New Windows installation on separate drive

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by newbino, Feb 27, 2013.

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  1. newbino

    newbino Registered Member

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    I am running Win 7 x64 Pro on a SSD drive (C) and would like to reinstall it afresh.

    What I would like to do is to keep on using my present OS, and use a spare ssd (let's call it E) to install anew the OS, update, tweaks and all the software, * a bit at a time*, until it's finalized, then image and install the image on C.

    Any suggestions? Specifically, what do I need to do to insure that Windows keeps on booting from C while I am "building" the new OS?
     
  2. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    I have done this countless times. Quite easy.

    1. unplug c drive
    2. plug in e drive (unplug all hdds except e is best)
    3. install windows to e (its really c now, but you get that, we'll keep calling it e)
    4. make sure e is plugged into sata 0 port (master)
    5. plug c or any other hdds into any port other than 0
    6. you can use the mobo boot menu to decide which sata port to boot from. Port 0 is e, port 1 might be c. Now you can choose which drive to boot from and work on building up your new install.
    7. you might choose to use bcdedit or tool that works with bcd to create a boot menu option in the default drive (the one on sata port 0) that allows booting of another drive. Boot.ini in 2000/XP was much easier, but same effect, the boot loader gives option rather than using bios.

    The only tricky part is the imaging. The rule of thumb I use for imaging is that the drive the image was made from should always be smaller than the drive the image is going to be put on. So if you c drive is 200gb, and your e drive is 100gb, you are good to go.

    If your c drive is 100gb and your e drive is 200gb, format the e drive to be smaller than the c drive. So maybe format it to 50gb when you install. This way, when you make your image from the e drive it will be from a 50gb drive, and when you put it on the c drive, the imaging program should see the 100gb drive c is larger than the 50gb image from drive e, and it should ask you if you want to use all 100gb or just the 50gb as the image uses.

    If you don't, most of the imaging programs I have used won't let you put a larger image on a smaller drive.

    Sul.

    EDIT: some notes I forgot

    In vista/7, a partition is created for boot related stuff. I don't use this, as I always format the drive myself and delete that boot partition. I don't really remember what happens if two drives have win7 installed and each has a boot partition. I just don't like that, so I get rid of it. One way to do this, if you want is to format and install, then format and install again making sure to delete all partitions during format and only create one primary partition. If memory serves, the first format will create the boot partition if the drive is RAW.

    Another note is that I use about a 20gb partition size, then install, then tweak the OS but don't install software other than drivers and small utilties. Then I create an image. This is my "master" image. If later I want to clean things up, I will install this master image back to my drive, maybe update drivers or install some new small utilities I have found I use a lot, then recreate this "master image".

    After my master image is updated, I restore it back to my drive and then use all of the drive. So for example my ssd drive is 80gb, but my image is only 20gb, so when I restore I tell macrium to go ahead and use all 80gb. I do this because, if my ssd drive dies, I might have to use my backup WD raptor, which is only 32gb. This way, my same image will be able to go onto that drive because my master is only 20gb. Make sense?
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
  3. newbino

    newbino Registered Member

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    Thanks Sully, quite clear, also the additional thoughts. Just one question, why should I plug E into sata port 0 *and keep it plugged there* after I have done the main job of installing the OS (ie, before additional tweaks et al.)?
     
  4. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    Not a requirement of course, but if you are going to work that drive up over a given amount of time, you might want it to be the default drive to boot.

    You may or may not know, but typically BIOS set channel 0 (sata or ide) to be the first channel to look for a boot sector.

    You might want the old drive/OS to be the default though. I just imagined you would be working on the new drive more than the old drive, so I suggested to put it at port 0.

    Sul.
     
  5. newbino

    newbino Registered Member

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    Thanks again Sully.
     
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