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Windows 7: Reinstall Windows to New HDD


10 Jul 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional 32bit Sp1
 
 
Reinstall Windows to New HDD

Twice in the past I've used Seagate DiskWizard (a stripped down version of Acronis True Image) to clone the old drive into a bigger new drive without a hitch.

This time, thanks to a couple glitches, slow shut down and start up, and wanting to have the OS and programs on one partition and data on another, I've been thinking about reinstalling windows to a new bigger, drive without cloning.

A couple questions.
  1. First off, unlike XP where you could have all of the OS and programs on C: and data on D: drive, what about the appdata folder? One of, if not the most attractive advantages, of having the dual partitions, is to quickly "reinstall" windows in case of corruption or viruses, leaving D: drive intact.

  2. Once I partition the new drive and install windows without any programs, other than what's on the installation disk, do all my updates including sp1 (ugh) and move the users to a new partition, how much space will I need to make a backup?

  3. Should I back it up to a recovery partition on the new drive? Using windows, or Dell recovery? Or, would it be best to image it to an external HDD.

    After that's done, I'll install my major programs, and make another image to an external drive.

  4. At this point, before wiping my old drive of it's contents, can I attach it even though it still has windows on it and use Karen's Replicator to move my documents to the new drive?

  5. If I don't have the time or patience to complete the reinstallation, or need a break before all is said and done, or have to use my laptop before it's totally back together, can I swap out the new drive, back to the old and use the laptop?

Anything else I should think of?

If you have any answer, please use the list number, so i don't become more confused than I already am.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

10 Jul 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Not sure I am following you. I assume you want to do a "clean" install, rather than any sort of clone or image restoration.

For a clean install to a new drive, the general procedure would be:

Disconnect old drive, connect new drive.

Boot from Windows disc and install to new drive, making as many partitions as you need during the installation procedure via "drive options, advanced" choice.

When installation completes, update Windows.

Reconnect old drive and copy your personal data from it to the new drive.

Reformat old drive as you see fit for storage purposes or whatever.

See comments in bold


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Hikertrash View Post
[LIST=1][*]First off, unlike XP where you could have all of the OS and programs on C: and data on D: drive, what about the appdata folder?

The appdata folder lands on C in a typical clean installation, even if D is used for data.

[*]Once I partition the new drive and install windows without any programs, other than what's on the installation disk, do all my updates including sp1 (ugh) and move the users to a new partition, how much space will I need to make a backup?

A backup of the C drive using an imaging program should take up roughly half of the space occupied by C.

[*]Should I back it up to a recovery partition on the new drive? Using windows, or Dell recovery? Or, would it be best to image it to an external HDD.

You shouldn't back up C to any partition on the drive containing C. Make an image file of C and store it on a completely different drive, most likely external. I would use Macrium.

[*]At this point, before wiping my old drive of it's contents, can I attach it even though it still has windows on it and use Karen's Replicator to move my documents to the new drive?

You can attach it even though it has Windows, but you certainly don't need anything like Karen's Replicator to move documents to the new drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2012   #3

Windows 7 Professional 32bit Sp1
 
 

Thanks. You make it sounds so easy.

Right now the windows and program files folders take up about 37 gig. Just to be safe, how big should I make C: ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


10 Jul 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Hikertrash View Post
Thanks. You make it sounds so easy.

Right now the windows and program files folders take up about 37 gig. Just to be safe, how big should I make C: ?
My C drive occupies 28 GB total--out of an 80 GB SSD.

Of that, 4 is program files and 17 is Windows. So I have about 7 on C that is not in one of those 2 folders.

All of my data is on D.


You'll have to make your own judgement. If you have no particular reason to keep it to a small size, you might try 100 GB. That's big enough for nearly anyone who doesn't have a bunch of games to install to C. Games can always be put on D if needed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2012   #5

Windows 7 Professional 32bit Sp1
 
 

That sounds reasonable.

I'm using about 280 gig now (out of 320, but I have moved somethings to an external HDD) with OS, programs, photos, music and videos and I'm getting a new 500 gig drive. So allowing 100 for Windows should leave me plenty.

I've been using Karen's Replicator for differential (or is it incremental?) backups of my documents, photos and music. And it appears to work fine.

Is there a newer program along those lines, I can use? Windows even?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Sounds OK.

One minor point: if I was going to go to the trouble of reinstalling Windows and getting a new HD, I'd probably want to make more of an upgrade than from 320 to 500. I'd maybe go to 750 or 1 Terabyte. The price differential is small and you would protect yourself from having to upgrade again when you start to crowd that 500.

But that's your call entirely---you know better than I do how fast your data might grow.

You can keep C beaten down to sane levels by running disk cleanup every month or so. Additionally, you can control the size of the page file, control the amount of space used by System Restore, and delete the hibernation file if you don't use hibernation. All of those things will keep C smaller over time.

Be SURE to have ONLY one hard drive connected when you do the clean install to the new drive.

Good luck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2012   #7

Windows 7 Professional 32bit Sp1
 
 

Yeah, I understand what you're saying and was thinking of getting something bigger, but once I replace my current HDD, I'll have a two 320 and two 120 gig external drives, so I'll be able to use them for old photos and videos that I won't need everyday.

It will be a few days before I get the new HDD and maybe even longer before I'm able to install windows to it. In the meantime, I'll study up and I'll mark the thread as solved for now.

I'll reopen it, if I have any problems.

Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

Follow these steps to get a perfect Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 which are the same for retail.

I would not move the AppData folder to data drive as it should not be reimported into a new install because it is a corruption path and helps defeat the purpose of a fresh start.

Use the latest official installer in the tutorial so you don't need to spend hours updating. Never use a pre-SP installer since they are easily available.

I would try Windows 7 backup to see how differential works.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2012   #9

Windows 7 Professional 32bit Sp1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Follow these steps to get a perfect Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 which are the same for retail.

I would not move the AppData folder to data drive as it should not be reimported into a new install because it is a corruption path and helps defeat the purpose of a fresh start.

Use the latest official installer in the tutorial so you don't need to spend hours updating. Never use a pre-SP installer since they are easily available.

I would try Windows 7 backup to see how differential works.
That's what I was thinking until I read this thread

Quote:
Moving Windows and Program Files folders is not recommend by Microsoft. However, moving both Users and ProgramData folders is safe and can save a lot of space on system disk. Pictures, mp3’s videos, documents and so on, a user folder with its subfolders can be tens, sometimes hundreds of gigabytes.
User Profiles - Create and Move During Windows 7 Installation

As far as using an installer with sp1 my concerns are the Dell diagnostics tool, and the fact this laptop has hybrid graphics (I guess the drivers will take care of this), along with any other propriety Dell bs on their install disk.

I had hoped to slipstream sp1 into this Dell install disk but it doesn't look like an OEM version will work (RT 7 Lite lacks the slipstream check box when using an OEM disk?)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2012   #10
Microsoft MVP

 

We have discovered unintended consequences when moving the shell User folders. For that reason what we recommend now is to copy your User folders to the data drive, then rightclick each to link to the related Library - Include a Folder - Windows 7 Forums.

Once the link is confirmed to work from the correct location, you can delete the contents of the actual C User shell folder, but not the folder itself which must remain. If anything goes into it in the future it's easy to drag it from C to D in the Library window.

AppData is a separate issue with various settings which are best not to reimport to a Clean Reinstall since they may be corrupt. There is little problem with starting fresh with the newly installed programs settings.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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