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Windows 7: Fresh Win7 install on multi-drive system?

10 Feb 2018   #1
paulf22

Win7 Pro 64Bit
 
 
Fresh Win7 install on multi-drive system?

Hi

I think my current system needs a fresh install or repair to clean out some junk.

I have an SSD "C" drive that just contains the OS and programs.

All my data is contained on 4 other internal drives, which are backed-up to 4 external drives.

I really don't want to pull my system apart and open it up to disconnect the data drives.

I built the system myself and have the Win7 Pro 64bit OEM disc, all system drivers etc.

Would it be safe to do an install or repair on the "C" drive with all the other drives still connected; will Windows give me the option of choosing which drive to install the OS too?

Thanks!
Paul


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Feb 2018   #2
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

See if you can just disable the other drives in the Bios :)

If they`re are not listed when you get to the drives screen, go for it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2018   #3
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64
 
 

From post #1

Quote:
Would it be safe to do an install or repair on the "C" drive with all the other drives still connected; will Windows give me the option of choosing which drive to install the OS too?
Yes you can leave the drives hooked up but you will be taking a chance the Clean Install will not go well. In my opinion it's not worth the risk.

I do wonder just how hard it could be to remove a side panel and unhook the drives at the drives.

If you do a Repair Install you should not have to disconnect anything, because a Repair Install is done within Windows 7.

A couple of tutorials by Brink.

Repair Install - Windows 7 Help Forums

Clean Install Windows 7 - Windows 7 Help Forums

Jack
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Feb 2018   #4
mrjimphelps

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
 
 

Anytime I am going to do a fresh Windows install, I ALWAYS disconnect ALL drives except for the one that I want Windows to be installed on.

The problem is, if you have more than one drive hooked up when you do a Windows install, Windows may try to install something to the 2nd drive, something that it will need. Then, if you remove the 2nd drive, Windows might have problems.

The only way I know of to prevent this is to have only the one drive connected when I do the install.

However, if I really didn't feel like opening the computer, I would go ahead and do the install and deal with any problems later.

You likely won't have any problems; but it is possible.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2018   #5
Alejandro85

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Contrary with what is widely said in this and other forums (and I can tell this out of lots of personal experience), the Windows installer will NOT touch anything other than the partition you indicate to install. It's not necesary at all to disconnect anything, the installer will only affect the choosen partition and nothing else (with the exception of the bootloader, that can cause problems in dual-boot situations). As long as you're going to have a single Windows install, it's fine to leave everything as it is.

Take a look at the tutorial pointed to by Layback Bear. The important step is 6, where you must select "custom (advanced)" install mode, then you'll be presented with a list of partitions to chose from (shown in step 7). At this point, you must be careful to select the drive you want to install to, Windows will be installed there and nothing else will be touched.

As for all other drives, these will be left untouched, nothing will be changed at all. Moreover, not even the files in the target partition will be affected! The installer just copies the new files into the Windows directory and leaves everything else alone (the exception being an existing Windows install, that will be moved to a "windows.old" directory), no other data will be affected.
Although a reformat of the system drive is recommended, it's not actually required for a clean install, contrary to popular belief.

My personal experience: many times I have to reinstall the OS in my computer, that has a single HD with a single partition. I just moved everything into a folder and reinstalled into the same partition, without a reformat. Within the new install, all my data was always still there, right where I left it.

Of course, disconnecting all other drives prevents the chance of human error. You must be careful of the partition you chose when installing, and making sure not to format anything else than you intended to. That's the only thing you actually have to worry about.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2018   #6
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

Have seen many cases that the boot loader is in one disk and Windows in another. I have installed Win 7 many times, but I always disconnect the power cable from the other drives.
Better be safe than sorry.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2018   #7
mrjimphelps

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Alejandro85 View Post
Contrary with what is widely said in this and other forums (and I can tell this out of lots of personal experience), the Windows installer will NOT touch anything other than the partition you indicate to install. It's not necesary at all to disconnect anything, the installer will only affect the choosen partition and nothing else (with the exception of the bootloader, that can cause problems in dual-boot situations). As long as you're going to have a single Windows install, it's fine to leave everything as it is.
You have a lot more trust in Microsoft than I do.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Alejandro85 View Post
Of course, disconnecting all other drives prevents the chance of human error. You must be careful of the partition you chose when installing, and making sure not to format anything else than you intended to. That's the only thing you actually have to worry about.
Excellent point.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2018   #8
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

I learned not to have additional drives attached during a System Repair.
Getting back to the install situation -- I think Control Panel --> Disk Drives --> Disable click on all data drives might be all that is needed to be done for safety sake.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2018   #9
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64
 
 

Can one install Windows 7 without unhooking other drives? Sure you can. I have done it.
Unhooking not needed drives is a safety measure to make thing end up where they should be.

Many post on this forum show that a boot loader is on one drive/partition and the Windows 7 install on another drive/partition.

In the end, Paul do it as you please and let us know how things go.

Jack
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2018   #10
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
I learned not to have additional drives attached during a System Repair.
Getting back to the install situation -- I think Control Panel --> Disk Drives --> Disable click on all data drives might be all that is needed to be done for safety sake.
Any thing you do under windows is valid only under windows (like a Repair install).
If you're doing a clean install you boot from the installation disk so the the rules that applies are only from BIOS and Win PE from the installation disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Fresh Win7 install on multi-drive system?




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