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Percussionist
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Questions re: Christmas upgrade

Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:44 pm

Greetings all. I've purchased some components for a Christmas upgrade to my son's machine. I put the system together for him several years ago and now it's time to move on. I've got a new CPU, motherboard, RAM, graphics card, and an SSD. I'd like to transfer his OS and games to the new SSD while keeping his data on the existing hard drive but don't know of any potential problems or preparations I need to keep in mind before switching things out. Any advice would be much appreciated; thanks!
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Captain Ned
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Re: Questions re: Christmas upgrade

Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:51 pm

Percussionist wrote:
Greetings all. I've purchased some components for a Christmas upgrade to my son's machine. I put the system together for him several years ago and now it's time to move on. I've got a new CPU, motherboard, RAM, graphics card, and an SSD. I'd like to transfer his OS and games to the new SSD while keeping his data on the existing hard drive but don't know of any potential problems or preparations I need to keep in mind before switching things out. Any advice would be much appreciated; thanks!

Some questions:

Is the current hard drive a single partition (drive letter) or multiple?
Is the new SSD as large as or larger than the existing hard drive?
Do the contents of the existing hard drive take up more space than the capacity of the new SSD?
Is there a temporary storage location for the data that would remain on the hard drive?

Answers will help greatly in flow-charting how this will work. While you're pondering, go here and download the best (IMO) free disk image/copy/clone tool around. You'll eventually need it for this project.
If the Earth were flat, cats would have pushed everything off of it by now.
 
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Gerbil
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Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: Questions re: Christmas upgrade

Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:29 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
Some questions:

Is the current hard drive a single partition (drive letter) or multiple?
Is the new SSD as large as or larger than the existing hard drive?
Do the contents of the existing hard drive take up more space than the capacity of the new SSD?
Is there a temporary storage location for the data that would remain on the hard drive?

Answers will help greatly in flow-charting how this will work. While you're pondering, go here and download the best (IMO) free disk image/copy/clone tool around. You'll eventually need it for this project.


Thanks for the reply, Captain; I'll try to answer as best I can.

Looking in the Device Manager, the current hard drive is split into 2 partitions:
- C: (with OS and other programs) is ~165GB with ~16GB free
- D: (with games and data) is ~710GB with ~160GB free
- There is also an 850MB "recovery partition" that I don't remember making myself (created by Windows?)

The new SSD is 525GB (definitely smaller than the existing hard drive).

The contents of the existing hard drive take up more space than what's on the new SSD; however, I'd like to put the OS and some games on the SSD while leaving data on the hard drive.

I have a few external hard drives that I'm hoping can act as temporary storage for the data that is to remain on the current hard drive.

I've downloaded the imaging software you suggested in preparation for the project (thanks for the heads-up there).
 
Captain Ned
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Re: Questions re: Christmas upgrade

Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:53 pm

Percussionist wrote:
Looking in the Device Manager, the current hard drive is split into 2 partitions:
- C: (with OS and other programs) is ~165GB with ~16GB free
- D: (with games and data) is ~710GB with ~160GB free
- There is also an 850MB "recovery partition" that I don't remember making myself (created by Windows?)

The new SSD is 525GB (definitely smaller than the existing hard drive).

The contents of the existing hard drive take up more space than what's on the new SSD; however, I'd like to put the OS and some games on the SSD while leaving data on the hard drive.

I have a few external hard drives that I'm hoping can act as temporary storage for the data that is to remain on the current hard drive.

I've downloaded the imaging software you suggested in preparation for the project (thanks for the heads-up there).

One more question: Are the games from Steam or on CD/DVD/other downloads?

Hmm, the limited free space on C is going to be the problem, and I don't see a way to get where you want without some reinstallation. Assuming it's Steam or another such game service, or you have the discs, this is how I would do it (mind you, other gerbils may well have better answers than me, as my knowledge of moving Steam game libraries is weak).

My idea is to completely backup D to more than one external if you have multiples (redundancy), then delete the D partition in Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Disk Management, and resize C to take up the whole hard drive. Reinstall the games you want on C while keeping total C size within the SSD's limits, then use Macrium to clone C to the SSD. Once you do that, unplug the data cable from the hard drive and test boot the system from the SSD. If it boots and runs the programs/games cloned to it, reformat the hard drive as a single drive, call it D, and copy data/reinstall games to it.

Before you go off and do anything, I'd wait to see if other gerbils have better ideas that don't involve deleting the D partition (and I'm sure some out there can help).
If the Earth were flat, cats would have pushed everything off of it by now.
 
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Gerbil
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Re: Questions re: Christmas upgrade

Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:17 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
One more question: Are the games from Steam or on CD/DVD/other downloads?


Most are from Steam; some from Origin, a small handful from other sources. Not too worried about those since we can start over with much of it; just want to make sure no data is lost!

Captain Ned wrote:
Before you go off and do anything, I'd wait to see if other gerbils have better ideas that don't involve deleting the D partition (and I'm sure some out there can help).


The process you described makes perfect sense and, if I can make it work, may be the least amount of fuss. I'll certainly wait for more input, though, since there's plenty of time between now and Christmas; thanks again!

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