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I wanted to buy an SSD drive to install windows 8 on it, but I'm really curious. So if I upgrade my Windows 7 to 8, can I in the future buy an SSD drive and copy my installation into it?

this would free my old drive to be formatted to other uses.

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Make sure that the drive letter of the new drive is correct (e.g., C:). If you have already plugged it into the system while Windows is running, it may have gotten mapped to something else, and when you remove the old drive and reboot, it may try to use that alternate letter for the SSD which of course won’t work. – Synetech Oct 26 '12 at 19:31
I don't see how Win8 changes the process, which has already been covered by How do I transfer a Windows 7 installation to a new HDD? and How do you clone a Windows 7 installation? among others. – Karan Oct 26 '12 at 20:14
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Because of the way NTFS partitions work, you would need to ensure that the partition on the old drive is small enough to be replicated onto the SSD.

Then you can use something like Clonezilla or some other drive cloning utility to migrate the data onto the new drive.

As long as nothing else on the machine's hardware changes, you should not have any problems.

Its tricky, and a bit risky if you do not back up your data first, but it's possible.

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Yes, you can, but you need to create an image of the Windows partition first. Once the image is created, you can transfer it to the SSD.

There are several imaging programs to choose from (Acronis True Image, Paragon Migrate OS to SSD 2.0, etc.). I suggest reading the information found here: Can I transfer existing windows install to new SSD?.

IMO, re-installing would be the best option.

Additional Information

How To Migrate Windows 7 to a Solid State Drive (great tutorial migrating to SSD)

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