Question How do I transfer Windows to a drive with stuff already on it?

Nov 16, 2020
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Hi,

I have a new computer with a 500GB SSD (Crucial CT500P2SSD8) and a 1TB HDD (TOSHIBA HDWD110). As you can expect, the SSD contains the Windows installation and the HDD stores pretty much all of my stuff.

However, the SSD most likely has a manufactural defect: only a week in with this PC, the BIOS (motherboard is ASUS PRIME H410M-A) is warning me that it predicts that the SSD will fail soon. At present, the SSD is perfectly fine, although I am aware that SSDs with perfect SMART scores can just fail with little warning. I plan to use the warranty on the SSD, but for now, I want to move Windows onto the HDD with stuff on (which has a single partition). The SSD has multiple partitions (EFI, recovery, everything else). Will reinstalling Windows to the sole partition on the HDD overwrite the data on my HDD, or should I shrink the HDD's storage partition and create a new one for Windows while I can in anticipation of reinstalling? Is there a method of transferring Windows onto a drive with data already on it?

I have an external drive that I could theoretically put my data on temporarily, but it's a few years old and it failed a SeaTools Long Generic test.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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While it is possible to manipulate the partitions on the HDD, that should not really be done without a known good backup copy of the data on it.
Far too easy to click the wrong thing and wipe it all out.

And if you DO have that backup, just install the OS, and then copy the data back to it.
 

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