Getting an SSD but too lazy to completely re install windows

So recent picked up a 120gb mushkin enhanced chronos for $35 on sale and was looking around via google to see if i could move just the main windows OS file onto the ssd without completely re-installing it so i did not have to redownload my entire steam library (600gb on a 40mb down connection is not fun) and lose my games saves as my corsair 256gb flash drive is full, but no help has shown itself thus far.

Now as a clarifacation i am not new to building computers: i have been building computers with custom features for people for a few years now. I am used to having the ssd in the system when installing windows/linux the initial software load up and thus i have no experience in moving the windows portion of a hard drive but leaving the rest intact.

if you have a link to an article on how to do this or if im just an idiot and this cannot be done just let me know

JayzTwoCents just did a video on cloning harddrives. Its super easy.

helpful yes, but not quite what i need. i was looking to cut just the windows os files off my mechanical and paste it onto the ssd but leave the rest of the hard drive unaffected. now finding all the shortcuts and other things that are held by the hard drive is not a problem and can repin those as i go along, i have probably complicated my whole system by having all my data on a single mechanical drive

this is what i found on the forums a while ago. i have not done it though.

It won't work the way you think it will. That laziness will just make everything a bigger hassle that it should be.

I tend to agree. What OS are you using ?

Copying or backing up the steamapps folder with your games in it and of course the various places the saved games are is ok to move steam over. The problem is the OS needs to understand its installed on a SSD and not a hard drive from the auto defrag settings etc.

Clean Installs are easy but time consuming patching and installing apps again.

I was in the same spot. My previous set up was a 500GB OS drive and a 2TB game drive. Got a 256GB SSD and here is how it went down.

  1. Unplug old HDD so it does not do anything funny.
  2. Plug in SSD
  3. Install windows (USB worked fine)
  4. Optimise, install drivers, clear out the post install cruft.
  5. Shut down
  6. Plug in the old HDD again.
  7. Delete all the junk off the old HDD including windows. Making sure not to delete steam folders.
  8. Reinstall Steam on the SSD and tell it where game are on the other drive.
  9. ???
  10. Profit

Basically you can reinstall windows and keep the stuff you want like games just fine. Stand alone games might have issues where they will have to be reinstalled but Steam games will just run fine after they go through first time set up again.

So it was a reinstall which works

Yup. Clean and easy. Steam game are unaffected. Standalone installed things will have issues as their registry is now missing.

The only other thing I did was to move the user folders to the second drive and symbolic link them to the C drive then the games even picked up their old saves, configs, mods and other additional stuff. This is an option in windows not hard or scary at all.

I followed a guide on removing all the junk from windows here, there is also a win7 one too if you prefer from the same guy. Solid guide.

Thanks this more of what i was looking for in the case i need to complete re-install (which in this case i do) but that is not a problem for now and most of my programs that will need to be re-installed are small for the most part