question about re-installing Windows on new hard drive

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Thread: question about re-installing Windows on new hard drive

  1. #1

    Join Date: May 2010
    Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    ME: EBMM JP7, RG1527M
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    question about re-installing Windows on new hard drive


    I just got a SSD for my PC as well as a new data hard-drive, so it's time to re-install wIndows (it's Windows 7 in my case).
    Currently I have Win7 and all my software installed on a HDD drive and I was wondering what's the best way to go about installing Windows onto the new SDD drive.
    Here's my main concerns/questions:
    1. I only have one Windows 7, so if I install it onto the new SDD drive, will there be a problem?

    2. Can I keep Windows and all my software installed on my old HDD drive just to get back to it and see what I need to re-install? or is it somehow necessary to first remove Windows in order to install it on my new SDD? Is there a way this is registered online by Microsoft?

    3. will it at all be possible at all to install my Windows 7 on a new drive? or is new hardware considered as a new PC, so I would technically have to buy a new Windows installation DVD?

    Anyway, my plan was to just disconnect my current HDD drive without removing anything from it, so I can always reconnect it for reference to see what I need to install on my new SDD drive.
    Does this make any sense?

    Any ideas/suggestions?

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  2. #2

    Join Date: Mar 2010
    Location: NoIL, USA
    ME: Revenger 7-1
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    Most OEM installs have some way of making restore media. Did you try that?

    I just did a downgrade from Win10 to Win7 because of a lack of drivers. Here's what I went through:

    0. Decided not to use the restore media to avoid all the Acer bloatware that was on the netbook.
    1. Downloaded a Win7 ISO from a trusted source.
    2. Made a boot USB Thumb drive.
    3. Installed the generic install and authorized it with my existing key (So your question 3, you don' have to worry about)
    4. Downloaded and installed all the latest custom drivers from Acer's site
    5. Fixed an issue with WindowsUpdate refusing to find any updates
    6. Endured update, reboot, update through batches of 207, 139, 43, 27, 18, 9, 7, 5, 3 updates
    The Ultimate Question: What string gauge is needed for 18.84# of tension when tuned to E2 on a 27" scale guitar?

  3. #3

    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Jacksonville, FL
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    This sounds like something for the professionals. I recommend Amazing Blaze Windows Installing Service.

  4. #4

    Join Date: May 2009
    Location: Southern Virginia
    ME: Swampcaster
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    You should still be able to use your Windows 7 key even if it's an OEM copy. Usually the only thing that voids that is if you change the MoBo in the computer. Easiest way for me is to make a Windows 7 USB boot drive. At this point I have a Win7 drive, Win 8 drive, and Win 10 drive just in case I ever need them. Is your computer a prebuilt machine? You should have a Windows key sticker on it somewhere. That'll be the key you will use when reinstalling it.

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  5. #5

    Join Date: May 2010
    Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    ME: EBMM JP7, RG1527M
    Rig: Mesa F-50 combo

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    Thanks guys!
    No, this PC is not pre-built, I put it together myself, and first I had XP on it and later I bought Win7.
    I am not even sure if it's OEM or retail. But since I am not changing the motherboard it should not even matter.
    Would it be OK to even have both drives hooked up as in a dual boot system? Or would that be breaking the licensing rules of Microsoft?

  6. #6

    Join Date: Nov 2011
    Location: Portugal

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    Windows 7 has something called System Image and its the way I do my FULL OS backups, if something goes wrong I have a perfect copy all my OS and all my programs and settings and I used this to copy my HD into a new SSD for my laptop last year.

    Here it is in Steps, its dead easy to do honestly:

    After doing it simply replace the HD with the new SSD and it should boot normally with everything preserved


    Video if you prefer and to see how easy it really is:

    In 1-2 hours Tops you will have everything installed on the new SSD
    Last edited by mpexus; 12-31-2015 at 11:31 AM.

  7. #7

    Join Date: May 2010
    Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    ME: EBMM JP7, RG1527M
    Rig: Mesa F-50 combo

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    Thank you!

    But if I want a clean new fresh install, this would not be an option , right?
    On my old drive I have a lot of software that I don't need anymore, so I don't want to install all of that onto the new drive.
    In that case the System Image procedure won't be helpful for me, or am I misunderstanding it?

  8. #8

    Join Date: Nov 2011
    Location: Portugal

    iTrader: 0

    If you want a Clean install this is not the procedure. This is a form of backing up everything and keep it intact.

    You can try to uninstall all the crap you dont want to carry over but there will alwyas be leftovers on the registry even if it says they wont, a fresh install will make the OS faster and cleaner since it has few registry settings clutering it. Of course as soon you start to Install Windows Updates and programs and internet browsing all the fluff will be back

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