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millergd
Posts: 8
Member Since: ‎10-09-2009
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Adding an SSD as a boot drive -- how to install Windows Vista/boot-up

To speed up my new e9105z, I purchased a new Intel 80GB X-25M to reduce hard drive latency and supplement the 640GB HDD that came with my computer.

 

Drive was successfully installed, recognized by the PC, and formatted with the Windows Vista Disk Manager tool.  When I use the BIOS tool to set the Intel SSD as my boot disk, it tells me that some boot file is missing, and I have to revert back to the HDD as the boot disk.

 

Bottom line:  How do I install Windows Vista onto the SSD and configure it for bootup?  Will I lose the data on my conventional HDD in the process?

 

Thanks,

millergd 

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sclui56
Posts: 273
Member Since: ‎10-06-2009
Message 2 of 19 (6,332 Views)

Re: Adding an SSD as a boot drive -- how to install Windows Vista/boot-up

Do you have a set of Vista discs for installation? Not sure if the HP Recovery CD/DVD's would work but it is worth a try as you need to install the O/S onto the SSD somehow.

 

You cannot set the SSD as a boot device without the O/S installed first.

Top Student
millergd
Posts: 8
Member Since: ‎10-09-2009
Message 3 of 19 (6,337 Views)

Re: Adding an SSD as a boot drive -- how to install Windows Vista/boot-up

Thanks for the pointers.

 

I don't have a set of the Vista installation CD's, but I did find this:

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00707939&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us〈=en&os=2100&product...

 

and this about the system restore:

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00814731&cc=us&lc=en&dlc=en&product=4003065 

 

I'll try making a restore set once I get a set of CD-R's.  That will lead me to my next question about whether my standard HDD has to be disconnected for Vista to be installed onto the SSD.    My PC is new enough that if I blitz everything on the HDD, I won't be crying.

 

Thanks,

millergd 

Grad Student
sclui56
Posts: 273
Member Since: ‎10-06-2009
Message 4 of 19 (6,334 Views)

Re: Adding an SSD as a boot drive -- how to install Windows Vista/boot-up

On newer system you should not have to disconnect the original HDD but just to play safe, you might want to do so in order to keep it simple. It is not much work to discconect the SATA cable from the HDD & reconnect when the installation to the SSD is completed. Good luck.

Teacher
GaryJ51
Posts: 285
Member Since: ‎09-14-2009
Message 5 of 19 (6,322 Views)

Re: Adding an SSD as a boot drive -- how to install Windows Vista/boot-up


millergd wrote:

To speed up my new e9105z, I purchased a new Intel 80GB X-25M to reduce hard drive latency and supplement the 640GB HDD that came with my computer.

 

Drive was successfully installed, recognized by the PC, and formatted with the Windows Vista Disk Manager tool.  When I use the BIOS tool to set the Intel SSD as my boot disk, it tells me that some boot file is missing, and I have to revert back to the HDD as the boot disk.

 

Bottom line:  How do I install Windows Vista onto the SSD and configure it for bootup?  Will I lose the data on my conventional HDD in the process?

 

Thanks,

millergd 


 

You won't lose data, but you will have to reinstall or migrate your applications after installing the OS.

 

If you still have problems, search the web.  I remember reading a while back that some of the SSD's had to be installed on drive controllers set to AHCI mode.  I don't know if that is still the case.

Top Student
millergd
Posts: 8
Member Since: ‎10-09-2009
Message 6 of 19 (6,299 Views)

Re: Adding an SSD as a boot drive -- how to install Windows Vista/boot-up

Here's where I am/steps taken.  HP sure makes this process difficult to accomplish: 

(1) Used the CD Creator to make a backup.  (Note that CD-R's do not work with the e9105z software.  Only DVD-R's do.)  (I tried the HDD's system recovery image.  It simply reinstalled itself back onto the HDD.)

 

(2) Installed Vista onto the SSD via the backup DVD set.  System boots up beautifully with SSD.  Hurray! I was about ready to declare mission accomplished, then...

 

(3) Reconnected my HDD SATA cable, it defaulted back to being the bootup disk. 

 

(4) I used Disk Manager to reformat the HDD to erase its boot sector.  It still defaults to the HDD, which no longer has Vista on it.  Now I have to manually go into BIOS and choose the Intel SSD as the boot drive every time I power up.

 

Any idea on what needs to be done to configure the BIOS to permanently set the SSD as my boot drive?  The system backup image is still on the old hard drive.  Could that be throwing it off???

