New SSD - New install or Clone? Windows 7 or Windows 8? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 11-28-2012, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys,

I got a good deal on an SSD so decided to get one for my HTPC.

It's currently running Windows 7 x64 with the following spec:

Intel Pentium G620
4GB RAM
Asus P8H61-M PRO REV 3.0 Motherboard
TBS6280 Dual DVB-T2 tuner
Inbuilt Graphics and Audio.

I use Windows Media Centre with Media Browser and Media Centre Master.

The only problem I have with the HTPC is sometimes WMC won't play some .mkv files (I'm not very technical so I don't know if this is related to some sort of codec used, but these are copies of HDTV episodes and some HD movies, all types of files are x264).

As it was a long time ago, I can't remember what I setup (although I could find again) and what settings I have for all of the programs.

I was wondering if it would be best just to clone/migrate the current installation, and if so, what program should I use, and would it align the SSD correctly. Or, would I better doing a new install and re-installing everything?

If I do a full re-install, would it be worth doing Windows 8 or just sticking with Windows 7?

Thanks guys.
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post #2 of 24 Old 11-28-2012, 11:36 AM
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FWIW, I like Win8, but I'm not upgrading my Win7 HTPC.

Cloning is a lot easier, and your old drive becomes a good backup. I recently installed a hybrid Seagate drive on the Win7 HTPC without issue, using Acronis Truimage.
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post #3 of 24 Old 11-28-2012, 01:06 PM
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Like you I just purchased and am awaiting my first SSD. I will warn you that this is the blind leading the blind. I posted a couple of days ago to get a reply from a forum reader with knowledge and experience to confirm the method I am suggesting works. No one seemed to be willing to confirm having knowledge that Aomei Partition Assistant Home Edition 5.1 works without a hitch.

However, from reading recent internet posts there is reason to believe Windows 7 recently became SSD aware and Aomei is free and has a wizard for migrating one's OS from the hard drive to a solid state drive. So, migration may be reliable. Here is the link to the Aomei software:
http://download.cnet.com/Aomei-Partition-Assistant-Home-Edition/3000-18512_4-75118871.html?tag=sideBar;downloadLinks
If you try Aomei please post your findings. When Newegg gets through preparing my SSD for shipment and actually ships it I will give the wizard a try. I have just backed up my computer and am feeling lucky but not lucky enough to work without a net. I will post my findings.
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post #4 of 24 Old 11-28-2012, 01:35 PM
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Hasn't Win7 always been SSD aware?

As to the backup software, True Image also does backup, but PostModern's post reminded me of one issue.

If your platter hard drive is larger than your SSD and has multiple partitions, don't use the automatic settings in True Image. I did and it didn't leave enough free space on the manufacturer's (HP) rescue partition, so I get pop ups of low disk space. With Win8 they disappear quickly, but it's still slightly annoying. I think Win8 may allow you to adjust the partition size, but I'm not brave enough to try that given the slight annoyance.

So if using True Image, set the partition size manually if your old drive is larger than the new drive.
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post #5 of 24 Old 11-28-2012, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info guys.

I was just worried because I was under the impression that cloning would take any bad habits with the install.

It was really only the annoying .mkv thing that had me thinking of a fresh install.
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post #6 of 24 Old 11-28-2012, 01:59 PM
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Use Assassin's free guide to setup Shark's codecs, and you'll have no problems playing any mkv files in WMC

http://assassinhtpcblog.com/?page_id=39#guide1

Also W8 boots faster thans W7, and Microsoft Security Essentials is integrated out of the box. All around speed improvements, but some new things to learn and workarounds to get some of the "launch at startup" options back.

I think it's worth getting the $40 W8 Pro upgrade license from Microsoft, and go ahead and get the Media Center pack license as well since it's free for now.
I can't see those two items getting any cheaper

As for Mediabrowser usage, they haven't officially fixed things for W8, but in their forums some people have been throwing around a link that installs and runs fine in W8.
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post #7 of 24 Old 11-28-2012, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Cheers, thanks for the information.

