Possible to move preinstalled W7 to new HDD?

January 21, 2011 at 06:02:58
Specs: Windows 7, i7-2600/9GB
I recently purchased a new PC which came with Windows7 home premium pre-installed on a 1.5TB 7200rpm HDD. I would like to purchase and install a solid state drive and I have heard that using a good SSD can improve performance of the OS. Can I move the pre-installed windows7 to the new HDD?

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#1
January 21, 2011 at 06:46:29
You hear a lot of things, but switching to an SSD isn't worth the cost of the drive in my opinion. If you google a comparison between SSD and SATA, you'll see the difference is minimal. Are you having problems with the system now? With a core I7 and 9 gigs of ram, I can't imagine a problem with speed. Are you running the 64 bit version of Win 7 ?

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#2
January 21, 2011 at 06:49:32
On a typical hard drive you definitely make a 'Clone' of the original hard drive and copy it to the new hard drive. I see no reason why this would not work on a solid state drive as well. You would need the hard drive manufacturer's hard drive utilities from an included CD or from their website and burn your own. Depending on the utility, you may have to shrink the existing partition to one the size of your SSD (or just a little smaller), just read the manual, probably in PDF format.
Before you start, do two things:
1- Back up any files on your drive.
2- Make a windows recovery disk from within windows for possible repair or reinstall in case of problems

After installing and verifying everything works (your BIOS may ask which drive to boot from, go by drive capacity if you can) and make sure under computer that your 'C' drive that you booted from is the correct capacity and then you can Format the original drive's partition (leave the recovery partition as it may be usable for the future) and use it for your files, or better, make 2 partitions, one up to around 200GB (100GB would probably be really enough but it is a large drive) for your programs and the rest for your files and put labels on them in 'computer' or disk management for easy identification.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#3
January 21, 2011 at 06:53:16
I also agree with what Grasshopper says, you would see more improvement in games and graphics intensive applications by adding a gaming level graphics card, though it is your choice.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#4
January 21, 2011 at 08:03:25
Thanks Fingers. This is helpful. I got two opposing answers from HP. One said it was possible, the other not. I'm not sure if i'll get a utilities disc or not as the system hasn't arrived yet. Just ordered this week, due to arrive next.

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#5
January 21, 2011 at 08:12:26
I don't game, but I do a lot of graphics stuff with adobe CS5, autocad, revit etc. I couldn't afford a workstation with a decent quadro card and xeon processors so I went this route. I upgraded the graphics card to a radeon 5770 which was the fastest HP offered. Most of what I do is CPU/RAM intensive and doesn't rely on the GPU too much like gaming does.
From what I've read, the latest SSD's from OCZ, Crucial, Intel and some others are indeed faster than HDDs, some significantly so. check out Anandtech or Passmark, Tom's hardware etc. It's only been the past six months or so that the controllers have been good enough to make the SSD's reach their potential.

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#6
January 21, 2011 at 15:00:08
Your i7-2600 will be on a modern enough chipset, but to get the best out of SSD's you need one and a motherboard that supports SATA at 6GB/s, many are still SATA 3GB/s. From what I have read, the difference may be significant enough with larger files sizes (which you probably will have), but if your motherboard does not support the faster SATA, then the difference will be less.
Don't forget to make that recovery disk, it can be used to reload the system when a hard drive is replaced, which is basically what you are doing. If you 'recover' from this disk, install JUST the new SSD drive while you are loading it to make sure that the boot sector and all goes on the same drive and replug in the original drive later.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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