SDD/HDD questions before I upgrade my computer

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SDD/HDD questions before I upgrade my computer

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 2:21 pm

Hey all,

I'm about to upgrade my system! Woohoo! I recently made the plunge and bought a i5 3570K to replace my aging E8400 C2D, with the respective MOBO and RAM. However, before I get started with the upgrade project, I had a few questions regarding re-installing Windows. First off, I have a SSD boot drive, and a higher capacity HDD that I keep all my "crap" on. It seems like I just got my system settings the way I want them (including downloading things, having iTunes save music, etc. all on my HDD by default). Is there any way to essentially clone my computer(or all these settings, at least) onto the new hardware? Or, am I better off just doing a clean install of windows? Typically I've been doing clean installs when I upgrade, but they're really time consuming. I don't know if I'm just incompetent or what, but it typically takes me the better part of a day to: Get Windows installed/updated, remember all the programs I had on my computer, install them, and get the settings back to the way I had them before. I was just kind of curious if there was a way to expedite this process.

This brings me to my second question. Is secure erasing my SSD truly necessary? I have no real aversion to doing it (aside from the fact that it would be my first time trying it). However, I'm not sure if/why this step is needed because of the TRIM/garbage collection function built into Windows (and in theory, my SDD) - wouldn't that take care of clearing out all the flash cells that previously had stuff written to them?

Mighty gerbils, thank you for all your help.

P.S. My apologies if this thread is in the wrong place - I tried to find the one that seemed like it fit the best.
P.S.S. Also, what should I do about the programs I have installed on the HDD, should I uninstall them before I re-install Windows? I'd rather not reformat the HDD, if I can avoid it.
i5 3570K | ASRock Z77 Pro4 | 12GB | HD7850 | 120GB Corsair Force 3 | 2x WD Caviar Black 640 GB | 3x U2412M | P182
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Re: SDD/HDD questions before I upgrade my computer

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 2:34 pm

Do it agian this time, and ghost (or alternatives, any suggestions?) the ssd to the hdd as soon as you have everything as you want. Then a fresh install should be simple.

That said, it won't be all that long before Win8, if you're that way inclined?
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Re: SDD/HDD questions before I upgrade my computer

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 2:42 pm

I actually don't know if you can "clone" your Windows image to new hardware, but clean Windows installs tend to work better, even if you need to reinstall things. I do know that Steam has some functionality for game saves in the Steam Cloud. Maybe you can see if some of your programs have a feature like this to migrate your settings (which is useful whether or not you're doing a clean intall).
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Re: SDD/HDD questions before I upgrade my computer

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 2:48 pm

I would be tempted just to plug the SSD into the new build and see if it works. You probably want to try uninstalling as many motherboard drivers as you can before making the switch. You might need to do a repair install, or fix boot or something if the change to UEFI breaks the boot sequence. Worst case it doesn't work, and you clean install instead. So back up everything you need first.

If you do a clean install, you will probably need to reinstall any programs installed to the HDD as well. There might be a couple of exceptions, but most will have written to the registry, or your user folder, or something. But TBH I wouldn't bother to uninstall them, just reinstall over the top if they don't work, and see if it keeps any user settings.


And a secure erase will only be useful if you have been running without TRIM. So if you were upgrading from XP, then sure. But as you have been on Win 7, everything should be trimmed already. (I assume that your south bridge supports trim)


Do it agian this time, and ghost (or alternatives, any suggestions?) the ssd to the hdd as soon as you have everything as you want. Then a fresh install should be simple.

Only if you are keeping the hardware the same. Upgrade the motherboard and the image will have exactly the same problems as just booting from the same SSD.
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Re: SDD/HDD questions before I upgrade my computer

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 4:31 pm

Thanks for the quick replies everyone! Looks like I'll go ahead with the clean install. The backup is running now. As soon as it's done, I'll get started and let everyone know how it turns out!
i5 3570K | ASRock Z77 Pro4 | 12GB | HD7850 | 120GB Corsair Force 3 | 2x WD Caviar Black 640 GB | 3x U2412M | P182
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Re: SDD/HDD questions before I upgrade my computer

Postposted on Thu May 24, 2012 8:22 am

I'm in the exact same boat as you. ("old system" specs in signature, and just bought a 3570K and ASRock Pro4-m) I too was hoping to not have to do a clean install.
One thing I've noticed through my many clean-installs / reformats is that having a copy of Windows with the latest service pack on it saves A TON of time in updates. (which is the most boring part IMO). Even if your serial key is for a pre-SP1 copy of Windows 7, it will still work.
i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-m, Asus GTX660 TOP, 120 GB Vertex 3 Max IOPS, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 8GB G-Skill @1.25V, Silverstone PS07B
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