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Windows 7: Installing SSD, advice needed on complicated partitioning.

04 Jan 2015   #1
MCannon

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
Installing SSD, advice needed on complicated partitioning.

Hi everyone, old techie but new poster here (very old, started on the trash-80, but I digress). Great site, lots of useful info I've already found. Here's my situation.

I recently bought a Samsung 840 Pro SSD, and before I install it, I want to make sure I've got everything done correctly so as to not have problems. My situation is not the common "clone drive, set ssd to boot, done". I'm very experienced in general, but this is my first SSD.

I'm running Windows 7 Home Premium x64, I currently have 3 internal hard drives, 2 of which are not germane to this discussion, so I'll ignore them from here on. My boot drive (technically drive 2 in Disk Manager) is a 1TB drive with a 75GB Windows partition C:, and an extended partition containing a 150GB Apps E: partition, and a 700 GB Data F: partition. All partitions are NTFS.

Note that there is no System Reserved partition. It was either not created by how I installed W7, or I deleted it to get the full space all those years ago. Can't really remember.

So, all my apps are on the E partition, I've been overriding the default install of every program for years. The only apps on C: are things that annoyingly forced themselves there. There are way too many apps and games to fit on the SSD and I don't need them all there anyway, so the plan is to slowly migrate needed apps to the SSD. The F partition has all my data, including My Documents etc, I moved them over years ago. So again, very little documents on C:

So, when the SSD is installed, I obviously need it to be C:, while it still uses the E: and F: of the old hard drive to find the rest of the files needed to boot into windows.

So my first concern: Once I clone the C: partition to the SSD and set it to be the boot drive, what will happen to the old drive letters? The old C: needs to disappear and get a new letter, but E: and F: need to stay the same. Will that happen automatically, or do I need to do something special?

Suggestions on the software to use? The provided Samsung Data Migration is one candidate, but I've read some posts elsewhere that thought it wasn't great. I also have AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition and Macrium Reflect.

Should I first get a System Reserved partition back on? I eventually plan on dual booting to Windows XP, as I've found a few games I own are too problematic on 7, and it would just be easier. Not 100% sure if it's needed for that, or for the SSD.

edit: Not currently using it, but I eventually plan on EasyBCD for the dual boot.

Any thoughts and suggestions are appreciated.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Jan 2015   #2
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

Hi Mcannon & welcome to Windows Seven Forums.

To make it easier for everyone could you tell us what size your new Samsung 840 Pro SSD is & could you supply a screen shot of your Disc Management as well, showing all your installed discs & all the notation as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jan 2015   #3
HerrKaLeun

W7 Pro 64
 
 

For your XP games, did you try in compatibility mode or use a VM? XP isn't really safe...

As for cloning your windows partition, i think any tool will do the same thing - bring all from yoru old "C" to the SSD. If the programs that you semi-installed on c and the rest on "E" that you need to try. you may have to re-install some of those programs.

I understand why you would have split the installations apart on different HDD.. but why did you do that sine it was all the sema HDD anyway? You could have just made partition C larger. Just wondering what the reason was. i understand if your SSD is too small why you want to do that.

i have the 830, your SSD's predecessor and it is very fast, so I'm sure yours will fly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Jan 2015   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

The answer is simple - the OS and all programs (less games) go on the SSD. User data and games go on the spinner(s).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jan 2015   #5
NimoTony

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

"Suggestions on the software to use? The provided Samsung Data Migration is one candidate, but I've read some posts elsewhere that thought it wasn't great. I also have AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition and Macrium Reflect."

READ THIS:
How to clone HDD to SSD with Windows 7

note: this worked perfectly with two Win7 machines that I recently upgraded to SSDs

see also:
Disable System Restore And Drive Indexing - Can You Get More Space Or Speed From Your SSD?
--sections 3-4-5-- very useful information
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jan 2015   #6
MCannon

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Sorry, 256 gigs on the SSD.

HerrKaLeun, just old habits, apps and data should always be separate. Makes backups easier, imaging a boot partition, etc. I've never been a big fan of compatibility mode, I'd rather run the real thing. It'll be rare usage anyway, which is why I haven't done it yet. VMs are not an option for graphically intense games.

whs, I'm not worried about what goes where, just that the procedure will work, and looking out for any 'gotchas' before they happen. I've read other threads where the hard drive retained the c: and the ssd got a new letter, so windows didn't fully start and they couldn't switch the drive letters around because they were in use. I'm trying to avoid stuff like that.


Attached Thumbnails
Installing SSD, advice needed on complicated partitioning.-drive-manager.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jan 2015   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

You have a problem. There is no bootmgr on C and you have no system partition either. Your bootmgr is on D on Disk 0. Before you do anything, try to copy the bootmgr to C and then post another screenshot of Disk Management.

Bootmgr - Move to C:\ with EasyBCD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jan 2015   #8
MCannon

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Ok, that's interesting.

Obviously, C: boots just fine and there are no error messages, and it says system, active and boot, so what exactly are you looking at that makes you say that?

The D: is a test install of windows 7 when I was debugging video card problems last year. I unplugged my c drive, changed my boot drive, installed the test 7, then after all the problems were fixed, I replugged c: back in, and switched the boot order back to normal. Figured that might end up where my XP would be installed eventually, so haven't done anything to that partition since.

Just checked, and there's a bootmgr file on drive c:, 374k. Yes, there's also one on d: from the test install. Why would it be using the one from the nonboot drive?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jan 2015   #9
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

Mcannon. Keep in mind when you are allocating disc space that SSD's like to have about 10% of the drive for garbage handling or as Samsung call it Over Provisioning.
As I don't have a lot of video files, music or huge picture collections, I just have the one Samsung 840 Pro 256gb SSD.
When I got the Samsung I cloned it with Macrium from a HDD & all went very well. As a matter of interest mine does not have the System Partition either & it is not essential to have it.
I would recommend installing the Samsung Magician software for setting up the best performance of your Samsung SSD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jan 2015   #10
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MCannon View Post
Ok, that's interesting.

Obviously, C: boots just fine and there are no error messages, and it says system, active and boot, so what exactly are you looking at that makes you say that?

The D: is a test install of windows 7 when I was debugging video card problems last year. I unplugged my c drive, changed my boot drive, installed the test 7, then after all the problems were fixed, I replugged c: back in, and switched the boot order back to normal. Figured that might end up where my XP would be installed eventually, so haven't done anything to that partition since.

Just checked, and there's a bootmgr file on drive c:, 374k. Yes, there's also one on d: from the test install. Why would it be using the one from the nonboot drive?
Sorry you are right - my bad. I overlooked the 'active' on C, You are good.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Installing SSD, advice needed on complicated partitioning.




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