[SOLVED] How to reinstall Windows without cleaning HDD

Boombastic98

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Hello, so Im about to install a new mobo and cpu on my PC, currently I run the Windows on my SSD and have an HDD for game storage. Is there a way to reinstall and reset the Ssd without resetting my hdd? My internet Ducks and i dont want to download 300+ gigs 😂
Thanks in advance
 

USAFRet

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Hello, so Im about to install a new mobo and cpu on my PC, currently I run the Windows on my SSD and have an HDD for game storage. Is there a way to reinstall and reset the Ssd without resetting my hdd? My internet Ducks and i dont want to download 300+ gigs 😂
Thanks in advance
For a reinstall on the SSD, you have only that one connected anyway.
The HDD will not be touched.

Actual disconnection of the HDD, not simply tell the install to do it on the SSD.
Physical disconnection
.


If you leave the HDD connected, the small boot partition WILL end up on that drive.
Having only the SSD connected forces everything to be ON the SSD.
 

Obiwancanabi

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Dec 24, 2020
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reinstalling windows will make a folder for your old C: drives files, as long as you dont format anything, it will be called "Windows old" you should be able to navigate and find your old files and folders there, but the new install will be its own thing
 
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Boombastic98

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reinstalling windows will make a folder for your old files, as long as you dont format anything, it will be called "Windows old" you should be able to navigate and find your old files and folders there, but the new install will be its own thing
Cant I Just reinstall with my hdd disconnected then connect it?
 

Obiwancanabi

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i mean on your main SSD (C: ) it will do that, not your storage drives, it will leave those untouched unless you tell it to install windows on it..
 
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Wolfshadw

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No. You cannot. When you install a program like a game, it creates entries in your system's registry. When you fresh install Windows, the registry is also newly created. Any program pointers to your old installations are gone. Exceptions would be Steam games and the like where you execute the launcher and THAT tells the OS where the games are located.

-Wolf sends
 

USAFRet

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Hello, so Im about to install a new mobo and cpu on my PC, currently I run the Windows on my SSD and have an HDD for game storage. Is there a way to reinstall and reset the Ssd without resetting my hdd? My internet Ducks and i dont want to download 300+ gigs 😂
Thanks in advance
For a reinstall on the SSD, you have only that one connected anyway.
The HDD will not be touched.

Actual disconnection of the HDD, not simply tell the install to do it on the SSD.
Physical disconnection
.


If you leave the HDD connected, the small boot partition WILL end up on that drive.
Having only the SSD connected forces everything to be ON the SSD.
 

Obiwancanabi

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Dec 24, 2020
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No. You cannot. When you install a program like a game, it creates entries in your system's registry. When you fresh install Windows, the registry is also newly created. Any program pointers to your old installations are gone. Exceptions would be Steam games and the like where you execute the launcher and THAT tells the OS where the games are located.

-Wolf sends
Not always, many programs will work from a drive as long as all the install files are there, some progs like winrar or system aps have hooks that thread throughout the system but generally many things will run fine just copying over and creating a new shortcut. you will wanna find the appdata for certain things, but it is possible with some trial and error. not all things work but to say no, im sorry thats wrong
 

USAFRet

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Now...as far as the games on the HDD...are these Steam games? If so, you are mostly OK.
After the OS install on the SSD, and a reinstall of all your applications, incl the Steam client...you tell the Steam client where these games live on the HDD.

Steam games location
In the steam client:
Steam
Settings
Downloads
Steam Library Folders
Add library folder


To move an already installed game
Games library
Right click the game
Properties
Local Files
Move Install Folder
 

USAFRet

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Not always, many programs will work from a drive as long as all the install files are there, some progs like winrar or system aps have hooks that thread throughout the system but generally many things will run fine just copying over and creating a new shortcut. you will wanna find the appdata for certain things, but it is possible with some trial and error. not all thing work but to say no, im sorry thats wrong
And many/most applications won't run.
"Can't find dll ...."

Sure, some small things will work.
But better assume fail, and just reinstall anyway.
 

Obiwancanabi

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whatever we are all way off topic, thats why i say some will work others wont. he wants to know if reinstalling windows on his SSD will effect his deep storage HDD's and no it wont, its just going to install a fresh copy of windows on C: you can format the drive when you do this if you moved anything you want to keep, or just reinstall and a windows old folder will have all his old C drives files in it, nothing on the secondary drive should be touched, but yes remove it if you want to be safe it wont effect windows install not having an external or secondary drive attached
 

USAFRet

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it wont effect windows install not having an external or secondary drive attached
Having a second drive connected during the install process will result in the small boot partition ending up on this second drive.
6 months from now, when that HDD gets disconnected to go elsewhere, no boot for you.

We see this here literally every day.

The way to fully ensure that this does not happen is to take the 10 seconds to disconnect the data and power cables from that second drive....ALL other drives.

Yes, it does that. Yes, we all hate that it does that.
But it DOES do that. Even if you only and purposely select the drive you want the OS on. The SSD in this case.

And of course, that also prevents the dreaded misclick. "Oops, I deleted the partitions on my HDD. It had all the photos of my kids/critical business data/2TB of games I cannot download again/whatever...."
 

Obiwancanabi

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Dec 24, 2020
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Having a second drive connected during the install process will result in the small boot partition ending up on this second drive.
Like i said it doesnt effect the windows install if he removes it, to be safe,

i didnt ever notice any extra partitions but not being in the tower when he reinstalls windows should be fine, when he connects it after the install it should just recognise it as normal, it might change the drive letter but thats manageable
 

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