Laptop with SSD,HDD and W8.1: remove HDD before upgrading ?  

  1. Posts : 27
    W10 Pro 20H2

    Laptop with SSD,HDD and W8.1: remove HDD before upgrading ?


    Im runnig a laptop (MSI GT72-2QD, i7, GTX 970M) with an internal SSD (256 GB) and an internal HDD (1TB) .
    Win 8.1 came preinstalled with this machine. Id like to upgrade the machine to W10 *only* but I do not want to clean instal W10 (not yet).

    My question:
    Should i remove the internal HDD *before* upgrading to prevent important boot files (and other important system files) from being installed on the HDD ? I'd like to replace the internal HDD by a brand new internal SSD few weeks
    after the upgrade... ...and i wonder if my laptop will still be bootable with the new hardware.

    thx and greets from Germany!
      My Computers

  2. Posts : 11,246
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux

    Hi there


    You should be able to install Windows to the HDD / SSD of your choice and choose which disk to boot from.

    The disadvantage of that is you probably will keep getting wretched prompts at boot time as to which Windows you want to boot. It's a long time since I've done this but if you set the HDD to "Hidden" via some partition manager you might get Windows to ignore that HDD completely.

    As for booting new hardware --shouldn't be any problem in replacing a standard HDD with an SSD so you can have 2 SSD's in that laptop.

    tschüss !!

      My Computer

  3. Posts : 29,472
    10 Home x64 (22H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    LASERoneXzero said:
    Should i remove the internal HDD *before* upgrading to prevent important boot files (and other important system files) from being installed on the HDD ?
    Yes, that is a sensible precaution.The W10 upgrade has been known to use a 2nd drive for a recovery partition, for example. Make sure its current W8.1 isn't already using the 2nd drive for some system files. If it can still boot with that drive removed, then it should be OK to upgrade it to W10.
      My Computers

  4. Posts : 5,665
    Windows 7 HP - Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu

    As already advised, you should remove the HDD before upgrading.
    How much free space you have no C: ?
    The upgrade will make a Windows.old new folder with your current Windows on it so you must have a lot of free space. (>40G)
      My Computers

  5. Posts : 1,464
    W10 22H2 19045.3031

    I would remove the HDD and most importantly, make an image of your C:. Most members use Macrium (free) and it is very reliable.
      My Computers

  6. Posts : 13,160
    Win10 Version 21H2 Pro and Home, Win11 Pro and Home

    Have seen Win10 automatically choose RAID with 2 drives in the machine and the BIOS shows AHCI/RAID as a choice. Removing the second drive broke the booting process so Yes, disconnect any drives other than the desired boot/system drive.
      My Computers

  7. Posts : 27
    W10 Pro 20H2
    Thread Starter

    I'm frequently (once a month) creating full disk images of every PC/Laptop in my home LAN. Therefore i have
    several image files of the internal SSD. The images are containing the windows OS, programs and some folders with personal data and music files.
    Currently i have (only) 73 GB of free space on the SSD... ...i guess i should move all my personal/music files to an external drive.

    I've been using Acronis True Image (paid version) in the past years to create images of my system drives.

    OK.. looks like the best solution is to remove the internal hard drive before upgrading... .
    thx @all for your tips!

    greetz from Europe!
      My Computers

  8. Posts : 32
    XP64 Professional, Windows 7 Ult. Windows 10 Ult

    Or you can simply dual boot it like I did. I was hanging onto Win XP til the bitter end and next was 7 that I never was a big fan of due to it being a resource hog like the crap Vista that brought good hardware to a crawl. Regardless of your flavor Windows creates a boot loader allowing me to boot Win7 and Win10 at my selection. Ever have multiple system crashes and get presented with a boot menu asking if you want to boot into safe mode or start it normally? The multiple windows boot loader looks similar as well and it works.
    After that boot loader was working I installed Ubuntu and it took over with the Linux boot loader giving me a fancy boot loader allowing me to boot any of my Windows Flavors OR Ubuntu as well! Most Linux distros give this option as well and I have experimented with numerous.
    Do they work? Of course they do because my Acer Aspire One Netbook is dual booting Win10 Pro 64 bit and Ubuntu 18.04.3 and I installed this 2 days ago.

    - - - Updated - - -

    And I might add if you want to dabble with Linux it is better and easier to install Windows first totally including multiple versions of Windows such as 7,8.1, and 10 first and then install Linux. It's easier because Windows doesn't like Linux and messes around with it such as rewrighting the boot loader. After the Windows is in and done to your preference then install the Linux with great results.
      My Computer


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