Question Moving storage to new PC

May 18, 2019
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Hello. I would like to change my motherboard, RAM and CPU after Ryzen 3000 series is launched.

There are many videos online about how to build a new PC, but only few for how to migrate from one to another PC.

I currently have 1 SSD (C Drive), and 3 HDDs (D Drive, E&F Drives, J&K Drives) and 2 external HDDs connected via USB at the back of my PC. Actually, my current PC is built by a technician. I don't really understand why my one drive is separate into D and E, and same for J and K. Also, back in the build of my current PC, he said that my Desktop, Downloads, Documents, those kinds of folders are set to stored in D Drive rather than C Drive. (Because I am afraid that the small SSD will run out space with more and more applications installed.)

After installing all the hardware (mobo, cpu, ram), and insert the USB (SD card also ok I guess?) for Win 10 installation, what should I do in order to ensure that my data is safely transferred to my new PC? Will my HDDs which are separated into 2 Drives get messed up and lose all the data? Do I need to do the partition thing while installing Windows? And how can I set Desktop, Downloads, Documents, those kinds of folders back in D drive as the technician did? And lastly, do I need to take care of the two external HDDs? Or just plug it back into the PC after everything is done?

Much thanks.
 
You'd be best off to get those default system folders back to C: drive if you plan on using it on new system or clone the system drive to new disk.
On the other hand, you may be forced to do clean OS installation instead so you can add old disks after you install OS so all you previous data will be preserved.
 
May 18, 2019
14
0
10
0
May 18, 2019
14
0
10
0
You'd be best off to get those default system folders back to C: drive if you plan on using it on new system or clone the system drive to new disk.
On the other hand, you may be forced to do clean OS installation instead so you can add old disks after you install OS so all you previous data will be preserved.
Actually I don't mind clearing my C drive (ie. the SSD). I just want to keep all the data in D,E,F,J,K Drives safely. One of the reason why I am worried is that my drives are divided into 2 parts currently. Does that affect my storage movement to new PC?

Thanks.
 

nE0n1nja

Honorable
Mar 1, 2013
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Those "2 parts" you are referring to are called partitions. They are useful for separating your stuff while keeping them on the same hard drive, like putting all your games in one partition and work related stuff and applications in the other one. Partitioning is also useful if you have files other than your OS on the same drive. So you could format and do a clean install of your OS without affecting the other files and applications on your drive.

In your case, if the only things you have installed on your SSD are the OS and some apps, then you can safely format it and do a clean install of Windows. The data like documents, photos etc.. you have on the other drives would not be affected, regardless of the partitions they have and stuff like that.

You would simply need to re-link the Documents, Pictures, Downloads, Music and Video folders to the locations they have at the moment (drive D). You would do that by going to the Location tab for each one of them (found under Properties), selecting the current folder in which your documents, pictures, etc. are, and clicking "Move". When it asks you if you want to also move the contents from the current folder, just click no.



Do it one by one for each one of the categories and that would be it, you would have a freshly formatted SSD with all your old files and stuff on your other drives.
 
May 18, 2019
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So, you are planing to reuse whole disk set ? I'd still urge you to do clean windows installation after you transfer all personal data fro boot/system disk, data on other ones is safe and will still be available.
Yes, I don't think I am gonna add any new storage hardware probably. Does it mean that when I install the Windows, when I see this page (Please check the the link below. I just copy from a YouTube video), I just choose the SSD, then press Format, then press Next? (PS: I don't have partitions for my SSD. The picture is just to illustrate that page)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oySdjtvKWSb5HeP2MJXkwTA3WHhnR8UJ/view?usp=sharing

Btw, if I really want to add a M.2 storage after some time, does it mean that I have to re-install the Windows again?

Thanks.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
OK:

So, your C drive is a 480GB SSD?

  1. Find all of your personal files in the Document/Pictures/video libraries.
  2. Copy those files (not the whole Documents folder) to some other physical drive an location.
  3. Assuming Win 10, prepare your OS license for use in a whole new system
Thusly:
For the OS activation, read and do this before you change any parts:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change
https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/windows-build-1607-and-activation.2786960/

  1. Understand that a clean install on the new hardware is strongly recommended, usually required. Prepare for this.
  2. Build the new system
  3. Connect only the single SSD that is currently your SSD.
  4. See if it boots up
  5. If it fails (likely), then do a full wipe and reinstall on this drive

Reconnect the other drives later.
 
May 18, 2019
14
0
10
0
Those "2 parts" you are referring to are called partitions. They are useful for separating your stuff while keeping them on the same hard drive, like putting all your games in one partition and work related stuff and applications in the other one. Partitioning is also useful if you have files other than your OS on the same drive. So you could format and do a clean install of your OS without affecting the other files and applications on your drive.

In your case, if the only things you have installed on your SSD are the OS and some apps, then you can safely format it and do a clean install of Windows. The data like documents, photos etc.. you have on the other drives would not be affected, regardless of the partitions they have and stuff like that.

You would simply need to re-link the Documents, Pictures, Downloads, Music and Video folders to the locations they have at the moment (drive D). You would do that by going to the Location tab for each one of them (found under Properties), selecting the current folder in which your documents, pictures, etc. are, and clicking "Move". When it asks you if you want to also move the contents from the current folder, just click no.



Do it one by one for each one of the categories and that would be it, you would have a freshly formatted SSD with all your old files and stuff on your other drives.
Thanks. Check that out just now! My downloads folder location is indeed in D:\User Data\Downloads. I thought that is something to change while the installation of Win 10! Great. So I can worry one less item while the beginning of my PC set-up.
 
May 18, 2019
14
0
10
0
OK:

So, your C drive is a 480GB SSD?

  1. Find all of your personal files in the Document/Pictures/video libraries.
  2. Copy those files (not the whole Documents folder) to some other physical drive an location.
  3. Assuming Win 10, prepare your OS license for use in a whole new system
Thusly:
For the OS activation, read and do this before you change any parts:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change
https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/windows-build-1607-and-activation.2786960/

  1. Understand that a clean install on the new hardware is strongly recommended, usually required. Prepare for this.
  2. Build the new system
  3. Connect only the single SSD that is currently your SSD.
  4. See if it boots up
  5. If it fails (likely), then do a full wipe and reinstall on this drive

Reconnect the other drives later.
Thanks. My activation code is linked to my email address. Actually, I still have the CD and activation code with me now. I suppose I can reuse that for my new PC...
 
May 18, 2019
14
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As linked, go through the Activation Troubleshooter after the clean install in your new system.
Thanks. But may I know after I finish the Win 10 setup with my SSD, then connect the HDDs back onto the motherboard, do I need to do anything more in order to allow Windows to recognize the 'new' hard drives, or it will automatically detected?
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Thanks. But may I know after I finish the Win 10 setup with my SSD, then connect the HDDs back onto the motherboard, do I need to do anything more in order to allow Windows to recognize the 'new' hard drives, or it will automatically detected?
No, you don't need to do anything for them to be recognized. They will appear as just some more drive letters.
 
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