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Question about fresh install onto new SSD, and my old HDD.

So i've ordered the 500gb Samsung evo SSD. I plan to do a fresh install of windows 10, but before i start i'd like to know a few things. Before i start, my apologies for any ignorant or silly questions, but i'm not really an expert on PC's.

1. How does a fresh install from USB work? I've downloaded the tool from here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-au/software-download/windows10

I've downloaded windows 10 setup onto the USB. How do i start windows 10 install using this? Do i simply unplug my main hard drive, plug in the SSD, plug the USB in and boot? Will that start the install process? Also am i correct in the thought that as long as my motherboard isn't getting changed, i won't need any windows key because it's already been activated on the motherboard?

2. Can i copy over folders and applications from the old HDD when install is done? Obviously i can copy word documents and pictures, or video files. But will be able to say, copy my entire steam installation over? Or will i have to reinstall everything? how about save games? I'm currently several dozen hours into a few new games at the moment, will i be able to move their save files over?

Another program that comes to mind is rainmeter, i spent a good day configuring my desktop to how i like it, will i be able to copy over that configuration? Or will i have to start the whole thing over.

3. Am i correct in thinking the SSD uses the same cords as an HDD?

4. After a fresh installation, what will happen when i plug in my old HDD, will it attempt to boot from that? Or will it realize that the SSD takes priority now? Furthermore, will i be able to delete my old windows installation to make space for games and movie storage?

Basically i just want to know the extent of how much i'm going to start from fresh, and how much i can simply copy over, and how easy a fresh install is.

Thanks.
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about question fresh install ssd hdd
  1. 1) Microsoft has instructions on making a bootable USB. You make one, unplug your HDD, open up the boot menu when your PC is starting up (should be F11 or something) and select the USB.

    2) Applications will have to be reinstalled, general files you can copy over. This includes documents, video and audio files, images, and save games / settings files (e.g. if you have custom settings for a game that you want to keep you can move those too).

    3) Yes, 2.5" SSDs use the same SATA data and power cables as HDDs.

    4) The PC should detect the multiple OSes and prompt you to select which one to boot. Once you boot into Windows from the SSD you can take anything you want from the HDD and then reformat it from Disk Management (this will erase all data on the HDD). After that you can use it again for both mass storage and any applications that don't particularly benefit from an SSD.
  2. When you plugged the usb into your system. You need to boot into the usb via the bios or the boot menu during POST. Then you simply follow the onscreen instructions. If you have a key, I would keep a record of it. Theoretically, you can simply skip the screen where it will ask you to input the key with a window 10 build 1511 or higher (assuming you had a valid win 7, 8, 8.1, 10 licences).

    If you want to keep the old files on your old HDD, I would make a backup copy on another drive first. You can simply move the whole steam directory in a temporary place and back onto the SSD and it will function as normal.If the saved files are not in the steam directory then you would need to find them and make a copy.
    With rain meter, I believe you can save what configuration you have and then import it. There should be more information on their guide.

    Yes, a SATA SSD uses the same interface as a SATA HDD.

    It is not advisable to have both the HDD and SSD plugged in when booting.

    To reformat your HDD, just use the window 10 installation media USB. You would continue the setup as normal until you reached the screen where it asks you to choose where to install windows. From there you have the tools to reformat your HDD by using the delete function.
  3. Suztera said:

    You can simply move the whole steam directory in a temporary place and back onto the SSD and it will function as normal


    No, it doesn't work like that. The Steam directory will be on the SSD but the numerous registry entries required for his games and Steam to function will not. He needs to reinstall Steam and his games (unless you meant he can just move the Steam directory to keep his saves, in which case you are partially correct).

    Quote:
    It is not advisable to have both the HDD and SSD plugged in when booting.


    I'd love to hear where you read that because it is quite simply not true. The HDD should only not be plugged in during Windows installation because there have been cases where the Windows installer placed OS files on a drive other than the one the OS was being installed on, leading to issues when people reformatted the spare drive.

    Quote:
    To reformat your HDD, just use the window 10 installation media USB.


    So rather than use Disk Management after booting into the new Windows installation and do the same process much more easily, he should waste time booting from the USB again for no good reason? wat
  4. Best answer
    Mr Kagouris said:
    Suztera said:

    You can simply move the whole steam directory in a temporary place and back onto the SSD and it will function as normal


    No, it doesn't work like that. The Steam directory will be on the SSD but the numerous registry entries required for his games and Steam to function will not. He needs to reinstall Steam and his games (unless you meant he can just move the Steam directory to keep his saves, in which case you are partially correct).

    Quote:
    It is not advisable to have both the HDD and SSD plugged in when booting.


    I'd love to hear where you read that because it is quite simply not true. The HDD should only not be plugged in during Windows installation because there have been cases where the Windows installer placed OS files on a drive other than the one the OS was being installed on, leading to issues when people reformatted the spare drive.

    Quote:
    To reformat your HDD, just use the window 10 installation media USB.


    So rather than use Disk Management after booting into the new Windows installation and do the same process much more easily, he should waste time booting from the USB again for no good reason? wat



    Yes, Steam will still work. It will reconfigure itself automatically. I have done this before since the 840 Pro launched. I left my Steam directory on the HDD. Did a clean install of window 7,8, and 8.1 and Steam on the HDD still functions. Copied and pasted from the original HDD to a newer HDD as well. Swapped my OS drive to a MX100 SSD and Steam on the HDD still functions currently. Of course, if you install games on a different drive and you move it, you lose those files.

    I took a screenshot my system to prove Steam is working today and was created 8th July 2013 on my HDD.


    It's just my experience when I was trying to boot with another OS drive, my OS drive did not boot even if I boot override.
    With the format, it's just a precaution that you don't mess up the partitions when booting up if it happens. Booting via the window installation media and reformat that way ensures that.
  5. Thanks guys, definitely learned what i needed to.
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