Starting from the begining is best. You get a clean registry, clean set up of drivers, and it will perform the best. Then set or create a back up so you can revert back to that in the future. The time saved by cloning is not worth it IMO.
A new drive is a good opportunity to have a good spring clean as it were. All Windows installations accumulate junk, both stuff which you the user installs and then no longer uses and so on - even when you uninstall you often get a bunch of crap left hanging around. And as I said,m Windows itself pile sup junk in the registry, old updates that get superceded and so on....
What you have is the easiest system drive change, because you can plug your old HDD in as a data drive, and just copy across anything you want from it that way. It's a much bigger pain in the ass if you can;t do that
Ok can someone tell me any setting I need to do in the bios and such. I guess I am going to disconnect my hd then install w7 on the ssd then reconnect the hard drive, I want to be able to boot into the old os until I get the new one set up perfectly. I keep reading about ahci and ide and raid and I just need a nice easy guide.
Just make sure you set your SATA controller to ACHI mode before you install windows or format the drive. You want to install windows to your SSD while in ACHI mode in the bios.
You are really going to like the SSD...it's like sex and rock-and-roll.
I set up WMC, Shark007, Media Browser, Arcsoft TMT5, My Channel Logos, etc, and THEN created the image.
That way when/if I want to do a "clean" install I have everything already set up. Its much faster.
My basement media room and bar
Epson 2030, Onkyo TX-NR626, and Kodi based system
Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma
Transferring is simple, using something such as macrium reflect is extremely easy and I'm pretty sure I could walk my parents through it over the phone, as long as your source is not larger in space currently used than your target. Moving 120GB of data to a 64GB SSD obviously wouldn't work. Does your motherboard have UEFI? I know you said you don't turn it off much but UEFI windows 7 installs are much, much faster, even on SSDs. I have a regular HDD that I installed on using UEFI and it's almost as fast for the initial "Welcome" boot as an ssd. Something to consider.
You had two things to worry about on the old HD; data and applications. Backup the data and reload the applications. Window 7 does a pretty dam good job of finding drivers on its own.
IMHO: Just keep it simple, SSD is for OS and applications; HD for data.
Just a FYI, as of v201 (v201 is being released today) of the
32bit STANDARD codecs and the STANDARD x64Components addon
only install the LAV filters and DirectVobSub (xyVSFilter) for subtitle support.
All other DirectShow codecs have been removed from the STANDARD releases.
The ADVANCED release still contains other decoders such as Haali and FFDshow.
Use Shark007 Codecs and retain your sanity.