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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    Win 7 install question on new SSD

    I use XP on my desktop and am going to make the transition to Win 7, aided by a new formatted but SSD. Instead of sitting down and doing the changeover all at once, I was thinking of taking several days, first by installing Win 7 and then adding other apps, until I was ready to switch the SSD in permanently. I've been assuming this can be done one of two ways: 1) as an external drive (I have a case), using the Window Automated Installation Kit and instructions at the link below; or 2) by plugging the SSD into a SATA connectors temporarily for the Win 7 install and then as an external (USB) drive to add the rest. Is there any reason why either of these wouldn't work? Anything to watch out for? Is there a point during the Win 7 install where it asks where I'd like to put it? (Note: I'm not trying to set up a dual boot system.) Thanks,

    http://www.intowindows.com/how-to-in...ive-must-read/

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Is this a Laptop or Desktop? I might consider a third alternative. Is your XP installation working well? If it is free of problems, I might clean up ALL temp files, defrag, run all your AV/AM manual scanss, then either Clone or Image the XP OS to the new SSD Drive. Then install Win 7 directly over the XP partition. Installing in this manner should create a folder in the new Win 7 C Drive called windows.old. You can open this folder and get things such as Data, My Documents (Pics, favs, etc) and simply drag this stuff to the correct area in the Win 7 installation. The Win 7 installation will be pristine with you data from the XP OS. Then simply install all your apps and delete the windows.old folder.

    I have never tried installing Win 7 into an ext. HD , but it should work. I would think however that it might be easier to put the SSD in your PC, install Win 7, and connect the XP drive in the ext HD and leave it there. Then just install all your apps into Win 7, and go to the Ext HD enclosure containing your old HD and drag your data to it's new locations.

    Any way you do this, I believe you will really enjoy the Win 7 experience.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  3. #3
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Why don't you just install Windows 7 on the newly formatted SSD and then move all your user data from XP to the appropriate windows directories once they are set up?
    ...(With the exception of programs and some other file types, you will need to reinstall them on Windows 7).

    1 You want your operating system running off the fastest drive.
    2 All secondary drives can and should be used for backup (internal or external), or windows 7 folder location changes (internal drives only).

  4. #4
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    Thanks, Ted. Desktop, working fine, regularly cleaned, scanned and defragged. On a new laptop with Win7/64, I cleaned the Acer crap off, installed apps, then cloned it to an SSD and wapped the latter in. Works great. But my understanding - everything I've read over the last few years - is that Win 7 cannot be installed over XP, that you have to start from scratch. Am I misunderstanding something? btw, even if that does work, this is a 60gb SSD and I've got about 46gb on my current XP HDD partition, so I'd have to do some (useful) pruning first.

    Everyone with Win7 says that I'll like it, but so far on the laptop I've yet to be able to simplify things as much as I would like (it is a 11.6" laptop, so there's only so much that I can or really need to do). I'm one of those simple guys who liked the look of Netscape 4 and Office 2001, vs. ribbons and such, which is why I like the straightforward look of XP, even if it's less efficient software. On a bigger screen and keyboard, will have to play some more.

    Update: just saw CLiNT's post. Yes, the goal is to use the faster SSD as the system drive, but it doesn't have to be done today. A typical HDD switch - this one has held the system partition for 2 years - can take many many hours, and if there are problems, days. I've got plenty of time, so I thought why not approach it more deliberately. Ted's cloning idea is obviously much quicker, if it actually works. And I didn't mention it, but I've currently got 3 HDDs, the two non-OS ones being used for different backups; one of them (IDE) will go when the SSD goes in. And, no, I don't plan on wiping the XP installation.
    Last edited by highstream; 2011-08-26 at 11:31.

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    When I say install directly over I mean choose the XP partition (that you just set up from your Image), you would choose Custom (Clean) install. This does not update the XP to Win 7, it replaces the XP with Win 7. The added benefit is that not only does the Win 7 installation wipe out the XP installation totally, it creates the windows.old folder. The MBR would then reside on the Win 7 OS. This would still leave your XP OS on your original HD untouched, and give you a new pristine Win 7 OS on your SDD.

    Check out several sites to customize and simplify Win 7:

    Windows 7 Ultimate Tweaker

    Windows Seven Forum Tutorials

    How To Geek

    Paul Thurrott's Windows Supersite
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  6. #6
    3 Star Lounger
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    As I understand your suggestion, Ted... I take my current HDD's XP partition including all the other apps on it less some pruning for the SSD's size, clone it to the SSD, then install Win 7 on the SSD, choosing Custom or Clean install, then bring back data files. What I'm not clear about in that is the clean install, since doesn't it wipe out everything and force me to use the SSD immediately as the boot drive, but without the necessary apps I want to take my time and install first? Second question: how big is the windows.old file going to be?

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    windows.old on my Pc's was in the 3 to 4 GB range. That's why once I got everything I needed, I suggest deleting the folder.

    What I suggested is to clone or Image your XP OS onto the SSD. This keeps the XP OS on the old HD intact. Then do a custom install of Win 7 on the SSD drive. Yes this would wipe out the XP partition and install Win 7 in it's palce and create the windows.old folder. You would still have the original old HD with XP installed on it and Win 7 with windows.old on the SSD Drive.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  8. #8
    3 Star Lounger
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    Once I got going, your suggestion became clear, Ted, and it went cleanly. Thanks. Ended up with a de facto dual boot (or dual choice) system, which gives a lot more flexibility in the changeover. Great idea.

    One thing I didn't expect is that there's not only a windows.old folder with all the old contents, but also all the old folders and their contents were left in the Win 7 install except where the install replaced the old with the new (e.g., Program Files, Windows folder partially). Docs & Settings shows as access denied - why? Seems at least partially like the equivalent of a files and settings transfer w/o having to do it directly. Before I get overjoyed, though, I'm just wondering if that has any downside from the standpoint of starting fresh with Win 7.
    Last edited by highstream; 2011-08-27 at 13:46.

  9. #9
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I'm glad things are working out for you. The Win 7 installation is the easiest I have done with windows.

    Docs and Settings is not really a folder, it is a Junction Point that older legacy apps can reconize. You should do a search and read up on Junctions Points and Libraries because they are NOT what they seem. Your documents are now under C, Users, "User Name". You will see My Documents, Pics, etc.

    The Libraries actually don't hold any real data or folders, they just are collection points for pointers to the data. Take the time to read about them and check out the links I posted in post 5.

    Many people keep dual boot systems. This allows the flexibility of choosing which to boot into. I believe after using Win 7 for a while you will spend less and less time in XP.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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