Replacing C-drive with an SSD

So, I currently have a 2 TB HDD where I have my windows on, I also download everything to this HDD which makes it a huge, huge mess. Besides this, the HDD is probably around 10 years old and I would like to oust it from my computer.

I currently also have a 500 GB SSD where I keep my games on (around 350 GB at any time).
Besides those two I have a longer term 4 TB storage HDD and a 2 TB HDD that is currently not being used. (yes I have 4 drives in my computer)

Would it be feasable to transfer my windows to my SSD and set windows to download to my 2 TB unused HDD instead of the SSD? Is my SSD large enough to do this or would I need to get a separate SSD for windows? If I would do a fresh install of windows would I lose all of the data on the other HDD’s that are in my computer?

Thanks for your expertise guys!

Yep, I have my windows on a small SSD (128gb iirc) and just set steam to default to a different drive for all downloads, you can install whatever else on a different hdd/ssd, move your download folder on chrome etc. You’ll be fine with 500gb, and you can probably keep certain favourite games on the SSD for faster load times.

"""If I would do a fresh install of windows would I lose all of the data on the other HDD’s that are in my computer?"""

You would just loose the data on the instalation hard disk for windows - it s ussually formated.
Other HDDs - programs which had been connected with Windows will have to be connected again with the new installed windows, but will be not lost. To connect the programs with new Windows can be problematic or at least challenging and not succesfull - will need reinstall.

If you are not short of money buy a 128gb or 256gb SSD. It s said the bigger the SSD the quicker it can read from some reason, so bigger would be better.

How went time, so I collected yet 4x SSD. 2x128, 1x256 and 1x 512Gb.

Your Windows loading time will jump on ± 30 seconds thx to the SSD.

My Windows 8.1 eats about 1/2 of the 128Gb SSD.

I run Win on one SSD and games on the other SSDs. If I record I do rec on HDD.

If you want install the Win on the SSD it probably will format it - and yes - it will erase the SSD (on the other hand you can try to copy it over night on the other HDDs and after Win installation copy it back.

It s not problem to connect steam games with new steam installation - just install it in the same folder where the game is located currently - it will check it for former installations and will not download it again.

So Churizo, to offer a little more of a guide to doing this properly.

If you can afford to burn some data on a new or existing SSD:

  1. Do a clean install of windows on the SSD (keep all your other drives as they are).
  2. Install all your other disks into the system.
  3. Migrate and symlink all important folders where you want them (for example, I have my Documents and Downloads all on a secondary HDD via SymLink. Windows doesn’t tell the difference).
    So for example, if you have your old documents on the HDD, you can copy them over to the new SSD, or symlink Windows to them(I can tell you how to do this, or there are a ton of guides to do it).
  4. Delete anything of non importance on those old HDDs (like the old Windows directory).

If you can’t afford to burn data on your SSD:

  1. (optional) Copy over your entire SSD to a hard drive of choice.
  2. Mirror Image Copy the Windows OS to the SSD (tools for this exist, perhaps even your SSD manufacturer has it).
  3. Go to Step 3 above.

The best solution is to ensure you have your SSD as a clean slate, as this avoids a lot of the issues. No, windows install will not wipe your old drives unless you tell it to.

You can easily set Steam to download wherever via some guides, so that ain’t an issue, and you can manually point the biggest folders in a Windows OS to the correct places (usually Documents, Downloads, Pictures and Videos are the biggest ones).

I use this mate EaseUS Todo Backup - EaseUS Data Backup Software for Windows PC/Server/Mac

Gives you the option to transfer from HDD to SSD and optimise for SSD. Very easy to use and has worked great for me for years.

It is also free.

Dachi’s linked an example of a great tool for this, be aware that Windows migrated to an SSD will still have some registry settings not set and will have a different MBR build from one installed on SSD directly. Some settings like AHCI also can’t be set in Windows and have to be changed in BIOS.

This will likely result in slightly lower read and write performance overall, so don’t be surprised if your SSD isn’t getting the speeds you expect.

Thanks for all the help guys!! I’ll be trying again this weekend!