Partition Hard Drive for Windows 64-bit Install

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Old 05-24-18, 12:40 PM
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Partition Hard Drive for Windows 64-bit Install

I have a relatively new 1TB hard drive in my PC and am running 32-bit Windows 7 Professional. My processor/MB is capable of supporting a 64-bit OS and 16GB of RAM, so I'd like to upgrade to a 64-bit copy of Windows (I will eventually upgrade to Windows 10, but do not want to do so at this time). My 1TB hard drive is only about 20% full and was wondering if I could create a new partition on this drive to install the 64-bit OS, while preserving the existing data on the my current partition. Is this doable? Will I be able to access my old data from my 32-bit install on the other partition when running 64-bit windows? Any downsides to doing it this way?
 
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Old 05-24-18, 02:39 PM
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Yes, that is workable.
Windows allows you to take one physical hard drive (bios drive o) and turn it into multiple logical drives such as C: drive, D: drive and often an E: drive with factory restore information.

You'll end up with a dual boot system, when you start the computer, you'll chose whether to start 32 Bit OS from C: drive or 64 bit OS from D:


First, you need to make a system boot/restore backup, then backup important files to DVD/cloud.
Second, run disc error check, then disc cleanup to , then disc optimize/defrag to pack the files into one compact area.
Third, write down you windows authorization key.
Fourth, check that the backs from first step actually work / load

Finally, follow the steps at
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/.../gg309170.aspx
to change the sizes of the partition(s) on the drive without loosing your data.
 

Last edited by Hal_S; 05-24-18 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 05-24-18, 02:39 PM
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The partitioning is part of the format process and will wipe the drive clean. Save any data you want to keep on another drive before doing the format and partitioning.
 
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Old 05-24-18, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Wirepuller38 View Post
The partitioning is part of the format process and will wipe the drive clean. Save any data you want to keep on another drive before doing the format and partitioning.
While it's true that you can lose data when partitioning, if it's done properly with the right software, you shouldn't lose your data. There are several free partitioning programs that will allow you to "shrink" the existing C: partition to make room to add an additional partition to hold the new operating system.

This said, it's always good practice to backup your important data before doing any partitioning work, just in case something goes wrong.
 
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Old 05-24-18, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob14525
There are several free partitioning programs that will allow you to "shrink" the existing C: partition to make room to add an additional partition to hold the new operating system.
You know, now that hybrid SSD drives are under $50 for 500 GB, it's probably easier to just add another hard drive into the computer and install Win 7 64 bit on that.

Are you upgrading with a NEW Win7 64 bit install program?
Or are you trying to do this as an upgrade?
 
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Old 05-25-18, 09:00 AM
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While it's true that you can lose data when partitioning, if it's done properly with the right software, you shouldn't lose your data. There are several free partitioning programs that will allow you to "shrink" the existing C: partition to make room to add an additional partition to hold the new operating system.
I believe Win7 has a "shrink" option, which as I understand it is what should be done before creating the new partition. Regardless, I would back up my important data first.

You know, now that hybrid SSD drives are under $50 for 500 GB, it's probably easier to just add another hard drive into the computer and install Win 7 64 bit on that.
I wasn't aware the prices have dropped that low. I would rather do that I think. I already have two hard drives in my PC though. Looks like I can fit a third. The other two are using SATA.

Are you upgrading with a NEW Win7 64 bit install program?
Or are you trying to do this as an upgrade?
I will be purchasing and installing a new Win7 64 bit disc.

My main goals are to have a 64-bit OS and max out my RAM while still being able to access the data on my other two hard drives. I can't think of why I would need to revert to 32-bit Windows since Win7 has a compatibility mode, correct? FYI, I have a Gigabyte GA-H97-D3H MB with Intel Celeron G3420. I believe the MB has SATA Express with two SATA 3.0 connections and two SATA 2.0 (I think). I thought of updating my processor as well, but at that point I might as well just buy a new PC.

Looks like my MB has an M.2 connector, which provides PCI express connectivity for SSDs. Should I connect my new SSD to this connector and leave the other two on the SATA II bus?
 

Last edited by mossman; 05-25-18 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 05-25-18, 09:29 AM
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Is this one any good? No clue what A55 and M55 mean: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16820301376

Or...
https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-850-E...0-fe2d5f020320

Same one, but fulfilled by Amazon for $50 more. Hmm: https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-850-E...+850+EVO&psc=1

Or...
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LYFKX41...ing=UTF8&psc=1

Not sure my MB will support the EVO 960 though. It's NVMe.

MB Specs: https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard...-D3H-rev-10#sp
 

Last edited by mossman; 05-25-18 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 05-25-18, 01:34 PM
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Any of the SSD's you linked should work. Generally speaking, the 2.5" cased SSD's are cheaper than the M.2 versions. The M.2 units are great for laptops where internal hard drive bays are limited in number. If you have the room to mount a 2.5" drive, you might want to consider getting the 2.5" version as it's almost always cheaper. The difference between the A55 and M55 is the memory architecture. The A55 sizes are multiples of 128GB, while the M55 are multiples of 120GB. Other than that, I think they're essentially the same.
 
