Question HDD as storage but not erasing the drive.

Feb 4, 2019
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hello, so i wanna switch to ssd as my OS drive and i don't want to format my old HDD which is full with my previous OS and files. is this okay or is there any problem that might happen?
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
You will need to format the initial OS installation partition/drive so as to not end up with two of the same OS on one machine. Make and model of your laptop? If that's what you're working with or are you dealing with a desktop?
 
hello, so i wanna switch to ssd as my OS drive and i don't want to format my old HDD which is full with my previous OS and files. is this okay or is there any problem that might happen?
It's fine. But you have to watch, if the right OS is being loaded. If BIOS settings get reset or CMOS battery expires, you may boot from the wrong drive.

Note - if you're doing cloning, then first boot with new drive has to be done with old one disconnected.
 

AllanGH

Commendable
Mar 10, 2019
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According to my understanding of the way things work with windows, it's going to throw fits if it sees another bootable primary partition drive in the system. If you want to just use the drive as a data store, then you would want to remove the boot flag on the old drive, and delete the partitions that precede the main OS storage area on the drive.

I've done that much, myself, just to have an old OS installation drive attached to a system to facilitate moving data files onto the new OS storage space.

If you want to keep the drive otherwise intact, you're going to have to use a boot manager to deal with the situation.

If you want to clone a working OS installation to a new SSD, get an offline drive cloning dock. So far, I've moved all of the family members over to SSDs using that specific piece of equipment, and it really is just a matter of clone the drive and boot from the new SSD.
 
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USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Ideally, you move any data you wish to keep OFF the old drive, wipe ALL the partitions on it, then move your data back.

Having a second bootable OS in there serves no real purpose, and can lead to issues/confusion down the road.
If you're wanting to keep that OS on there for "safety" or backup purposes, there are far better and easier ways of doing that.
 

karenjoly

Respectable
Apr 13, 2018
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hello, so i wanna switch to ssd as my OS drive and i don't want to format my old HDD which is full with my previous OS and files. is this okay or is there any problem that might happen?
That's a good idea. You can clone the old to the new using Macrium Reflect Free version. Here is an FAQ on the topic.
Then you will have the old drive on hand if something corrupts the working OS drive. I'm always surprised how many relatively small problems like corrupted file systems, screwed up copy and pasting operations and windows updates would be easily solved by a reinstall of windows. That is a daunting process however but totally avoided by having a second OS drive on hand. While some of its folders will not have the latest pictures, songs, videos, etc. and some windows updates will be required to bring the old drive up to date, all that is a minuscule effort compared to a reinstall.You just clone over and away you go.Moreover the studious user sets up an automatic clone say once a week so nothing is "old" about the drive. And it is still suitable as storage.
Don't worry about becoming confused. Set the new drive as the default boot drive . That's it.
 
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