dos and don'ts of reformats win 7 64bit ssd and multiple mech HDs

  Ozcarcat 00:33 03 Nov 2014

After 2 ½ years the time has come for a reformat and I need some advice on a number of miscellaneous issues and confirmation that the planned procedure is OK. I have a windows 7 64bit system with an SSD and three HDs, one for apps, the others for downloads and data storage – docs, music, transferred scanned photos and digital images, media and whatever. I’ve backed up/copied/pruned everything and listed the apps I both want to keep and those I never want to see again! I’ve downloaded the latest drivers for the MB and graphics card and peripherals (in the case of Gigabyte and Canon an unnecessarily time consuming hike around their respective sites. This stuff isn’t rocket science but those two succeed in making life unnecessarily complicated). The excellent Newegg tutorials have been watched and I’m nearly ready to go. Now, 1 Would it me sensible to do a full reformat of the SSD rather than a quick reformat and is it OK to do this during initial process when I’m booting from the Windows 7 dvd? 2 Once the OS is installed and I start loading drivers for the MB, are there any from the downloaded groups that I can ignore ie the RAID drivers from the Gigayte site if I’m not using a raid array? Chipset, Lan, audio, USB and later the graphics I know are must haves but what about the others? The original Gigabyte disc isn’t helpful as none of the names are similar 3 The Gainward Nvidia Geforce manual recommends removing the windows 7 built in basic drivers for graphics which the OS installs but doesn’t explain how to do this. How do you remove these basic drivers, where are they and what are they called? 4 Some programs will install on C no matter what. In the past I’ve tried to use the SSD only for the OS – it’s only 120gb – but some apps don’t give you the chance to go elsewhere. Is there a way around this? I should mention that the ssd, my C drive, stil has lots of folders in both the program folders even the the related programs are on another HD. I have already formatted one of the other HDs to be the main drive where programs are installed. Should I keep the others, those containing just data, unconnected at this stage?
5 As well as apps/programs being installed eleswhere, I’d also like, permanently, to make the libraries disappear and automatically have music files, image files, docs etc sent to their designated folders on the relevant data drive. Is there a way to do this? 6 Can I let windows take care of drive lettering or do I need to make sure that this is locked down before tackling the procedures mentioned in 4 and above? 7 Finally I would like to make an image back up when I’ve finished. I’ve never done this before. I can grasp doing it where there’s a single hard drive in place but not in the configuration I propose. Is it possible? Even if there was only one HD involved for OS, programs and data, does a restore effectively overwrite the existing contents of the drive? Any advice, help or indeed alternative suggestions on any of the above issues would be warmly welcomed.

  acejunior 03:06 03 Nov 2014

you're making it sound so complicated :p , but heres the thing just back up everything in the ssd or hdd where you are going to reinstall windows , but before anything else be sure to back up your drivers as well most importantly the network drivers that way you could still connect to the internet. and yes you can reformat your ssd during windows installation , it'll give you an option to either reformat the drive , delte partition etc.

  Ozcarcat 07:31 08 Nov 2014

Why on earth would I back up old drivers when I have downloaded the latest? Acejunior's reply virtually ignores every question raised. Will readers who do have the answers please post them

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