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Installing Vista on a Different Hard Drive (Switching main drive?)

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I'm currently running Windows Vista 64 bit. My hard drive setup is as follows:

C: 70 GB Raptor 1. (The OS drive... System Boot, Page Files, Programs, etc.)
D: 70 GB Raptor 2. (Music, Photos, a few programs.)
E: 500 GB HDD 1. (Empty)
F: 500 GB HDD 2. (Empty)

I would like to do the following...

C: 500 GB HDD 1: (OS drive... System Boot, Pages Files, Programs, etc.)
D: 500 GB HDD 2: (Extra storage)
E: 70 GB Raptor 1: (Music Files)
F: 70 GB Raptor 2: (Picture Files)

What I'd like to do is make one of the 500 GB HDDs the C drive, and reinstall my Vista onto it, and reformat the 70 GB Raptor that my OS is currently on. I've backed everything up that I need to, and I've said my goodbyes to anything I can stand to lose. I just need to know what steps I would need to take to be able to accomplish this. If anyone could help me with that, it'd be much appreciated.

ADD: Just to clarify, I DO have the original OEM disc of the version of Vista that is installed on this comp.
ADD: Also, they are SATA drives.

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    Tech Staff

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Hey and welcome :)

It looks like you would run exactly what you've said, I often find it helpful to get some scrap paper and draw me up a mud-map as I go so I know what I'm doing and where I'm up to.

If you know what you're doing and just wanted confirmation, then follow along, otherwise if you want me to break it up into the whole step-by-step instructions (i.e. "Turn computer off, disconnect power cord, plug in power cable to hard drives...") let me know and I will.

  • Make sure you have full backups of everything on a completely separate backup hard drive
  • Disconnect all hard drives except for one of the 500GB (this will be your C:)
  • Install Vista 64-bit on the drive, install drivers, antivirus, activate, all Windows Updates
  • Add in the new drives and arrange your drive letters so they are in order (so your optical drive would then be G:)
  • Organise all your data files as you wish (music, pictures, extra storage)
  • Finish installing all your programs and update them if necessary.
  • JkDefrag
Also a quick tip, you could set your page file to be on one of your Raptors (or both) and not on the C:, I find this helps with performance.


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    Tech Moderator

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unless you want a clean install..best way is to clone your OS drive to the empty drive...that way you keep any system settings ...
HDClone is free and it can copy bit for bit..make a exact copy of the original drive...just with more free space...the paid versions are faster
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