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Windows 7: Adding SSD, keeping HDD: how to set-up?

27 Mar 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
Adding SSD, keeping HDD: how to set-up?

I am eagerly awaiting delivery of a Crucial M4 64Gb SSD. I am adding this to my other 2 HDD's currently in my Media Center PC:
  • 250 Gb partitioned into C: W7 OS & programs etc & D: Music (iTunes)
  • 1Tb Recorded TV & Movies
I am still a bit of a newbie with PC's, so I just wanted to check that I have the installation & set-up procedure correct:
  • Ensure I have AHCI rather than IDE enabled in the BIOS.
  • Install SSD (does it matter which Port 0, 1 or 2?) & whilst still booting W7 from C drive, update SSD Firmware (if necessary).
  • Clean install W7 onto SSD.
  • Change boot disk from C drive to SSD in BIOS.
  • Ensure all drivers are updated correctly.
  • Install heavily-used programs on SSD (hoping to fit on: MS Office, iTunes, Kapersky Anti-Virus, Google Chrome & Media Browser). Will this all fit onto 64Gb?
  • Back-up other data (incl. User folders) from C.
  • Re-format/clear C partition. Is this possible without affecting the D partition? Am I better just deleting W7 on C?
  • Change User folder locations to C & copy original data to this location.
  • Install remaining programs onto C (Skype, MC Studio, MC Master, My Channel Logos, Guide Tool, DynDNS updater, Remote Potato, Connectify...etc.)
  • Is that it? Will W7 automatically recognise that there are programs installed on two different drives?
Any help gratefully received.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2012   #2

Windows 10 Pro/ Windows 10 Pro Insider

When you install Windows to the SSD, it would be better if the SSD is connected to port 0, and be sure to disconnect all other hard drives. You can install other programs to other drives and they will be recognized in Windows and registry entries made. It is a little confusing about you talking about drive C and D. Whatever Windows drive is booted will always be C. So, if you have a windows 7 installed on the hard drive and the SSD, whichever one you boot into will be drive C. Once you have installed Windows onto the SSD, connect any other drives. I always move the user folders to a spinning hard drive to save space on the SSD. I would copy my user folders to an external device, install on the SSD, reconnect the drives, wipe the spinning hard drive clean and install user folders and any other programs there. 64GB is much more space than you think. You can run a decent OS from the SSD with no problems as long as you move the user folders. Make sure you install in AHCI mode.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit

Many thanks for the quick reply Essenbe, much appreciated! I get what you're saying re: C drive, my apologies.

Thinking about it, would it be best to execute the SSD Firmware update from a bootable CD rather than from my original HDD?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Mar 2012   #4

Windows 10 Pro/ Windows 10 Pro Insider

Download the ISO file for the firmware, burn it to a CD disk (don't copy it. burm it with an ISO burning program or windows iso burner.) and boot into the CD not windows. You should have a ket to push at post to select the boot device or you can go to bios and set the DVD/CD as 1st boot device. When you boot you will have a message on the screen to push any key to boot to the CG. You'll have about 5 seconds to push a key. I would update the firmware before Installing windows., it shoukd find your SSD and update the firmware. If I am not mistaken, Crucial SSDs have to have the sata controller in IDE mode to update the firmware, then change it back to AHCI. But, if your current hsrd drive is in ide mode, it will not boot if you change bios to AHCI. Here is a tutorial on how to change to AHCI mode.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit

Thanks again Essenbe, that's extremely helpful. It seems that the latest Crucial M4 firmware update, 0309, can be executed under AHCI. Though if I have any issues I'll try IDE.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Windows alone will take under 20 GB. Unless you have a peculiar situation, you will be able to install ALL programs on the SSD. I have over 50 apps installed and used 28 GB of a 80 GB SSD.

Re drivers: look in Device Manager. With any luck, you will see no errors and may not have to use any drivers other than those on the Win 7 disc.

Go to Windows Update ASAP and get the critical and important updates, including SP1 if it was not included on your disc.

When you reconnect the old HDD, you should be able to see and delete any of its partitions as desired.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Apr 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit

Ok- so far so good. I managed to install the SSD & Windows 7 pretty much without a hitch. The only confusions I had were:
  • Even after enabling AHCI in regedit it did not appear as an option in my BIOS. I can only presume that this is because my Motherboard is nearly 6 years-old . Should I change that regedit back from 0 to 3?
  • The CD-ROM firmware updater didn't detect the SSD, but on inspecting the label on the SSD it confirmed it already had the up-to-date firmware (0309) installed anyway .
Anyhow, now I'm just trying to work out how to reconfigure my "old C drive", which is now my E drive. I wanted to wipe this & then change my user folder location to this, then copy back my user data (primarily photos). At the same time I wanted to extend my F drive (another partition on the same HDD which holds all my music). However, as far as I can work out, I cannot extend the F drive to the left into the E drive using the W7 disk management utility.

Anyhow, now I think I may have a better idea: as I have data back-ups of both the E & F drives, perhaps it would be best to wipe the E drive & copy my music onto this from the F drive, so that in the future I can easily extend the E drive to the right. Then wipe the F drive & copy the User folder data onto this.

So what is the best way to do this? Use diskpart to totally clean the entire HDD, then create new partitions & format? Would I then also lose the OEM Recovery partition (it's XP but I suppose I should always hold onto it)? Or is it easier to just use W7 Disk Management to delete the volumes/format the partitions & then extend/shrink the partitions? I suppose I'm not sure as to whether I should be deleting volumes or formatting partitions......

Oh and ignatzatsonic, you were right, I've installed nearly everything & I still have over 50Gb left on my SSD!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Adding SSD, keeping HDD: how to set-up?

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