[SOLVED] How to switch OS and keep files safely

Synergy34

Prominent
Nov 20, 2019
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Hi all,

I am putting a SSD into my moms prebuilt, which has run on an HDD for the past couple of years. I want to install windows on the SSD, but have heard it is not smart to have dual OS’s. So in order to do that, I would have to uninstall windows from the hard drive.

This can be done by wiping the hard drive, but my mom has about 200 GB of photos and videos that she needs to keep
Any advice?(I haven’t bought the SSD yet, before I buy I need to make sure it’s a good idea)
 
Back up all the photos/videos/user files to any external drive first....

Create a Win10 USB installer (minimum 8 GB flash drive needed)via Microsoft Media Creation Tool...

Remove (or disconnect) your mother's existing hard drive...

Fresh install Win10 and all applications needed to new SSD.

You can drag assorted photos/docs over to SSD if needed, but, as you already have them backed up elsewhere, and IF you are happy with final product, you can then reconnect original hard drive (make sure you enter BIOS at power on, confirm you boot from SSD in BIOS boot menu select, as there is a 50/50 chance it could boot from old hard drive when powered on), and you have the option of quick formatting the old drive and using it for storage now, if still serviceable.

Another alternative is to remove your mother's drive, and, via Macrium Reflect, clone it to SSD in another system, then reinstall it and see if all works well (I've used this method many times without issue, and it is my preferred method of moving an existing installation over to a standard SATA SSD, vice cloning an operating OS within the OS while it is running, as with Samsung's Migration tool)
 

R_1

Glorious
Ambassador
I have dual OS's, 4 actually.

its easy, dead simple really.
turn off her PC, remove the side panel, ground yourself and disconnect the power and SATA cables from the hard drive.
install the SSD to the cables. install windows to the SSD. installing to the HDDs SATA port should enable you to keep the boot order intact. after windows installs and updates, shut down the computer, ground yourself and connect the extra cables to the HDD on another spare SATA port. boot into the system, verify that you are booting to the newly installed OS. if you are booted to the newly installed windows you are done, you should not now be able to access the HDD as a secondary storage and can do with the files as you wish. (you may need to import the HDD if the system see it as foreign, this is done in the Disk Management console)
if however it continues to boot to the HDD, you will need to manually change the boot order in the BIOS.
steps vary look at the motherboard manual for exact steps.

Canned Grounding Rant-
shut down system and remove side panel. with the power cable plugged into the PSU touch a bare unpainted metal area of the case. (my favorite spot is an unpainted screw securing the PSU) once you have grounded yourself you can unplug the computers power cable from the PSU and can touch the system.
if you move your feet, or shuffle in your chair, plug in the cord, reground yourself and unplug again.
end canned rant-
 
Last edited:
Back up all the photos/videos/user files to any external drive first....

Create a Win10 USB installer (minimum 8 GB flash drive needed)via Microsoft Media Creation Tool...

Remove (or disconnect) your mother's existing hard drive...

Fresh install Win10 and all applications needed to new SSD.

You can drag assorted photos/docs over to SSD if needed, but, as you already have them backed up elsewhere, and IF you are happy with final product, you can then reconnect original hard drive (make sure you enter BIOS at power on, confirm you boot from SSD in BIOS boot menu select, as there is a 50/50 chance it could boot from old hard drive when powered on), and you have the option of quick formatting the old drive and using it for storage now, if still serviceable.

Another alternative is to remove your mother's drive, and, via Macrium Reflect, clone it to SSD in another system, then reinstall it and see if all works well (I've used this method many times without issue, and it is my preferred method of moving an existing installation over to a standard SATA SSD, vice cloning an operating OS within the OS while it is running, as with Samsung's Migration tool)
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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This can be done by wiping the hard drive, but my mom has about 200 GB of photos and videos that she needs to keep
Any advice?(I haven’t bought the SSD yet, before I buy I need to make sure it’s a good idea)
That data needs to be backed up on other drive anyway.
Having it on a single drive is hazardous.
Having it on a single drive during a new OS install, even more so.
 

popatim

Titan
Moderator
Always have more then 1 copy of important files and on different devices, preferably ones that can be powered off and not connected to anything. The more copies of your files you have, the safer they are. Ideally you should also have a copy kept off-site in case something bad happens at home.
 

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