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Windows 7: Upgrading: Consolidating 2 HDDs, Installing SSD, Backing up EHD

27 Mar 2014   #1
TooTall

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Upgrading: Consolidating 2 HDDs, Installing SSD, Backing up EHD

Hello all! 1st post and happy to have found this place. Starting to brainstorm an upgrade for my pc. Going to need some help from the masses. Please go easy on me : )

I bought an HP about 3 years ago. I am looking to install an SSD as a boot drive and put a few primary games on there as well. I also have an older HDD from a previous computer that I am wanting to take important files off of and get rid of. Looking into an EHD for backup of media, documents ext. After all is said and done my motherboard can handle 16GB RAM. I have 8 right now. Well talk about that.

This PC is a hybrid home use/gaming/photo & video editing computer. I run the standard office suite. Games like COD, Titanfall, Assassins Creed ext. I do HDR photo editing and some light photoshop. I use Corel for my video work which is pretty basic, not trying to make feature films.

This is my mindset as of right now. I could use some guidance to stay on course.

1st: Consolidation of two HDD and backup with EHD.
Other than my music and documents I planned on transferring a few years ago but never did... are there any other critical things I need to save off of this drive? I have not installed anything new on it since I got the new pc. Will unhooking it do anything to freak my OS out?

Looking into an EHD to backup media and docs. Also if I hook up this drive using 3.0 USB would I be able to install primary programs such as other games and photo editing software on it while still maintaining good performance? Or will the USB connection not be fast enough to run those types of programs the way I am describing? Probably going with the WD MyBook 4TB. Any other recommendations?

My main drive C: is 85% full. Any programs recommended to attack what all is on there so I can reduce and eliminate some of the junk on there?


2nd: SSD as a boot drive
After I've got things consolidated and backed up I want to install an SSD boot drive. This is going to be the hardest part for me because I am very unfamiliar with BIOS and cloning drives and what not.

First off which one should I get? I would like to go with a 240-256GB size. I have recommendations for the Samsung 840 Pro and the Crucial M500. If I am going to spend some money on this thing to up my performance I don't mind spending a little more to get the job done right the first time.

So this is where I will need the most help.

Lets say I have the drive and I'm ready to install. I will have my internal HDD backed up on my EHD.
This PC came with windows installed at the factory so Ill do that USB download thing. This one correct?
Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool[2]=General%20Tips

Then I will disconnect the two HDDs and do the clean install on the SSD laid out by this tutorial.
Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7

Alright I got windows installed on the SSD, now what? Reconnect the drives and everything magically works? I don't think so. I want to move a few high volume games and programs to the SSD. Any tutorials on how to do that? When I install windows and reconnect my mechanical HDD what should I expect after that?

3rd:
Last but not least I want to max out my RAM. It's DDR3. Not sure what frequency. I have 4 slots on my motherboard that can handle a max of 16gb. I have three slots occupied right now as 4,2,2. My question... Should I try and match the 4gb stick I already have as best I can and get three more sticks to max it out? Or since I know that stick is 3 years old should I just get 4 new sticks and call it a day?

I will appreciate any and all suggestions yall can give. One note please be specific on your suggestions. Maybe not just what to do but suggestions on how to's as well. Thanks!!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
27 Mar 2014   #2
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

You can use CCleaner to clean some stuff off C. May or may not help much.

How much space is occupied on your current C drive? If at all possible, I would install ALL applications on the new SSD and ALL data somewhere else--presumably on an internal hard drive. I'd certainly try to avoid installing any programs on an external.

Of those 2 drives, I'd get a Samsung 840 EVO. The Crucial M500 is decent, but it's being replaced by the M550. I'd still get the Samsung.

You should back up email and bookmarks/favorites in addition to video, mp3, Word docs, Excel stuff, etc.

It's up to you to determine where all of your personal data is and get it safely backed up. It may be on C or some other partition, depending on your sense of organization.

A screen shot of Windows Disk Management to show your current setup would be helpful.

You say you have 2 HDDs. Do you mean 2 HDDs or 2 partitions on a single HDD? I assume you do not yet own an external?

You mention cloning. You also mention clean install. They are mutually exclusive. Which do you intend to do? Have you rejected imaging for some reason?

