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I have an Alienware M17X R3 running Windows 7 off a HDD. I just ordered an SSD, which I plan to make the primary boot disk.

My question is: can I install Windows 7 on this SSD, set it as the primary boot disk in the BIOS and leave the HDD in there, untouched, with all its boot and user files? I can then use the HDD for additional storage space when booting off the SSD, but I can also boot up from the HDD if the SSD malfunctions for whatever reason. At least, that's the plan in my head.

Has anyone ever tried this before? Is it doable, or is there an issue with my plan that I'm not thinking of? I'm asking before I screw everything up.

Thanks in advance.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Sure, there's no reason this shouldn't work as long as the system exposes the option to choose the boot order of the devices. As long as each drive has a proper bootloader on it, this shouldn't behave any differently than trying to run them by themselves.

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This is what I wanted to hear. Thanks! – StoneRanger Dec 4 '12 at 21:33
For best results I recommend you disconnect the HDD while installing Windows (so that the boot loader etc. for the new install all end up on the SSD), then reconnect it later. – Karan Dec 5 '12 at 1:36
@karan - That's always a good precaution, yes. – Shinrai Dec 5 '12 at 4:15

yes that should work fine! Both drives would then show up and you could access them both no matter which one you boot to!

I would recommend using the HDD for as much of the storage as possible and use the SDD to run windows so that way the SDD doesnt get cluttered and its speed is optimized as much as possible.

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Thanks for your answer! – StoneRanger Dec 4 '12 at 21:33

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