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Old 05-25-18, 01:56 PM
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Any of the SSD's you linked should work. Generally speaking, the 2.5" cased SSD's are cheaper than the M.2 versions. The M.2 units are great for laptops where internal hard drive bays are limited in number. If you have the room to mount a 2.5" drive, you might want to consider getting the 2.5" version as it's almost always cheaper. The difference between the A55 and M55 is the memory architecture. The A55 sizes are multiples of 128GB, while the M55 are multiples of 120GB. Other than that, I think they're essentially the same.
Are you sure the Samsung 906 will work? It uses the NVMe protocol, which I don't believe my motherboard will support, for a bootable drive at least. The M.2 socket will give me up to 10GB/s apparently, whereas the SATA will only give me up to 6BG/s. I guess maybe I won't really be able to tell the difference with my existing PC since it's only a mediocre machine?

Difference in cost between the cased SATA version and M.2 verision of the Samsung 850 is only $10.
 
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Old 05-25-18, 02:47 PM
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Here's how I would do it if I weren't going to add another HDD.

It's a bad practice (or at least not a "best practice") to put your primary operating system anywhere other than in the first partition because the first partition that has the highest data read/write speeds and the seek heads have the shortest distance to move from the 'parked' position. So I would recommend against permanently running Win7/x32 on the first partition and Win7/x64 on the second. But there is at least one way to put Win/x64 on the first partition while only using one HDD.

Use a partition manager to create a second partition on your existing HDD that will be at least large enough to hold all the files you want backed up. I customarily use Parted Magic on Hiren's Boot CD, which is Linux-based (and free).

Back up all your existing files to the new partition, double-check to make sure they're all present and accounted for, then install Win7/X64 on the first partition. Copy back your data files from the second partition to their customary location, then use the partition manager a second time to remove the second partition and expand the first partition to its original size.
 
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Old 05-25-18, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by mossman View Post
Are you sure the Samsung 906 will work? It uses the NVMe protocol, which I don't believe my motherboard will support, for a bootable drive at least. The M.2 socket will give me up to 10GB/s apparently, whereas the SATA will only give me up to 6BG/s. I guess maybe I won't really be able to tell the difference with my existing PC since it's only a mediocre machine?
This question was asked on Tom's Hardware, and the answer was that it should work. That said, it would probably still be best to avoid the 960 in that motherboard.
gigabyte h97 gaming 3 nvme support? - [Solved] - Motherboards
 
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Old 09-06-18, 04:32 PM
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....BE CERTAIN TO MAKE A BACKUP or TWO and check to make sure they are viable before you proceed. To resize exisitng partitions and retain the data there are several utilities that you can use. Parted magic is my favorite and its free (resizing with data can take some time, so patience may be in order). Before commiting changes be sure to look over everything to be certain its the way you want it, you don't want to interrupt the process once started.). To resize the partition you will need to create a bootable thumbdrive. Its all fairly straight forward and the instructions can be found on the authors website. You can also use DISK MANAGMENT" in Windows 7 and up to resize partitions. I advise leaving 512mb-1gb unpartitoned space between partitions and also 1-4gbs unpartitoned at the end, if you can afford it. Yu may also want to read up on "disk alignment" as well. Many people say to use one huge partition, I tend to think that these are the people who don't know much about computers and advise you to "use the defaults" just to seem knowledgeable or get some ego boost. I especially get peeved by the "why would you want to do that" people. If its what you want to do then don't be put off by these know nothings. There are good reasons to separate large drives into several partitions, such as organization, etc. My main reason is when resinstalling a crashed or new OS you don't have to spend a great deal of time searching for and separating the your personal files. If you install the OS on the first partition and save your personal work files, etc on a separate partition then you are way ahead of the game when it comes to doing what you are interested in doing here. To answer your other question, yes, it is quite easy to install a second operating system and keep the old one and be able to switch between the two simply be rebooting. There are utilities for doing this or if you do some research you can do it without them.

https://www.howtogeek.com/187789/dua...your-computer/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-booting

https://help.ubuntu.com/lts/installa...c/ch03s05.html

https://sourceforge.net/projects/grub2win/

Windows has its own manager but can be tricky to use sometimes. GRUB2 and EasyBCD are some recomendations. If you use only windows you could probably get away with using windows boot manager, built into windows. JUST BE SURE TO BACK UP YOUR CURRENT DRIVE SO YOU DON'T LOSE EVERYTHING AND COPY ALL OF YOUR DATA FILES, pictures, documents, etc. TO A THUMB DRIVE. (Try Clonezilla (creates a backup that when resoted will boot just like it was)...

PS In the future, when you switch to windows 10, if you have a newer PC you can use Hyper-V and run almost any operating system that you want to from within windows without rebooting, etc. There are other utilities youy can use to do this as well (its called virtual computing or a virtual machine)... You'll never be the same after you start using virtual machines.
 

Last edited by Solarsails; 09-06-18 at 04:37 PM. Reason: Additional info.
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