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Windows 7: Restore system backup to new hardware...

05 Nov 2012   #1

Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, OSX Maverick
Restore system backup to new hardware...

Sandy did damage my computer, either the MB or the CPU (Intel i5-760) is fried. At this point, it is not known, if my drives bit the dust as well. There are backups on the external drive, both Windows and Macrium images.

The system being built has different MB and Intel i5-3350P CPU. This is an "unplanned" system hardware update and no preparation had been made for the Windows 7 drive for the migration.

Pulling off the data from the drives doesn't seem much of an issue with the new system, provided all six drives work. Restoring the "old" Windows 7 system on the other hand seems much harder. Microsoft does not support restoring system state to a different hardware platform.

Does anyone has experience with restoring Windows 7 system sate to new hardware?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 Nov 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit

I've never done it, but have seen posts from a number of people who have done it.

Many of them were successful. Apparently, Win 7 is quite forgiving. I think ultimately all you can do is try it and see what area in hell you land in. With luck, you are only on the outskirts and can boot and fix whatever is out of whack. You'd have to make a judgement about the hours that might take compared to a clean install.

I'm referring to simply moving a hard drive from one PC into a new build that has a new motherboard and processor.

Not sure how much luck you would have restoring an image to totally new hardware.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2012   #3

Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, OSX Maverick

I've seen Windows 7 working just fine when the AHCI/IDE mode accidentally changed in CMOS, but this is HAL change for the system.

Maybe booting to a Windows 7 DVD and selecting the repair option may do some good. It should detect and configure most of the new hardware.

You are correct that at this point, any suggestion will be tried. The long term plan is a clean install, but need to recover the license keys for the software. I am not about to spend an other $4K for software..
My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 Nov 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 10, 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)

I have no idea if this will work, but first recover your files and license keys, then try to boot into Windows with your old OS. If you are lucky it may boot. If it does, as soon as on the desktop, run sysprep. This is usually done before the system change, but if you can boot, it should work. I have used it before the system change and it worked perfectly. Others have said they had no problem booting into their old hard drive after changing boards, but I've never tried.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2012   #5

Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, OSX Maverick

Thanks Essenbe...

The order for the new parts had been placed and probably will take couple days getting it. Building the system shouldn't take long. I don't have another desktop to recover the files, so it'll just have to wait. Let you know how it goes...

My wife's business desktop is built on the Intel Sandy Bridge and interestingly, it didn't burn up during the same power failure. The bad news is that it also has an Asus motherboard. The good news is that it is just a little over a year old, there's still time...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 10, 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)

I'm sure you already have this figured out, but recover your files from your Wife's computer. Then try to boot into her's with yours and run sysprep. If she has the same type OS as yours, clone her OS to a hard drive, boot into it and run sysprep. If you can get sysprep to run, the OS should boot into the new computer. It is the OOBE environment andis just like a clean install as far as drivers are concerned.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Nov 2012   #7

Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, OSX Maverick

Good suggestions, but wife's computer is off limit until the weekend. It is a business PC and she's working on it. I'll boot to my old system drive in my new machine, standard and safe mode, and see what happens?

Worse case scenario is that it'll give me a BSOD. If that's the case, run a repair with Windows 7 recovery/installation disk.

The "OOBE" reminds me of the "Out Of Body Experience", the other possible meaning for the acronym...

It's too bad that the sysprep cannot be done offline (out of body?), despite the fact that "regedit" can be changed offline.

The Macrium reflect images can be browsed. Both her and my burned machine are backed up to an eSATA drive. I'll pull the files that I'd need from the Macrium image. The latest image backed up was a day or two before the system burned. Pure luck...

The other five HDDs also have important data that needs to be recovered. It seems the easiest way would be is just to connect them to the new PC. The new system should arrive by the end of this week, hopefully...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Nov 2012   #8

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit

I did this when a motherboard suddenly failed and what worked for me was using the Redeploy option with the Macrium Reflect commercial version, as follows:
1) Stuck in MR WinPE boot CD, booted to it
2) Had old HDD witn working version of Windows 7 on it -- but it was previously connected to a different motherboard (so the drivers would be bad)
3) Used the MR option to restore to different hardware
4) It prompted me for new drivers
5) Stuck in the Driver CD for the new motherboard
6) MR then found and installed all the drivers from the CD
7) Rebooted the PC, removing the CD

PC came up in Windows 7, everything worked.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Nov 2012   #9

Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, OSX Maverick

The Macrium Reflect is licensed, standard version in my system; maybe it's a good time to get the professional that support redeploy.

Did Windows and other licensed software require reactivation when you used Reflect?
Thanks Mark...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2012   #10

Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, OSX Maverick

Windows 7 surprised me...

My old system specs were changed to:
  • Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH motherboard
  • Intel i5-3350P Ivy CPU
  • GSkill memory
The rest of the devices, DVDs, HDD, SSD, etc., are the same.

Windows 7 started up with one minor issue. The network card didn't work until the Intel driver had been installed, the previous system had RealTec network card. Once the network connection restored, Windows 7, Office 2010, and other software activated on their own. Sweet...
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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