The $40, is that an upgrade installation, or a fresh install of Windows 8 (i.e, will it delete everything or is Windows 8 just $40)

I didn't think about the addons but I'll go and take a look at the media browser forums. When I say I use Media Center Master, I must have only used it maybe twice, to get background images, other than that I let Media Browser handle the metadata.
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post #8 of 24 Old 11-28-2012, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry, I also forgot to say that I followed that Shark Codec method, and it didn't work!

With regards to cloning, is the process pretty easy in TrueImage?
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post #9 of 24 Old 11-28-2012, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xreyuk View Post

Sorry, I also forgot to say that I followed that Shark Codec method, and it didn't work!
With regards to cloning, is the process pretty easy in TrueImage?

Where are you "getting" these MKV files?

The fact that it works with some but not the others is evidence that some of your files aren't good rips.
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post #10 of 24 Old 11-28-2012, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

The fact that it works with some but not the others is evidence that some of your files aren't good rips.

Good point, try one of the "play everything" players (VLC, mpc-hc) and see if it works at all. Best to just follow Assassin's advice and re-rip
Quote:
Originally Posted by xreyuk View Post

Sorry, I also forgot to say that I followed that Shark Codec method, and it didn't work!
With regards to cloning, is the process pretty easy in TrueImage?

I've never cloned an OS drive to date
Quote:
Originally Posted by xreyuk View Post

Cheers, thanks for the information.
The $40, is that an upgrade installation, or a fresh install of Windows 8 (i.e, will it delete everything or is Windows 8 just $40)

It's an upgrade, but people have reported the same methods that worked for a clean install from upgrade in W7 appear to work with W8.

It's always prudent to peruse the forums of any of your required applications to check their compatibility. Microsoft has some kind of "compatibility" report you can run from your W7 machine, but I don't really trust that type of report. I think it's just a dependency availability checker for things like net framework, java, etc
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post #11 of 24 Old 11-28-2012, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xreyuk View Post

Hey guys,
I got a good deal on an SSD so decided to get one for my HTPC.
It's currently running Windows 7 x64 with the following spec:
Intel Pentium G620
4GB RAM
Asus P8H61-M PRO REV 3.0 Motherboard
TBS6280 Dual DVB-T2 tuner
Inbuilt Graphics and Audio.
I use Windows Media Centre with Media Browser and Media Centre Master.
The only problem I have with the HTPC is sometimes WMC won't play some .mkv files (I'm not very technical so I don't know if this is related to some sort of codec used, but these are copies of HDTV episodes and some HD movies, all types of files are x264).
As it was a long time ago, I can't remember what I setup (although I could find again) and what settings I have for all of the programs.
I was wondering if it would be best just to clone/migrate the current installation, and if so, what program should I use, and would it align the SSD correctly. Or, would I better doing a new install and re-installing everything?

My vote is to do a new install!

Quote:
Originally Posted by xreyuk View Post

If I do a full re-install, would it be worth doing Windows 8 or just sticking with Windows 7?

My vote is to stay with Win7/64 for at least another 6 months.

e.g. I just bought my 1st real laptop (a NEW Lenovo IdeaPad Y580). Of course Lenovo pre-configures it now with Win8.

So I bought my 3rd oem copy of Win7-Pro (from amazon for $137), which has SP1 on it (my 1st two don't have SP1 on the disc).

The key things I get are 1) a 3rd serial number for using Win7/64 and 2) I don't have to learn Win8 until the bugs are worked out and 3) the convenience of having SP1 on the install disc (which can be easily/legally copied (maybe this can be downloaded from MS (?), but even if it can I'd rather have the official Win7 disc).

For the moment, I'll pull out the HDD that comes with the laptop (w/Win8 on it) and set it aside for 6+ months to see what happens with Win8.

If Win8 doesn't go the way of Vista, then when Win8 SP1 comes out I'll likely put the HDD back into the laptop and get started with Win8.

The best is the enemy of the good. Voltaire (1694-1778)

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post #12 of 24 Old 11-28-2012, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xreyuk View Post

With regards to cloning, is the process pretty easy in TrueImage?

