Can I just add a SSD to my build?

Kilobyte Kid

Can I just add a SSD to my build?

Hello this is my first post and a very important question for me. I would like to know how/if I can install a SSD while keeping my hard drive and all files on it. I have a 2.5" space for a SSD and would be able to install it, but everything I saw said you need to backup drives and select something when you reinstall windows and such but I just want to add a SSD. I might be thinking wrong and I don't know to much about computers. I was told SSD's improve boot time and loading times on games apps ect. and thats all I need it to do if possible.


TL;DR: I want to buy a SSD to add to my setup but I want to keep my files on my hard drive and have this to just improve boot times and loading times. Is that possible?


Specs: CPU AMD FX-8300 RAM 16.0GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 803MHz Motherboard ASUSTeK Computer INC. M5A78L-M PLUS/USB3 (AM3R2) Storage 931GB TOSHIBA DT01ACA100 (SATA ) Power supply CybertronPC 500w ATX power supply (not sure if thats to much or whats needed but I think thats all you need to know)

Thanks for any input.

1 Reply

Re: Can I just add a SSD to my build?

You can do it, but you do have to be careful.  You will have two bootable drives in your system which can sometimes cause problems booting.   If you have two bootable drives in your system and decide to remove one, it could possibly keep the system from booting by either changing the boot order, drive designation or missing necessary boot files that might reside on the other drive.


Once you have your new SSD booting, I would suggest deleting the 200MB System partition and the Recovery partition on the old drive.  Also delete all files and folders on the old drive except for the data you want to keep.  If you don't do this it could cause problems.  Plus it gets rid of unnecessary files and frees up space on the drive.


If I were to do it, I would remove your old drive and replace it with your new SSD.  Install Windows on the new SSD.  Once everything is confirmed working, I would suggest connecting your old drive externally and do what I suggest in the previous paragraph.  After this, you can install the old drive internally and it should not interfere with booting.


You could clone your original drive.  If you do I would suggest creating a bootable Acronis USB drive to boot from to initiate the clone.  After the clone, replace the drive with your cloned SSD and do what I suggested earlier once you verify everything is working fine on the cloned SSD.  This is more important with a clone than a clean install.  Make sure to remove the Acronis software as some people have reported issues with it running all the time. 


Personally I favor a clean install, but the choice is yours.  If you need to change any BIOS/UEFI settings, then a clean install is highly recommended or you will need to do a lot of work getting drivers setup for the changes.


No matter how you proceed, I would suggest making sure all of your important data is backed up to another drive.  Verify the data is there and accessible, then set it aside so you don't damage it.  That way if things don't go as planned, at least you know your data is safe & accessible.  I would also suggest having another PC available with internet access so you can do research and get help if necessary.


You should backup your motherboard's  BIOS/UEFI settings so if things don't go well you can reload your current settings so your old drive will be bootable again.  Make sure the SATA controller is set to AHCI mode.  I would suggest configuring the BIOS/UEFI to use UEFI only mode, but this is optional.   All of these changes will keep your old drive from booting.  Make sure to do these changes before installing Windows to the new SSD.