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Windows 7: Need help with reformat without losing data


04 Dec 2011   #1

Windows 7 x64
 
 
Need help with reformat without losing data

Hello, I have a problem I know I will run into when I build my new computer.

Before I moved I only took my hard drives with me because I thought I could just buy a new computer and put my HDDs into that computer. But it seems like that it may not boot at all, although it depends on my luck.

So my question is if I could use the Windows 7 upgrade on top of the same OS to keep all my data while also getting a fresh OS too. The upgrade option should add '.old' at the end of every Windows folder right?

Anyone know what will happen to folders that are placed on the root directory? I installed few games there that I would like to keep.

EDIT: I guess I posted in the wrong section.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Dec 2011   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

1. It is very unlikely that you can boot from this HDD on a new system. Besides the inherent driver problems you would also have an activation problem.

2. If you do an upgrade install. you should get a windows.old folder. But you may be taking your chances.

3. I suggest to first save your files (maybe on a friends system with an external USB enclosure).

4. If you have less than 4 primary partitions on that HDD, you could define a new primary, active partition on the drive (if you can shrink enough space). You then could make a clean install to that partition with your upgrade disk.

To shrink space and to define a new primary active partition on this disk, use the bootable CD of Partition Wizard. It is the last entry on this webpage which you download and burn to cd (.g. with Imgburn).

But before you define the new active primary partition on the drive, make sure you deactivate the current active partition which is most likely C: or the system partition. The controls in Partition Wizard are under the Partition tab > Modify.

If there are already 4 primary partitions or 3 primary partitions and an extended partition on the drive, post back. Then we have to do some more work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2011   #3

Windows 7 x64
 
 

I'm not really familiar with the partition terms but I believe that I only have one primary partition and that is C:

I have 1 SSD (OS) and 2 HDDs (storage)

I'm not really a fan of creating logical partitions (those are the virtual partitions right?) so can I use some kind of linux live CD to transfer my files to my storage HDDs?

I'm just asking because I want to keep my options open and the upgrade option seems to be the easiest way but also very risky.

Btw, what will happen to my symlinks between my OS drive and storage drives?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Dec 2011   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Hmm, I think we have to find a simple solution for you. Sorry I dragged you thru all this geeky stuff with my posting above.

It would be probably the easiest if you got yourself an external HDD enclosure. They cost just a few dollars. But in order to recommend one, we would have to know whether you have a 2.5" or 3.5" HDD and whether it is Sata or IDE.

You can then put your HDD into that enclosure and attach it via USB to any system. There you can copy your date - e.g. to a USB stick that is large enough to hold your personal files.

Once this is done, you can install a new Windows7 on that disk. Any programs you had and any settings you made have to be redone/reinstalled. There is nothing other than your own data that you can take to the new system.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2011   #5

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Only the SSD is 2.5" but it came with a 3.5" bracket. The rest are 3.5"

Hmm so I guess it's either that and/or use another computer to safely get my personal data.

Edit: Those are SATAs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2011   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Question: do you have a computer now where you could stick it into an empty bay.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2011   #7

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Yes, but the guy lives 1 hour away from me.

So Linux live CD it is? I have a laptop that can burn, but I prefer a bootable USB.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2011   #8
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2011   #9

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Yeah I guess I'll go for the old copy paste method with that usb thing.

Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2011   #10
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

You are welcome. This is safer than Copy/paste: Context Menu - Add Copy To Folder and Move To Folder
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Need help with reformat without losing data




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