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GUIDE: Installing Windows 7 on a new drive

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Installing Windows 7 on a New SSD or HDD
On a modern (SATA etc) desktop machine...
For laptops or older machines ignore some of the steps.

This is the FRESH install guide, if you're looking to copy your old Windows onto your new drive you want this guide


Stage 1.
Preparing for install

Backing up your files and checking requirements
Downloading the latest SSD firmware and burning it to a disc, or copying it to a USB drive
  1. Backup your documents, email, saved games, pictures, music, movies, etc
  2. If you're installing onto a new SSD or HDD, then you can keep your old drive as a backup.. at least to start with
  3. Ensure you have a Windows 7 setup disc
  4. Ensure your DVD drive works, and can be booted from
  5. Download the latest firmware for the SSD (skip this step for HDDs, or if it's already updated) READ THE UPDATE INSTRUCTIONS, they vary depending on model of SSD
    Firmware download pages:
  6. If the firmware is an ISO file, burn it to a blank disc (right-click and choose Open with > Windows Disc Image Burner)openwithwindowsdiscimag.pngwindowsdiscimageburner.png
  7. If the firmware is for a Sandforce or other drive that requires it to be run under Windows, usually 32-bit only
  8. Some firmware will only run in Windows, so you'll need a Windows setup disc or a recovery disc (you can download recovery discs here: http://cybernetnews.com/windows-7-recovery-disc/)
  9. In the case of firmware that needs to run in Windows, you'll probably want to copy it to a USB drive

Stage 2.
Updating the drive firmware

Skip this stage if your firmware is already up to date, or if you're using a HDD (which usually don't need F/W upgrades.)
  1. If you created a disc using an ISO file from the drive manufacturer, boot from it and follow the instructions and skip to step 3
  2. If the firmware is for a Sandforce or other drive that requires it to be run under 32-bit Windows:
    • Boot from your Windows Setup or Recovery Disc (32-bit recommended)
    • Open a Command Prompt (use the recovery options menu)
      • Click the Repair link and wait for windows to find or not find your old install
        repairyourcomputerlink.png
      • Choose the bottom option and click Next
        systemrecoveryoptions.png
      • Click Cancel
        selectathelocationofthe.png
      • Click the Command Prompt link
        systemrecoveryoptionsma.png
    • Change to the disk you put the firmware on by typing it's letter (experiment until you find it)
      • Type C:
      • Type DIR
      • if this is the drive type the name of the firmware updater
      • if not, Type D: and DIR and check for the file
        commandpromptddir.png
      • repeat until you find the drive letter of your USB or CD that contains the firmware exe file
    • Run the firmware updater by typing the name of the exe file.
    • Follow the instructions to update your drive firmware
  3. Restart your machine


Stage 3.
Disconnect other drives, and Enable AHCI in your BIOS.

Disconnecting your other storage devices first will ensure your boot sector and everything is all on your primary drive.
Enabling AHCI mode will improve performance on most SSDs, if Windows won't install or hangs during install, switch back to IDE mode.
  1. Shutdown your PC and disconnect the SATA cables from all the drives except your DVD drive
  2. Find the first SATA port (port 0 or 1)
  3. Connect the new SSD / HDD to that port
  4. Double check only the new drive, and your DVD are connected
  5. Enter your PC's BIOS and enable AHCI mode
    biosahci.png

Stage 4.
Setup Windows 7.

  1. Change the boot order (if you need to) so you can boot from the DVD
  2. Some BIOSes will let you press a key to boot from a DVD without changing the boot order
  3. Boot the Windows 7 setup disc
  4. Choose your language, Time and currency format, and keyboard type, and click Next
    selectlanguagenext.png
  5. Click Install now, and wait for "Setup is starting..." (sometimes takes a "while" on some motherboards)
    installnow.png
    setupisstarting.png
  6. Agree to the End-user License Agreement after you've read it
    eula.png
  7. Choose "Custom (advanced)" (the bottom option)
    customadvanced.png
  8. Where do you want to install Windows
  9. If the drive contains any partitions
    • Click the Drive options (advanced) link
      driveoptionsadvanced.png
    • Choose to delete all the partitions until the drive only contains "unallocated space"
      deletepartition.pngdeletepartitionconfirm.png
  10. Click the unallocated space to select it, and click Next
    installwindowstounalloc.png
  11. Wait for a while, make a coffee, text your mates etc
    windowsinstalling.png
  12. Answer the post-install questions (network, user, and computer name setup etc)

Stage 5.
Post setup.

