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I got a new SSD disk on which I did a clean installation of windows. At the same time I still have the old HDD installed, and on it there are a lot of programs that I still want to use and run from the same location.

Is there a way to "re-install" the programs without really reinstalling, just let my current Windows know where they are and act as if I had installed them again?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Some programs will work just fine. They will either have no significant dependencies or see that components need registered or default settings are missing and take care of that themselves.

Other programs will fail badly and require reinstallation.

Other programs may appear to work correctly but have subtle bugs or missing/broken functionality that you won't notice until you trip over it.

There's no universal answer.

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Not the "sure, you just do like this bla bla bla"-answer I was hoping for, but more like the sad truth – erikric Jun 15 '11 at 14:46

You can "transport" your old windows partition saving an image of it (with clonezilla for example), resize it to your new SSD drive (using Easeus partition manager for example) and the loading your saved image to the new disk (using the same image manager, clonezilla in this case). This will make you to have your old installed programs to your new drive without needing to reinstall it all.

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If you go this route, you need to make sure that the cloning software will correctly align the partitions on the SSD for optimal performance. – afrazier Jun 14 '11 at 12:51

That isn't possible and you will need to reinstall.

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