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The answer to this may already be out there, I just couldn't find it.

The issue: My SSD has a few problems, I got the nasty "Disc Read Error" on boot up and while trying to sort that out, it occurred to me that my Bitcoin software is installed on that drive.

I did have the common sense to locate my Bitcoin wallet on my storage hard drive, so all that info is safe and I was able to boot off a spare drive that I use as a back up. It doesn't have the Bitcoin Core software installed though.

The question: Can I install Bitcoin Core software onto my spare drive without any hick-ups and then access my wallet, or will I run into some issues? Will I have to go through the whole huge initial download thing again?

I didn't want to try until I asked, just in case there is something to look out for.

Thank you in advance

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You should be able to download/install the software on your safe drive, and then specify as needed the locations of the wallet/data directory using the --datadir option (this should point to the repository containing the blocks directory as well as the wallet.dat file).

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