Tips Requested For Clean Install Of OS Onto An SSD - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 10-14-2013, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I currently use my main PC running Windows 7 as my HTPC in my bedroom (we have another one in the LR).

Over a year ago, I replaced my system drive with an SSD (120 gigs). In the interest of time, I used a migration software to move everything from my old drive to the new one.

I am now contemplating a clean install to get my system working more efficiently and hopefully faster.

Since all my programs are installed on the system drive due to the migration, I am continually struggling with free space. I typically have just over 10 gigs free. As temp files accumulate, free space goes down.

So when I finally get around to doing a clean install, I plan on installing most programs onto a secondary HDD. A few, like Neat Receipts (which runs notoriously slow) will be installed to the system drive. But for the most part they will get installed onto a different drive.

I am looking for tips to ensure the system performs as quickly as it can. Also any tips to help me make sure I remember to reinstall all my programs (I have a lot) would also be appreciated.

Currently, windows still takes over 60 seconds to get to the login screen, and then another couple of minutes to load everything.

I realize I will lose the ability to play any current recordings that are restricted by Playready (learned that the hard way), so I am trying to make sure they get viewed b4 I do this.

I also have a copy of Windows 8 upgrade. I know many of you hate Windows 8, but I keep reading that it boots faster than 7, and one of our PC's is running it so I am somewhat familiar with it. The upcoming update should make it a bit more like 7 , and I'm not at all opposed to moving to it.

Thanks.

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post #2 of 13 Old 10-14-2013, 01:38 PM
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It looks like you already recognize most of the pitfalls of doing a clean install, but I'll add a few things.

If possible, backup everything. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

Make sure you have your Win7 (or whatever OS you choose to install) Key handy so you can validate. I usually recommend installing whatever antivirus software you're going to use as soon as you get Windows installed, just to be on the safe side.

If you're adding a 2nd drive for storage, and you're using Live TV in WMC (your comment about playready content leads me to believe you are) I'd recommend moving the live TV buffer and recorded TV folder to the additional storage drive.

If your original OS is 32 bit, and your original boot drive is less than 127GB, and your new OS includes Virtual PC, and you happen to have an extra hard drive laying around, (a lot of "ifs" I know) what I have done in the past is use Windows Sysinternals disk2vhd, to make a copy of the old OS and then I can mount it in the new OS just in case I've forgotten something from the old OS. It's a nice security blanket if you have all of the necessary components. (iirc you can mount the VHD as a drive in any version of Win7/8 but if you want to boot into it with Virtual PC then the other conditions must be met.)

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #3 of 13 Old 10-14-2013, 01:52 PM
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If you haven't already, make sure the Hard Drive is set to AHCI (as opposed to IDE) in the BIOS settings.

Also it helps to have all the latest motherboard drivers and utilities handy on a USB drive from the manufacturers website.
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post #4 of 13 Old 10-14-2013, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

It looks like you already recognize most of the pitfalls of doing a clean install, but I'll add a few things.If possible, backup everything. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Make sure you have your Win7 (or whatever OS you choose to install) Key handy so you can validate. I usually recommend installing whatever antivirus software you're going to use as soon as you get Windows installed, just to be on the safe side.If you're adding a 2nd drive for storage, and you're using Live TV in WMC (your comment about playready content leads me to believe you are) I'd recommend moving the live TV buffer and recorded TV folder to the additional storage drive. If your original OS is 32 bit, and your original boot drive is less than 127GB, and your new OS includes Virtual PC, and you happen to have an extra hard drive laying around, (a lot of "ifs" I know) what I have done in the past is use Windows Sysinternals [URL=http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/ee656415.aspx]disk2vhd[/URL], to make a copy of the old OS and then I can mount it in the new OS just in case I've forgotten something from the old OS. It's a nice security blanket if you have all of the necessary components. (iirc you can mount the VHD as a drive in any version of Win7/8 but if you want to boot into it with Virtual PC then the other conditions must be met.)

Back up - good point.
I've been using AVG, but I may switch to Windows Live Esscentials.
2nd drive for storage and buffer, already done.
I'm 64 bit, so I guess that rules out your VPC tip?

