Fresh OS Install on new NVME M.2 - Procedure for Previous OS SSD?

babelmh13

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Messages
193
Alright, so I purchased a Samsung 980 Pro 1tb M.2 NVME SSD for my existing system, and want to make it the drive for my OS because my current SSD is almost 10 years old. I currently have an M4 Crucial 256gb SSD with windows 10 installed, and two Seagate HDDs for file storage and programs that aren't speed critical.

What I want to do is clean install windows on the new NVME drive, and use the old SSD as a third file storage drive. I DO NOT want to clone the old SSD over to the new NVME, so as to eliminate any junk/temporary files, corruptions, and anything else that may be hanging around.

I want to make sure I have the process right for this, as I've only ever clean installed windows over the same drive.

1. Physically install the NVME drive onto the MOBO (while disconnected from power)
2. Turn on pc, and enable PCIE mode for the M.2 slot
3. Boot windows and confirm that the drive is recognized in Disk Management

After this, I am unclear how to proceed.

-Ordinarily if installing a clean copy over an existing drive, I could create a usb boot drive and install; Overwriting the existing drive and Windows will automatically re-activate. However, since I want to clean install on the NVME, how would I do that without purchasing a second copy of windows? If I copy down the activation product key on my current drive, will using that work?

-Assuming that the product key currently activated on my existing SSD would work, that would mean I need to have my current SSD disconnected in order to clean install on the NVME. Fine, but then how do I wipe and reformat the old SSD to then use for a third file storage drive I don't think booting up would go well with 2 drives installed that both have windows on them, and using the same product key.. Sounds like a huge PITA waiting to unfold... I suppose I could plug it in to an old laptop, and wipe it there? IDK if I could wipe it prior to installing the NVME from disk management or not.

-The other thing that's got me going in circles in my head is the drive names. The drive that the OS is installed on must be named as (C) drive I'm pretty sure. Maybe I'm wrong, but I will want my NVME to be named (C). If I install the NVME now, and boot windows on my current SSD as Step 3 above says, the drive will automatically pick up the next letter available which is probably H or something. I know that these can be renamed, but I've never tried to do so for the C drive.... If I check and the NVME is assigned to H (let's assume that for now) I would think when I shut down my PC, disconnect my old SSD and install windows on the NVME, it will rename the drive as "Windows (C)". But then when I re-boot, plugging in my old SSD to wipe it, both drives will be recognized as "Windows (C)" which I imagine being problematic..

-These three above concerns make me think I may need to clean install windows on the NVME drive WHILE the old SSD is installed, and maybe through some software I can do that while simultaneously erasing the old SSD but I just don't know. From my researching it sounds like the only time you would leave the old connected while putting windows on the new SSD would be if cloning, which I don't want to do.

So that's the situation I find myself in currently, just going around in circles in my head so I don't run into these problems in the middle of the process and not being able to get into windows to work it out which I've experienced plenty of times before. Seems like plenty of people would be looking to do this same thing, but I'm struggling to find reliable information in other forum posts.

Let me know what you guys think, or if you have gone through this process yourself. Thank you
 

Zepher

[H]ipster Replacement
Joined
Sep 29, 2001
Messages
19,770
disconnect all the other drives as well, so only the NVME drive is the active drive in the machine.

Windows 10 will auto activate so you don't have to do anything, don't even need to put a key in during setup, just select I don't have a key and proceed to install.

C drive will always be the drive/partition that was booted, every other drive will be a different letter.

In the BIOS, just make sure the NVME drive is selected as First Boot Drive when you plug in your old drives.
 

Format _C:

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 12, 2001
Messages
3,755
disconnect all the other drives as well

Yep this been there done That!
They don't have to be physically disconnected just disabled in the BIOS/UEFI so the windows installer can't detect them as it will plop it's boot loader on any drive and not the installation one why? damn Microsoft! LoL!
 

babelmh13

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Messages
193
disconnect all the other drives as well, so only the NVME drive is the active drive in the machine.

Windows 10 will auto activate so you don't have to do anything, don't even need to put a key in during setup, just select I don't have a key and proceed to install.

C drive will always be the drive/partition that was booted, every other drive will be a different letter.

In the BIOS, just make sure the NVME drive is selected as First Boot Drive when you plug in your old drives.

So Ill make a boot usb, and install windows on the new nvme with all other drives disconnected.

At what point should Ibe wiping my old SSD? And when all complete, how do I activate windows? With old key?
 

pendragon1

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 7, 2000
Messages
41,984
So Ill make a boot usb, and install windows on the new nvme with all other drives disconnected.

At what point should Ibe wiping my old SSD? And when all complete, how do I activate windows? With old key?
yup
after setup is complete, reconnect the old os drive, make sure its not listed as a boot device in bios and then repartition/format it. then reconnect the other two. windows should reactivate itself as the key is tied to the board.
edited speeling
 
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