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Windows 7: Can I change my new SSD drive to be the C: drive?

21 Oct 2012   #1

Windows 7 both 32 and 64
Can I change my new SSD drive to be the C: drive?

Hello all. The title is the basic question I have, and if possible, how?

Here's the back story. Got a new Dell XPA One 2710. It came with a 1T HD, but I intended to install a 256mb SSD (MSATA into the mini-card slot on the motherboard) and transfer the Windows 7 Home Premium installation to the SSD. I went through all the initial Dell set-up stuff, then removed the hidden Dell Recover and FAT 32 diagnostic partitions after copying the boot manager files from the Recovery partition to the C: partition, following instructions I'd found elsewhere. No problems doing that and the computer booted up correctly several time after doing so.

I then made an image of the C: drive to an external HD, and then copied the C: drive to the SSD, labeled F:. After aligning the partition to the SSD, had no trouble booting to the SSD after changing the boot order in the BIOS. Then I went to change the drive letter of the SSD to C: using the 'change drive letter and paths' in the Disk Management window. It wouldn't let me change F: to C:, so I figured (wrongly, apparently) that I first needed to change C: to something else, then change F: to C:, that seemed to work, until I re-started, and nothing worked after that and no amount of system repair would get things working. So I did a restore from my image back to the OEM 1T HD.

Long story, and if you're still reading this, thank you, and I'd appreciate any advise. Thank you much!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2012   #2

windows 7 x64

Not possible or buy a new legit win7 install dvd. Or just leave it like that with drive letters pointing out elsewhere
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2012   #3

Windows 7 both 32 and 64

Thank you 4hya. But to clarify. Even though my OEM Windows install is 'legit' I can move it to the SSD, but I must keep the OEM 1T HD set as the C: drive, and the SSD as something other than C: Do I understand that correctly?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

21 Oct 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

You might want to take a look at this Paragon Migrate OS to SSD - System migration to Solid State Drives (SSD) - Overview

Lots of users say this is the easiest way to transfer your system to a SSD, well worth the $20 cost.

Or if you want to try changing the drive letters, download and burn the iso for the Partition Wizard boot CD, it will do things Disk Management can't. Partition Wizard Bootable CD allows user to manage partition directly with partition manager bootable CD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2012   #5

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

Will youy be removing the 1TB drive ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2012   #6

Windows 7 both 32 and 64

No, I will leave it installed. I have followed the directions at this link to get to the point where I'm at, if that helps, and the process involves formatting (wiping) the original drive after successful disk-copy to the SSD.

How to Migrate to a Solid-State Drive Without Reinstalling Windows
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2012   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

I assume you want to re-use the 1 TB HDD as a data drive, without an operating system?

The Windows installation on the SSD should automatically take the C drive letter when you boot from it. Boot from it with the HDD disconnected.

If the SSD boots without the HDD connected, it will be C and you can then re-connect the HDD and repartition it in any way you like.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2012   #8

Windows 10 Pro/ Windows 10 Pro Insider

On a Dell, usually, the boot partition is on the recovery partition. The OS considers the boot files (MBR) as the System disk. That's why the drive letters didn't change. Most likely the computer is still booting from the old drive. If you disconnect the old drive, I suspect the computer will not boot. If you do that use the recovery disk you made in windows and run startup repair. You may have to run it 3 seperate times with attempts to boot in between. Once the computer boots without the old drive, you can wipe the old drive and use it for whatever you need it for.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Instead of moving your OS to the SSD, why not do a clean install? You will get a clean W7 without the factory bloatware.

This tutorial gives all the details including how to make a install disc.
Clean Install : Factory COA Activation Key
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Can I change my new SSD drive to be the C: drive?

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