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Add Windows 7 on new HD installed in existing rig

Hello,
I would like to know if I buy a new hard drive and install it in my current rig can I install windows 7 on the new drive and still boot?
Thanks, John
Current rig:
AMD 4000+,Asus A8Nsli,4G Corsair ddr 400 duel channel,2-36G raptors in raid 0, Vista home premium installed on Raptors,EVGA 9600, Plexor sata dvd,PCIE TV card ,Seagate 1 TB installed in external enclosure.
I am out of sata ports and assume I would have to add a pci or pcie sata card. Is one better than the other? Will performance be the same as from the MB?
Oh, to get new OS to boot I would change boot order in set up right?
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  1. Best answer
    You have 2 SATA raptors and one SATA dvd, that's 3 SATA connectors used.
    From what I can see it has 4 SATA connectors, reference:
    "A8N-SLI supports next-generation SATA hard drives based on the new SATA 3Gb/s storage specification. Furthermore, the chipset has two dedicated SATA controllers delivering more scalable performance and doubles the bus bandwidth for fast hard drive data retrieval and saves.
    NV RAID
    The nFORCE4 chipset incorporated four Serial ATA and two parallel connectors with high performance RAID functions in RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1 and JBOD."
    from http://www.asus.com/999/html/events/mb/socket939/a8nsli/overview.htm
    So a new SATA card should not be needed, unless you are using the 4th one and failed to mention it.
    You can install W7 on the new drive, how will depend on which version, upgrade or a full version.
    To upgrade you need to have a previous qualifying product installed on your system, in your case Vista.
    This can be done as an inplace upgrade, (I don't recommend it) or a clean install to the same or different drive/partition, if done on the same drive/partition Windows collects everything and puts it in a folder called Windows.old which can be later deleted to regain the space, or you can choose your new drive and Windows will setup a dual boot with Vista.
    While this may not be 100% legal, I don't know anyone that's had a problem, me included, although mine there still because I havn't got around to getting rid of it as it's on another drive and I don't need the space.
    What happens in your case with Raid 0, I really have no idea how the upgrade can effect a raid configuration, maybe someone else can chip in, I suspect a clean install will be the answer.
    If you want it seperate altogether from your raid setup and choose to select the drive from bios, you would need to disconnect the raid drives during setup of W7, but in this case a full version would be required or use a workaround if that option is still available in W7 as it was in Vista.
    Visit Paul Thurrot's SuperSite for how to clean install with upgrade media:
    http://www.winsupersite.com/win7/clean_install_upgrade_media.asp
    You can visit MS for more info on upgrading W7:
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/help/upgrading-from-windows-vista-to-windows-7-custom
  2. Jonmor68,
    Your right I should have mentioned that my Seagate 1TB drive installed externally in an enclosure is installed using a sata plug inside (the forth and final) and a sata cord hooked to a clip in plate in the rear. Recommendations for a sata card for either PCI or PCIE? Is PCIE better?
    I want to use an OEM builder version of Windows 7 to save $ and because I want it to be independent to the Vista home premium now installed on my raptors in raid 0. I would like Vista to remain untouched/unaffected and not have to do a clean install or custom install involving Vista, just a clean install on a new Seagate 1TB sata drive or maybe a new SSD drive ( I think the SSD will be sata also, right?) Oh, to disconnect Raid 0 during installation should I just unplug the drives temporarily?
    Thanks,
    John (1madman)
  3. Yes, disconnect is a must if you want to keep them totally independent of each other and choose the boot drive from bios.
    SSD will be SATA.
    I have a Sunix SATA pci card which I've been using for about 4 years without a problem.
    They have both pci & pciE: http://www.sunix.com.tw/category/pci-express-cards.html
    Adaptec are very good but tend to be expensive, or at least they are here.
    Whether you choose pci or pciE I doubt there would be any noticable difference, choose which is more convenient for you, like where you have easier access to the connectors and not jammed against another card.
  4. cards will have less performance then onboard sata ports unless your using a high high end raid card or something (thanks to high bandwidths from the slot etc)

    just dump whatever OS you have now for 7 - i dont see the point in older os's/dual booting
  5. Best answer selected by 1madman.
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