Installing Win 7 on to new C Drive


I apologize in advance if this has been asked elsewhere, but I searched and haven't found it.

I am taking the plunge and "upgrading" from Win XP 32-bit to Win 7 64-bit. :pray: I have checked my hardware [Intel Q6600 CPU, ASUS P5Q Pro Turbo mobo and XFX Radeon HD 4850 vid card] and everything looks Win 7 64-bit capable. Here are my questions:

1] I have bought a new hard drive. Can I physically remove the old Win XP "C" hard drive, install the new, empty drive in its place, physically disconnect my other drives and then install Win 7 on the new drive, making the new drive the official "C" drive? I understand that all of my programs will need to be reinstalled, but aside from that, will this work? If so,

2] Once Win 7 is installed and operating on my new "C" drive and I have re-installed my programs, when I reconnect my other three hard drives with years of documents, music, photos, Quicken files, etc., will Win 7 recognize and access them properly - as long as I tell the re-installed programs where to look, i.e., Picasa should look on drive "F" for My Pictures, Quicken on drive "G" for QDF files, etc.?

3] Once I have Win 7 and my programs installed and running smoothly, can I plug my old Win XP "C" drive into an external dock to copy items from the old "C" drive like my desktop files, PST file, etc? I will back those things up just to be safe, but it seems easiest if I could just transfer everything back to where my programs will expect them to be.

Many thanks for your advice.

S -


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
What version of Windows 7 do you have, upgrade or full install? It will make a difference as to whether you can disconnect the other driver.

One thing to keep in mind is Windows 7 install will look for the primary hard drive to put its boot files. So make sure the new drive is listed first in the bios drive order and you can install with the old drive connected if you want. If you take the old drive out, the new one will automatically be listed first. Also make sure you can tell the difference in the drives. If they are the same size, you can get confused.

Thanks, Saltgrass - I will check but I think I have the full install. I have already labeled the old drives on the outside so I will know which is which, but your tip about remembering to make sure the BIOS is looking for the new drive when I install it, is great. Thanks again!

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