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Windows 7: A few questions about installing SSD on Windows 7 machine

30 Aug 2011   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
A few questions about installing SSD on Windows 7 machine


I'm going to be installing an Intel 320 120GB SSD into my homebrew computer, and although I have done research on how to install an SSD - and perform a general Windows installation - I still have a few questions that I'm sure you fine folks here will be able to answer.

First, I'm currently on my hard disc drive, a standard 7200 RPM 500 gigger with Windows 7 Pro installed on it. Should I install the SSD first, wait for Windows to recognize it, and then check the disk for errors and format it as NTFS in Disk Management?

Second, should I remove Windows 7 from my 500GB drive first, and then commence with installing it on my SSD? It is a true blue, store bought Windows 7 Pro 64 bit disc, not an OEM. I'm worried that the Windows activator will detect that Windows is already installed on the 500GB drive, and thus won't activate when I attempt to install it on the SSD.

Third, after I install the SSD into my computer, should I enable ACHI before I install Windows on the drive, or after?

Fourth, will Windows install the 100MB recovery partition or not on an SSD, as opposed to a HDD? If so, how would I prevent that during install, so as to save space and prevent extra writes to the SSD?

Fifth, when I am setting up Windows on the SSD, should I cut and paste my Library files to the 500GB, so that my photos, videos, and other, less frequently accessed, large files are not on the SSD? Or would I simply redirect the Libraries to the new path? (In this case, the HDD?)

Finally, are there any other tweaks or modifications I should make to Windows after I log in, so that it is set to optimal performance?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

In addition to the tutorials theog has posted - all necessary reads - and just to clarify in brief:

If you feel the need to test the SSD you should do that before you do the installation. Either run the diagnostic disk that came with the drive, or use any other diagnostic utility from within Windows (on your old hard drive).
The new SSD will show up as an empty drive in Disk management. You could create partitions and format them beforehand, but be sure to read those tutorials first.

You should disconnect the old hard drive before installing W7 on the SSD. Leave W7 on the old drive - if anything goes wrong with the new install you can just disconnect the SSD and reconnect the spinner and you are back in business.
After W7 is successfully installed you could delete the Windows partition on the old hard drive to regain the space.

Always enable AHCI in the BIOS before you install Windows.

In the tutorials theog posted there should be instructions on skipping the System Reserve partition.
But if you create a partition for the Windows installation beforehand you can usually bypass the SR creation.

5th and finally:
Read the tutorials!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

31 Aug 2011   #4

Windows 7 Professional x64

Thank you both so much for your helpful replies! Thanks for the tutorials theog: it just goes to show what great literature for computers exists on the 'net! And thank you for taking the time to read each of my points and answer them TVeblen. I'm going to read through all of the material and try to setup the SSD either tonight or tomorrow. I'll let you know how it all goes, and if there is anything else that I get stuck with.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 A few questions about installing SSD on Windows 7 machine

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