Unless you have an over-riding reason to avoid it, I'd do a clean install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2014   #3
TooTall

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

On C drive of 919 available there's 122 free.

By applications you mean the .exe file part of the program and then everything else associated with it on the mechanical drive?

It's not very organized at the moment. That's the whole object, light at the end of the tunnel so to speak.

Two separate HDDs. When I bought this HP I stuck the HDD from my previous tower in it. The idea was to transfer things over and get rid of it. That never happened. Part of the goal here.

I am not familiar with imaging. I am not very experienced with cloning either, just know the basics of it. The clean install is what I've been told would be easiest for my level of expertise.

Attached is the Disk Management.

Edit: having issues uploading screenshot... standby


Attached Thumbnails
Upgrading: Consolidating 2 HDDs, Installing SSD, Backing up EHD-disk-management-ss.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

27 Mar 2014   #4
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

I don't see any picture. It should appear right here in your post.

OK, clean install it is, but show us the picture of Disk Management.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2014   #5
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Referring to that picture:

Disc 1 came from another PC and was not part of your current PC when you bought it?

Do you have any personal data on C other than perhaps bookmarks?

I assume C includes a lot of gaming installations? Windows alone takes maybe 20 GB of space and you are using about 800 GB.

All of your data is on E?

Disks 2, 3, and 4 are what? None of them large external drives?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2014   #6
TooTall

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Disc 1 E: Correct, it is the old HDD from the previous tower. There will be a few things I'll transfer from it before I disconnect it.

My windows folder shows it's 30GB

Games (200gb), music (100gb or so), pictures (60gb), personal videos (50gb), movies (200gb), docs (13gb).

So that leaves about 100gb of "other" that don't fit into those categories.

I'm not sure what you mean by personal data. All those pictures and documents, yes. Do I have my ssn and bank account on there somehwere, no. Could you clarify what you mean for me please?

E: is the old drive. After I transfer what I need from it as far as music, docs, ext I will be erasing it and taking it out.

I have no idea what disk 2, 3, and 4 are. They do not show up on the "computer" folder.

To answer you previous question, no I have not purchased an external drive yet.

Thanks for the help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2014   #7
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

see comments in bold

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TooTall View Post
Disc 1 E: Correct, it is the old HDD from the previous tower. There will be a few things I'll transfer from it before I disconnect it.

My windows folder shows it's 30GB

that's fairly normal; mine is 20 GB

Games (200gb), music (100gb or so), pictures (60gb), personal videos (50gb), movies (200gb), docs (13gb).

E has only about 160 used; so I assume most of the above is on C, not E.

So that leaves about 100gb of "other" that don't fit into those categories.

I'm not sure what you mean by personal data. All those pictures and documents, yes. Do I have my ssn and bank account on there somehwere, no. Could you clarify what you mean for me please?

By personal data, I mean pix, docs, mp3s, video, anything that you personally put on the computer, but NOT including installed applications. Most people would put all of that on 1 drive, under a single folder like "data" or "C:\users", but you seem to have it in multiple locations. Nothing wrong with that, I assume you didn't have enough space. It just complicates keeping track of it.

E: is the old drive. After I transfer what I need from it as far as music, docs, ext I will be erasing it and taking it out.

And do what with it? Are you positive you will have enough storage space without it, after you install Windows on the new SSD? Have you rejected the idea of installing games to what is now the E drive (320 GB) if need be to save space on the SSD/1 TB internal??

I have no idea what disk 2, 3, and 4 are. They do not show up on the "computer" folder.

To answer you previous question, no I have not purchased an external drive yet.
Generally, here's what I'd do:

Back up ALL personal data to an external yet to be purchased.

Decide how big of an SSD I needed. 80 or 120 is probably enough, excluding your gaming installations. I don't game and know nothing about gaming installations or installing to any drive other than C. I'd certainly put all non-gaming installations on the SSD. Price a Samsung 840 EVO in that size.

You say you are thinking of 240 to 256 GB SSD. What causes you to pick that size? If you plan to put 200 GB of games on it, you'll be cramped. If you don't plan to put 200 GB of games on it, why do you need that large an SSD?

I have Photoshop (Adobe CS3), Office 2010, and over 50 other apps on C on an 80 GB SSD. Total space occupied is under 30 GB.