Cloning is easy once you find the setting in the True Image software. It's "hidden" a bit under the "Tools and Utilities" tab.
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post #13 of 24 Old 11-28-2012, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OtherSongs View Post

the convenience of having SP1 on the install disc

The iso images with SP1 can be downloaded from digital river http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/software-os/w/microsoft_os/3316.2-1-microsoft-windows-7-official-iso-download-links-digital-river.aspx
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post #14 of 24 Old 02-09-2013, 12:56 PM
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Did you get your issue resolved? I'm considering a SSD (120 Samsung), but i would rather not do a clean install if i can avoid it ( then I would have to setup Sabnzbd, Sickbeard, Couch Potato, etc,,,). My OS is on a 100 GB partition of my HDD, so the SSD should have plenty of space for a clone.

I cannot find my Windows 7 key, but i do have the email with the Windows8 pro key from when i upgraded. Can i start with Windows8 Pro on the SSD if i am forced to do a clean install or do i have to install Windows7 and upgrade?

The hassle of adding a SSD might keep me from upgrading. :-(
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post #15 of 24 Old 02-12-2013, 12:23 PM
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so many fear clean installing. Never understood that.

It's superior.

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post #16 of 24 Old 02-12-2013, 01:09 PM
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Windows treats an install on a ssd different from a hdd. I would strongly suggest a fresh install.
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post #17 of 24 Old 02-12-2013, 01:14 PM
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The comment about having to set up usenet again made me laugh. That takes like how long ? 10 minutes ?

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post #18 of 24 Old 02-12-2013, 01:15 PM
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Quote:

I do this often.

You can make or put this on a USB stick too.

It installs even easier and faster.

good advice here.






Quote:
Originally Posted by macks View Post

Windows treats an install on a ssd different from a hdd. I would strongly suggest a fresh install.





The ACHI problems I read about here cloning almost everytime blows my mind.

It's almost certain that any noob will spend more time trying to clone, and get more frustrated with odd issues than if they just did a clean install properly from the start.

PLus- Cloning does not perform as good as a fresh install. Fresh installs always are faster and cleaner than old registries cloned.

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post #19 of 24 Old 02-12-2013, 03:00 PM
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If you feel the need to clone your system, do a fresh install and set up your software, drivers, codecs, etc, and then do a sysprep (use this regedit to keep your drivers in place: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\Sysprep\Settings\sppnp set PersistAllDeviceInstalls to 1) using oobe and generalize as your switches. After the sysprep, shut down your system and clone it. Works every time.
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I dont know why people don't just do a clean install and leave the original OS drive as it is. You can reboot from it or revert at anytime. Once you are happy with your new SSD installation and you move over what you want you can delete or format the original OS for storage.

That is how I would do it.

I'd rather light my head on fire and put it out with a sledgehammer than clone my OS.

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post #21 of 24 Old 02-12-2013, 03:44 PM
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How to Do a Clean Install of Windows Without Losing Your Files, Settings, and Tweaks

By Whitson Gordon

How to Do a Clean Install of Windows Without Losing Your Files, Settings, and TweaksThere's nothing like a fresh install of Windows to clear your mind, but it comes at a cost: you have to set everything up again, just the way you like it. Here's how to reinstall Windows, migrate your important settings, and leave the clutter behind.

You don't have to regularly reinstall Windows just to keep things clean, but that doesn't mean you'll never have to do it again. Maybe you just bought or built a new computer, or maybe you didn't take care of your computer as well as you thought and you have to do a clean install. Maybe you just want to wipe the slate clean for that new, fresh feeling. A clean slate is nice, but it also means you're going to spend the rest of the weekend setting up all your old programs, settings, and system tweaks, half of which you've probably forgotten because you set them up so long ago. Here, we'll go through some tips on how to back up your most important settings and tweaks, and restore them on your new system.
Part One: The Preparation

Before you reinstall Windows, you're going to want to go through all your stuff and back up the programs, settings, and tweaks you want to take with you. Here's what we recommend.
Step One: Export a List of Your Programs

How to Do a Clean Install of Windows Without Losing Your Files, Settings, and TweaksBefore you do anything else, it's handy to have a list of all your currently installed programs so you know what settings to back up, and which programs you want to reinstall later on. The easiest way to do this is with CCleaner (a program everyone should have installed). Just open it up and export a list of your programs:

Open up CCleaner (you can do this quickly by right-clicking the Recycle Bin and choosing "Open CCleaner" from the menu).
Head to the "Tools" section in the left sidebar.
Click the "Save to text file" button in the bottom right-hand corner, and choose where you want to save it.

