Windows 10 fresh install on SSD but want to use files on HDD

Nahnah

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Jan 21, 2016
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Okay, I'm not exactly tech-savvy, so I apologize if the question I'm asking is really stupid. And I apologize if the steps I took to rectify it were also stupid.

First, I had Windows 7 on my HDD. I recently got an SSD, so I wanted to install the OS on that instead. I upgraded my Windows 7 to Windows 10 on my HDD, leaving all of my files intact as before. My plan was to migrate the OS to the SSD. However, I realized that I would have to essentially wipe my HDD in order to do that. My SSD is 128GB, and my HDD had over 500GB of data that I couldn't move. So I removed my HDD and did a fresh install of Windows 10 on the SSD. I erroneously believed that I could just treat my HDD as a sort of folder with all necessary files in it. I thought I would be able to just create shortcuts to whatever programs I wanted to use from my HDD to my SSD. After all, everything is installed just fine on the HDD, so I thought it was just matter of reading that data.

But I was sorely mistaken. Everything is a mess. Some programs like Steam work well enough, even logging me in automatically. I can start a game from Steam just fine (the game itself is installed on my HDD), but it seems like Steam automatically installed the proper drivers and such for me. Others, like my Corsair keyboard program, don't work at all. Firefox no longer has any saved passwords or bookmarks even if I go into the HDD (now my E Drive) and start it from there. Other games not connected to Steam don't seem to work even if I try running it from my HDD. A lot of programs are unusable at this point.

Is there any solution? I feel like wiping my SSD and potentially starting over, but I think there's just a flaw in what I wanted to do. I just wanted the speed of the SSD and startup of the OS, but use all programs and files from my old HDD. Is that an impossibility? Is there something I can do that would closely achieve this? I realize what I did and wanted could be stupid, but thanks for reading and for all the help.

For further clarification, both drives have Windows 10 now. Both are essentially two different computers at this point.
 
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You Cant use your Hdd for program installed on a previous OS.Some will work but not like they should.Picture and music folder will but not program.
 

Nahnah

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So I would have to reinstall every single program individually? And not just programs, but drivers and other relevant software as well? Seems like way too much trouble. :c
 

castl3bravo

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That's why downloads or shrinkwrap software on Windows sucks. The Windows "registry", as a byproduct, forces people who lose track or access to their application media have to buy it all over again.

If this matters to you then use tools like "Portable Apps" which aren't tied to the Windows registry. You could also sign up for Office 365
 
The recommended solution is to do a fresh clean install. When an individual does a fresh clean install to a new ssd it also means installing drivers, utilities, software applications, games, and anything else to be stored on an ssd. Installing to an ssd is a lot faster than installing to a hard disk drive. When I build pc's for customers I can usually install Windows 7 Pro SP1 64 bit OEM in about 15 minutes. For my own personal pc I check web sites for updated versions of my drivers, utilities, and software. I download them and save them to a USB 3.0 flash drive. Again, installation is relatively quick. The only downside are all those Windows updates. Currently there are well over 100 updates and the downloads are slow.

There is another reason for doing a fresh clean installation. Microsoft Windows does not do a very good job of deleting files that are no longer necessary. In addition Windows does not do a good job of eliminating registry entries that are no longer valid. Years ago we used to call Windows a bloated pig because of the useless files and registry entries that accumulate. There is no point in cloning or migrating those files to a brand new ssd.

The second problem is with cloning applications. In general they work reasonably well and most users do not experience any problems. However, sometimes glitches and errors occur during the process. We have entirely too many threads in this forum about cloning problems. All you have to do is take a look at the unusally high number of threads about cloning problems.

Red Alert! Shields Up! - You mentioned that Firefox no longer has any saved passwords. That is a security issue. Do not let an application "remember" your user id and password. There is no point in making it easier for an unauthorized individual to access your accounts, especially if your system is configured for wireless operation. If you have trouble remembering userid's and passwords, then write them down on paper and keep it in a safe place.
 

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