I've done this successfully a few times with XP but most of the time get the same result you did.
Nothing to lose, right? Try it with Win 7 and see what happens. The only concern I have is whether the copy of Windows 7 you are moving is an OEM versions. If so then it's tied to the original hardware so legally you are not allowed to do this. As an experiment though, it would be interesting to see what happens.