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upgrading hard drive to Solid state hard drive

Posted on 2014-02-06
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I am upgrading my hard dive to a solid state drive for my Dell precision. (see existing specs below). My question is what would be the best way to go about this? Should I migrate the old drive to the new one, or should I apply a fresh install of Window 7 and re install all my apps. I am leaning towards the later, just so I have a "clean" install of windows. The new drive is a Samsung 840 EVO 750Gb and it comes with a migration tool, but doesn't have instructions for a "clean" install.


Dell Inc. Precision WorkStation T5500
Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5530 @ 2.40GHz
Number of processor cores 4
Windows 7 Professional 64bit
12.0 GB RAM
Total size of hard disk(s) 466 GB
Display adapter type NVIDIA Quadro FX 3800
  Total available graphics memory 4095 MB
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Question by:fdbguy
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smckeown777 earned 333 total points
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Generally I'd go with the 'clean' install as well...things will just run smoother overall when you do this...

Reason there are no instructions for a clean install is the migration kit is to move the old system 'as is' to the new drive...a clean install is just using regular Windows 7 DVD and install from scratch...nothing special to it

Do you have the original DVD that came with the Dell? That is all you need to do a clean install normally...

Or...use the migration kit - move to the new drive, then press F8 during boot and select 'Repair My Computer' - in there Dell have a 'Factory Restore' option which also does a clean install
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by:garycase
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If everything's running fine, there's no real reason to do a clean install.

But it's certainly true that a clean install is a good way to ensure there's no residual "junk" in the registry or still occupying space on your hard drive.

There's nothing special about doing a clean install with an SSD => it's just a hard drive from Windows' perspective ... you just boot to the install DVD and do the install exactly as you would with any other new hard drive.   You'll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you can do this with an SSD :-)
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by:fdbguy
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I do have a W7 64bit cd and I have all the dell drivers I will need on a separate machine, so then I guess it a matter figuring out how to plug into the machine and move forward. I would like to keep the old drive on the machine so its easier to copy my user files to the new one...
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by:garycase
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There's no problem keeping the old drive on the system -- HOWEVER, I'd disconnect that and any other additional drives until you've done the install.    Additional drives can sometimes result in the new drive being assigned a letter other-than-C, which is inconvenient.

Install on the SSD; then shut down and plug in the other drive(s);  then reboot and you can now assign the other drive letters as you'd like.
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by:fdbguy
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Is there anything I need to do to make the ssd a master and the original a slave?...Back in the day i recall issues with this....or is this a non-issue now a days?
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by:smckeown777
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Disconnect the existing drive first...like gary mentions...otherwise you'll have issues

Once Windows is installed on the SSD then reconnect the existing drive, in the BIOS make sure the hard drive boot list shows the SSD as the first drive to boot, once you do this you will be ok
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by:fdbguy
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Ok...I think i got it now...here is what Im going to do.
Shut down computer
disconnect the old drive
plug in the new drive
turn computer on boot to windows cd
install windows on new drive
shut computer down
install old drive along side new drive
turn computer on
copy user files from old drive to new drive
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by:smckeown777
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One more thing - BIOS

Normally in the Dell models there is a section where you specify which hard drive boots first - make sure after connecting the old drive(and at this point you have Windows on the new drive) you set the SSD as the first boot device...from there all should be ok
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by:fdbguy
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yes.. i do remember seeing that option in the bios...thanks
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by:garycase
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The process you've outlined is fine with a couple caveats ...

(1)  Sometimes Dell disables unused ports in the BIOS.    When you connect the 2nd drive (the old drive), if Windows doesn't "see" it, just check the BIOS to be sure the SATA port it's connected to isn't disabled.

(2)  As noted above, be sure the SSD is set as the boot drive in the BIOS.
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by:JohnnyCanuck
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Instead of plugging the old drive back in to copy the user files over, consider using windows easy transfer to backup the user files on the old disk first.  Just click start and type "easy transfer"
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by:fdbguy
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Were up and running on this new SSD...Thanks for the help.

and what a speed difference...my apps open faster and the boot ups are faster...good investement
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