Save the file in your Dropbox or on a USB stick so you have it after you do your clean install.
Step Two: Back Up Your Windows Settings

How to Do a Clean Install of Windows Without Losing Your Files, Settings, and TweaksNext, you should back up any Windows settings you can so you don't have to do too much tweaking after you reinstall. The best way to do this is with Windows Easy Transfer, Windows' built-in migration program for just such occasions. It can back up app settings too, but it's not very good at it, so we aren't going to use it for that today.

To start it up, just open the Start menu (or screen) and type Windows Easy Transfer. When it pops up, you'll get a description of what it can do. Click Next and choose an external hard disk or USB flash drive for your files. Tell it that tihs is your "old" PC, and it will scan your users for items to back up. Click Customize to tweak the selection. In this case, we recommend unchecking everything and just backing up "Windows Settings," though you can use this to back up your documents and files too (see below).
Step Three: Back Up Your Documents and Files

Before you reinstall Windows, you'll obviously want to back up your documents, music, movies, and other files just like you always would. I usually just copy these to an external drive or move them with Windows Easy Transfer as described above, though if you back up your computer regularly (which you should), you can always just restore them from your backup later on as well.
Step Four: Back Up Your Program Settings

How to Do a Clean Install of Windows Without Losing Your Files, Settings, and TweaksNext, you'll want to back up all the settings you've worked so hard crafting on each of those programs (at least the ones you plan to keep). Different programs store their settings in different places, but here are the main places you should look:

Your AppData Folder: This folder, located at C:\Users\yourusername\AppData, is where the majority of your programs store their settings (usually under the Roaming subfolder). Usually you'll see a folder with the name of the program or its developer, with a number of files inside. You'll want to back up the program's entire folder.

Your "My Documents" Folder: You know where this is already. If you open it up, you should see a few folders for other programs on your system, which often contain user settings or tweaks that you'll want to save. Back those folders up individually, just like the AppData folders.

Your Program Files Folder: Most programs won't store settings in the Program Files folder, but it might store other important stuff, like plugins or themes you installed after the fact. If that's the case for the program in question, it's a good idea to back up its folder in C:\Program Files (or C:\Program Files (x86)) for good measure.

How to Do a Clean Install of Windows Without Losing Your Files, Settings, and TweaksYour Registry: Some programs, like Fences, store all of their settings in your Registry. This is pretty easy to back up: just press the Windows key, type regedit, and press Enter. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software and scroll down to the program in question—in Fences' case, under Stardock\Fences. Right-click on the program's folder in the registry and choose Export to back it up.

Games: If you play any games, the above tricks should work, but we recommend using a program like GameSave Manager to make the process infinitely more simple. It'll search for games on your system, find where their save files are stored, and back up everything for you.

Again, different programs will store settings in different places, so if you're unsure, do a bit of research before you start. If a program has the ability to "export" or "back up" its settings to a file, that can be handy as well.

How to Do a Clean Install of Windows Without Losing Your Files, Settings, and TweaksOnce you find the folder(s) in which a program stores its files, copy that folder to your Dropbox or a USB stick. I also like to put a text file with that folder indicating the path to where it was stored. For example, if I were to back up Pidgin's settings, I'd back up the .libpurple folder in my AppData and the Plugins folder in Pidgin's Program Files. I'd then create a text folder that noted where each of these two folders came from, so i know where to put them when I restore them later on.

Repeat this process for each of your important programs, and you should have everything you need to reinstall them later on without losing your settings. This sounds like it'll take awhile, but it shouldn't—it only took me a few minutes to back up all the important settings from my favorite programs.
Step Five: Create .Reg Files For Your System Tweaks

If you're an intense tweaker, you've probably edited the Windows Registry to enable some awesome under-the-hood power-ups, like hiding items in Windows Explorer or speeding up the Windows taskbar. The easiest way to back these up, says Justin Garrison, is to save a .reg file for each tweak in your Drobpox or USB stick. That way, whenever you reinstall Windows, you can just double-click on your .reg files to install those tweaks instantly.

