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Should I include Hard Drive in Computer rebuild?

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Two years and eight months ago, I built and overclocked a computer primarily to use for FSX.  At that time, I installed a new WD Caviar Black hard drive.  I have installed FSX on a seperate SSD.  I just ordered a new mother board, CPU and Video card.

 

I have read that hard drives last about 6 years on the average.  Does it make sense at this point to buy a new hard drive?  If so, what is the best way to get the contents copied from the current to the new drive?

 

Any and all opinions are welcomed.

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Recommendation:

If you want to, purchase an additional SSD and use one for boot/applications and the other for games/simulations. Utilize any other drives for general storage and backups of installers, etc. etc.

 

Why:

Dedicating an SSD for flightsim use, in my experience, is a bit of a waste of the SSD's resources. It really only speeds up loading times, and has no bearing on the simulation experience once you're flying unless you're running a dog-slow old computer. This probably isn't the case now with you, and it certainly won't be once your gear arrives.

 

Contrast that with an SSD running as your boot drive... this has wide reaching effects on the performance of your system as a whole. Sure, it's still a "loading faster" improvement, but now it extends to booting up, OS events, opening browsers and email clients, and any other things which might be running on the system. The cumulative effect is far reaching and very noticeable.

 

I don't think you need to purchase a new drive for stability's sake or because of drive lifespans.

 

How:

Since you're outfitting your system with a new mobo, processor, and video card, you will be doing a complete from-scratch installation of Windows as well as any and all applications, games, flightsims, and addons.

 

If you choose to install the OS onto your "new" hard drive, the work is easy. Slap it in and go and just be mindful not to reformat any of the old drives. All your data remains and you can reorganize it all as needed once the new machine is up and running. 

 

If you choose to install the OS to the current "flightsim" SSD, you will want to move all files from the old SSD to your traditional drive or the new SSD before you break down the old machine and start replacing components. Then when it comes time to install Windows on the new machine, the data will be safe.

 

Proceed step by step and it'll be quite easy!

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Since you're outfitting your system with a new mobo, processor, and video card, you will be doing a complete from-scratch installation of Windows as well as any and all applications, games, flightsims, and addons.

 

If I continue using my existing drives, I was assuming I don't have to do any reinstalling (Windows, applications, etc.).  Is this correct?

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I just ordered a new mother board, CPU and Video card.

 

Bearing in mind greggerm's excellent advice if your new motherboard accepts the M.2 SSD's I would start budgeting for one.  Latest versions previewed at CES are approx. three times faster than premium SSD's. 

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I feel the need to add a disclaimer before I go any further: Always have a backup. ALWAYS.

 

I have ripped out and replaced my motherboard/processor/video cards many times in the past. It is a very straightforward process, but you also run the risk of losing everything with a bad keystroke or two. Managing your data during this process is an important task which should involve careful and deliberate  thought. 

 

 

 


If I continue using my existing drives, I was assuming I don't have to do any reinstalling (Windows, applications, etc.). Is this correct?

 

In my opinion that is not correct. (*and certainly would not be the best practice even if it was possible)

 

When you change the motherboard and processor, it is not even remotely recommended that you attempt to continue using your existing Windows installation. In some very rare cases it may function, but you will be required to reconfigure tons of system drivers and settings, increasing the chances of problems. In most cases, the system will simply not boot due to the significant differences between the old motherboard and processor chipsets and the new ones.

 

You will be doing a new Windows installation and should plan accordingly. Summarily, you will be doing a new installation of all your applications, games, sims, addons, etc...   You are starting completely fresh with your new motherboard and processor. (*and in all honesty, that is the way you want it, believe it or not.)

 

This isn't as bad as it seems, but you just need to be careful with your data. If you choose to reinstall Windows onto one of your existing drives, you will need to copy any contents you wish to save from that drive to another drive before you begin. If you choose to install Windows to a new drive, you can theoretically leave your data on the existing drives and your new installation will be able to read from them.

 

You've built a computer in the past so this shouldn't be terribly new to you, but just take deliberate care of your data.

 

-Greg

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I would just plug in the new one and enter disk management and format it. Then pass everything from your old drive to the new one, simple as that

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Thanks all for this good information.  I certainly learned in the process.  My build three years ago was my first so I am not that experienced.

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