Install windows 7 now & reinstall when I get an SSD later?

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Install windows 7 now & reinstall when I get an SSD later?

Postposted on Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:20 am

I'm completing a build with a new windows 7 home premium (64 bit) OEM license. My question: can I install it now with a hard drive as the boot drive, then reinstall it later on an SSD (once I upgrade) without having the registration through Microsoft being kicked back?
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Re: Install windows 7 now & reinstall when I get an SSD late

Postposted on Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:58 am

No need to reinstall -- just copy the image across. In fact, for a one-time use like this you could use the demo version of Migrate Easy (it's time-limited, so don't install it until you've bought your SSD). Of course if you're going to do this kind of thing frequently, it's worth buying a proper imaging app.
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Re: Install windows 7 now & reinstall when I get an SSD late

Postposted on Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:21 am

Vista and Windows7 include an imaging app through ImageX.

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Re: Install windows 7 now & reinstall when I get an SSD late

Postposted on Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:59 am

I'd like to add a little experience.

When moving to my Indilinx based Corsair Nova V128 from a WD 1TB Black, I had no issues. I used WD's Acronis software to do it- simply shrunk my main partition to be smaller than the SSD, copy, boot off of SSD, life's good. Not sure if I had to re-activate or not, but I have a retail copy. OEM users might have to call the robot, at worst.

When moving from the Nova to a Sandforce based Vertex 2, I used a free software suite similer to Acronis with the same result. However, I'm now having other issues. I remember people talking about SSDs causing 'stuttering' before, and I now know what they meant, and it's awfully annoying. It doesn't happen all the time and I don't know what triggers it but it's not something I want to continue to live with. Also, I cannot turn AHCI on. While I'm not sure if I had it on or off when I had the Indilinx drive in (I believe it was off), I was hoping that turning this feature on would fix the issue I'm having, but I get a BSOD. I've used the latest Intel INF for my chipset (P43, no RAID) to no avail, and I've tried their RST driver, which claims it doesn't support my chipset.

Research this if you can, in particular how your chipset and it's associated drivers deal with SSDs, what your boards BIOS supports, and what experiences people have had when migrating to that SSD.

I'm currently debating wiping my SSD and rebuilding from scratch as a solution, with AHCI turned on from the start, to see if I can get things ironed out. I also have at least one outstanding issue with my installation that looks like it cannot be fixed outside of a fresh install, but before I do that I'm going to invest some research time.
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Re: Install windows 7 now & reinstall when I get an SSD late

Postposted on Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:16 am

Airmantharp - have you seen this? http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976
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Re: Install windows 7 now & reinstall when I get an SSD late

Postposted on Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:06 am

jayjayb wrote:I'm completing a build with a new windows 7 home premium (64 bit) OEM license. My question: can I install it now with a hard drive as the boot drive, then reinstall it later on an SSD (once I upgrade) without having the registration through Microsoft being kicked back?


As far as the licence goes, that's absolutely fine. Unless you've reinstalled tonnes of times before, I'm sure it'll go through Internet activation without any issues. At worst, just activate it over the phone. From my conversations with MS over the OEM licence, they seem to take issue with two things - installing it on multiple machines at the same time (duh), and transferring the licence to a different model of board.

On the technical side of things, I would always do a clean install. Yes, disk imaging can save a lot of time, until an obscure issue comes along, and you start thinking "hmm, I wonder if it would happen on a clean install?" because you're running out of options. My point of view here is probably affected by me doing computer-fixing for customers, where the last thing I want to happen is an obscure issue that makes me have to take a machine in again.
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Re: Install windows 7 now & reinstall when I get an SSD late

Postposted on Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:39 am

mikeymike wrote:On the technical side of things, I would always do a clean install. Yes, disk imaging can save a lot of time, until an obscure issue comes along, and you start thinking "hmm, I wonder if it would happen on a clean install?" because you're running out of options. My point of view here is probably affected by me doing computer-fixing for customers, where the last thing I want to happen is an obscure issue that makes me have to take a machine in again.


If all you are doing is swapping one HD for another I would find this to be overkill. Really overkill. I have transfered HDs from one to another hundreds of times and never encountered an issue. Now if you are changing out a bunch of hardware I completely agree. Storage is storage (unless you are using RAID or something unique but we are talking SATA desktops here.) and as long as you are booting off the new disk correctly that is all you will have to worry about.
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Re: Install windows 7 now & reinstall when I get an SSD late

Postposted on Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:16 am

I don't think I've ever replaced a booting hard disk purely for capacity reasons.

