Win8 Install on new SSD, Old files on HDD Win7
I swapped a new MB and now my old HDD with OEM Win7 on it won't boot. Not a big deal since I wanted Win8 on a SSD anyway. I unplgged the HDD with Win7 on it and installed Win8 on the SSD. I'm up and running with Win8. All of my files and programs are still on the HDD "inside of an unbootable Win7". I know that I can store all my data on a HDD and either do junction points to it or registry hacks (not preferred) but I'm not 100% sure how to go about it. Should I copy all of the data I want over to another clean HDD, then make the junction points? Or is there a way I can leave it all on the current HDD, then get rid of Win7 on that HDD? I've tried searching but it's a hard issue to search for.
No need for such drastic measures as junction points. Simply plug in your hard drive, boot up to Windows 8 and pop open Disk Management. Shrink the existing partition, and then create a new partition just for data on the hard drive, then copy over your data from one partition to the other. Once you have what you need, delete the original partition with Windows 7 on it and extend the second partition to the size of the full drive.
Disk Management is found in Windows 8 on the menu of administrative tools that can be accessed by right clicking in the lower left hand corner, where the Start Screen would be launched.
If you encounter any issues with access to your old files, it is usually resolved by saying yes to allow the system to create the necessary permissions, but if that does not succeed, it may also be necessary to take ownership of the files.
When you are done, if you would like your user data to appear on the hard drive rather than filling your solid state drive, make sure you use Folder Redirection to relocate your user folders. Simply right click on the folder you want to relocate (such as Documents, Pictures, Videos, Download, Desktop, etc.) and change the location on the location tab. If you have data in the folder already, it would be a good idea to allow Windows to move it to the new location for you when prompted.