Seeking Upgrade Advice - HDD to SSD and Win 7 to Win 10


Dec 4, 2011

In January 2011 I followed build advice from a Tom's forum and built a great full tower Win 7 PC to run Adobe Creative Suite 5 (CS5) and handle general computing needs like MS Office 2010 & Quick Books Pro 2017. The build is stable, is powered on 3 to 4 hours a day, and handles all my needs.

The original components are listed at the bottom of the post.

I am thinking about upgrading the original 320 HDD boot drive to an SSD drive then when Win7 support is discontinued, upgrade to Win10.

My goals with the upgrade are to increase boot speed, maintain as many of my software programs as possible when migrating to Win10, and receive continued support for the new OS (Win10).

I am seeking guidance on this process and would appreciate suggestions. My previous experience was a new build; I have no experience with swapping out a boot drive or upgrading an OS. For components, best quality is more important than best price.

thanks for your help!

Components List:

1 COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX
Full Tower Computer Case

1 ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB
3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

1 MSI N470GTX Twin Frozr II GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi)
1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready
SLI Support Video Card

1 CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91
SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply

1 Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-
Core Processor BX80601950

3 CORSAIR Vengeance 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
(PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ4GX3M1A1600C9

3 SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA
3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

1 SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD322GJ/U 320GB 7200 RPM SATA
3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive (this is the C: drive & Boot drive)

1 SAMSUNG Black Blu-ray Drive SATA Model SH-B123L
LightScribe Support - OEM

1 Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System
Builders - OEM

As for hardware, I'd recommend getting Samsung 860 Evo 500GB.

Next disconnect all drives, connect only new SSD and try installing windows 10 using old windows 7 key.
See if that still works as described here:
Then create MS account (with admin privileges), log in with it and verify windows activation.
License must be linked to your MS account.

If everything is ok, then
  • clean your SSD and clone old HDD to new SSD,
    disconnect old hdd and boot from ssd in windows 7,
    run windows 10 setup in upgrade mode and upgrade to windows 10,
    next create same MS account (with admin privileges) as before,
    and log in with it,
    verify windows activation is in order.
If anything fails with upgrade, you'll still have untouched old HDD, you can use to boot into windows 7.


Dec 4, 2011

Ok, Everything worked well. I do have a licensed version of Windows 10 Pro based on my Windows 7 License. After cloning, I chose to wait until 7 is no longer supported to upgrade so will continue to use 7 for now.

I experienced a 10x increase in speed with the SSD. What used to take 1.5 minutes to get to a login screen, now takes 15 seconds. A full boot after login used to take 10 to 15 minutes now takes 1.5 minutes!

I followed the steps you presented above and researched each one before beginning. Thanks!

I did learn that I needed two different programs: Samsung Magician to erase the SSD before cloning; then Samsung Data Migration to clone my old C:\ drive.