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Windows 7: How to clean install Windows 7 to SSD upgrade on existing system?


03 Dec 2010   #1

Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium
 
 
How to clean install Windows 7 to SSD upgrade on existing system?

I'll be buying an OCZ Vertex 2 or Agility 2 in the next few weeks, but before doing so I want to get this straight.

I have an existing building with an HDD with Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit installed. My intent is to add an SDD make it my system/boot drive. I want to leave the Users folder on my HDD. Programs Files and Program Data will also stay on HDD, though I may put some programs on the SDD later.

I prefer to do a clean install of Windows on the new drive. I've found a tutorial on this site for changing the default location of a User profile. So, it seems pretty straightforward that after I've installed Windows on one drive to have it recognize user profiles on another drive. I'm just not clear on how to get rid of Windows on the original drive that I'll still be using for data.

I don't have a third drive to transfer all of the data to while doing this.

So is there any step-by-step guide out there on how to do this?

Here are the steps as I see it, please let me know if I'm screwed up somewhere.
1. Unplug HDD and plug SSD in mobo in same place
2. Install windows on SSD as normal
3. Add HDD
4. Change Users location in Windows to HDD drive
5. Can I then just uninstall Windows from the HDD? Will that delete the Users folder and profiles? This is where I'm stumped and can't find any info! Please help!

Thanks!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Dec 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

You're just going about it slightly askew:

You want to install your OS and Programs to the SSD, since programs write registry keys to the OS such that they are integrated into it until uninstalled.

So just back up your active User folders externally, then copy them into a freshly wiped HD which is Primary partitioned NTFS. You can also back up the System image to it's own partition on that HD, but I'd back up the User folders to external.
Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
Backup User and System Files

This should be what you're working from: User Folders - Change Default Location:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Dec 2010   #3
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello Monumental, welcome to Seven Forums!



Here's another new tutorial you may find useful, have a look at this link below.


User Profiles - Create and Move During Windows 7 Installation
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Dec 2010   #4

Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium
 
 

Gregrocker, I'm looking at getting only a 60GB SSD, so I may not be able to fit all programs on the SSD. And I've read that there's limited utility in doing so for most applications. Appreciate the links though.

Bare Foot Kid, thanks, that's good info. Question is, if I follow those steps, but instead of creating new user accounts just copy the contents of my current Users folder into the new one or use a backup restore, will Windows recognize them?

And I agree Greg that what you describe would be easiest, but I'm only working with two drives here. The new SSD and the current HDD that I will continue using. I don't have a third drive to back everything up to in order to wipe the current drive and then restore. The Users folder is over 205GB so it's not possible to use a thumb drive or anything either.

So, if I uninstall Windows from my current HDD, will the Users folder and all data inside it remain or is it wiped?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Dec 2010   #5
Microsoft MVP

 

You cannot uninstall Windows 7, except to delete its partition or wipe the partition or HD - which is recommended since deleting and formatting don't erase anything, while wiping overwrites bad code with zeroes.

It's possible to remove the System files after deactivating the partition, however.

In your case without an external, install to the SSD with the HD unplugged so Windows 7 installer doesn't configure a Dual Boot. Once you plug the HD back in, if you need to boot it you can use the one-time BIOS Boot Menu key given on first screen or in your Manual.

When you're ready to delete the Windows 7 files from the HD, mark old Windows 7 partition Inactive using Diskpart commands given here: Partition - Mark as Active or use free Partition Wizard to Modify>Set to Inactive, OK, Apply. Then Restart.

Then use the Take Ownership shortcut on all folders so you can delete each one except Users. Take Ownership Shortcut
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Dec 2010   #6

Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium
 
 

Ok, good stuff, obviously didn't know that about not being able to uninstall. Thanks for the great info.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2010   #7

Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium
 
 

I'm in the process of doing this now...so far so good. Even had a power outage during one part, but not during a critical stage!

I've got a question though, before I go any further. I'm using this guide User Profiles - Create and Move During Windows 7 Installation to make the Users and ProgramData default to my HDD. Question is, there are currently a Users and ProgramData on the HDD. If I run the script will it create new Users and ProgramData folders and overwrite the existing ones? That would be bad. Or will it see them there and leave them alone? Should I change the folder names of the current ones to Usersx and ProgramDatax and after everything is set up, copy all of the contents over to the new ones?

Quick responses appreciated!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2010   #8

Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium
 
 

Something else I've come across. In Disk Management I've marked the main partition of the SSD as active and it shows that it is also Boot. However, the 100 MB System Reserved partition for the HDD shows Active while the System Reserved on the SSD doesn't, though it does say System. Should I also mark the System Reserved on the SSD as Active?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2010   #9
Microsoft MVP

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Monumental View Post
I've got a question though, before I go any further. I'm using this guide User Profiles - Create and Move During Windows 7 Installation to make the Users and ProgramData default to my HDD. Question is, there are currently a Users and ProgramData on the HDD. If I run the script will it create new Users and ProgramData folders and overwrite the existing ones? That would be bad. Or will it see them there and leave them alone? Should I change the folder names of the current ones to Usersx and ProgramDatax and after everything is set up, copy all of the contents over to the new ones?

Quick responses appreciated!
I am not famllar with the method to move User folders during install so cannot advise you on that. I use the method I posted earlier to relocate User folders after install. User Folders - Change Default Location

Using that method you can link to the same User folders you have in your older Windows 7 HD install without conflict by simply browsing to them.

Later we can help you delete the HD SysReserved by marking it Inactive to run Diskpart Delete Partition Override command, and the old OS by taking ownership of all the installation's folders except the active User folders: Take Ownership Shortcut

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Monumental View Post
Something else I've come across. In Disk Management I've marked the main partition of the SSD as active and it shows that it is also Boot. However, the 100 MB System Reserved partition for the HDD shows Active while the System Reserved on the SSD doesn't, though it does say System. Should I also mark the System Reserved on the SSD as Active?
Each HD should have a System Active 100mb SysReserved partition and Primary Windows partition marked Boot. Set the SSD as first to boot in BIOS setup, then boot the other if needed using one-time BIOS Boot menu. This keeps them independent to come and go as you please.

if you installed to SSD without removing the HD, test now that each HD boots on its own as otherwise the installer will pace boot files on the first Active partition which could be booting both drives.

If you post back a screenshot of your full Disk Mgmt drive map, using Snipping TOol in Start Menu, we can help you sort it out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2011   #10

Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium
 
 

I removed the HDD before installing Windows to the SSD and booted to the SSD fine. I've warmed to the idea of leaving the old install of Windows 7 on the HDD in case something crazy happens.

I didn't partition the OS on the HDD...it's just one big drive.

Here's the Disk Management snipit.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How to clean install Windows 7 to SSD upgrade on existing system?




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