Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
It is trivial to install an SSD as another drive, but typically, people want the faster drive for their operating system. That involves swapping around your operating system from one drive to the other.
How much of a job is it to install a new SSD while still keeping my old one running as before?
In this excerpt from Answercast #69, I look at the steps involved in adding an SSD drive to a current computer system and how it can be used to speed up a computer.
Well, it depends on your computer more than anything else. You would need of course two drive slots.
If you've got a laptop, you probably don't have another drive slot so you're kind of out of luck. You can only have one drive in that machine and you would need to make the choice between the hard drive that's there now or the replacement SSD because it would be a true replacement.
On a PC, on a desktop PC where you may have additional slots, it's very easy to do exactly what you described. In other words, to simply add an SSD to that machine is usually a simple matter of connecting up the cables, installing the drive into the box, and powering it all up.
The problem is that that's typically not what you want.
You indicated that you wanted to keep your old one running as before. I don't think you do.
What you want typically from installing an SSD is to have your operating system installed on the SSD - so that it runs faster. That means moving it from your old hard drive and that means that it is not running as before. It may be present in the box, but it is definitely not running as before.
In my opinion, the right thing to do for adding an SSD to an existing desktop PC is to first:
Do everything you can to reduce the amount of space taken up by things on your hard drive to be smaller than the size of your eventual replacement SSD.
Then back up that regular hard drive. Create a backup image of it using something like Macrium Reflect or any of other commercially available disk imaging utilities.
Now, replace the hard drive. In other words, install the SSD in place of the hard drive in the machine.
Once that's working, then install your old hard drive back into your machine as a second drive. The net result is that what you will have is a C drive that is much faster, that will contain your operating system, on your SSD.
Then, you'll have another disk drive (most likely drive D) that is your old hard drive; with everything that either was on it or everything that you want to put on it. That would be accessed slower than the SSD, but still be relatively fast for things like data files and so forth.
There may be some tweaking involved in making sure that the operating system is treating the SSD as an SSD. Windows 7 should auto detect that properly, but in case it doesn't, you may need to make a couple of additional settings changes to make sure that Windows 7 doesn't, for example, try and defragment that disk every week.
But that's what it boils down to. So you know, how much of a job is it? Well, it depends on what you think about what I just described.
It is trivial to just install it as another drive, but that's typically not
what most people want. What most people want is typically something
significantly more involved that involves swapping around your operating system
from one drive to the other.
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