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Copy to SSD, then erase old hard drive

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Beginner
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I planned to copy everything to my new SSD then use the HDD for misc rarely used items. My SSD was given drive letter F: but windows considers drive C to be where Windows installed. I would like to change F to C, and C to F but I don't see how. I am booting from F now so I would change that drive letter to C if I could. Can I do this drive letter swapping? If not, can I just reformat C? Or do I have to remove the drive, which might allow me to change F to C? 

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Legend
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#1

ktwin, welcome to these user forums.

Unfortunately you cannot just swap drive letters without the possibility of further problems, especially given that you are booting into Windows from the SSD on drive F: but Windows was originally installed on drive C: - there is a strong likelihood that the SSD uses information from drive C: and wouldn't boot without that drive present.

The correct method of doing what you originally wanted to do, to move your Windows OS to the SSD and wipe the original HDD to use for other data, is to either clone the HDD to the SSD or use Backup & Restore to do the same task.

When cloning, the HDD should be removed and replaced by the SSD (so that Windows will still be connected to the same motherboard SATA port & controller).  The HDD should be connected as a second drive or externally via a USB - SATA adapter.  The clone should then be done by booting from the Acronis bootable Rescue Media on either CD or USB stick.

See KB document: 48386: Acronis True Image 2015: Cloning Disks  and KB document: 1540: Difference between Backup and Disk Clone for further information.

It is important that you do not boot with both drives attached after cloning - remove the HDD before trying to boot from the SSD as both drives will have identical drive signatures.  Once you are sure that the SSD is working correctly, then attached the HDD via USB to be able to format it for other use.

It is recommended to make a full disk & partitions backup of the HDD to an external backup drive before attempting to clone the drive.  This will give you protection from any mistakes or problems.

Beginner
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#2

Thanks, I tried something else first and it worked. I added the SSD and ran the clone process from the HDD. Then I changed the boot order to the SSD and unplugged the HDD and rebooted. This assigned the letter C to the SSD. Then I plugged in the HDD and it got a different letter. 

Beginner
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#3

I tried doing what you did here ktwin, but in my case, the PCIE SSD automatically became C, and when I plugged my SATA HDD back in it no longer shows up anywhere; BIOS, Partition Manager, Device Manager, Samsung Magician, or Windows Explorer. Could someone please help me? I've tried unplugging and replugging the SATA tape plug in different ways but no dice. Could I have ruined the hard drive by forgetting to unplug the battery once or twice?

Legend
Posts: 99
Comments: 21411

#4

Michael, welcome to these public User Forums.

Please check your PC / motherboard documentation as there are some systems where plugging in a PCIe SSD automatically disables the SATA port giving the symptoms you describe.