Windows 10: New Computer with boot from SSD & old computer's boot HDD as secondary

  1.    22 May 2018 #1

    New Computer with boot from SSD & old computer's boot HDD as secondary


    Greetings. I just built a new computer with an SSD boot drive and the boot HDD from the old computer as a second drive. Both drives have Win10-1803 on them, and each is bootable in the new PC. In the interest of conserving space on the SSD, I want to install programs on both of them, keeping less frequently used stuff on the second drive. Since the HDD is bootable, I figure I may as well leave Windows installed on it. I'm also using it for the data folders recognized by the windows install on the SSD.

    I have taken ownership of the program folders on the second drive, and plan to reinstall the less frequently used stuff in those directories. Since that will take some time, I want to make sure I'm not making a mistake.

    Am I correct in assuming that, for the installs I make on the (HDD) second drive, program installers will interact only with the windows install on my (SSD) boot drive and not the one on the second drive? For example, is it assured that they will register with the registry on the SSD, and will use the Appdata folder on the SSD as well?

    I guess I'm asking whether program installers always know from which drive the OS was loaded? In general, is it a mistake to leave Windows on the HDD?

    Thank you for any advice.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 5,289
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       22 May 2018 #2

    I guess I'm asking whether program installers always know from which drive the OS was loaded? In general, is it a mistake to leave Windows on the HDD?
    Yes and Yes. The Windows installation on the HDD should be only taking up space and the few times needed I've removed it.

    When installing most programs a Custom or Optional choice usually exists and can specify a different drive or partition. Only caveat I've seen is Microsoft Office may put quite a bit of itself on the same drive/partition Windows is installed on/boots from, probably due to the interaction/interweaving with Windows.

    I've found the best way with a combination of drives is to install Windows on the desired boot drive, in your case the SSD, without another drive connected. Then with Windows working connect the other drive and clean it up, or, preferably, save all the data that exists nowhere else and wipe the other drive. Most Windows-compatible programs have to be reinstalled, not easily moved due to other support files in different places, menu items created and Registry entries made.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    23 May 2018 #3

    I would install all programs on the SSD in the interests of speed. Use the HDD for large user files. You can keep Windows on the HDD but beware of having any active partitions on the second HDD which may confuse the boot process especially when you do Windows updates.

    I would make an archive image of the Windows installation on the HDD using Macrium Reflect then wipe Windows and unneeded system partitions from the HDD just leaving the files you need.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  4.    23 May 2018 #4

    Thanks for the responses. I have a macrium backup, made before I even transferred the HDD from the old computer to new.

    So now I'm trying to delete the windows directory from the drive, and running into an issue. I have taken ownership of the folder and its contents, and given myself full control. Yet I still get the message that I need permission from myself. What's up with that? Is this a windows thing? Is this why everybody says to wipe the drive and then restore what you need from the backup? If not, how do I delete the windows folder?

    I've already established my documents, etc. on this drive, and installed a couple small programs there. Would rather not have to format it.

    Thanks for any help.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    23 May 2018 #5

    You should have wiped your drive before you established the User files (ie) Documents etc onto the drive.
    Windows will not let you delete the Windows directory as long as it is Active. How do i make a disk inactive - Microsoft Community
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    23 May 2018 #6

    spunk said: View Post
    You should have wiped your drive before you established the User files (ie) Documents etc onto the drive.
    Windows will not let you delete the Windows directory as long as it is Active. How do i make a disk inactive - Microsoft Community
    Thx for responding. Not sure you understood that I'm referring to a secondary HDD. At any rate, problem solved: I had not passed inheritance of ownership down through all objects in the windows folder. Once I did that, it deleted smoothly.

    The user folders (documents, etc.) retain their roles on this HDD and btw, FYI, in their properties location tab, there is an option to restore them to default. Also, the programs, eg. Macrium, I've already installed on this drive still run fine.

    So it is not necessary to format a secondary drive in order to remove an unwanted windows install.

    Next task is to remove the drive's active boot partition that SteveC warns about.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    24 May 2018 #7

    rkl122 said: View Post
    Thx for responding. Not sure you understood that I'm referring to a secondary HDD. At any rate, problem solved: I had not passed inheritance of ownership down through all objects in the windows folder. Once I did that, it deleted smoothly.

    The user folders (documents, etc.) retain their roles on this HDD and btw, FYI, in their properties location tab, there is an option to restore them to default. Also, the programs, eg. Macrium, I've already installed on this drive still run fine.

    So it is not necessary to format a secondary drive in order to remove an unwanted windows install.

    Next task is to remove the drive's active boot partition that SteveC warns about.
    You could have wiped the HDD, made new partitions and restored the folders you need from backup.

    I use MiniTool Partition Wizard Free to fiddle with partitions including setting them active/inactive.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  8.    26 May 2018 #8

    rkl122 said: View Post
    In general, is it a mistake to leave Windows on the HDD?
    SNIP

    I guess the general consensus is to remove the bootable win OS from the HDD but I feel differently. Having only this past Dec. 2017 come fr(om a now 8 yr.old laptop with one 250GB HDD platter I was always concerned with only having the "single" OS on the entire drive so I partitioned it and installed two identical win 7 bootable OS's which would allow me to "dual" boot. I always thought of this as an insurance policy should I ever (and I did) screw up one of the partitions but still needed to boot up. It also allowed me to troubleshoot the problem partition. When I got my new computer this past Dec. the first thing I did was wipe the HDD platter (I can not recall if there was even anything on it since the OS came installed on the SSD) and download a fresh copy of win 10 and installed it on the HDD. I can now dual boot either drive the SSD or the HDD. While this thinking may be antiquated what with all of the different ways to boot now a days nonetheless I still feel good that should my main drive (the SSD) fail to boot I can immediately boot from the HDD and figure out later what is going on. Just my 2 cents.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    26 May 2018 #9

    phaedruspress said: View Post
    SNIP
    I can now dual boot either drive the SSD or the HDD. While this thinking may be antiquated what with all of the different ways to boot now a days nonetheless I still feel good that should my main drive (the SSD) fail to boot I can immediately boot from the HDD and figure out later what is going on. Just my 2 cents.
    That was exactly my thinking, but the caveat about possibly confusing windows update persuaded me to chicken out. I wiped the boot partition on that secondary HDD, and expanded the data partition to incorporate that space.

    If after a few rounds of updates you should discover that the caveat is warranted, you may wish to post back to this thread. Thx for responding.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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