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Windows 7: Help/Advice Regarding SSD Install while Maintaining Old Files programs

08 Apr 2012   #1
MrSmiles20

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Help/Advice Regarding SSD Install while Maintaining Old Files programs

Hey guys,
I'm sure there are a gajillion threads on this, but I can never find the one that quite describes my situation. So I apologize in advance if my exact question has been asked and answered. (If so,feel free to link me, ).
Anyways, here goes. I just purchased a 120gb SSD. Super excited. Well, what I currently have is 2 One TB 7200 RPM HD's in Raid 0. Of that 2tb of data I have used 673 gb. Most of this data is taken up by my games. I'm a huge gamer. I probably have at least 30+ games. This means I have lots of save files, many games were downloaded, and the thought of deleting or transferring all of this data, and having to re-download many of them makes my cringe. I obviously do not have the space either way to put everything on my SSD.

My plan/Ideal situation(if possible): Obviously I want my boot drive to be my SSD. Along with Windows, I plan on having 1-3 of my main played games(Dota 2, maybe Civ 5) + frequently used programs(Firefox, Ventrilo, Avast). Also at my disposal is a sloooow 1tb external HD.

Based on me not wanting to erase all my data on my 2tb HDs, and wanting to be able to use the data on them. What would be my current best course of action? Feel free to reality check me or Step by Step me. Thanks in advance!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Apr 2012   #2
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 
 

I would back up your data to the external HD after sorting it into the standard User folders as much as possible for best organization. Then drag each folder to External.

Then unplug the RAID, change SATA controller to AHCI, plug SSD into SATA1 by itself to Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 - same steps for retail to get a perfect reinstall.

After instal add back in your fastest HD, repartition for use as data storage and eventually to install programs onto when SSD fills up.

Copy in your data to the data partition, rightclick on each User folder to link to the related Win7 library: Library - Include a Folder - Windows 7 Forums.

After it's all setup, plug in the other HD to use for backing up an image of SSD OS/Programs and data. If Win7 ever becomes irreparable, simply boot into reimaging app boot disk to reimage SSD from stored image, while the data remains current and in place in its own separate partition - which you can also back up to HD or External.

Since you have a Seagate in the mix, I would use their free premium Acronis cloning/imaging app to do the image backup. The manual is there with the download and is well written and easy to understand: Seagate Acronis cloning free util
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2012   #3
MrSmiles20

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

First of all, thank you very much for replying. I mostly understand your directions. I have a few questions though. I dont really under stand this step "After instal add back in your fastest HD, repartition for use as data storage and eventually to install programs onto when SSD fills up." Does that mean I am only using one of my 7200's? How do I repartition for us as data storage?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Apr 2012   #4
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 
 

First I'd wipe the HD with Diskpart Clean Command. Disk - Clean and Clean All with Diskpart Command

Then in Disk Management set up a Data partition.
Partition or Volume - Create New
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2012   #5
MrSmiles20

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Why am I wiping the drive? Am I wiping both? I'd rather not if I had a choice. Also, I have 2 1tb drives that are currently raid 0. Am I taking them out of raid? Am I only partitioning one?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2012   #6
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 
 

If you can add the SSD without breaking your RAID then that would be an option, however we see nothing but problems with Win7 and RAID so I do not recommend one unless you have a specific usage need like a huge data drive for editing videos, etc.

Wiping a HD with the quick Diskpart Clean Command clears the boot sector to give you the freshest start and avoid any conflicts or problems. If you want to skip that you can go directly to Disk Management to create your Data partition(s).

Others may have different suggestions. Mine are focsed on what is simplest and poses the least possible conflict with Win7 install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2012   #7
MrSmiles20

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Lets say I wipe both my 1tb HDs and install Windows fresh on the SSD. Is it possible to boot from the SSD, using it as main drive with a few of my favorite games/programs on it, but have the other 2 drives raided and with most of my other games/programs on it, but still readily available to play/use? Will I be able to choose what drives I want to install new games/programs on, or do I have to fill up the SSD first? Is a partition/backup necessary? I usually just use my external as my back up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2012   #8
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 
 

I'd want as many programs as possible on the SSD along with the OS to benefit from the faster speeds. Data can go on the other HD or array.

You can try adding the SSD to see if it will work with the RAID array staying intact. You still haven't told us why you want RAID, especially since it's not even redundant since you lose both HD's if you lose one. Better to unRAID them and use for data, program overflow, storage and backup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Apr 2012   #9
MrSmiles20

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

I guess I am thinking of the SSD as another HDD. So there are no ill effects on an SSD that is totally full? It doesn't degrades it's performance or lifespan at all running it at full capacity? I want raid for better performance. I know that if one fails, I lose data on both, but I already have the important data I need backed up on my external, so that doesn't really bother me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Help/Advice Regarding SSD Install while Maintaining Old Files programs




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