Installing Windows 7 on an SSD

Posted on Thursday, February 4th, 2010

(For the 3rd time)

AND preserving all of my existing data

My computer has had an elusive problem since it was first built nearly 2 years ago.  After 6 months of running, it started infrequently blue screening, would not start until after 2-3 tries, and random, strange program crashes.

I replaced the power supply. (No luck).

I always suspected the OZC solid state drive, so I replaced that and the memory (upgraded to 8 gig).  And in the process reinstalled Windows 7 Ultimate, keeping all of my critical data on the other 1T drive, and just “pointed” all the programs to it.

Now, after nearly a year, the same sort of problems are manifesting again.  So, I’ve got a new motherboard (after this, the only thing left is the processor!).  And, in order to do this properly, I will be installing Windows 7. With my user profile and program data on another drive.  Again.

The thing is, I’ve forgotten all the little things that go into it, so this time I’m documenting this completely.

Here’s what I need to do:

1) Install Windows, with the user profile data on my D drive.  To do that, I’m going to follow the instructions in the PDF in this post:  http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/124198-user-profiles-create-move-during-windows-7-installation.html

2) Install Firefox.  Easy.  Nothing special.

3) Install Thunderbird.  In order to do this, I need to open the files on the D drive.  To do THAT, I will simply make sure I copy over the profiles.ini and profiles folder from the AppData/Roaming/Thunderbird folder.  I MAY need to edit the profiles.ini folder.  I’ll edit this if so.

Next, since this is my environment for developing web apps, I need to a WAMP setup going:

1) Apache.  For this, as well as PHP and MySQL, I’ll be following the steps in this write-up: http://webdevcodex.com/tutorial-installing-apache2-php5-mysql5-phpmyadmin3-windows-7-vista/ .  Yes, I am aware of xampp, and for beginners it’s great.  However, it does a few things that I don’t want, and besides – I’ve done this enough times now, though, that it’s nothing new, and should take only 30-60 minutes.

2) PHP (see Apache above).

3) MySQL (see Apache above).  This one will require I point MySQL at the data files I want – which is simply a matter of finding the my.ini file inside the mysql installation directory.  In my.ini, find the line referencing datadir, and modify it to match the location of the data files.  It seems as though doing this gave me a strange set of issues last time, so when/if I figure that out, I will post those comments here.

4) Adobe Photoshop CS5.  Nothing challenging here.

5) Eclipse.  It’s awesome.  Simple to install, just a matter of grabbing a few modules for php, etc.

6) EditPad Pro.  For “get in and get out quick” edits, I still love EditPad Pro, so I just have to find my license and install that.

7) Last time I installed and moved iTunes, but since then I’ve completely moved everything iTunes to my Macbook, so I won’t be doing that this time.

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