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Windows 7: Reusing a master HDD with corrupt OS as a slave...couple questions!


26 Nov 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
Reusing a master HDD with corrupt OS as a slave...couple questions!

I will try and explain my situation as short and sweet as possible!

My current desktop (about a year and a half old) decided that it was going to corrupt Windows 7 beyond repair. Thankfully my hard drive is fine--hooked it up to my husband's computer and was able to use it as a slave and back up all the info.

I have to buy/install a new copy of Windows 7, but this time I'm getting an SSD to put the OS, Photoshop, and my games on and then I plan to use my current hard drive as the slave.

I'm having a hard time figuring out a couple things due to my lack of knowledge/experience:

--will having the corrupt OS on the slave device impact the new install at all and can I/should I uninstall the corrupt OS off the slave?

--will I be able to run the programs that are already on the hard drive, when it's a slave?

--the two programs I'm worried about running into problems with is Photoshop (which I want to take off the slave and put on the SSD) and then Microsoft Office. If I can continue to use Office on the slave ,then no problem, but if I have to reinstall, will I be able to uninstall the original so that there isn't issues with the licensing (I've used the max licenses allowed with my disk)?

I've never used multiple hard drives so I'm having a hard time pre-figuring out issues I might run into. Thanks in advance!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Nov 2012   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lauratron View Post
I will try and explain my situation as short and sweet as possible!

My current desktop (about a year and a half old) decided that it was going to corrupt Windows 7 beyond repair. Thankfully my hard drive is fine--hooked it up to my husband's computer and was able to use it as a slave and back up all the info.

I have to buy/install a new copy of Windows 7, but this time I'm getting an SSD to put the OS, Photoshop, and my games on and then I plan to use my current hard drive as the slave.

I'm having a hard time figuring out a couple things due to my lack of knowledge/experience:

--will having the corrupt OS on the slave device impact the new install at all and can I/should I uninstall the corrupt OS off the slave?

--will I be able to run the programs that are already on the hard drive, when it's a slave?

--the two programs I'm worried about running into problems with is Photoshop (which I want to take off the slave and put on the SSD) and then Microsoft Office. If I can continue to use Office on the slave ,then no problem, but if I have to reinstall, will I be able to uninstall the original so that there isn't issues with the licensing (I've used the max licenses allowed with my disk)?

I've never used multiple hard drives so I'm having a hard time pre-figuring out issues I might run into. Thanks in advance!
First, you don't need to buy a new copy of Win 7. Did your PC have Win 7 on it when you purchased it? If so, you must have a sticker on it somewhere that has a 25 character code. If you have that, you can download the copy of Win 7 that you have (example Win 7 Home Premium 32-bit) from here Official Windows 7 SP1 ISO from Digital River « My Digital Life You can then burn a copy to a DVD (no more that 4x speed) and you can install from the DVD and activate using the sticker I mentioned before using this tutorial Clean Install Windows 7 == Since you are installing Win 7 again, you will have to install all of your programs again. Your data, pictures, music, letters, etc will be OK using them from the old Hard Disk. To reinstall the programs, you will need a DVD of the program. I would guess you would have that since you installed them the first time. Let us know how it goes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

You don't need to buy a new copy of Windows 7. If you have a legitimate license for your current desktop, that can be reused (since it is the same computer).

Chances are, the programs on the old drive won't work, because the new install will be missing registry info. So, for an overall better system, plan to cleanly install them once the SSD is in and Windows 7 is reinstalled. Office will reinstall fine, again, assuming you have a legitimate license.

The best way is to download the drivers you need ahead of time to a flash drive. Then install Windows 7 clean on the computer with just the SSD installed. Once that is complete, you can connect your old HDD and use that as a data drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Nov 2012   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I think you have the wrong notion of 'slave'. I assume what you mean is that you want to use the drive as data storage.

To avoid all confusion, attach it to your husbands PC and run these commands in cmd:

Diskpart
List disk
Select disk n (where n is the number that was given for your disk in question)
Clean
Create partition primary
Format fs=ntfs quick
Exit


Then install a new Windows 7 on your SSD as advised above. But you will have to reinstall all programs - those on your old disk are useless.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2012   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

As a note, follow whs's advice if or when you backup anything important from that drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Thanks for all the replies!

Major "doh" on me for getting the new copy of Windows 7! Hopefully Amazon will take it back. I guess I never realized that was an option because I've never encountered this type of situation (I've been lucky to never have had a major issue like this come up in the 18 years I've owned computers). My computer only came with the boot disk so I just assumed I was out the copy if I needed to reinstall from scratch.

Whs, will those steps format the hard drive? I certainly don't want to have to do that if I don't have to, even if I have backed up the information.

Also, having never had an SSD, I'm wondering what I SHOULDN'T load on it. Do I not want to run web browsers on it? And since you said I'll only be using my hard drive as a storage drive, should I also buy/designate an actual slave drive?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2012   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Yes it will format the HDD. And why would you not want to do that - this is the most natural step when you want to use the HDD for a new purpose. Just make sure you first get all your stuff off. But after 18 years with computers you know that.

Put the whole system on the SSD. Put only your data on the reformatted HDD (no need to buy a new HDD, you have one at hand). There are a few optimization steps you should do once the OS is installed on the SSD. Post back when you actually have the OS on the SSD and we'll tell you.

And PLEASE forget that term 'slave drive'. That is something they had in the last century with ide drives.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2012   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Put the whole system on the SSD. Put only your data on the reformatted HDD (no need to buy a new HDD, you have one at hand). There are a few optimization steps you should do once the OS is installed on the SSD. Post back when you actually have the OS on the SSD and we'll tell you.

And PLEASE forget that term 'slave drive'. That is something they had in the last century with ide drives.
I ordered a 240GB SSD; is that an appropriate size to run everything off of?

My husband says he takes the blame for getting he whole "slave" thing in my head. Until I actually start using all of these new things, it's going to be pretty foreign for me--I'm really visual and hands on so I have to experience the new setup to really "get it".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2012   #9
Microsoft MVP

 

Follow these steps to obtain and maintain a perfect Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7.

Be sure to unplug the other HDD while installing Windows 7. I would also run a full scan with Malwarebytes and Disk Check on the "slave" HD from the other PC before plugging it into the new install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2012   #10
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lauratron View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Put the whole system on the SSD. Put only your data on the reformatted HDD (no need to buy a new HDD, you have one at hand). There are a few optimization steps you should do once the OS is installed on the SSD. Post back when you actually have the OS on the SSD and we'll tell you.

And PLEASE forget that term 'slave drive'. That is something they had in the last century with ide drives.
I ordered a 240GB SSD; is that an appropriate size to run everything off of?

My husband says he takes the blame for getting he whole "slave" thing in my head. Until I actually start using all of these new things, it's going to be pretty foreign for me--I'm really visual and hands on so I have to experience the new setup to really "get it".
240GB is very generous. I run my desktops on 60GB SSDs and I have plenty of free space. Just make sure you get rid of the hiberfile and reduce the pagefile to 2GB. When the time comes, we'll tell you how that's done - very simple.

PS: and Greg is right. When you install on the SSD, make sure all other disks are detached - else you run the risk that your bootmgr lands on another disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Reusing a master HDD with corrupt OS as a slave...couple questions!




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