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2,678 Tutorials

How to install Windows on an SSD

Creating a fresh Windows 7 install

QUESTION My PC dual-boots Windows XP Professional and Windows 7 on two one-terabyte internal hard drives. The XP drive contains many programs that I use frequently, but it often reports problems with applications not responding properly. To overcome this, I bought a 128GB solid-state disk (SSD) on which I'd like to install XP Professional and a few selected programs. The new solid-state drive has a drive letter and is ready for use, but I'm not sure how to set about it. Ian Robinson

HELPROOM ANSWER It's not a good idea to use the SSD to host Windows XP, Ian. This older operating system doesn't support the SSD's 'Trim' command, which is used to free up space and ensure best performance. Trim is supported by Windows 7, however. We recommend instead installing this operating system on to your SSD.

Back up your files and folders to an external hard drive, then create a fresh installation of Windows 7 on the SSD. Alternatively, if the size of the operating system and programs does not exceed the capacity of your SSD, you can make a drive image using third-party software. This is a single file that contains a copy of your entire drive. It keeps all your files, folders, programs and settings just as you like them.

Providing there is enough space on the XP drive, you can create a Windows 7 image on it and use this to transfer the image on to the SSD. We recommend using free imaging software such as Clonezilla or Comodo Backup.

Before you carry out these steps, run disk checks on both hard drives to check that the problems you're encountering aren't caused by errors. Go to Computer, right-click a drive, then choose Properties, Tools, Error-checking. Click Check now, Start, 'Schedule disk check' and reboot.

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