Outlier007
1 Nickel

If I had to replace an SSD, would I have to re-install all the programs on the HDD?

On a brand new computer, I'm deciding whether to get an SSD to install Windows and frequently used programs there.  I have a lot of programs so some would be installed on the SSD and some on the HDD.  If the SSD ever fails and I have to replace it, I understand I'd have to re-install all the programs (including Windows) that was on that SSD.  But would I have to re-install all the programs on the HDD as well?  These programs on the HDD would have been installed while Windows was on the SSD.  So if Windows is re-installed on a new SSD, would I have to re-install all the programs on the HDD as well?   

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18 Replies
fireberd
6 Indium

Re: If I had to replace an SSD, would I have to re-install all the programs on the HDD?

If you have the SSD backed up (full disc image) to some other media (drive) and the SSD fails, you restore the backed up disc image to the new SSD.  With this method everything remains the same and what is on the hard drive is still connected.  But, if the SSD died and you had to reinstall from scratch then the programs on the hard drive would have to be reinstalled too.  You user data on the hard drive should be OK.

Bottom line, you should be making periodic full drive disc image backups anyway, for "when" the drive fails not for "if it ever fails".  The backups to a separate drive (or 2 drives) help to simplify recovery.  I have two USB connected drives that I use for backup, using the free Macrium Reflect software.  I make a full disc backup to one drive and then the next backup I make to the other drive.  This is a "in case" option. If one of the backup drives were to fail or get corrupted I still have the copy on the other drive.  

 

 



I am not a Dell Employee

Dell forum member since 2002

Dell Inspiron 15 - 5577 Laptop

Home Built Desktop PC with ASUS ROG Z170, i7 6700K CPU

Windows 10 64 bit Pro and Windows 10 Insider Program Beta Versions. SSD drives. Cakewalk by BandLab and Studio One 4.1 Recordng Studio Software.

Dell S2719dgf Monitor

Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E.

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Outlier007
1 Nickel

Re: If I had to replace an SSD, would I have to re-install all the programs on the HDD?

Thanks.  The only thing holding me back from using an SSD is that I've read that it has a limited lifetime based on the number of writes made to it.  That's why I'm thinking of the worst case scenarios.  There are all kinds of tips to consider to decrease the number of writes made to the SSD.  So right now I'm trying to decide if it's worth worrying about all that.  My HDD's have served me well for many years and I've never had a catastrophic data failure before with them (I have an HDD still working fine after 10 years).  Do you think an SSD will fail sooner or later than an HDD (assuming they're both the same age)? 

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Philip_Yip
5 Iridium

Re: If I had to replace an SSD, would I have to re-install all the programs on the HDD?

For normal use the SSD should be fine. I've had my Crucial M500 SSD in my XPS 8300 running quite happily for maybe about 3 years now... It has outlasted some of the 1 TB HDDs. 

Of course irregardless it is recommended to create regular backups onto an external hard drive. I like using Macurium Reflect for this:

http://dellwindowsreinstallationguide.com/backing-up-your-windows-installation-using-macrium-reflect...

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads


#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
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fireberd
6 Indium

Re: If I had to replace an SSD, would I have to re-install all the programs on the HDD?

Early SSD's were prone to failure.  Technology has improved in later SSD's.  I use SSD's in both my home built desktop (that I also use for my recording studio) and my Dell laptop.  



I am not a Dell Employee

Dell forum member since 2002

Dell Inspiron 15 - 5577 Laptop

Home Built Desktop PC with ASUS ROG Z170, i7 6700K CPU

Windows 10 64 bit Pro and Windows 10 Insider Program Beta Versions. SSD drives. Cakewalk by BandLab and Studio One 4.1 Recordng Studio Software.

Dell S2719dgf Monitor

Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E.

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Outlier007
1 Nickel

Re: If I had to replace an SSD, would I have to re-install all the programs on the HDD?

If the SSD died and I had to reinstall the operating system from scratch, then now I understand that the programs on the hard drive would have to be reinstalled too.  Would I be able to uninstall those programs if the operating system was reinstalled from scratch to the new SSD?  If not, then how would I uninstall those programs left hanging in the HDD?

Say I installed a program to the HDD but AFTER an SSD backup was made.  Then the SSD dies and I restore a disk image to a new SSD.  Would that program still work (since it was installed AFTER a backup was made)?

By the way, does that Macrium Reflect backup your drive automatically or do you have to pay for that version?

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Philip_Yip
5 Iridium

Re: If I had to replace an SSD, would I have to re-install all the programs on the HDD?

The Free version allows you to only make a Full Backup of your OS Boot Drive (and of any additional drives). The paid version will allow you to automatically make incremental backups...

So say your OS Boot Drive is C: and is a SSD and you have some programs installed on your HDD say 😧 You can use Macurim Reflect to make a Backup of C: and another backup of D:. If C: fails and you replace it with a new SSD and you have say for instance some separate programs such as games installed on 😧 then once you use Macurium Reflect to restore your image of C:\ all the registry entries referring to D:\ etc. will still be in place and as D:\ is unchanged will continue to work.

If however you are using Macurium Reflect to make an image of your original HDD and then restoring this onto your SSD then there is no need to have any of your program files etc on the HDD as they will all be in the Macurium Reflect Image and present on your new C:\ Drive. You are best to make an image of the HDD then remove the HDD, then place the SSD in your system and then restore the image and make sure you are happy with it. Then remove the SSD and replace the HDD and use something like Diskpart → Clean All to zero the drive. Then reinstall the SSD and then finally, initialise the HDD using Disk Management.

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads


#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
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Outlier007
1 Nickel

Re: If I had to replace an SSD, would I have to re-install all the programs on the HDD?

I like the idea of having an SSD to make some programs quicker but it sounds like there's a lot of footwork involved if there is an SSD failure.  Assuming I just have 1 computer, if my SSD fails (and the operating system was on it), then how would I get the backed up Macrium Reflect image transferred to a new SSD?  Would I have to do this through another computer that has an operating system?  Or would I be making the Macrium Reflect backups to another SSD so that it is handy and ready to go if the first SSD fails? 

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Philip_Yip
5 Iridium

Re: If I had to replace an SSD, would I have to re-install all the programs on the HDD?

You first make images of all your drives onto an external HDD then a bootable USB which you can boot to, to restore the image.

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads


#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
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Highlighted
Outlier007
1 Nickel

Re: If I had to replace an SSD, would I have to re-install all the programs on the HDD?

Would this idea work:  As soon as I receive my computer and boot from the SSD for the very first time (without any of my programs installed), then use Macrium Reflect to make a disk image of that SSD (or should it be a disk clone?) to an external HDD.  This will be the only backup that I make and I will consider it a "factory restore" image.  I then install programs, some to the SSD and some to the HDD.  Then in the future, maybe something goes wrong like the SSD fails.  I then take my single backup image/clone to restore Windows to a new SSD.  I will probably have to re-install programs back on the SSD, but do I have to re-install programs back on the HDD?  

With my backup of Windows in the new SSD, will I be able to uninstall programs that I had originally installed in the HDD (with the previous SSD)?

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