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Windows 7: Switching windows install from HDD to SSD

18 Aug 2010   #1

Switching windows install from HDD to SSD

Hey guys.

I realise there is another SSD thread here but I don't believe it is appropriate to myself.

I just bought myself a new SSD which I would like to install 7 onto to use as my boot drive. therefore, i need to clear the Windows install from the HDD that I already have.

What is the process for doing this? Do I just pop in the SSD, install windows onto that and then format my HDD afterwards?

Will I need to make changes in my BIOS settings?



My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2010   #2
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello jamsandwich, welcome to Seven forums!

Have a look at the tutorial at the link below, I would do this to the HDD first so you will have no issues when Windows 7 needs to boot from the SSD, if you don't then it'll end up as a dual boot which is a pain to remove later.
Just be advised make backups of any data on the HDD first as this will over-write any data on the HDD and it will be lost.
You can do the "clean all" and when it finishes you can go straight to the clean install to finish up.

SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2010   #3
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

If you do what you say, you will end up with the MBR for the SSD 7 on the HDD. I suggest you do the following. Disconnect the HDD and install Win7 on the SSD. Then change the boot sequence in the BIOS to first boot with the SSD. Now you can run your SSD 7 normally and reformat/delete/or whatever the HDD Win7.
If it is the same Win7, you will have to uninstall the HDD 7 before you activate the SSD 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Aug 2010   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Although basically the same as suugested already, I do this slightly differently.

Being a new SSD:

Before installing the SSD, back up any data you want to keep to external drives, DVD or whatever you prefer.

Then, Boot from your Win7 Disc, and at the set up menu SHIFT+F10.

Use the diskpart CMD to "clean" the current HD that has 7 insatlled on it and any other Drives you may want cleaned while here.

Shut down, and disconnect all spinning drives.
Connect only the SSD and install 7 as you noramlly would.

After installed, shut down, connect the spinning drives.
Boot up & use Win7s disk manager to create partitions however you choose and format/label them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2010   #5

Windows 10 Pro X64

Whishmaster, why do it that way? If you just disconnect the old drive and install to the SSD, then reconnect the old drive, all you data should be there and available for you to copy to the SSD before formatting the old drive.

No need to back it up else where, though everyone should have a good backup as part of normal computer use.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2010   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

The only reason is that after a fresh install on the SSD,

I like to have the spinning drives empty and unallocted when I connect them for the 1st time on the clean install.

Do you need? of course not.
Its just my preference is all. Should of made that part more clear.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2010   #7


Wow, thanks for the incredibly prompt replies.

The removing the hard disk method sounds great. Although I'm not entirely sure which drive (physically) I have Windows installed on. That would mean disconnecting both of them, which seems like a bit of a hassle.

Would the MBR still be present using Bare Foot Kids method? The plan is to get all my drives clean. BFK's tutorial 'looks' the most hassle-free.

One other it entirely necessary to create partitions, as in step 2 of BFK tutorial? I have two HDDs which I plan to use for storage and my SDD will be for Windows and certain software.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2010   #8

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit

Removing all other drives is highly recommended. Sometimes the MBR is installed on the wrong drive, so one of the secondary drives being absent would render the OS unbootable.

Creating the partition as described in step 2 of BFK's tutorial is optional. It depends on if you want the 100MB system reserve partition. If you'd prefer no to have it, then use the steps he describes. If you don't mind having the partition, skip the step.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2010   #9
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

I guess it's just me but I like to have all the partitions in sequence, C: D: E: ... ect. which you can't get without a lot of re-lettering after the install, it they are all created before the install they will be in order.

If you're not sure which HDD is which, disconnect them and just leave the SSD connected and do the install, then after, connect them back and you will have access to your data and the boot files will only be on the SSD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2010   #10


OK, the whole process is a lot more complex and time-consuming than I thought it was going to be but I'm glad I asked.

I'm not worried about keeping all my data on the HDD. I want it clean, already made my backup.

I'm at work just now, but I'll work on it when I get home and let you know how I'm getting on. Or if not, assume that I'm lost somewhere inside my new enclosure...and send help...
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Switching windows install from HDD to SSD

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