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Windows 7: About to reformat my SSD...What do I need?

24 Feb 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Steve Ballmer Edition
About to reformat my SSD...What do I need?

Hello. I have a custom computer with a 60GB (about 55GB usable) SSD as the boot drive. I would like to keep that as the boot drive. I also have a 1TB HDD for everything else.

Since setting up the SSD, I have had all my folders/libraries (My documents, Music, downloads, etc...) directed to the HDD.

Before I wipe the SSD, where else should I look for files that I may need? I haven't installed any programs that I do not own the disk to, so I am not worried about having to re-install programs. I just do not want to lose documents that may have had an odd storage location or some random some I may have missed.

Any suggestions? Or am I being overly cautious?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Feb 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64-bit)

Hello there.

There is no way someone could be "overly cautious" hehe.

Just check and make sure that all your important documents are located on D: (or whatever letter assigned to your HDD) because no one wants to lose important data

Double checking won't take you too long and it will save you from saying "OHHHHH F***!!! i shouldn't have deleted that folder "

Make sure everything's on the HDD instead of the SSD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Feb 2011   #3


I would use an installer with SP1 to avoid 100+ updates. If you need to slipstream it here is how:
Slipstream Windows 7 SP1 into a Installation DVD or ISO File

Make sure you have your Favorites User folder on HDD so your Internet Explorer favorites are pre-loaded. Export any Windows Mail/Outlook accounts mail and settings.

I always back up Windows/System32/driverstore and /drivers to browse to if I have any missing Drivers, but use the Installer's drivers and those updated quickly via optional Windows Updates first. Automatically get recommended drivers and updates for your hardware

Here are other tips for getting a purrfect clean reinstall - use the ones which apply: re-install windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Feb 2011   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

The things you sometimes can forget are bookmarks, email, and possibly cookies. Those can be in oddball locations, depending on what apps you use.

Other than that, it's the usual suspects: Word files, Excel files, txt files, pictures, video, mp3s, downloaded programs, etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2011   #5
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello John.

It would be best to do a complete wipe (secure erase) of the SSD rather than just a format, a wipe will give you better performance also.

SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation

It is also suggested to create and format a partition using diskpart rather than the installer and mark it as Active, have a look at Step Two #2, just don't add size= use create partition primary <enter>
Note   Note

Contrary to popular belief, doing a format with Windows 7 does not remove any data at all, it just checks for sector errors and marks the space to be over-written as needed, all the data is still there including all the code from previous/failed installation attempts.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 About to reformat my SSD...What do I need?

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