- edit - tell a lie, I have on my own machine a few times, but I used to enjoy starting from a clean slate with my own machine :) Never for a customer's machine though.
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Re: Install windows 7 now & reinstall when I get an SSD late

Postposted on Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:41 am

Isn't it always better to do a clean install? It just seems to be better because you "spring-clean" you files you realize you don't use anymore and old drivers sitting around. I buy OEM OS and sometimes I have to call and sometimes it isn't a problem.
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Re: Install windows 7 now & reinstall when I get an SSD late

Postposted on Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:52 am

the only thing that would concern me re: imaging from a HDD to an SSD, would be the partition alignment issue, as allegedly doing this incorrectly will net you horrible performance. How can you be sure? It's one of the ongoing discussion topics that made me ultimately decide to do a fresh install on my X25-M. I wonder if that's what's going on with Airmantharp's "stuttering" issues?
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Re: Install windows 7 now & reinstall when I get an SSD late

Postposted on Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:55 am

adam1378 wrote:Isn't it always better to do a clean install? It just seems to be better because you "spring-clean" you files you realize you don't use anymore and old drivers sitting around. I buy OEM OS and sometimes I have to call and sometimes it isn't a problem.


They indeed are, especially with a new system or lots of hardware changes to an old one. I always wipe OEM machines and do a clean install when I get them. However, the OP was considering a new install of win7 now with an upgrade soon to a SSD drive. Really if he does it now and swaps HDs in a few months I wouldn't bother with the clean install. I have done this frequently with my laptops as 2.5 drives grew in capacity and all I needed was extra space.
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Re: Install windows 7 now & reinstall when I get an SSD late

Postposted on Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:20 am

I use Apple laptops and with Time Machine it makes imaging HDD a brainless operation. Simple as inserting the disk and initializing the back up.
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Re: Install windows 7 now & reinstall when I get an SSD late

Postposted on Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:30 am

adam1378 wrote:I use Apple laptops and with Time Machine it makes imaging HDD a brainless operation. Simple as inserting the disk and initializing the back up.



does it allow you to restore to a similarly (or dis-similarly)-sized HDD as well? a boot volume?
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Re: Install windows 7 now & reinstall when I get an SSD late

Postposted on Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:41 am

I did go from a 250gb to a 500gb seagate xt...next will be a ssd. But I am not sure about a partition but it did allow my to migrate the Boot camp.
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Re: Install windows 7 now & reinstall when I get an SSD late

Postposted on Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:34 am

mikeymike wrote:As far as the licence goes, that's absolutely fine. Unless you've reinstalled tonnes of times before, I'm sure it'll go through Internet activation without any issues. At worst, just activate it over the phone. From my conversations with MS over the OEM licence, they seem to take issue with two things - installing it on multiple machines at the same time (duh), and transferring the licence to a different model of board.
The spirit of the EULA is to bind to one set of hardware. In that sense reinstall on a different disk drive is kind of gray area.

apertur3 wrote:the only thing that would concern me re: imaging from a HDD to an SSD, would be the partition alignment issue, as allegedly doing this incorrectly will net you horrible performance. How can you be sure? It's one of the ongoing discussion topics that made me ultimately decide to do a fresh install on my X25-M. I wonder if that's what's going on with Airmantharp's "stuttering" issues?
ImageX and Acronis should be able to handle the alignment issue properly. A recent discussion on the topic.
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Re: Install windows 7 now & reinstall when I get an SSD late

Postposted on Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:43 am

Flying Fox wrote:
apertur3 wrote:the only thing that would concern me re: imaging from a HDD to an SSD, would be the partition alignment issue, as allegedly doing this incorrectly will net you horrible performance. How can you be sure? It's one of the ongoing discussion topics that made me ultimately decide to do a fresh install on my X25-M. I wonder if that's what's going on with Airmantharp's "stuttering" issues?
ImageX and Acronis should be able to handle the alignment issue properly. A recent discussion on the topic.


