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Windows 7: Adding a HDD that already has Win7 on it as an external HDD?

22 Dec 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Steve Ballmer Edition
Adding a HDD that already has Win7 on it as an external HDD?

I am getting a new SSD for christmas. I will be installing Windows 7 Ultimate on it doing a fresh/clean install on a new drive.

However, once that is done, I want to connect my old HDD (which was Windows 7 Pro) and get the images and stuff off of it, so I can format it and use strictly for sotrage.

Is it going to cause a conflict? Is this even possible? I don't want to keep the OS on the old HDD. I plan on using that on a different computer.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x86

I don't see it causing any harm since it automatically gets assigned a different drive letter so that no system path points to it anymore.You just copy over what you need, format it the way you want it and go about your business

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2010   #3


Be sure to keep the old HD unplugged during install to SSD, then when you plug it back in you can boot it if needed using BIOS one-time Boot Menu, or just use it as a data drive to copy your data into User folders.

Once you're sure you have everything you need off of it, open an elevated Command Line to wipe the old HD using Diskpart: Disk - Clean and Clean All with Diskpart Command
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Dec 2010   #4

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

I think the only time you would have conflict if the SSD and old HDD had the same disk signature. This won't happen given what you are planning (ie. not cloning).
But as Gregrocker says clean install the SSD with it connected alone as disk 0 otherwise you could end having the ssd booting through the old HDD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2010   #5
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

And for that same matter disconnect all HDDs. The installer may play an act on you and put the MBR on the first port it finds. I had that happen and the MBR ended up on a data partition of the first HDD it found.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Adding a HDD that already has Win7 on it as an external HDD?

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