Most of your tweaks probably already have .reg scripts floating around the net, so do some Googling to see if someone's already created one. If not, you can always do a little research and create the file yourself too.
Part Two: The Restoration

Once you've got everything backed up, it's time to reinstall Windows. Insert the Windows installation disc and boot up from it, or use Windows 8's Reset option in the settings to start from scratch. Once you've got a fresh installation of Windows, it's time to restore all your stuff.
Step Six: Restore Your Windows Settings

Before you do anything else, it's a good idea to restore those Windows settings we backed up earlier. Reopen Windows Easy Transfer on your fresh install, plug in your USB drive with your saved transfer files, and this time choose "This Is My New Computer." It'll restore your Windows settings and your user account that you backed up, along with your Windows settings so you don't have to find them all again.
Step Seven: Reinstall Your Programs

Next, it's time to reinstall all your programs. This can take awhile, but you can speed up the process with a few tools:

How to Do a Clean Install of Windows Without Losing Your Files, Settings, and TweaksNinite: Ninite is still one of our favorite tools for installing programs quickly. It doesn't have every program out there, but it's a great start. Just check off all the programs you want, and Ninite will create an all-in-one package to install them in one fell swoop. Be sure to check out the Lifehacker Pack for Windows, too, which has its own custom Ninite installer for our most recommended programs.

Chocolatey: If you're more of a command line geek, Chocolatey is a handy utility that brings Linux-style package management to Windows. With a few well-placed commands, you can install a ton of programs at once, bypassing the need for all those separate installers. Again, it doesn't have every program imaginable, but it does have quite a few to get you started.

How to Do a Clean Install of Windows Without Losing Your Files, Settings, and TweaksPortable Apps: If you're tired of downloading installers all the time, you might want to try using portable apps instead. Portable apps essentially let you carry all your programs and settings over to another computer with no installation required. You'll still have to search out each app yourself, but after you do it once, you'll never have to do it again—every clean install from here on out will be much quicker because you'll already have half your apps ready to go. Check out our guide to portable apps for more information.

Once you've installed the bulk of your favorite programs, you may need to open up that text file we got from CCleaner earlier to pick up any stragglers that aren't in Ninite. Install whatever you want, and when you're done, move onto the next step.
Step Eight: Restore Your Documents and Program Settings

Once you've reinstalled your favorite programs, you should restore your documents, music, movies, and other files (in case any of your programs depend on them—like iTunes, for example). This should be pretty easy: just restore them to the same place they were before (e.g., put your music back in C:\Users\yourusername\Music\iTunes\, or wherever you had it located).

Do the same thing with the app settings you backed up earlier. Open that folder and restore the folders to their original locations in AppData or Program Files (in the case of AppData, you should overwrite any files that are already there). When you start that program, it should inherit all your old settings and it will be like you never left!
Step Nine: Restore Your Registry Tweaks

Lastly, restore any registry tweaks you had. That means double-clicking on your .reg files that had app settings or Windows tweaks stored inside, and redoing any registry tweaks that you couldn't put into a .reg file. Remember, you may need to restart the program in question (or restart your computer altogether) for the registry tweaks to take effect.

It seems like a long and drawn-out process, but you'd be surprised. I had all my settings copied over in a few minutes, and was up and running with most of my favorite programs not too long after reinstalling—it's much, much faster than setting everything up from scratch. Of course, if you like setting everything up from scratch, feel free to do that too. This is just a great compromise between doing a fresh install and keeping all your settings that you don't want to set up again.

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post #22 of 24 Old 02-15-2013, 07:34 PM
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I just did a clean install. Tomorrow I will finish the setup of Sabnzbd and the associated programs.
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post #23 of 24 Old 02-16-2013, 08:00 AM
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Your old OS is still working an in tact right ?

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post #24 of 24 Old 02-16-2013, 12:48 PM
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I wiped the OS and extended the HDD back to 2tb. It was not that painful.

I have kept Win 7 for now, because I'm not sure Win8 brought much reason for me to upgrade, but I have my keys should I find a reason to do so.
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