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Windows 7: "Re"-Clean install on a new HDD


11 Aug 2010   #1

Win 7 64
 
 
"Re"-Clean install on a new HDD

Hi all,

I'm looking to purchase a new SSD to use as my OS and main program drive and then use my current HD for documents, pics, music.

I have a retail version of Windows 7 64 Home Premium that has been installed on the current HD for about 8 months.

I'd like to do a clean install of Windows 7 onto the SSD rather than migrate across beacuse I want a "fresh" version of Windows 7 to work with

So....is the following possible?;

1/ Copy all my documents & "non windows" programs to an external drive
2/ Remove my current HD
3/ Install new SSD
4/ Do a clean install of Windows 7 onto the SSD using the same disk I originally used
5/ Reinstall the old HD and reformat it thus deleting all data off it
6/ Copy documents to the old HD and programs to the SSD

If not, is there a better way to acheive what I want?

Is it possible to use my original disk to do a clean install on another HD/SSD? I'm guessing this may be problematic?

Many thanks in advance

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Aug 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello stranexuk, welcome to Seven Forums!





If you have a retail version of Windows 7 you will have no problem doing a clean install to the Solid State Drive (SSD) with the same disk when you're ready; just remove the Hard Disk Drive (HDD) cable from the motherboard, you don't have to actually remove the HDD from the machine. After you have made backups of your data to external media and you have W_7 on the SSD booting good and activated with the same key / license you now use, plug the HDD back in to the mobo and use the tutorial at the link below (step 7 clean all) to over-write all the old content on the HDD so you have a clean slate to add your data back to.


Disk - Clean and Clean All with Diskpart Command
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2010   #3
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Steps 1 - 5 are fine. Step 6 comes in 2 flavors:

1. Moving user data to the old HDD is fine. Just make sure you do it via the Location tab in the Properties of the folders. And define a target folder for each folder you move on the old HDD before you move it from the SSD - else you will get a big mess because all your folders will assume the address of the HDD drive. But DO NOT MOVE SYSTEM FILES OR FOLDERS - only folders that have a location tab in properties.

Alternatively you can create user folders (documents, pictures, etc.) on the HDD, move your data from the backup to those folders and then "include" those folders into your libraries. That might be the easiest.

2. "copy programs to the SSD" - I am not sure what you mean by that. Programs you have to reinstall in any case. There is no way you can copy them from your old installation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Aug 2010   #4

Win 7 64
 
 

Excellent! Thanks so much bare foot kid! I had an idea that I would only be able to install onto the one hdd.....otherwise what's to stop people copying their version onto multiple computers? I guess it's the fact you have to use the same activation code and this can only be registered to one computer at a time?

Anyway, will go ahead and order my new drives and set about copying my files over....just pray that getting the os working with my programs on another disk is just as simple!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2010   #5

Win 7 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Steps 1 - 5 are fine. Step 6 comes in 2 flavors:

1. Moving user data to the old HDD is fine. Just make sure you do it via the Location tab in the Properties of the folders. And define a target folder for each folder you move on the old HDD before you move it from the SSD - else you will get a big mess because all your folders will assume the address of the HDD drive. But DO NOT MOVE SYSTEM FILES OR FOLDERS - only folders that have a location tab in properties.

Alternatively you can create user folders (documents, pictures, etc.) on the HDD, move your data from the backup to those folders and then "include" those folders into your libraries. That might be the easiest.

2. "copy programs to the SSD" - I am not sure what you mean by that. Programs you have to reinstall in any case. There is no way you can copy them from your old installation.
Hmmmmm...knew it wouldn't be as simple as I thought!!

So...just to clarify, I will not be moving any data from the SDD to the old HDD after reformatting.....I will move them from my "backup" external drive back onto the HDD....will this still require use of the location tab for ALL folders? (I have LOTS of folders of pics, musifc, documents etc!)

And as for 2.....are you saying that ALL my "non-Windows 7" programs (such as Office, Photoshop, Google Earth etc etc) will need to reinstalled rather than simply copying from current HDD - Backup external drive - SSD drive? If so, I may have to rethink my plans as I no longer have some of the installed programs.....if you know what I mean
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2010   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

1. If you want to move the data directly from the backup to the HDD, then use the approach that I described in "Alternatively ...". But define proper folders for each subject anyhow (pictures, documents, videos, etc.). The only little inconvenience with that approach is that you get each subject with 3 library entries - e.g. My Music on the SSD, Public Music on the SSD and My Music on the HDD. If you moved the SSD folders first as I have described at the beginning of point#1, you would only get 2. (see attached picture of my installation where I used the Library "Include" method because I am sharing all user folders between my Vista and Windows 7 systems on the same box. And the folders are really belonging originally to the Vista system)

2. The installation of a program is a lot more complex than just copying the program files. There are registry entries, .dlls, etc. So with a new system isnstallation, you always have to reinstall all programs. Now if you still have the original installation .exes, you can use those (I always keep them). But you have to reinstall. But I am sure you can still find all those programs. The advantage is also, if you reinstall (e.g. from the web) you always get the latest version. Just make a list of all your programs and for those that require a product key, make sure you save them. My product key file is my most precious file - else I would have to repurchase those programs.


Attached Images
 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2010   #7

Win 7 64
 
 

Ok, thanks WHS...that clears things up pretty much, I appreciate your help!

Seeing as I have installed lots of programs off the net and not kept the product keys (lesson learnt for next time!) it may be easier if I were to just keep them on the original HDD rather than move them onto the backup drive and then reinstall. I know this would mean me not being able to reformat that drive but at least I can delete the OS off of it and use the SSD for that and any new programs that I purchase, and those that I did keep the product keys for?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2010   #8
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Unfortunately, some of them will have ties to the original OS they were installed to through the registry and other locations and will not work if that OS is not booted.
Have a look at the link below for a free little app that can even be installed to a USB stick if need be that may make some of those installer keys visible; best of luck and be sure to keep us informed as to how it sorts out.


SIW - System Information for Windows
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2010   #9
Microsoft MVP

 

You can audit the Product Keys from the HD using Belarc Advisor. Then you only need to locate the installer for your licensed version (Office, etc).

The modern way to do this is to keep all of your program installers in the Downloads folder. Your Product Keys should be safeguarded just like bank notes.

If you need to Dual Boot the old HD for awhile as you migrate programs over to the SSD, then install Windows 7 to the SSD with the HD unplugged and SSD set as first HD to boot in BIOS setup.

When you plug the HD back in, boot it via the BIOS one-time Boot Menu key given on first boot screen. This keeps the HD's independent to come and go as you please.

You'll have 30 days before you need to activate that copy of Windows 7 on the SSD, at which time it will deactivate on the HD if you use the same Windows 7 Product Key. By then you should have your programs migrated over and can clean the HD to use as a data drive: Disk - Clean and Clean All with Diskpart Command
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 "Re"-Clean install on a new HDD




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