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Windows 7: Reinstall Windows and erase previous installation


12 Dec 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Reinstall Windows and erase previous installation

Hello,
I'm going to acquire an SSD (probably 100-120GB) and I would like to install Windows 7 on it, however I already have two mechanical hard drives and one of them already has a Windows 7 installation on it.

How would I go about installing Windows on my new SSD and erasing the (current) installation on the mechanical HDD? Will I have to copy all my documents onto my second, non-windows drive, wipe out the other hard drive, then perform a fresh installation on the SSD, or is there a better, safer, and less convoluted way to do it?

Thanks everyone for your answers.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Dec 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

If you have a Windows installation disk, I'd probably just do a clean install to the SSD after backing up my personal files.

If you don't have a Windows installation disk, you can investigate "cloning" or "imaging", two related methods of getting your old system onto the SSD.

If you do a clean install, disconnect your other hard drives before installing to the SSD.

Unless you just dread doing it, I would probably go with a clean install assuming you have a Windows disk. Less chance for error or problems, although you would have to reinstall your applications.

In any case, you could then just reconnect your old hard drive and move any personal files to the SSD if you intend to keep them on the SSD. Or just delete the old Windows system from the old hard drive and use it as a data drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

In addition to the good advice above, have a look at this tutorial by whs: SSD - Install and Transfer the Operating System
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Dec 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I would like to reinstall the OS because, well, my current install isn't exactly recent (8 months) and I might as well start fresh with the SSD. So what you suggest I do is (let's call my SSD "SSD", my hard drive with windows on it "HDD1" and my other hard drive "HDD2"):
- gather all my stuff (documents, non-system stuff) on HDD2
- disconnect HDD1 and HDD2, and connect SSD
- fresh install windows on the SSD
- connect HDD1 and HDD2, and... don't I need to remove windows from HDD1 at that point? Wouldn't I have two windows installations when I connect HDD1 in, so how would I remove that one for good?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bacterius View Post
I would like to reinstall the OS because, well, my current install isn't exactly recent (8 months) and I might as well start fresh with the SSD. So what you suggest I do is (let's call my SSD "SSD", my hard drive with windows on it "HDD1" and my other hard drive "HDD2"):
- gather all my stuff (documents, non-system stuff) on HDD2
- disconnect HDD1 and HDD2, and connect SSD
- fresh install windows on the SSD
- connect HDD1 and HDD2, and... don't I need to remove windows from HDD1 at that point? Wouldn't I have two windows installations when I connect HDD1 in, so how would I remove that one for good?
You just won a cigar.

You are correct on all but the last bit.

You won't have 2 active Windows installs when you reconnect. The new install on the SSD will be in charge.

The key is to make sure all drives other than the SSD are disconnected when you install to it.

You can remove the old Windows installation from the old drive by simply deleting that old C partition after you are satisfied that the new C on the SSD is working properly.

If you run into a problem, it's likely to be very minor and correctable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Great! Thanks for the advice. Looking forward to getting the SSD and I will report here if everything went right.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Please do, as knowing the outcome will help others who may want to install an SSD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2011   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

Tips for getting a perfect Windows 7 reinstall: Reinstalling Windows 7

Be sure to unplug all other HD's except target.

After install you can plug back in other HD's to copy your data over before wiping the old Windows 7 HD using Diskpart Clean Command or partition-specific Diskpart command Delete Partition Override.

You can boot the old HD if needed using BIOS one-time Boot Menu key, but I'd wait til it's deleted to activate the new SSD install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Reinstall Windows and erase previous installation




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