  1. Shutdown your computer
  2. Reconnect your other HDDs and storage devices to their SATA ports
  3. Re-enter the BIOS and make sure your Primary SSD or HDD is still the first boot device
  4. Boot into Windows and follow some of my other guides if you like

band.gif with your Fresh copy of Windows 7
Edited by TheDreadedGMan - 12/17/10 at 6:48pm
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post #2 of 11
Great tutorial, but you must be bored making this. I saw your other post recently about you saying that a tutorial like this would be short tongue.gif
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by maximus20895;11666411 
Great tutorial, but you must be bored making this. I saw your other post recently about you saying that a tutorial like this would be short tongue.gif

I still enjoy it... biggrin.gif

I'm also getting all the screenshots for this one...

one of the big reasons I post these is so i can just link to them when people ask the FAQs...
"How do I set it up"
"How can I copy my old windows onto it"
"How come I only have x GB free, is windows really 20 GB??!"

etc etc
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post #4 of 11
Well at least you enjoy it.

Yes, there needs to be a big database of info since probably 90%+ posts are the same questions over and over and over and over and over ...
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post #5 of 11
The title is "Installing Windows 7 on a new drive".
But what about installing Windows 7 on the used (not empty) SSD?

http://www.overclock.net/ssd/903591-how-reinstall-os-ssd-4.html#post11997459
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ovesha;11997553 
The title is "Installing Windows 7 on a new drive".
But what about installing Windows 7 on the used (not empty) SSD?

http://www.overclock.net/ssd/903591-how-reinstall-os-ssd-4.html#post11997459

Well if TRIM is working then just quick format the drive... so the procedure is the same...

Secure erase can be used otherwise, but some people have had issues with it, and I've never bothered, so I can't really make a guide for that until I feel more comfortable with it.
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post #7 of 11
Two moments:

1. I have read that Windows 7 make TRIM itself when create partition: http://www.behardware.com/articles/791-4/ssd-trim-and-iometer.html and http://www.anandtech.com/show/2865/2
But those tests were with INSTALLED Window 7. But I wonder about Windows 7 installer (Windows 7 not installed yet)

2. May be connect another USB-HDD, run Windows from USB-HDD, delete partition . Install and run Intel SSD toolbox... After all disconnect external USB-HDD...
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ovesha;12005651 
Two moments:

1. I have read that Windows 7 make TRIM itself when create partition: http://www.behardware.com/articles/791-4/ssd-trim-and-iometer.html and http://www.anandtech.com/show/2865/2
But those tests were with INSTALLED Window 7. But I wonder about Windows 7 installer (Windows 7 not installed yet)

2. May be connect another USB-HDD, run Windows from USB-HDD, delete partition . Install and run Intel SSD toolbox... After all disconnect external USB-HDD...

1. it's true, although Windows Setup is now a stripped-down version of windows itself, so unless they specifically removed the TRIM functionality it should be there... also in http://blogs.msdn.com/b/e7/archive/2009/05/05/support-and-q-a-for-solid-state-drives-and.aspx they state that TRIM is integrated into FORMAT and DELETE commands so hopefully that applies to within the Win 7 setup too.

2. If you can run Windows off a USB drive, that's impressive!
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post #9 of 11
would you guys partition a 12GB SSD after installing windows 7?
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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sundeath;13651416 
would you guys partition a 12GB SSD after installing windows 7?

I would not partition a drive AFTER installing Windows generally...

I would not partition a drive that small anyway

Windows might not install on such a small drive...

I don't fully understand your question confused.gif
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