Upgrading my HDD and OS, proper steps to take?

Hi everyone, first-time poster here. I didn’t know where else to turn to.
I want to upgrade my current OS from Win7 32-bit to Win7 64-bit. Since it has to be a clean install, I decided to buy a new HDD and upgrade my storage as well.
I would like to know what steps to take in installing Win7 64-bit on the new HDD while still running the other HDD so I can transfer my personal data.
I have already resigned myself to reinstalling all my software, but if there is any way I could also salvage the programs, I’d love to hear it.
I’m installing the 64-bit OS mainly for games, and I am not keeping my old HDD once all my data is off of it.
3 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about upgrading hdd proper steps
  1. install the 64bit os then you can go into my computer see your old hdd then go from there
  2. Best answer
    When doing a clean install, always pull any unneeded drives off the system. It's easy to accidentally format the wrong drive when you're stepping through the process. The time involved in simply unplugging a drive and doing a shutdown, replug in the drive, and reboot is worth it to know you won't accidentally lose your data.

    When you do plug in the old hard drive:
    1) Make sure it's no longer the default boot drive. If you have a simple BIOS, sometimes simply taking that drive off port 0 is enough. But it doesn't hurt to go in to bios and manually check this.

    2) Some bios's will auto switch to boot off a drive that's just been plug in since the last boot. Asus seems to love doing this and it driven me batty with some builds. So again, after getting your hardware plugged in to the appropriate ports, double check your bios default boot and adjust as needed.

    Once you've gotten the system up and running with the hardware configured how you like, you can do as ac13044 said and view your old drive in "My Computer" and transfer the files where you like.

    As for salvaging the programs. Nope you're pretty much out of luck on that one. You can possibly save and export settings for the programs before doing the reinstall, so you minimize the pain in resetting everything up. Most games will have some system for backing up your saves, and Steam has a whole procedure on how to back up your library without having to re-download the games. But beyond that just make life easy and reinstall the programs properly.
  3. I recently went through this in going from Windows 8 32 bit to Windows 8.1 64 bit. Before doing anything, I created a disk image of the 32 bit drive and stored it elsewhere for safety. When I did the install of 64 bit, I was given the option to save my files (documents, photos, downloads, etc.) I did this and it created a "windows.old" directory where all of the old files were. Of course the files have to be in the right place and not in some random directory you created or on the desktop.

    I am not sure if Windows 7 has the same option with regards to saving existing files, so make sure you have them backed up somewhere safe.

    Edit: I did have to re-install all of my programs. And I had saved (exported to a flash drive) all of my Chrome bookmarks beforehand, and then imported them afterwords.
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