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Windows 7: New Hard Drive Question


25 Apr 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 
New Hard Drive Question

Right now I have Win 7 and all of my programs/files on one hard drive, one partition C: drive. If I got a new hard disk, could I just copy everything on it and be good to go or would I need to reinstall everything? == If I need to reinstall and I put Win 7 on one partition and my programs/files on the another, how would this benefit me? Thanks for your help.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Apr 2010   #2

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bigmck View Post
...could I just copy everything on it and be good to go...
In a manner of speaking, yes. But not "copy". You will need to image the new drive from the old one. Your drive mfgr may or may not provide a tool/app to do this easily.

I am not a big fan of partitions - I prefer multiple drives. The single advantage that I will cede to parting a sys drive- you can format the "C" part when reinstalling the OS without worrying about data files, provided you have properly structured your system.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2010   #3

W7 Ult. x64 | OS X
 
 

You can use Macrium Reflect Free Edition to do this. Basically what you'll do is create a system image of your first drive and then restore it to your second drive. It will copy everything except the properties of the drive. In other words you'll have to mark it as a Boot partition, etc.

I'd suggest that you simply install a fresh copy of Windows 7 on your second drive and then move everything from your old drive over manually then format it when you're done. This'll insure your installation is undamaged and you'll get a performance boost if you haven't been maintaining your Windows 7 installation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Apr 2010   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Casca View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bigmck View Post
...could I just copy everything on it and be good to go...
In a manner of speaking, yes. But not "copy". You will need to image the new drive from the old one. Your drive mfgr may or may not provide a tool/app to do this easily.

I am not a big fan of partitions - I prefer multiple drives. The single advantage that I will cede to parting a sys drive- you can format the "C" part when reinstalling the OS without worrying about data files, provided you have properly structured your system.
One more question -- Let's say I buy a bigger drive and want to put all my progarms/files on it and put Win 7 on the smaller drive. The best approach would be just to install everything from scratch? Thanks,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2010   #5

 

That is a valid option.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2010   #6

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bigmck View Post
One more question -- Let's say I buy a bigger drive and want to put all my progarms/files on it and put Win 7 on the smaller drive...
I assume that you mean "program install" files.

I strongly do NOT recommend installing apps to a secondary drive.

App devs not addressed here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Apr 2010   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Casca View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bigmck View Post
One more question -- Let's say I buy a bigger drive and want to put all my progarms/files on it and put Win 7 on the smaller drive...
I assume that you mean "program install" files.

I strongly do NOT recommend installing apps to a secondary drive.

App devs not addressed here.
I am referring to putting Win 7 on the smaller drive and everything else on the bigger drive. Are you saying this is not a good way to go?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Apr 2010   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

A fresh install of Windows 7 on the smaller drive with all your programs/apps would be ideal IMO.

Then, move your Documents,Videos,Pictures,Music User folders to the second drive.

I would also make a Folder "GAMES" on a secondary and install all games to there as well.

I would also advise either a 3rd HD for Backups, OR a hidden partition on the DATA drive (or one without a drive letter) that your Imaging Program can use.

I would make 1 image as soon as you install and activate Windows for safe keeping. Youll even be able to burn that Image to disc in the event you want to start fresh in the future, and Windows 7 will already be activated. And then periodic Imagages thereafter once you install most of your Apps etc.

There are several good imaging programs. Acronis, which offers many more futures but you'll need to purchase is excellent. Theres also a few really good free alternatives as well. Paragon, and as mentioned, Macrium Reflect.


This isn't saying Imaging your current drive over to the new HD isnt possible. Using Macrium to image and restore as mentioned is a viable option.
Acronis also has a 30day trial that will be able to clone the drive as well. If you purchased a WD drive, dont forget theres a free version of Acronis to clone the drive available to you from the official website. You just need to register you drive/serial number to gain access.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Apr 2010   #9

 

I am saying:

If Windows is installed on C
C:\Windows\

then

Install all programs on C
C:\Program Files

You invite problems otherwise. I have a lot of software installed and my total Program Files space is < 7 GB. There is little real advantage in placing apps on another drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Apr 2010   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Casca View Post
I am saying:

If Windows is installed on C
C:\Windows\

then

Install all programs on C
C:\Program Files

You invite problems otherwise. I have a lot of software installed and my total Program Files space is < 7 GB. There is little real advantage in placing apps on another drive.

I completely agree with this. With the exception of Games IMHO.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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