Thanks for the reply!

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post #5 of 13 Old 10-14-2013, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiley165 View Post

If you haven't already, make sure the Hard Drive is set to [B][U]AHCI[/U][/B] (as opposed to IDE) in the BIOS settings.Also it helps to have all the latest motherboard drivers and utilities handy on a USB drive from the manufacturers website.

Another good one - already done.

Actually, I learned this the hard way. I had to make a reg edit and jump through another hoop (but I forget what it was) to change this after the fact. I.m still not convinced it's working as expected, but I guess a clean install will clear that up.

Thanks.

I guess I can print out the Programs and Features window to get a list of installed programs, although not everything shows up there.

Anyone know if CCleaner can produce a printable list of installed programs?

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post #6 of 13 Old 10-14-2013, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leebo View Post

I'm 64 bit, so I guess that rules out your VPC tip?

Thanks for the reply!

Sent from my Nexus 7

Well, it does if you wanted to use Virtual PC. I don't know much about VMWare, but my understanding is that it supports 64bit guest OSes and will mount a VHD, so if you wanted to go that route, you probably could, but I don't know enough about it to say for sure.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #7 of 13 Old 10-14-2013, 08:22 PM
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In the process of installing Windows 7 on an SSD, at the part where you select Custom or Upgrade I usually do the following:

Shift+F10 (opens a command prompt)
> diskpart
> list disk
> select disk [your SSD]
> clean
> create partition primary align=4096
> format fs=ntfs quick
> exit

Then I do the Custom install and select the partition I created. That gives me a nice clean SSD with the proper alignment all ready to install Windows.

 

 

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post #8 of 13 Old 10-14-2013, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

In the process of installing Windows 7 on an SSD, at the part where you select Custom or Upgrade I usually do the following:

Shift+F10 (opens a command prompt)
> diskpart
> list disk
> select disk [your SSD]
> clean
> create partition primary align=4096
> format fs=ntfs quick
> exit

Then I do the Custom install and select the partition I created. That gives me a nice clean SSD with the proper alignment all ready to install Windows.

is there an advantage to doing it this way opposed to going into the advanced drive options, deleting parition- creating partition- formating- then installing ??

Does anything different happen ?

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post #9 of 13 Old 10-14-2013, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

is there an advantage to doing it this way opposed to going into the advanced drive options, deleting parition- creating partition- formating- then installing ??

Does anything different happen ?

You have a little more flexibility from the command prompt, but if you wipe the partitions and recreate them from within windows installer they should be properly aligned anyway. (and if the original partitions were created by the windows installer, they should be properly aligned and no realignment should be necessary.)

The only time I aligned with diskpart was when upgrading my SSD from a 64GB to a 256GB and I copied the data from the old partition to the new (aligned) partition using Easeus Partition Master.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #10 of 13 Old 10-14-2013, 10:53 PM
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Thanks.

I always selected "advanced drive options" and did a delete, partition and format that way.

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post #11 of 13 Old 10-14-2013, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Thanks.

I always selected "advanced drive options" and did a delete, partition and format that way.

Yeah, that should do the trick.

I can't find the original page where read about Windows 7 aligning partitions, but thanks to the magic of the magic google cache, I found an old copy here.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #12 of 13 Old 10-15-2013, 12:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Thanks. I always selected "advanced drive options" and did a delete, partition and format that way.

Yes, but you also want to take a flamethrower to all HDD's, so I'm not sure if I should listen to you! wink.gif

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post #13 of 13 Old 10-15-2013, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

is there an advantage to doing it this way opposed to going into the advanced drive options, deleting parition- creating partition- formating- then installing ??

Does anything different happen ?

I think for me it's now one of those, "this is how I've been doing it and it works" kind of things to go with the command prompt. I'd say I can probably do it quicker typing than pointing and clicking. I also can't remember if there was some issue way back when with not being able to delete non-Windows partitions (like if it had a Linux install on it already) or whatever so I can't say if there's any advantage/disadvantage nowadays for anyone else.

Us old men like command prompts smile.gif

 

 

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