Feb 20, 2019
I just want to move from an old MBR drive to one of two new drives. I'd like for the new drives to use GPT, partially just in case I want to upgrade again later, even though the new drives are not larger than 2TB.

Old drive is a 1TB that was originally in an HP desktop I bought in 2010, and have since replaced all parts in the tower except the DVD and Hard drives. Bought a 2TB WD Black drive and a 1TB Samsung 970 EVO. New HDD is in, but not set up; SSD is not in because I needed to order a set screw. Just trying to figure out how to get things switched over, and what kind of setup I want at the end.

I kind of want the SSD to be the primary boot drive, with the OS and only those programs (mostly games) that most need the speed. Then I was hoping the new HDD could also be bootable (just in case the SSD fails and I want to be able to use my computer now, rather than wait for a new drive, or new OS install, etc.) but mostly just store, well, everything else. Not sure what to do with the old drive, probably just pull it out with all the current data as an extra emergency backup.

Bonus question: I had to buy a new copy of Windows 10 when I upgraded my motherboard and CPU, but I still have a partition labeled "HP_Recovery" on the old disk. It takes up space, but I can't actually see what's in it. Does anyone know what's in there, and if it's safe to get rid of?
I suggest you install Windows and all programs on the SSD.
Make sure no other drives are connected during setup.
After you are done, Clone the 1TB SSD into the 1TB old drive and keep in on the side just in case.
If you upgraded all parts on the HP then the "HP_Recovery" partition is worthless. You could wipe the drive clean.
Install the WD 2TB and use as file storage, backup, etc.

I usually keep an images of the main SSDs of my systems on another disk in case any fails. I could restore an image in less than 25 minutes.
I have a cheap 256GB Silicon Power SSD ($30) that I have used when a disk have failed to boot on any of my systems.


HP Recovery disk will just have the files to restore your system to factory defaults. Obviously you no longer want that, you can just ignore that partition.

I'm not 100% on converting an MBR disk to GPT. Macrium Reflect is my usual recommendation for cloning drives and a very common purpose is older spinning disks to SSDs. From what I am reading you can do this is long as pre-format the new disk to GPT. Might want to wait for someone who has actually done it to chime in. (I started from scratch when I installed my first NMVe drive)

As for dual booting, certainly possible to install an OS on both drives. Bit of a waste though. For such a scenario I would recommend just using a Linux boot so you can access any necessary files. You could go further with a small SSD with another OS on it, or a bootable thumb drive. Not like cross OS installations will work unless you install all your applications to both OS all the time. That would quickly become complicated.

Best solution would be to back up the entire boot drive so you can instantly recover your computer in case of failure.