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Windows 7: Keeping Current Win 7 and programs Install but migrating to SSD

01 Apr 2012   #1

Windows 7 64 bit
Keeping Current Win 7 and programs Install but migrating to SSD

My current Hdd which contains my OS and program data totals nearly 249GB, obviously SSD's which are this big are very, very expensive, how can I transfer my current OS install to a new SSD in an easy as possible way but keep the OS and the programs that are installed.

I mean I would like to buy a 80-120GB SSD.

I no longer have all the product keys for all of my software so don't want to lose the installed software.

Some of the stuff on there, like games, I guess I could uninstall and then reinstall them later so that they are no longer on the boot drive.

What are my best options??

My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Apr 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP


Best is to uninstall all programs you don't need, clean up your files so that they're neatly filed in each User folder then drag them to another HD or external, delete each User folder's content on the OS , use CCleaner to clean up temp and other unneeded files.

Then capture an image using Win7 backup imaging: Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup, free Macrium, or the premium Acronis app which comes free with any WD or Seagate HD in the mix, reapply the image to the SSD with the source HD unplugged.

After SSD is up and running, plug back in the HD and link the User folders you backed up to the related Win7 Library - Include a Folder which is easiest; or create a data partition on the HD, copy in the User folders you backed up, and link them from Win7 this way: User Folders - Change Default Location .

Audit your Win7 now using Belarc Advisor to have a list of all installed hardware and software including Product Keys. The Win7 Product Key however will be the Factory SLP mass-activation key, you will use the key on COA if necessary to Clean Reinstall or reactivate your re-imaged OS. Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Apr 2012   #3

Windows 7 64 bit

Couple of questions, where do I put the back up? I have three hard drives at the minute, a 500gb boot drive, a 1tb that I use as a scratch disk, but has another partition for a back up, and a 250gb IDE drive which has all my music and pictures on it.

I guess the best thing would be to delete my current back up and create the new system image on that partition which is labelled as Z:.

Then remove the 500gb boot drive from the system?

How do I get this image on to the new SSD is that done with system recovery? recover from disc image?

Then once installed onto SSD, do I set SSD as boot drive and prepare for system repair with WIn 7 Disc??

Let it recover an boot?

Then reboot and re-install the old HDD?

I am running an Nvidia 980a chipset which is already set up as AHCI in BIOS, so I wouldn't need to activate that?

Thanks for your advice so far........
My System SpecsSystem Spec

02 Apr 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP


Sounds good. Keep the HD with stored image plugged in, SSD plugged to first SATA port, then boot the imaging boot disk to reimage SSD from HD image.

Keep the SATA controller set to AHCI in BIOS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Apr 2012   #5

Windows 7 64 bit

Sorry, being thick, what's the imaging boot disc? if I use system image from in windows would this be the WIN 7 install disc??

Thanks very much for your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Apr 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP


Yes, if you use Win7 backup imaging it's little less flexible than the others I mentioned earlier since you can't change partitioning during reinstall:

These tutorials show how to save the image and reimage using WIn7 DVD or System Repair Disk:
Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
System Image Recovery
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Apr 2012   #7

Windows 7 64 bit

Thanks for the information,

One more question arose to me, how do I fool system restore into thinking that the SSD is the old boot drive?

Do I have to connect the SSD to the exact same SATA slot that the boot drive was removed from? Or is there an option somewhere to point the restore to the drive?

I guess that if I shrink my Boot OS partition on the 500GB HDD to exactly the same size as the new SSD then things will go more smoothly when using Windows?? As the image will then be a direct swap onto the new SSD partition?

Am gonna try and source a 128GB and really strip everything game wise out of the current total to get myself below that figure. Am currently at 194GB, but with about 8 or 9 games that I still have full product key information for.

If I was just to install say a couple of games at a time (the ones I am playing) to the new SSD, then I may just be able to keep it below the 128GB and still run my games from the SSD too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Keeping Current Win 7 and programs Install but migrating to SSD

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