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I have 32-bit Windows XP installed on two HDDs in Raid 1. My end goal is to install 64-bit Windows 7 (to increase RAM to 8GB) on a single SSD drive and use the 2 HDDs (maintaining Raid 1) for user files. I would prefer not to format the Raid 1 drives, keeping all the documents contained in 'My Documents'. I'm not sure of the workflow. Every install I've done has been on new hardware.

I'm thinking I would need to disconnect the HDDs, install cleanly on the SSD, and then reconnect HDDs after, but will the MBR on the HDDs cause problems? Should I keep the HDDs connected, or will that force me into a dual-boot setup, which I don't want. Almost every search result I've done has pointed me to dual-boot scenarios. Any thoughts?

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If you are not going to format the HDD's, and you don't want a dual boot, then you will be doing a clean install. In order to not cause problems later, you should remove the HDD's during the installation. This will keep all the Windows 7 files on one drive. Once completed, hook the HDD's back up. You may need to make sure the drive boot order changes in the BIOS. The MBR on the HDD's should not be an issue.

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Didn't even think about just using the BIOS to point to the right drive after connecting. Thanks! That should work fine. – jas Jan 4 '12 at 22:29

If you disconnect them then you may have to rebuild the RAID afterwards which is tricky if you are not familiar with RAID. You could let them connected but give boot priority to new hard disk in BIOS. Install Windows 7 64-bit in new hard disk. Since it is first in order, it should be assigned C as usual. In worst case, it will be assigned another drive letter, but you shouldn't have any issues since Registry will be automatically configured to use the new drive letter and all your new programs will install there by default. It's only annoying to see the Windows drive as something else than C. It has no impact whatsoever in functionality and compatibility apart from some rather old programs which would look for C and wouldn't find any. Besides, those old programs may not even install in 64-bit, so you don't care.

Make sure you first install the Intel chipset driver before the RAID driver to avoid any issues. Chipset driver goes always first and then you install RAID, graphics etc since other drivers could have problems if chipset drivers change.

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