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Windows 7: How to install Win7 to new SSD drive

05 Feb 2010   #1

How to install Win7 to new SSD drive

My system is Vista64 installed on a 500GB hard drive. I want to upgrade to Windows 7 and install it on a 64GB SSD drive. After installing Windows 7 I'll use my current C: drive as a data drive. I need to preserve my C: drive as bootable Vista64 in case I encounter some sort of compatibility problem with Windows 7.

I have the SSD drive operational now under Vista64 as drive E:. I have Windows 7 Upgrade on order & will receive it in a few days. The SSD is empty and formatted as NTFS with a single partition.

Problem: how to install Windows 7-64 on the SSD? I've come up with the following scenarios all of which seem to have problems.

1. Run Windows 7 Setup from Vista with Custom Install pointing to the SSD drive. There seem to be several problems with this:

1a: Windows 7 install may rewrite the MBR on my current C: drive, thus making it non-bootable as a Vista64 drive
1b: Windows 7 may create a multi-boot option on the C: drive making it impossible to boot directly from the SSD (which is what I want to do)
1c: Since my system boots off the C: drive, Windows 7 install may fail when it tries to reboot the system during the install process

2. Boot from Windows 7 DVD and install to SSD and with current C: drive powered on and enabled. I can do this by changing the BIOS Boot sequence to DVD, SSD, hard drive. But it seems there are still problems:

2a: Windows 7 will not register because it can't see my Vista install
2b: Windows 7 setup procedure might write something to my current C: drive and foul it up

3. Unplug power from current C: drive, boot Windows 7 DVD, and install to SSD. This is what I think I should do, but from what I've read I won't be able to register Windows 7 (again, because it can't see my Vista64 installation.)

I know about the registry hack option to register Windows 7 after a clean install, and I also know about the dual-install process to get it registered. It just seems like there should be a cleaner way to do the Windows 7 install. Is there?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 Feb 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


When installing Win 7 remove your Vista HD.

I take at this your setup is:

SATA2=disk1=HD for Win 7

When installing Win 7:

SATA1=disk0=Win 7

after installing Win 7, install HD2:

SATA1=disk0=Win 7
SATA2=disk1=Vista & DATA
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Feb 2010   #3


Correct, my Vista C: drive is SATA0 and my SSD is actually SATA2 (I have a DVD/RW on SATA 1.)

Does Windows 7 Setup really care wich SATA port the drive is connected to? I agree the safest approach is to disconnect my current C: drive, but as I posted this seems to prevent Windows 7 Upgrade install from registering itself.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 Feb 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP


Theog's approach to unplug Vista drive during install is best. It will later allow Vista to be booted via BIOS shortcut Boot Menu key (usually F10 or F12) if you want to boot it instead of Windows 7 which will be set as first HD to boot.

At any point you can deactivate Vista drive by booting the Windows 7 DVD, selecting Repair, clicking through to Recovery Tools list to open a Command Prompt and type:

SELECT DISK # (replace # with Vista HD)

This will allow you to delete it in Disk management after moving data off it you want to clean off the MBR, or just delete the Vista system files.

Use one of the methods here to install Upgrade version to clean HD: Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Feb 2010   #5


Thanks Greg, I'm thinking that's the safest way to go. My BIOS (ASUS P6T with American Megatrends BIOS) doesn't seem to have the F10 or F12 quick boot option but that's not a big deal. I don't mind switching the boot drive sequence from the main BIOS Boot screen if/when I need to, and I'd rather not have the MBR on my current Vista drive messed with.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Feb 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate (64)

Your Asus uses F8 to show boot menu...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Feb 2010   #7


Most Excellent!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How to install Win7 to new SSD drive

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