Good to know. Is there a certain version of Acronis that I should know of that this feature first appeared? I'm using DriveImage XML right now to make shadow copy backups of my system drive. It also has a restore feature but I have know way of knowing (if I restored to an SSD) that this software would adequately align the partition. If it's just an HDD, no big deal on the alignment front. ImageX is something I'd like to know how to use, but having researched it before I think I would need a good long afternoon or two of experimentation in order to grasp all the capabilities of Microsoft's built-in offering.
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Re: Install windows 7 now & reinstall when I get an SSD late

Postposted on Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:13 pm

Give it a shot and see. You'll still have the original disk available should something not work right.
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Re: Install windows 7 now & reinstall when I get an SSD late

Postposted on Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:40 pm

Mentawl wrote:Airmantharp - have you seen this? http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976


This worked great, thanks!

I'll see if the stuttering remains a problem, but it's smooth for now.
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Re: Install windows 7 now & reinstall when I get an SSD late

Postposted on Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:14 pm

apertur3 wrote:does it allow you to restore to a similarly (or dis-similarly)-sized HDD as well? a boot volume?


Yes. I went from a 500GB Momentus XT -> 320GB Caviar Black -> 128GB C300 SSD in my MBP using TIme Machine. Nary a problem. Time Machine isn't an 'image' of your partition. Its an image of the files on said partition. If I recall correctly, restoring from a Time Machine backup will first lay down a base/bare install of OS X then restore your files over top. Being that it is a BSD based OS, this works fine.
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Re: Install windows 7 now & reinstall when I get an SSD late

Postposted on Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:27 pm

I don't really know about the nitty-gritty of the license issue, but I can tell you that just a few months ago I installed OEM Windows 7 and then about a month later reinstalled it on a new hard drive when my old drive started having problems, and I had no problems with activation. Didn't even have to activate it over the phone.
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Re: Install windows 7 now & reinstall when I get an SSD late

Postposted on Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:25 am

Corrado wrote:
apertur3 wrote:does it allow you to restore to a similarly (or dis-similarly)-sized HDD as well? a boot volume?


Yes. I went from a 500GB Momentus XT -> 320GB Caviar Black -> 128GB C300 SSD in my MBP using TIme Machine. Nary a problem. Time Machine isn't an 'image' of your partition. Its an image of the files on said partition. If I recall correctly, restoring from a Time Machine backup will first lay down a base/bare install of OS X then restore your files over top. Being that it is a BSD based OS, this works fine.

Yes, in this particular aspect, Macs are vastly superior to Windows PCs. Not nearly as picky about the boot volume and drive letters and all that crap.

Another tactic is to use SuperDuper to copy the disk to a new disk (it literally copies -- doesn't make a bit-for-bit image). But the resultant copy is a complete, bootable copy of the original. I've replaced two Mac laptop hard drives this way, the second going through two copy operations (first a copy to an external drive from original Mac, then copy from external drive to new Mac). In both cases, the machines continued to work flawlessly once the new drive replaced the old.

For what it's worth, the second scenario went form a 320GB normal hard drive to an external 2TB Advanced Format drive, to a 2.5" 750GB Advanced Format drive. No issues. The machine is running happily off the Advanced Format drive from an OS installation that was originally on the old 320GB drive.
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Re: Install windows 7 now & reinstall when I get an SSD late

Postposted on Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:00 am

Corrado wrote:
apertur3 wrote:does it allow you to restore to a similarly (or dis-similarly)-sized HDD as well? a boot volume?


Yes. I went from a 500GB Momentus XT -> 320GB Caviar Black -> 128GB C300 SSD in my MBP using TIme Machine. Nary a problem. Time Machine isn't an 'image' of your partition. Its an image of the files on said partition. If I recall correctly, restoring from a Time Machine backup will first lay down a base/bare install of OS X then restore your files over top. Being that it is a BSD based OS, this works fine.

You are correct that is what I meant. I was pretty happy how easy it was. I was expecting trouble because everything else has been a hassle, i.e. using non apple with such product.
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Re: Install windows 7 now & reinstall when I get an SSD late

Postposted on Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:23 am

Kamisaki wrote:I don't really know about the nitty-gritty of the license issue, but I can tell you that just a few months ago I installed OEM Windows 7 and then about a month later reinstalled it on a new hard drive when my old drive started having problems, and I had no problems with activation. Didn't even have to activate it over the phone.


MS don't quibble over the storage system used, honestly. I've talked with them a number of times about it. They take issue with a motherboard change because with that one could just transfer the licence from one PC build to the next complete upgrade.
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