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Windows 7: Fresh install on new SSD with Windows 7 still on previous HDD

08 Dec 2015   #1
mmurray1988

Windows 7 Professional
 
 
Fresh install on new SSD with Windows 7 still on previous HDD

Hello

I am going to be installing Windows onto a new SSD. The HDD I am using now is running Windows along with being my main storage device.

My question is: can I remove just Windows 7 from my HDD and keep the files on it? Or do I have to take off all my files and start over?

Side note: I don't know if it matters, but my SSD is an 850 EVO.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Dec 2015   #2
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

When you install Windows on the new SSD disconnect ALL storage devices except the SSD you are installing Windows to and the device you are installing Windows from.
Having other storage devices connected during the install can cause problems.

After you have Windows clean installed on the new SSD, you can reconnect your HDD with Windows and data.
You might need to change the first boot device in BIOS to use the new SSD.
Then you can use the HDD as a data only device with your current data, and remove Windows from the HDD.

See this tutorial for how to clean install Windows:
Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7
Take your time, read through it to understand it.

If you clean install you will have to re-install all of your installed programs.
If you would prefer to transfer your current Windows OS and programs to the new SSD, that can be done, but there are different tutorials/instructions for that.

Post a screen print of your current Disk Management before making changes.
That will help anyone trying to help you.
Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image

Make sure you have everything backed up before making changes so you can restore/recover if anything goes wrong.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2015   #3
mmurray1988

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

Thank you for the response.

I have successful experience with both a fresh and reinstall of Windows.

After I install Windows onto the SSD, how do I remove Windows from the HDD when reconnected?


Attached Thumbnails
Fresh install on new SSD with Windows 7 still on previous HDD-capture.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Dec 2015   #4
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

You are storing User data on your [C] drive, not a different partition right ?
See step 8 in Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7

If your new SSD is smaller than your current HD you can't "restore" all your user data to the new SSD if there is not enough space on the SSD for OS+Programs+User Data.
You will need to start using the SSD for the OS+Programs only, and use the HD for User Data only.

Create a Backup Image of your [C] drive on your [E] drive.
You have enough free space on [E] for this, and that will be your backup to restore user data from, after you clean install Windows on the new SSD.

Do you have a big enough SSD (1+ GB) to store everything on it ?
Do you want to continue storing User Data in the Windows [C] partition, or move it to a different drive/partition so you don't have an issue if you ever need to restore/reinstall Windows going forward, and keep using your User data without all the hassles ?

I store all User data on a separate device/partition than my [C] OS+programs partition.
I can restore/reinstall the OS, and my User data is untouched, available as it was before the OS restore/reinstall.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2015   #5
mmurray1988

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

The SSD has not been installed yet, which is why it's not showing up. The [E] is my external, which is used just to back up files, and extra storage.

I will be using the HDD [C] as my primary storage for my user data. The SSD (which is 250gb) will be used as an OS+games.

But I do want to remove Windows from the [E] after installation of Windows onto the SSD. How do I go about doing that?

I will create an Image of my [C] and put it into my [E] drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2015   #6
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

The problem is right now you have everything stored on the [C] drive.
When you install Windows+Programs on the SSD you then need to store/access your User Data from the HD, a different partition / drive letter.

That means all shortcuts, program configurations, etc. that expect User Data to be stored on the [C] drive will not work.
You will need to fix all that, so everything looks for data on the [E] drive, and not the [C] drive.

Or, you could MOVE your User folder to [E].
See this tutorial:
User Folders - Change Default Location

I use Libraries, haven't changed the default location for User data, so i can't help if you MOVE user data.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2015   #7
mmurray1988

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

Sorry, I think I'm misunderstanding. Internet's famous lost in translation.

Are you saying that even though all my User data (pictures/documents/music) will still be on [C] after installing Windows on the SSD, I wouldn't be able to access it?

I want to keep my [E] as strictly an external.

I haven't moved anything. I've just created an image/backed up my data on the [E]. All the original information is still on [C].
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2015   #8
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

I'm saying your current [C] drive uses over 500 GB of space, looking at the DM screen print in post #3.
All that won't fit in a 250 GB SSD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2015   #9
mmurray1988

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

I understand that. I don't want to put all of my data from the [C] onto the SSD.

What I want to do is put only Windows and games onto the SSD.

Everything else I want to use my current [C] drive for.

Which is why I asked if it was possible to delete just Windows from the [C] drive and bring Windows over to the SSD. The rest of my User data would be kept on my [C] to be used as extra storage.

I just want the SSD as a boot drive and HDD as a data drive
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Dec 2015   #10
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

I don't know how to automatically delete the Windows OS and programs only, and keep only all User data on the HDD.

I would create a Macrium Backup Image of your current HDD.
After you clean install Windows + Programs on the new SSD, reconnect the HDD.
Delete everything on the HDD, create a new single logical partition for "Data".
Then mount the Macrium Backup image and copy User data from the backup image to the HDD.

Hopefully most of your User data is stored in your User folder.
If you later find you are missing something important you can mount the Macrium backup Image again, and copy more data from it.

There may be better/easier ways to do this, i don't know.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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