekeeping.

Simply clean up your current C drive (remove any crap), make the image, save it somewhere else (not the current HDD with the C: and not the SSD), backup your own data on the HDD then remove windows from your HDD (e.g. format from within acronis or norton), now restore the image back onto the SSD.

Imaging is by far the easiest and fastest way to 'install' an OS - destination media being equal.
August 9, 2012 8:01:58 PM

mesab66 said:
Ideally a clean install onto the SSD - the windows 7 does recognise and optimise for the SSD during install - though you can do this later (more difficult though) if you want to use an image, as follows.........

Yes - any 'imaging' software will do e.g. norton ghost or acronis true image - providing the image does not take up any more space that your SSD, minus a little for SSD housekeeping.

Simply clean up your current C drive (remove any crap), make the image, save it somewhere else (not the current HDD with the C: and not the SSD), backup your own data on the HDD then remove windows from your HDD (e.g. format from within acronis or norton), now restore the image back onto the SSD.

Imaging is by far the easiest and fastest way to 'install' an OS - destination media being equal.


Thanks! a few additional questions:

What kind of problems am I facing if I just go ahead and install W7 straight to the SSD?

Considering I'm buying a 90GB SSD and my current HDD is 200GB full I'm in trouble aren't I?
August 9, 2012 8:07:09 PM

Ghost has an option to copy from one drive to another. Exact duplicate. As long as your current drive will fit that is. If you 200GB drive is near full, IMO I would go for something larger just to keep it simple. Newegg has a deal for a Kingston 240GB for $170. Can't get much better short of waiting another year for prices to drop more.

Best solution

a b $ Windows 7
August 9, 2012 8:14:41 PM
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Problem w/ Ghost is, no SSD optimizations.

I'd suggest keeping the HD exactly as it is in case SSD goes south. That way you can still boot if SSD gets borked or primary OS install is infected.

1. Unplug HD cable.
2. Install SSD to SATA 0 port
3. Install OS to SSD
4. Install MoBo drivers / utilities off of CD *
5. Run Windows update repeatedly till it finds no "important" updates. Don't let it install optional updates but note what it listed.
6. Update all Hardware drivers and utilities using files freshly d/l'ed off manufacturer web sites.
7. Turn off machine and connect old HD to SATA 1 port
8. Reinstall your programs directly over themselves to set up registry entries for OS on SSD. This will keep any existing customizations.

* You "can" use freshly downloaded updated drivers here but *sometimes" utilities on the CD are req'd to do 1st install.....(licensing issue ?) .... after that downloaded versions work fine.....only happened to me on high end boards.

Now you can boot o the OS on the SSD or the HD simply by selecting the boot order in the BIOS.

August 9, 2012 8:25:37 PM

Best answer selected by fedelm.
August 9, 2012 8:29:01 PM

Thank you everyone.

I'm going to try what JackNaylorPE wrote, I just have one more question:

What is the probability of everything I have on hy HD completely vanishing?

I'm also considering just buying a larger SSD just to save the trouble.

Cheers
a b $ Windows 7
August 9, 2012 8:36:50 PM

If you unplug the cable as JackNaylorPE says, nothing will just vanish :)  . I was lazy and just cloned to mine, but it seems windows did take care of most of the optimizations after running WEI(From what I read, this tells windows hey i'm a SSD)

If you mean failure, modern hard drive warn very well so data loss is not too bad. A good backup play with an external drive is always a good idea as well.
August 9, 2012 8:40:10 PM

Ok that's good to know, thanks.

Also: by reinstalling the programs over themselves he means using the control panel and chosing the "repair" option, right?

As you can see I'm not much a hardcore hardware fellow.
August 10, 2012 5:30:54 PM

Anyone help me with this last question?

Thanks!
a b $ Windows 7
August 10, 2012 6:13:21 PM

Reinstalling over it self would be like if you had Photoshop installed on your old drive. Lets say its now d:

When you install it on the new system, you can just install it to D:\Program Files(x86)\Adobe\Photoshop\

This way, all the needed registry entries are made and the program runs off the old drive(and not the SSD).

I was almost sure I had come to answer this already.

One more example, I installed SC2 on one system got all the updates. For the new system I install it first(create any needed registry entries as well as program/appdata entries needed). Then I can just copy it from the other system with all the updates and personal settings.

This may be an option for things you want on the SSD, you can install it then copy it from the HDD to the SSD so you do not need to get updates.

You have one last option for future reference. You can use a "Junction"(effectivly this allows you to take a game that is on the SSD or hard drive and move it to the other without the game or even windows seeing the difference. So lets say windows sees c:/games/gamenamehere it may actually be on d:/games/gamenamehere) to move a game or program from the SSD to the hard drive once it has already been installed. This can be done with the "mklink" command, but I think that may be a bit much at this time. An alternative program called Junction Link Magic can help you do this, but you have to be careful not to mess with anything that is already setup.

http://www.rekenwonder.com/linkmagic.htm/

image example. As you can see my entire win8(its c: when Win8 is loaded, the image is taken from Win7) steam is on my win7 drive. And you can see some games in Win7 linked over to drive f:
!