Moving up to 16 GB RAM would not be high priority. I'd get the SSD and new installations all done and then consider how much RAM I needed. I have 4 and never use all of it.

I'd consider installing some apps (games?) to an internal HDD if I needed to, but would definitely try to avoid putting any installs on an external. I'm not even sure that will work.

If you are going to do a clean install onto an SSD, there is no point in wasting your time trying to clean up your current C.

You have over 400 GB of music, docs, pix, movies. Do you intend to put all of that on the big internal you now have--what is now the C drive (1 TB)?

Ideally: I'd like to have all personal data on an internal, and then back up all of it to an external, so I had 2 copies of all data.

Those are my general thoughts. To repeat, I know nothing about gaming installations.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2014   #8
TooTall

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

I think you were a bit confused on what is on C and what is on E. E: has 140gb on it from my previous tower. It has some pictures and docs from my previous computer. When I got this HP I intended to transfer the essentials from E (HDD from old computer) over to the included C: 1TB drive on the new HP. Until recently I haven't done much with E: and nothing new has been added to it since I purchased what I have now. Everything I've installed from the point when I bought the HP to now has been installed on C: which is why it is so full. Wheeeww... That was confusing for me even.

After getting what I want off of E: I want to remove it because I'd like to put in another 1TB HDD. That way I can have my main C: with it dedicated to programs, applications, docs (basically anything non-media) and E: would become a media drive to store music, pictures and video. With both of those drives backed up to an external. Does that sound like a good idea?

The 240-256 SSD came as a recommendation from a friend who does light gaming like me. He keeps one or two main games on there on top of windows. That's the sole source of why I said 240-256.

So some things I would put on the SSD would be: Windows, office, corel video studio, PS Elements 11, ext.

Thanks for answering the question about installs on the external HDD. I didn't think that's a use for them but just wanted to clarify.

With your statement about the clean install on the SSD not having to worry about cleaning up C drive has me a bit confused. Lets see if I have this straight. After everything is backed up on the external and reorganized I'd disconnect every drive except the new SSD. I'd run the install of windows on it and get that set up. (How to make the thumb drive copy of my factory windows system is another thing I'll need help with) After Windows is up and running on the SSD I would reconnect the C: drive. What happens next? Am I going to have to reinstall everything from scratch? I have it in my head a "clean" install means installing Windows on a new drive or a reformatted drive or am I completely backwards on this?

As always I appreciate the help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2014   #9
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TooTall View Post

With your statement about the clean install on the SSD not having to worry about cleaning up C drive has me a bit confused. Lets see if I have this straight. After everything is backed up on the external and reorganized I'd disconnect every drive except the new SSD. I'd run the install of windows on it and get that set up. (How to make the thumb drive copy of my factory windows system is another thing I'll need help with) After Windows is up and running on the SSD I would reconnect the C: drive. What happens next? Am I going to have to reinstall everything from scratch? I have it in my head a "clean" install means installing Windows on a new drive or a reformatted drive or am I completely backwards on this?
If you do a clean install of Windows to the SSD, it will become C.

When you reconnect the other drive and boot the PC, Windows will start from the SSD. Any other drives now connected will have some other letter. The old C will probably be D, maybe E.

Yes, you're going to have to reinstall everything from scratch. That is what a clean install is. That's what you said you had in mind in post 3 in this thread.

You state "I have it in my head a "clean" install means installing Windows on a new drive or a reformatted drive or am I completely backwards on this?" No, you are not backwards on this. A clean install means you start with an empty drive and then install Windows and applications to it.

If you were expecting something else, then you are not talking about a clean install.

You could make an image of C and restore that image of C to the new SSD. That's not a clean install.

But you said earlier that you had been told that cloning or image was probably beyond your expertise and so you wanted to go with a clean install.

IF you do choose to clone or image, you will have to reduce the current C to some size below 240 or 256 because any larger size simply won't fit on your new SSD. You'd get all possible stuff off of C, and then shrink C from the current 900 or whatever to say 200 or 210 and then image it or clone it to the new SSD. But that's not a clean install and may be more difficult than you'd like, considering you've got 800 plus on C now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2014   #10
TooTall

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Roger. Given me a lot of good info to go off of today. Can't thank you enough for your help. I'd like to knock this stuff out in the next month or so. When I do Ill post up my progress.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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