 

The SSD speed is great, but the 6+ hours spent on Vista reinstall, reinstall, and reinstall throughout this trial and error process has made this a royal PITA to do.  It seems that HP didn't envision anybody adding a second drive that would be bootable. 

 

Thanks,

millergd 

Teacher
GaryJ51
Posts: 285
Member Since: ‎09-14-2009
Message 7 of 19 (6,312 Views)

Re: Adding an SSD as a boot drive -- how to install Windows Vista/boot-up


millergd wrote:

Here's where I am/steps taken.  HP sure makes this process difficult to accomplish: 

(1) Used the CD Creator to make a backup.  (Note that CD-R's do not work with the e9105z software.  Only DVD-R's do.)  (I tried the HDD's system recovery image.  It simply reinstalled itself back onto the HDD.)

 

(2) Installed Vista onto the SSD via the backup DVD set.  System boots up beautifully with SSD.  Hurray! I was about ready to declare mission accomplished, then...

 

(3) Reconnected my HDD SATA cable, it defaulted back to being the bootup disk. 

 

(4) I used Disk Manager to reformat the HDD to erase its boot sector.  It still defaults to the HDD, which no longer has Vista on it.  Now I have to manually go into BIOS and choose the Intel SSD as the boot drive every time I power up.

 

Any idea on what needs to be done to configure the BIOS to permanently set the SSD as my boot drive?  The system backup image is still on the old hard drive.  Could that be throwing it off???

 

The SSD speed is great, but the 6+ hours spent on Vista reinstall, reinstall, and reinstall throughout this trial and error process has made this a royal PITA to do.  It seems that HP didn't envision anybody adding a second drive that would be bootable. 

 

Thanks,

millergd 


You should be able to select the boot drive in the BIOS.  The restore image should NOT be a factor.  If BIOS settings don't work, I'd swap the connectors between the drives.

 

Good Luck

Top Student
millergd
Posts: 8
Member Since: ‎10-09-2009
Message 8 of 19 (6,296 Views)

Re: Adding an SSD as a boot drive -- how to install Windows Vista/boot-up

That did it.  On second glance I realized there are numerous BIOS pages, one of which allows for setting boot priority.
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GaryJ51
Posts: 285
Member Since: ‎09-14-2009
Message 9 of 19 (6,293 Views)

Re: Adding an SSD as a boot drive -- how to install Windows Vista/boot-up


millergd wrote:
That did it.  On second glance I realized there are numerous BIOS pages, one of which allows for setting boot priority.

 

Outstanding! Way to go.
Top Student
millergd
Posts: 8
Member Since: ‎10-09-2009
Message 10 of 19 (6,279 Views)

Re: Adding an SSD as a boot drive -- how to install Windows Vista/boot-up

For posterity's sake, here is how the process should be done (bound to be made irrelevant by Windows 7 in a few weeks, but what the heck)

 

(1) Make a set of backup DVD-R's using the HP Backup CD Creator tool kit

 

(2) Open your computer, install SSD (most SSD kits require a 2.5" to 3.5" bracket and SATA cable set, which can be had for $5 to $25), and disconnect the conventional HDD SATA cable.

 

(3) Boot up with Recovery DVD #1 loaded, press F11.  Recovery tool will format & install Windows Vista onto the new SSD,

 

(4) Restart, hit Escape, reconfigure the BIOS so the SSD is the boot-up drive.  Power down.

 

(5) Reconnect HDD cable.  Power back up.

 

(6) Reconfigure Windows Vista to your liking and voila. 

 

Having done all this, running the main OS off an SSD opens a whole can of worms regarding Vista tweaking.  Most users will want their User Profiles and related downloadables (links, internet cache, downloaded files) on the HDD rather than the smaller SSD's.  Retargeting the user profile folder is less than elegant in Vista.  Let's hope the Windows 7 instructions are far simpler:

http://joshmouch.wordpress.com/2007/04/07/change-user-profile-folder-location-in-vista/ 

 

 

After all is said & done, this whole process was interesting for me, as it was the first time I'd reformatted a drive since the MS-DOS days.  Good ole "format C: /s" doesn't exist any more, but it's nice that IDE master/slave jumpers have gone the way of the dodo bird.  The SSD shows a noticable improvement in Windows Vista bootup times, and Microsoft Outlook, Chrome, and IE8 run blazingly fast off the SSD.

† The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation