Insider Preview Installing Windows 10 Pro to SSD - Windows 7 Ultimate is on HDD

Discussion in 'Windows 10 Help and Support' started by EdAWood, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. EdAWood

    EdAWood Senior Member

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    Greetings everyone,

    I have an ASUS computer with an intel i7 Multicore processor, 16gb ram, and 3 internal drives installed (1 1tb HHD, a 2tb HDD, and a 128gb SSD). I also have 3 external drives available (1tb USB, a 750gb USB, and a 500gb USB). The 500gb USB drive is connected.

    I am currently running Windows 7 Ultimate from my C: drive, the internal 1tb drive. I want to install my Windows 10 Pro to my 128gb SDD and make it the boot drive.

    How do I accomplish this? Do I need to disconnect the C: drive from my box and designate the 128gb SSD as drive C:? Or, is there a better way to accomplish this. I would like to keep from having to reinstall all of my software programs after the upgrade to Win 10 Pro, and be able to easily rollback to Win 7 Ultimate should the need arise.

    Thanks for the suggestions anyone might have.

    Ed Wood
     
  2. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    From what I understand, the upgrade has to be done over the prior OS or it will not activate. Since there is no license key involved with the install, you cannot activate the install when done to another partition. Once the upgrade is complete and activated, you are supposed to be able to do a clean install on that particular system and Windows 10 will activate using information stored online.

    Doing a rollback from Windows 10 seems to work OK, for some folks, but you could image the Windows 7 install in case something goes wrong. I imaged mine and put the original hard drive somewhere safe and let the new drive, to which I recovered the image, do the upgrade. Keep in mind, it is not legal to use the prior OS after upgrading unless you remove Windows 10.
     
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  3. Cincinnatus

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    Almost correct. ;-) There are, in fact, CD Keys for Windows 10, in my case I used it for a clean install. However you are absolutely right in that you do need to extract the CD Key for 10 from an existing upgraded install using any one of a handful of recommended key recovery utilities, some of which are mentioned on this forum.

    The way I would recommend you do this is as below:
    • Use a good drive imaging utility. I recommend Macrium Reflect because it recognizes UEFI partitions and will restore to dissimilar sized partitions (provided a smaller drive has adequate free space), and the free version will work just fine, but pick what you like.
    • Create a Windows 10 USB installation drive as a backup using the Microsoft media creation tool. You'll need a USB drive of at least 4gig for this.
    • Create bootable recovery media. Macrium will boot from a USB and contains a GUI PE environment. The drive can be as small as 300MB for this purpose if you could even find something that size.
    • Move your personal data off to another drive to reduce the image backup size and delete it from your source drive, and also archive whatever you presently have on your SSD.
    • Image all partitions on your entire existing drive. All of them. Should be at least 3 on a UEFI system.
    • Upgrade your Windows 7 install in place, and make sure everything is working right.
    • When done, recover your new Windows 10 key using one of the tools I mentioned, save it as both a text file and by writing it down.
    • Swap drives. Put your SSD in the primary position, move the 1T off to the 2nd position.
    • Boot to the Macrium (or whatever) USB drive and restore all the partitions to the SSD
    • Reboot the system to make sure everything is alright.
    • If you desire a clean install, writing over the existing C: partition.
    Done. You either have your existing Windows 7-into-10 system on the SSD or you have a fresh clean install.

    Let us know how it works out!
     
  4. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    The Windows 10 keys are the same on both of my systems.... The only "Key" available which has not been purchased is an illegal version where the system is activated using a different activation server.
     
  5. Cincinnatus

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    Ok, that's interesting. Didn't know that. What I was saying is that you can install Windows 10 clean using a CD Key, but that key has to be recovered from a previously upgraded system.
     
  6. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    If you are referring to doing a clean install on the same system which had been previously upgraded, you do not need a key.

    You cannot do the original upgrade as an install instead of upgrade...it will not be activated.
     
  7. Cincinnatus

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    Don't know what to tell you. I can only state my experience. I was asked a twice for the CD Key, presumably because I selected 'skip' the first time the dialog box came up. My clean install went just fine, and is activated. Interestingly enough, my system BIOS still reflects a Windows 8 install, but everything is running fine here, so if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    Whatever the case may be, there's no harm in recovering the Win10 CD Key, and the upgrade/migration process above is not changed by whatever the facts may be regarding the CD Key. Either it's needed, or it's not, and if the latter then no harm done.
     

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